Morning Brew: The Flatiron sells for $15.3-million, Toronto's own Operation Dumbo Drop, why streetcars get priority green lights, TTC groper turns himself in, and what happened to gentrification in Parkdale?

The Flatiron building has been sold for $15.3-million to Toronto-based Commercial Realty Group, which averages about $737 per square foot. According to the group's press release, the most photographed building in Toronto will be the "flagship" of their "portfolio of heritage buildings." Prospective tenants will be touring the building in January.

It seems that life might be imitating art — if you can call that hokey "Operation Dumbo Drop" movie art, that is. Julie Woodyer, campaign manager with animal welfare group Zoocheck Canada, has inquired about using a Boeing C-17 aircraft to ship Toronto's remaining three elephants to their new home in California. The zoo itself has not, however, had any formal talks regarding the usage of the planes. Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker for his part said the idea is "spectacular".

Hey, remember five years ago when everyone was saying Parkdale was on its way to being gentrified? What happened? Well, the 'hood may be condo-free, but the area has still evolved, if only to the beat of its own drum, catering to the diversity of its residents.

The "transit signal priority" — the annoying traffic light that is the bane to some Toronto pedestrians, especially those in a hurry. So why do streetcars get priority when it come to green lights? According to the TTC, it decreases traffic times significantly (as well as save times for cars on the main streets) and during peak hours on Queen Street, the savings is like adding two extra streetcars.

Oh, and in case you missed it, the TTC approved 10 cent fare hikes for the next four years at a meeting last night. For 2012, the cash fare will remain at $3, while token and metropass prices will bear the burden of the increase.


Photo by Neil Ta | I am Bidong in the blogTO Flickr pool

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