Toronto Aquarium

Morning Brew: Plans for new aquarium are going swimmingly, 200 Wellesley has long history with fires, Canadian government will save our internet usage, TTC votes to cut back on bus service, and police officer charged with beating a second person at G20

"Believe it or not," the Ripley aquarium planned for the base of the CN Tower is coming together swimmingly. Contracts could be signed as early as this summer, triggering construction to get the 150,000-square-foot watery attraction ready for July 2015, when visitors will stream into Pan Am Games events at the neighbouring Rogers Centre. But taxpayers aren't off the hook. A source with knowledge of the plans said various levels of government are expected to contribute about $10 million each to the project, with Ripley's investing $110 million -- a figure Jim Pattison Jr., president of Ripley's, would not confirm. I'm sure the "special lighting and mirrors" this thing is supposed to have will leave us all in a trance anyway.

Turns out the fire at 200 Wellesley Street last September is just one of at least fifty the building has suffered since 2005, OpenFile has learned through obtained incident reports. Totaling over two hundred pages, the reports describe a building in seemingly perpetual disrepair, aggravated by vandalism and negligence. Arson, apartments packed with flammable materials, and unheeded warnings of fire hazards are also noted in the reports, raising questions about safety in a housing network with 164,000 tenants.

Hurray, hurray! The Canadian government will save us from being charged based on our internet usage. A senior government source confirmed that if the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) does not reverse its recent decision, the prime minister and the industry minister are prepared to overturn it. Last month, the telecommunications regulator ruled that larger Internet providers will be allowed to charge smaller providers on a per-byte basis effective March 1. The move could effectively kill unlimited internet access--which, as a blogger, is something I care about very much.

During a marathon meeting yesterday, the TTC voted to cut back evening and weekend bus service on 41 "under-performing" routes. The cuts will take effect in May. Staff say the savings will go to boosting service on crowded lines. The commission also voted to proceed with a new storage and maintenance facility at Ashbridges Bay for those incoming light-rail vehicles--whenever that will happen.

Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani, who was charged last month with assaulting Adam Nobody at the G20, was arrested yesterday and charged with beating a second person--quite possibly Torontoist contributor Wyndham Bettencourt-McCarthy--with a baton also at the G20. But this time it was the police themselves who laid the charge. Police said they began investigating Jan. 21 after getting tipped off by the provincial Office of the Independent Police Review Director.


Photo by Jen Tse in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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