Humber Bay Bridge

Morning Brew: A solution for Toronto's transit woes, possible overdose at Occupy Toronto, ghost bike to be installed for fallen cyclist, this butcher's life, and the Leafs ain't so hot now

Screw Transit City. If we want to solve Toronto's transportation woes, we should look towards our under-utilized urban railways. Picking up on an argument made by Rick McGinnis in a t.o.night feature last week (PDF), the Grid's Edward Keenan explains why the existing heavy rail lines might be such an enticing opportunity: "The best thing about this is that it's already there. No tunnels need to be dug, no roads need to be torn up, no traffic needs to be blocked. The bridges over roads and the road underpasses under tracks already exist. I'm not sure exactly what amount of money in savings this represents versus other options like building subways or monorails or streetcars, but I think it has to be massive."

Toronto Railway Lines

As far as major complications go, the idea might be doomed because Metrolinx and GO own the majority of the lines (see image above) and are more interested with getting people in and out of the city than to and from inter-urban destinations.

Just days after a drug overdose claimed the life a 23 year old woman at Occupy Vancouver, Toronto emergency personnel were called for a similar situation at St. James Park early Tuesday morning. The man, in his 20s, was hospitalized and is expected to live. Apparently where the man was discovered was known for drugs and disrespecting the city and park's rules, and the group was dealing with a "shape up or ship out" situation.

In other Occupy TO news, it would appear that if the City moves to remove the protesters, they will legally resist. Also noteworthy: apparently the group has a "plan B" that involves "other venues" that have been offered to the movement.

Are lecture clubs the new book clubs? They very well could be if more people knew that free lectures actually exist in the city. And exist they do. Universities across the city offer free lectures to the public on a daily basis, so all you've got to do is find the one for you and geek out.

The Toronto cyclist who was struck and killed Monday has been identified as Jenna Morrison, a wife and mother, who was expecting her second child in the spring. Morrison collided with a truck at Dundas Street and Sterling Road early Monday morning, though it's not known if the truck driver will be charged. In addition to the one held last night at the yoga studio where she taught, there are various vigil's scheduled. Toronto's Advocacy For Respect for Cyclists will install a ghost bike at site on November 14th. Cyclists are invited to meet at Bloor and Spadina at 7:30 a.m will ride to the site of the accident.

Morrison's death has spurred calls to the federal government to make safety guards on large vehicles mandatory. The accident has been deemed a preventable collision by both police and bike advocacy groups, which believe side guards, simple barriers that cover the gap between the vehicle's front and rear wheels, is the simple solution for these kinds of tragedies from reoccurring.

It's hard out here for a butcher. The Grid discovers there's a lot of intricacies and complications when it comes to opening up a butcher shop in the city, like health inspectors and architectural and plumbing logistics, as it features the official opening of Leslieville's Sausage Partners.


Photo by Calvin James in the blogTO Flickr pool

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