toronto laneway flowers

Morning Brew: Rob Ford's conflict trial wraps up, a bevy of Magders, couriers protest TRL book launch, more muscle for Ford Fest, and a Toronto quiz for Hollywood

The Ford trial or, to use its Twitter hashtag, #fordcourt is officially over a full day ahead of schedule. Contrary to what many expected, the mayor was present before the judge yesterday morning to hear lawyer Clayton Ruby make his final arguments to Justice Charles Hackland.

Ruby argued that Ford deliberately broke provincial conflict-of-interest rules to avoid repaying $3,150 in charitable donations made to his football foundation, referencing nine other times in the seasoned politician's career when he had correctly abstained. Ford's lawyer, Alan Lenczner, said the mayor had made an honest mistake and questioned council's authority to make the mayor pay in the first place. A verdict is due in a few weeks.

Turns out there are actually three Paul Magders of note in Toronto. There's Paul Magder the furrier who fought to stay open on Sundays; Paul Magder, the son of said furrier, and Paul Magder the plaintiff in the Rob Ford conflict of interest trial. Let's not forget, of course, the outlaw Robert Ford who killed Jesse James and Robert Ford the poet, diplomat and Companion of the Order of Canada.

A group of bike couriers gathered outside the launch of former Attorney-General Michael Bryant's book 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy and Hope at the Toronto Reference Library yesterday in protest at the tone of the book. Courier Darcy Allan Sheppard died on Bloor Street West after an incident involving the politician, a story which forms the basis of the work.

Looks like this year's Ford Fest is going to be a whopper. The Star reports the mayor's mother, Diane Ford, has hired private security to keep the peace at the annual backyard shindig of council's famous brothers. No-one seems to know exactly how many people will show up, but indications are more than 4,000 Torontonians will grab a hot dog at the public event.

Finally, what's your Toronto IQ? The U.S.-based Hollywood Reporter, a top show-business magazine (so I'm told), has a special quiz on its webpage for cinema fans heading to TIFF. According to the Globe and Mail, the test (only available with a subscription) includes the classic "what's a toque" and a question about double-doubles. Because nothing says Canada to the world like a giant coffee corporation.

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Image: "Flowers on Orphanage Mews" by jer1961 in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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