Morning Brew: Toronto Zoo eager for new pandas, Giambrone weighs in on transit plans, new theory on TO gridlock, and kids don't like healthy food at schools

We might be losing our elephants, but we'll be gaining two pandas — that is if the Toronto Zoo's board has anything to say about it. Regarding reports that a big panda announcement is supposed to happen next week, councillor Paul Ainslie, the vice-president of the zoo board, is pretty sure the zoo will receive viable private-public support for the an exhibit despite the zoo's financial woes. After all, everyone loves cute, fuzzy bears who won't hesitate to maul you.

Former TTC chair Adam Giambrone weighs in on the current Eglinton LRT drama. His advice to those who are trying to figure all this out: remember why LRT was chosen in the first place. Giambrone argues that Transit City was thoroughly studied, so alternatives should be just as carefully weighed. He thinks that implementing BRT in certain areas (like FInch) will end up costing Toronto more in the long run, and does not promote urban regeneration, and that extending the subway isn't really practical, either.

Apparently one-third of our city's annoying downtown traffic consists of drivers just looking for a place to park. So what could help alleviate this headache? You could raise parking prices in high traffic areas and lower them in less desirable areas to ensure there are a few spots free; or, develop an app that uses GPS to locate vacant parking spaces (and obviously one that's better than that Green P parking app).

Try as the province might to offer healthy menus at schools, the kids just aren't having it. The Toronto District School Board projects it will lose $700,000 this year because kids are basically saying "Screw you, healthy food" and are getting their fatty food fix elsewhere. One teenage girl said of the new menu: "It's healthy and it's nasty."


Photo by Andy Carroll in the blogTO Flickr pool

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