Arson Yonge and Gould

Morning Brew: Yonge & Gould fire is now a "criminal matter," only two free garbage tags for Toronto residents this year, Ah-nold is coming to town, Canada collapses in the third period to lose gold

Toronto police have confirmed that a fire that gutted a heritage building at Yonge and Gould Streets Monday morning is now a criminal matter. Police are now working alongside arson investigators from Toronto Fire Services and the Ontario Fire Marshal's office. Const. Scott Mills said police have a search warrant for the Yonge Street property north of Dundas Street that caught fire and are looking for evidence that the fire was deliberately set.

Talk about being nickled-and-dimed. As the city awaits the release of the municipal budget that will include many "small" cuts in lieu of eliminating "major" programs, Toronto residents have been sent two garbage tags for the year, down from four last year. These tags allow residents to throw out the occasional extra bag of garbage. If you want more than your two tags, you'll have to pay. Council will vote in February on a proposal to raise garbage fees by three per cent. If the hike passes, everyone will then be mailed two additional tags, but If the approved hike is smaller than three per cent, residents may or may not get additional tags. You'd think after the summer of 2009, Toronto council would know how important garbage and its removal is.

Speaking of bags, in today's National Post, Chris Selley says to Rob Ford: make Torontonians pay for their plastic bags (these would be different from the garbage variety). He argues that we've always paid for plastic bags; supermarkets mixed in the costs with the other goods they sell--countering Ford's objection that people "can't stand" paying for something they never had to pay for before. And with plastic bag usage having dropped 70%, not only is it good for the environment but the fewer the plastic bags, the less it costs to dispose of them. Since when did "bags" become such a hot city council issue?

Are you ready to see ads debunking God and leprechauns on your next subway ride? Well, like it or lump it, they're going to be there anyway, thanks to the Centre of Inquiry, a local atheist group. This week's EYE explores this new group, asking the questions--is it a welcome voice of reason, a hate group, or just another church?

Ah-nold is coming. That would be Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Hollywood action star and California governor. He's hitting the speech circuit and he'll be stopping in Toronto on January 26 in an event titled, "An Afternoon with Arnold Schwarzenegger." It's unclear what exactly what Schwarzenegger will be speaking about, but I hope he reenacts some of these great quotes.


Photo by Subjective Art in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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