Banksy Toronto

Morning Brew: Banksy piece survives building demolition, Police Chief Blair balks at budget cuts, privatized garbage collection inches forward, rare violin to make its TSO debut, and McGuinty hides nuke plan in Green Energy Act

Former Torontoist Editor David Topping tracks the curious fate of one of the seven Banksy pieces put up in Toronto in May of 2010 for the Globe and Mail. Located at 90 Harbour Street, a building that has been completely demolished save for the pillar on which the notorious street artist's work is painted, the piece was ordered to be saved at the last minute by Menkes Development, but it remains unclear what the company plans to do with it now. Interestingly, Simon Cole, owner of Show & Tell Gallery and an expert on street art, notes that if the piece were to be moved, it would have "zero value, from a fine art standpoint."

I guess no one messes with the Chief. After a city request that all of its boards, departments, and commissions cut their budget by 10 per cent, Police Chief Bill Blair has done the complete opposite and has asked for a 1.5 per cent increase instead. His budget proposal is to be discussed next Wednesday, but already city councillors are disappointed in his outward defiance. Although his response is not too surprising since Blair has earlier said a decrease in his budget would endanger the city.

The mayor's plan of privatizing garbage collection is moving forward ever so slightly with the news that five bids have been made for the seven year contract. The bids, from four firms, range from $17.5-million to $25.6 million, which are all below the starting point set by the city. However city councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong is apparently "delighted" by the response.

It looked like nuclear power energy was on the way out after Japan's disaster earlier this year, but not according to Dalton McGuinty. NOW looks at the Liberal leader's plan to use his commendable Green Energy Act to put in place a $26-million nuclear power expansion plan. Ecos are hoping McGuinty will do the right thing before election day.

Did you know there is a violin rarer than the all-mighty Stradivarius? Well, there is. It's called the Guarneri del Ges첫, and there are only 144 of them in the world. One of them will be making its debut here at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on loan to the new concertmaster, Jonathan Crow.


Photo by lipsofcrimson in the blogTO Flickr pool

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