Morning Brew: Donors back off due to Zoo woes, Ryerson will rename Maple Leaf Gardens, meet the 28-billionth TTC rider, what we've learned from Transit City and the Port Lands, and welcome to Toronto City Park in Brazil

Since the city announced it was selling off the Zoo, donors have been forsaking large donations until the ownership issues have been resolved — a process that could take years. Now the zoo board is concerned that its unknown fate could cost them million of dollars in donations. The news couldn't come at a worse time as attendance numbers have remained flat over the last few years and they're in need of $250-million to spruce up the place. For the record: the zoo is not closing, people.

Seems like Halloweek is another victim to the city's budgetary woes. The extravagant annual festival in the Village will be scaled back, so no DJs on roofs and no hypnotic light shows either. It's a bit of a blow to the city since the event is one of the largest of its kind. We might just have to be more traditional this year and use more of our imaginations.

So this is a bit disappointing. When the old Maple Leaf Gardens re-opens as an arena for Ryerson University, it won't be called Maple Leaf Gardens anymore. The school was served with a lawsuit by Goliath-like MLSE and has thus decided to rename the venue. The building will retain its name for city records and the canopy will remain, but the athletic centre inside will be called something different entirely. Because that's not confusing.

How many people want to be Kathy Dillion right now? Not that we know her personally, but Dillion was the twenty-eight-billionth TTC rider and this honour has given her a free Metropass for the year plus all this unnecessary media attention, so that's kind of cool.

So what lessons did we learn when it comes to Transit City and the Port Lands? That's what John Michael McGrath attempts to answer in his latest posting for OpenFile. What's probably the most pertinent piece of info: "in politics, timing is everything," which explains why Rob Ford did what he did when he did it. And why Transit City ain't likely coming back.


Photo by David Ho Ming Lam in the blogTO Flickr pool

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