toronto downtown

Morning Brew: Rob Ford due in court, Don Bosco wins, City Hall greeters, Nathan Phillips Square renos get pricey, TTC driver suspended, and a streetcar timelapse

Rob Ford is due in court today to testify in a $6 million libel lawsuit brought against him by Boardwalk Pub owner George Foulidis. It's alleged Ford defamed Foulidis by telling the Toronto Sun a deal to award his company a lease without asking other companies to bid "stinks to high heaven."

Taking a day off from court yesterday, Rob Ford coached the Don Bosco Eagles to victory in their latest Toronto Bowl match. The team thrashed Northern Secondary 31-0. For his efforts, the mayor got the obligatory Gatorade shower. Cue photos of kids hoisting the mayor aloft in celebration.

An earlier accident and fire is blocking the westbound collector lanes of the 401 near Keele this morning. Lanes are starting to re-open but there's plenty of debris to clear up.

Arriving at City Hall can be a daunting experience for people unfamiliar with the layout, and that's why Doug Ford and civic advocate Dave Meslin say we need dedicated supermarket-style greeters waiting at the front door. The reception area isn't always staffed and the building's signage isn't all it might be. Gravy?

Speaking of city hall, the Nathan Phillips Square renovations are going to cost more than expected after workers found numerous additional problems, including corroded supports inside the concrete arches over the skating rink. The government management committee approved an extra $750,000 yesterday, bringing to total to $2.6 million.

A TTC streetcar operator has been relieved of duty after leaving the controls to chase down an alleged attacker. Dino Oroc, a marathon runner, abandoned his vehicle at Queen and John but couldn't catch the suspect. It's strictly against TTC policy to leave a vehicle without permission.

An anti-casino lobby group is garnering support from prominent members of the local community. "No Casino Toronto" has gathered more than 3,000 signatures for its online petition and received support from noted architects and urbanists.

If you're going to stomp on remembrance day flags, make sure there's no-one snapping your photo. Pictures of a runner appearing to kick over small flags on the grounds of Sunnybrook hospital has caused readers of the link sharing site Reddit to try and identify the man. No luck yet, though.

The TTC officially opened the doors of its Hillcrest Yard yesterday to give the media a first look at it the first working version of its new streetcar design. A few weeks ago, photos of the mammoth moving operation required to get the vehicle to Davenport and Bathurst surfaced online. Thankfully, the Commission has put together a time-lapse of the big move for those that missed out.


Photo: "Toronto Downtown Core from CN Tower" by bukharov from the blogTO Flickr pool.

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