Sgt. Ryan Russel Funeral

Morning Brew: Sgt. Ryan Russell laid to rest, report argues that there's little difference between "clean diesel" or electric trains, parking returns to Dundas Street, the CMA thinks we drink too much, and Facebook removes our phone number

The service for slain Sgt. Ryan Russell drew more than 10,000 people from across the country and the United States, one of the largest funerals this city has seen. Members of the public, police officers and emergency workers filled the commodious Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Hundreds lined the walls of the room because all the seats were taken. Those present included Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Speaking in public for the first time since her husband's death, Christine Russell described his bravery: ""Ryan always put others before himself. On January 12, this cost his him life. Ryan, we are all so proud of you ... You are our hero."

A report from two environmental think-tanks, which was paid for in part by Metrolinx, argues that there's not much of a difference between "clean diesel" or electric trains as far as pollution goes. According to Sustainable Prosperity and the Pembina Institute, the distinction of most importance is that between cars and trains. This may be true, but tell it someone who lives beside the railway tracks and see what they think.

It's nice to know some campaign promises can be kept. Rookie Councillor Ana Bailao of Ward 18 has kept one of hers by bringing back parking to Dundas Street West. Bailao's motion to amend parking in the area between Dovercourt and Sterling Rds. was passed at a community council meeting and will go to full council on Feb. 7. Local business owners were outraged when former councillor and TTC chair Adam Giambrone moved to strip the area of about 70 pay-and-display parking spots just over a year ago.

A proposal to transform a Bloor Street East strip with a series of condos has city planning staff concerned about density, even as the local councillor welcomed the chance to resuscitate derelict properties that have been neglected for years. As it's laid out, the plan would inject 1,840 new residential units into the North St. James Town neighbourhood, which is adjacent to the densely populated St. James Town and its 18 high-rise buildings, 14 to 32 storeys tall. "The application in its current form is not supportable," planning staff wrote in a preliminary report that was presented to the Toronto and East York Community Council on Tuesday.


Photo by A & T Photography in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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