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Morning Brew: Rob Ford pleads ignorance, a Port Lands development tax, Toronto Zoo could ditch city council, last chance to see new LRVs, and returning a lost iPhone

As you may have heard, Rob Ford was cross-examined by lawyer Clayton Ruby in front of a packed courtroom of councillors, media and concerned citizens yesterday. In his testimony, the mayor suggested he was unaware he breached provincial conflict-of-interest legislation earlier this year and implied he follows his own, incorrect, version of the rules. A quick round-up of the day's events is available here.

The city could charge developers building anywhere in Toronto a fee that would be used to cover the enormous cost of flood-proofing and redeveloping the Port Lands at the mouth of the Don River. According to the National Post, the cost of building in the city could go up by about five-percent as a result. Is it about time developers chipped in for improvements in the Toronto?

The Toronto Zoo board endorsed plans to cut ties with council starting in December at a meeting yesterday. Under the changes, the six members of city council that sit on the board would be removed and all city funding cancelled in the coming years. The decision comes after council intervened in the transfer of two elephants to a California sanctuary earlier this year.

In case you missed it at the Ex, a mock-up of Toronto's new LRVs will be on display at the Evergreen Brick Works until the end of October. The short display vehicle carries a preliminary version of the green Metrolinx livery the Flexity Freedom vehicles will use when the cars enter service on completion of the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT in 2020.

Finally, an eagle-eyed nine-year-old who found an iPhone in a Centre Island lake, revived the soaked handset in a bag of rice, and tracked down the owner by email is getting plenty of attention on Reddit. The honest guy admits he considered keeping the phone but his parents persuaded him to do the right thing. What a champ.

*An earlier version of this post confused the LRVs vehicles on display at the Evergreen Brick Works for the new streetcars entering service next year. Apologies for the mix-up.


Photo: "Three's a crowd" by asianz in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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