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Morning Brew: Something stinks about Toronto's trash plans, archaeologists uncover old engine house at condo site, Justin Trudeau hits the GTA for the Liberals, TFC is getting a new facility, and get ready for rain

Something smells a little fishy about Mayor Rob Ford's move to privatize garbage collection in Toronto. The good news: the city's Solid Waste staff says Toronto can save up to $8-million a year by contracting out the trash pick-up west of Yonge Street, which would help with the forthcoming deficit. But when a contract has a term of more than five years, like the seven-year contract Solid Waste is seeking, "the Purchasing By-law states that council is required to make the award regardless of the overall contract value." This is where it gets dicey. The report from the Solid Waste staff recommends that staff do away with this rule and award the contract, which is worth over $200-million, through a "bid committee," without letting council vote on the deal. The report reasons the city will save money bypassing democracy because a council vote would delay a private pick-up by six months. That makes sense. Garbage totally outweighs democracy.

Dig and you shall find...remains of an old engine house from Toronto's 19th-century boom. Archaeologists uncovered brick and masonry foundation walls built by the Grand Trunk Railway in the 1850s at the base of the new Library District condo site, adjacent to the Bathurst Street bridge south of Front Street. According to railway historian Derek Boles, railways transformed Toronto from a warehousing centre to a manufacturing focal point. He says the unearthed remnants should be saved, but their fate is unknown.

I guess the Liberals see Justin Trudeau as their secret weapon. Why else drop him into seven GTA ridings in eight hours, including Liberal candidate Ruby Dhalla's embattled Brampton-Springdale riding. "It was important to come and show my support to Ruby," Trudeau said during a speech at Dhalla's campaign headquarters. "She is an important and valued member of our team." His brief visit is part of the Liberals' strategy to hold onto the 905 regions. And you know the man's dedicated to his party when he drove himself from Montreal in his ten-year old Toyota Camry.

Even though attendance has been low, that isn't stopping Toronto FC from building a world-class training facility worth $17-million at Downsview Park. The 5.7-hectare site, which will serve as a training base for the MLS team and its academy squads, will include three grass fields, one artificial turf field under a bubble and a 3,715-square-metre fieldhouse, which will house locker-rooms and offices. There will also be an area just for goalie training. Construction is slated to started next month. The fields are projected to be ready in April 2012.


Photo by simon.carr in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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