toronto union tracks

Morning Brew: Rob Ford's libel trial continues, Trump Tower sheds glass, free GO rides, uranium plant tours, the bag ban lives, and sprucing up City Hall for xmas

The second day of Rob Ford's libel trial featured a strong exchange between the mayor's lawyer and George Foulidis, the owner of the Boardwalk Pub in the Beaches. Gavin Tighe, representing Ford, questioned whether Foulidis' reputation was genuinely hurt when the mayor criticized Tuggs Inc., his company, to the Toronto Sun editorial board. In 2010, Ford was quoted in the paper as saying the city's decision to award Tuggs Inc. a new lease on the Boardwalk Pub without seeking competition "stinks to high heaven."

Donald Trump isn't the only thing cracking up at his company. An accident at the International Hotel and Tower at Bay and Adelaide caused glass to rain on the street below yesterday. According to police, a construction worker dropped a sheet of glass that smashed a second pane during its fall. The intersection was closed during rush-hour as a precaution.

Start your watch. GO customers are now eligible for a full-fare refund if a train is delayed by more than fifteen minutes. The policy is expected to cost Metrolinx about a million dollars a year as 70 per cent of its current delays are covered under the guarantee. No cash back if the train is delayed by weather, a medical emergency, an accident, or police investigation. Will you be taking advantage?

A uranium processing plant in the city's west end opened its doors to the public yesterday in an attempt to prove its a safe, neighbourhood friendly operation. There's been concern about the General Electric-Hitachi plant near Dupont and Lansdowne since activist Zach Ruiter started a campaign to draw attention to the decades old factory.

Toronto's upcoming plastic bag ban cleared another hurdle at the public works and infrastructure committee meeting. Despite some opposition, the ban is still headed to city council later this month for final approval. Retailers will be able to use up existing stock until July 1st 2013 when the full prohibition on single-use bags comes into effect.

Sometimes its good to be a cyclist; you don't have to stop for gas, you can coast to the front at lights, and you don't have to ride on an elevated expressway held together with planks of wood [via Reddit.]

Is the pedestrian exit from Pearson "majestic in its carelessness"? Chris Turner from Atlantic Cities explores urban wildernesses and rates the shoddy sidewalks leading out of Toronto's international airport among the most remarkably inept environments for walkers he's encountered.

Finally, City Hall's giant white spruce Christmas tree is now in place in Nathan Phillips Square thanks, once again, to Weller Tree Service. The Grid found out exactly how one gets a 60-foot tree from its natural home in rural Ontario to downtown Toronto.


Photo: "Untitled" by Richard Rhyme from the blogTO Flickr pool.

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