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Morning Brew: Rob Ford to testify next month, more on the mayor's schedule, Empress Hotel site wrapped in red tape, building a helicopter, and backyard chickens

Rob Ford will testify in open court next month on allegations he breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act in February by voting on a matter that benefitted him financially. Six months ago, the mayor participated in a vote related to his failure to repay $3,150 in donations to his private football foundation. Toronto resident Paul Magder, who brought the case, wants Ford removed from office for his actions.

Rob Ford's schedule - or apparent lack of a busy one - continues to be a source of excitement for The Star. The newspaper reports the mayor had a "light" itinerary from March to July. A selection of his more unusual activities include recording a video for a resident's bar mitzvah, meeting the chief executive of L'Oreal Canada, hanging out with hockey legend Eddie Shack, and greeting the deputy mayor of Mogadishu, Somalia.

The vacant patch of land once occupied by the Empress Hotel building at Yonge and Gould looks to be tangled up in several lawsuits, preventing new developments taking place. The graveled property is currently home to construction equipment for the nearby Ryerson Student Learning Centre.

The dream of human-powered helicopter flight has been around since Leonardo Da Vinci sketched his "aerial screw" concept. Later this week, a team from Toronto will attempt to win a coveted prize by flying a custom-built, engineless helicopter at the Vaughan Soccer Centre, reports The Star.

Why play boring old original Risk when you can play GTA Risk? A custom board posted to Reddit by user emmajustine shows KFC, Ford Nation, Bike Riding Commie Pinkos, the TTC Union, Aristocrats, Nerds, Hipsters and Donuts battling for control of the city. Awesome!

Finally, the fight for back-yard chickens in Toronto looks set to enter a new phase with the impending release of Crackdown!, a documentary/mockumentary set for release next month. Right now, bylaws prohibit people keeping hens in their yards in the city. The movie, created by local food advocates, hopes to change that. Here's a quick teaser. You can donate to the cause here.

Crackdown! - Busting the Myths about Chickens #1 (Teaser) from Jan Keck | Red Gecko Productions on Vimeo.



Photo: "The Ex in Slow Motion" by Neil Ta in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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