Toronto Gardiner

Morning Brew: Rob Ford threatened by his sister's boyfriend, Can more TTC bus routes be saved from budget cuts?, 2011 was the busiest year for city libraries, more on Transit City, study says Toronto lags behind in arts funding, and the Raptors lose

The "security breach" and "unwelcome visitor" at Rob Ford's house yesterday turned out to be the longtime boyfriend of the mayor's sister, Kathy. Scott MacIntyre was arrested yesterday after allegedly threatening to kill Ford. This isn't MacIntyre's first brush with the law: he was arrested in 2005 after Kathy Ford was shot in the face at her parents' home in Etobicoke. Yikes.

Last minute tweaks to the budget may have saved 21 of the city's busiest bus routes, including those on Dufferin and Don Mills, but transit activists and politicians are still struggling to convince city council to find another $10-million instead of reducing additional routes in February. Most of the changes mean buses will run even further apart and will make rush hour more hellish than it already is.

Margaret Atwood knew it all along: Torontonians love their libraries. 2011 has set the record for busiest year on record, measured by how often we go to the library and how much we're using of its resources. Last year, 19 million of us visited a library and we borrowed 33 million items. Unfortunately 2012 doesn't look as promising with budgetary cutbacks on the horizon.

Sure, we all know smoking is a bad, stinky habit but you've gotta admit smokers in the winter are a brave kind of folk. The Grid asked some Toronto smokers just how — and why — they voluntarily head out into the frigid air for their nicotine fix.

Yesterday we shared a video about the state of the TTC and the future of transit planning in Toronto. In it there was lots of talk about Transit City. But what does one speak of when using that name? For very useful background information and some musings on the possibilities of rebuilding a transit-oriented city, check out this recent post by Steve Munro. It'll be time well-spent.


Photo by Brandon Tarek in the blogTO Flickr pool

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