Cherry Beach

Morning Brew: New Maple Leafs Gardens to open in 2012, city to outsource some janitors, councillor proposes pothole website, the piggy bank found its way home, and another Spadina subway extension kickoff

Originally set to open this spring, the new Maple Leafs Gardens, an ambitious $60-million make-over that includes a new rink, an athletic centre, a grocery store and underground parking lot, will likely open next February or March. Besides a number of engineering and construction problems, workers also discovered a creek running underneath the foundation, all of which resulted in the project's delay. Still, with the blend of new and old (including two rows of original blue seats in the new rink), it seems like the new Gardens will be worth the wait.

Well, if the city is outsourcing its garbage collection, it only makes sense to do the same with their janitors, right? Regardless, that's what Mayor Rob Ford has planned to do with the custodial employees at the city's police stations. This means that 42 temporary or part-time employees will be out of a job, saving the city $1-million (further savings will come into play once permanent employees eventually retire). With that incoming $700-million deficit, I guess a little goes a long way?

Councillor Paul Ainslie has come up with an idea of a website where people can track the number of potholes across the city and see whether they are being repaired. He's even come up with a snappy title: "The Daily Pothole". The website would include, among other useful pothole tidbits: a weekly pothole repair counter, the costs associated with repairs and the locations of reported potholes. The council's public works committee will vote on it next week. Let's hope someone brings SeeClickFix to their attention beforehand.

You know something's super important when all three levels of government are in attendance. Today, Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent, Ontario Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne, Mayor Rob Ford and TTC chair Karen Stintz will be on hand to kick off (once again) the Spadina subway extension. Its scheduled completion is sometime in 2015.

And for those who were worried: the little piggy found his way home. Budget chief Mike del Grande's red, plastic piggy bank was returned Thursday night. Apparently security cameras caught the culprit and it looks like it might be fellow councillor Adam Vaughan, though he's refusing to 'fess up. Of course it's all fun and games until someone takes a joke way too seriously, like councillor David Shiner who thinks the bank-stealing is a "moral issue of what's right." Squealer.


Photo by stillsinflux in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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