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Morning Brew: Pools and arenas on the chopping block revealed, Rob Ford still refuses to talk to the Star, animal rights group threatens to spread poison in Chinatown, Yonge Street's seedy past, and what about a hotel for the Distillery District?

The names of the city's pools, arenas, and zoos that are on the budget's chopping block have been revealed in a letter to CUPE Local 416 president Mark Ferguson. However, per the letter, Parks, Forestry and Recreation general manager Jim Hart says that "no decision will be made until City Council's review and approval of the City's budget in January 2012."

So what is the deal with Rob Ford and The Star? Yesterday, councillor Doug Ford repeated that his brother will not officially talk to the newspaper until it issues a front-page apology for a 2010 article the mayor says was false: "You can go to the Supreme Court and try to get Rob to talk to the Star — he won't talk to you. He just won't. Until you do it." The Star remains just as vigilant, and will be filing a complaint with city council's integrity commissioner over the mayor's exclusion of its reporters on his media email list for public announcements and appearances.

According to the head of the Toronto Chinese Business Association, an underground animal rights group called the Animal Liberation Canada/USA is threatening to spread rat poison in Toronto's Chinatown and poison food at Mandarin buffet restaurants. The threatening letter (which opens with a scary "warning to y'all") comes as a response to the association's decision to fight a City of Toronto ban on the sale of shark fins. Just another reason for you not to be eating at Mandarin.

Wow. Yonge Street was one seedy place back in the day. Back in 1977, Yonge was swimming with 44 dodgy businesses that included strip clubs, body rubs, x-rated entertainment stores, and pinball arcades. What's so bad about pinball arcades? Well, apparently council was worried those places sheltered delinquent youth and were a great place for criminals to launder money.

What do you think about a hotel in the Distillery District? It could happen. And, if rumours prove correct, it could be a Gansevoort. According to a sign at 60 Mill Street, which is across the street from the now self-contained Gooderham & Worts area, an application has been put in for a 34-storey structure that would go up above the current structure that sits on the site. The Toronto Standard has all the details.


Photo by syncros in the blogTO Flickr pool

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