Toronto News

Morning Brew: Toronto budget to be unveiled this morning, Transit City rally, grow-up homes are a growing problem, Ontario launches bedbug war, DVD raid in Downsview, and Glee gets Bieber Fever

At 9 a.m. this morning, Mayor Rob Ford will unveil his first budget for the city of Toronto. The budget recommends cutting late-night hours on some little-used bus routes, but the new mayor is expected to otherwise balance the books without ravaging services, raising taxes or reducing debt payments. Although city staff drafted the 2011 budget, it is very much a creature of Ford and his political team insofar as they apparently cut the budget committee out of the loop. "Your guess about the budget is as good as mine," said Chin Lee, a member of the committee. Ladies and gentlemen: synchronize your watches.

Proving that Transit City is still the little (light rail) engine that could, more than 100 supporters turned up outside City Hall on Sunday afternoon for a Save Transit City rally and organizing meeting. Speakers included city councillors Adam Vaughan, Gord Perks and activists like Dave Meslin, with many framing it as more important than just a public transit issue. "Transit City is a lot more than a transit plan; it's a city-building exercise," Vaughan told the gathered crowd. "This city is connected by much more than transit. It's connected by families, by work environments, by constituencies called students, workers, you name it, and Transit City serves everybody. It's not a suburban service, it's a city service and we need it."

Next time you peruse the real estate listings, check how many include a short phrase mentioning that the house was a former marijuana grow-up. Chances are, you might even lose count seeing as "former pot houses are a growing problem" for home buyers in the GTA, reports The National Post.

More than 15,000 illegal DVDs were recently seized at Downsview Park Merchants Market & Farmers Market in a raid that was initially aided by the Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Association. "From what I understand, Canada is among the worst countries in the world when it comes to piracy," said Toronto Police Sgt. Steve Craddock, explaining that not long ago the U.S. industry was considering delaying the release of Hollywood movies north of the border by up to a month in response to the problem. Okay, people, I know going to the movies can be expensive but that's why we have Netflix now, and don't you think you deserve more than "pretty good" quality?


Photo by DdotG in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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