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Morning Brew: Ford skips Pride flag raising, a chunk of the Gardiner falls on a car, a TTC surplus, construction site gets surprise guest, and a $1.45 million billing error

So, no surprise appearance by Rob Ford at the Pride flag raising (I guess it was too much to ask for a repeat of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia event). Instead, councillor Shelley Carroll read the proclamation that began "I, Mayor Rob Ford," to a short burst of boos. The mayor had "other commitments" (see below) to attend to. Despite the notable absence, the event that traditionally marks the start of Pride week saw its highest ever attendance.

It was really just a matter of time before the crumbling Gardiner got its rocks off on someone's vehicle. Yesterday, more concrete fell from the elevated highway, but this time it happened to land on the shiny black Mercedes of a lawyer. Sounds like this one is going to ache right in the pocket book.

In good transportation news, the TTC announced a $22 million surplus yesterday. Hang on... they did what? Turns out the recent fare increase didn't scare off as many riders as the commission expected - in fact, ridership is booming and TTC chair Karen Stintz is promising no more service reductions next year. Another fare increase, however, isn't off the table.

In bad transit news, a car dropped into the construction pit on Front Street opposite Union Station early this morning. No-one was hurt and the driver of the vehicle was arrested.

If your water bill looked pretty good last year, it really was too good to be true. Toronto Water accidentally under-charged its customers by $1.45 million, roughly $30 a household, by forgetting to add on a planned rate increase. The city is now adjusting bills to help recover the missing money.


The National Post's Steve Murray throws down a $10 reward for the first person to find Rob Ford on the day he said he couldn't attend the Pride flag raising because of unspecified "other commitments." City politics commentator Jonathan Goldsbie eventually claimed the cash with his sighting of Ford at law firm Lenczner Slaght, the group handling his conflict of interest case.


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Photo: "Two Go" by Richard Furlong in the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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