Toronto Dundas Sqaure

Morning Brew: It's Presto time for TTC, Toronto tourism is up, police name tag problems, York University students place second in Mars Rover contest, and are the Service Review consultations helpful?

It's 'Presto, chango' for the TTC as it looks to officially adopt the Presto provincial fare card system this week. A TTC staff report intended for Wednesday recommends the city and TTC begin negotiations with Metrolinx and the province on how to implement the green smart cards. It's still unclear when exactly commuters would be able to use Presto cards and how much it will cost taxpayers to equip all transportation modes and stations with electronic card readers.This is obviously a big turn-around the for the TTC, which had previously deemed the cards too expensive and out-of-date.

According to a new Tourism Toronto report set to be released today, more international travellers are crossing the ocean to visit our fair city but less American motorists are crossing the border, thanks to a high loonie. Though there was an 11 per cent jump in overseas and European visitors, two-thirds of our tourists still come from elsewhere in Canada. Overall, Toronto had a three per cent jump in tourism, but people spent more money, pumping $3.4 billion into the city's economy. Still, according to Tourism Toronto's vice-president of communication, Toronto is known for "its components, not its totality", something they're trying to work on.

A big issue at the G20 public hearings is the fact that many police officers did not wear name tags during the summit, and according to a local student activist, Toronto's police officers are still violating the policy by refusing to wear name tags while on duty. Vikram Mulligan has taken photos of on-duty officers working with no visible name tag since the G20 and presented his findings at the G20 public hearings, which continue this week. Mulligan would like all police officers to wear their name tags. A Toronto police spokesman said that older police raincoats don't have patches for name tag, but that they will eventually be replaced with new ones with such advanced technology.

This week's National Post's political panel discusses whether the Service Review consultations, which wrap up this week, are actually helpful in civic participation, or are they merely a show to appease the people because the city's just going to go ahead and cut what they want anyway.


Photo by Iainphotos in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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