Joel Richardson

Morning Brew: The TTC's first public townhall meeting, elephants to be shipped out by April 30th, meet Yurt Daddy, a Missed Connection in the Annex, and Bay Station closed all weekend

It was a humdinger of TTC's first public town hall after just announcing big service cuts in 2012. Most of the complaints voiced were what you'd expect: the fare system is old, TTC employees aren't very friendly, the trains are dirty, and generally, the service just isn't that good. However, the complaints were met with little by way of promises for improvement. "Service is the most important thing. We get that," TTC chief general manager Gary Webster said. "But the reality is we don't have the money to maintain our service."

Actually, the TTC's townhall meeting seemed pretty tame compared to the five-hour Toronto Zoo board meeting that went down last night concerning the fate of the zoo's three aging elephants. There were arguments among board members, pleas from the public, and even a recording of a purr-like hum that apparently came from one of the elephants themselves (too bad there wasn't a translator present). At the end of it all, the board gave zoo staff a target date of April 30 next year to ship the elephants to their new home in California.

Did you ever wonder where Occupy Toronto got their much-talked-about yurts from? Well, they came from Yves Ballenegger, a.k.a. "Yurt Daddy", a one-man supplier, buyer and promoter of authentic Mongolian yurts. He sold three yurts to OPSEU earlier this month, who in turn donated them to the Occupiers. Now he's fielding calls from other Occupy movements from around the world.

Admit it: you like reading the Missed Connections on Craigslist (probably because we all secretly hope someone is posting about "missing" us, right?). Anyway, director Mahmoud Safadi creates real-life video versions of the posts for a short-film series and he features an Annex tale of love found and lost here.


Photo by dtstuff9 in the blogTO Flickr pool

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