Morning Brew: TTC service cuts, Eric Miller on Toronto transit, the Zoo's new pandas must mate, and the weekend roundup

As of this week, the dreaded service cuts along TTC streetcar and bus routes will take effect. Today, riders on routes that include 35 Jane, 6 Bay, 105 Dufferin North, 85 Weston and the 965 York Mills buses will notice slower service. Yesterday, more than 35 routes were reduced for off-peak service, while 52 bus routes were curtailed during peak periods starting last month.

Speaking of transit, the Star's Christopher Hume talks with Eric Miller, Director of U of T's Cities Centre and one of the experts assigned to analyze how Toronto should proceed on Sheppard Avenue. There aren't really any surprises here — his suspicion is that a subway on Sheppard won't be economically viable — but he does a good job summarizing one of the key problems that currently faces transit planners in Toronto. "The whole problem has been that the discussion has become so political," he argues. "It should be political, of course, but in Toronto we've reached the point where arguments are based on ideology, not on what's best for people."

There seems to be an awful lot of talk about "personal branding" going around the city, says The Toronto Standard, which is leading to more and more "collectives" springing up because two heads are obviously better than one, and when you're a starving artist, you need all the help you can get.

Talk about pressure. Er Shun and Ji Li, the two giant pandas who will move to the Toronto Zoo next year, have five years to make panda babies in Toronto. Apparently the two are genetically matched as potential lovers, and if that wasn't enough pressure, they've never met. Oh, yeah, and there's only a once-a-year, 48-hour window for the female to get pregnant. Good luck, you crazy kids!

The National Post takes a look at what types of Toronto-based tourist attractions might garner international attention. Suggestions include a hokey pier filled with touristy stuff and a Ferris wheel and a...wait, aren't these Doug Ford's ideas? Thankfully there's more to choose from as well.

From the weekend:

Photo by Brett Lantz in the blogTO Flickr pool

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