Toronto storm

Morning Brew: Toronto bans plastic bags, more big ideas for the city, a casino is officially out at Ontario Place, and the cause of the Union Station flood

I bet Rob Ford was expecting this when he pushed to eliminate the five cent bag fee. Although in one sense the mayor got his way (the fee will be scrapped July 1), in a surprise twist, council voted to eliminate plastic bags altogether by January 1, 2013. Perhaps even stranger, is that it was Councillor David Shiner who put forward the last minute motion supporting the ban, which passed 27-17.

This story probably has more life left in it yet, as the ban is bound to face a legal challenge from the plastics industry among others. So, what do you think? Good move? It's worth noting that Seattle and, more recently, Los Angeles have put similar bans in place.

Is banning plastic bags altogether a "big idea?" Maybe. But we can be even more ambitious. Case in point: the reader-submitted portion of the Grid's cover story from a couple weeks ago is full of great stuff that ranges from the entertaining and unrealistic to the intelligent and perhaps even crucial. John Lorinc's idea to create "The TO Loop" — a continuous pedestrian/cyclist path around the harbour and Islands — took top honours.

It's official — Ontario Place will not be the future site of a casino in Toronto. Exhibition Place does, however, remain a possibility. A review from the city manager regarding the site's feasibility for a casino is expected this fall.

It sure was odd that Union Station turned into Waterworld last Friday when there weren't really any other reports of flooding around the city. Now there's an explanation. As part of renovation efforts on the station, a contractor removed part of a sewer, leaving in place a pump system that was ultimately overwhelmed by the rainfall. You could say it was a Perfect Storm. But it sure made for some funny Photoshop work.

After Shawn Micallef tweeted about an intriguing (and frankly moving) backstory to the weekend's shootings at the Eaton Centre, the story of how Todd Irvine tended to a stabbed Christopher Husbands back in February made it to both the Star and the Globe.


Believe it or not, Councillor Paula Fletcher actually played this video about the life of a plastic bag during yesterday's city council debate. I wonder if it swayed council members in favour of the ban?

Photo by ~EvidencE~ in the blogTO Flickr pool

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