Toronto Budget

Morning Brew: A breakdown of the budget, butt dials are a problem for 911 operators, Loblaws saves decaying waterfront warehouse, Leafs win again, and GO introduces a text message service

Tired of Toronto's proposed budget yet? Too bad. Today's National Post walks us through the significant issues of the budget before it's finalized at the end of February. Notable topics (besides the TTC fare hike) include: cleaner TTC stations, library closures, the harbour arena and motels for the homeless. The article also features a nifty pie chart too.

Seems your butt's making trouble for you. No, not in that nice way--in the "butt dialing" way. Toronto's 911 operators respond to 300 emergency calls a day that are placed by people's butts. An "unscientific" study found police were receiving an average of 300 "pocket dials" (also known as "butt dials") every day. That's 10 per cent of the total volume of calls to 911, says Judy Broomfield, 911 coordinator for the Toronto police. She launched the study after finding the volume of emergency calls was up 120,000 in 2010 over 2009. She urges urges Torontonians to stop butt dialing by locking their keypads or screens. You don't want to end up like that poor Illinois sap who just wanted to listen to some rap (if you read the link, y'all will feel me).

Have you called in sick this season? Chances are if you haven't, you will be as more people are being hit with flu than normal -- and 90% of it is a new strain particularly risky to seniors and children, a Toronto Public Health official warned Monday. With fewer people taking advantage of free vaccinations, more staff and public clinics are being provided, said Dr. Vinita Dubey, the city's associate medical officer of health. And if you're like me who believes in the old wives tale that you get sick from the flu shot, Dubay stresses: "The flu shot does not have the virus, so you can not get sick from the vaccine." So get your shot today.

Looks like January is save-the-heritage-buildings month in the city. This time, the hero is Loblaws who's stepping in to save the art-deco decaying building that sits at the corner of Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard West, which has been abandoned for more than a decade. "I think that's what heritage preservation is all about. It's adaptive reuse: breathing a new life into old buildings and spaces," said Paul Oberman, president and CEO of Woodcliffe Landmark Properties, who've done restoration projects at King James Place and the LCBO at the North Toronto Station.


Photo by omargudjonsson in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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