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Morning Brew: Halted Gardiner study could continue, Toronto gets a winter blast, protecting Rouge national park, a Kickstarter record, and a festive Toronto video

A shelved environmental study investigating the demolition of the the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway could be back in the works in the next few weeks if city council gives the green light, according to the Globe and Mail. Waterfront Toronto, the group who were conducting the study when it was halted under Ford, say they can pick up where they left off in a relatively short space of time. Expect this to be an issue at the first council meeting of 2013.

Snow is falling across southern Ontario this morning, the first part of a severe winter storm making its way up from the United States. Environment Canada expects between 5 and 10 cms of snow to fall over the course of the day, creating difficult driving conditions and poor visibility. CBC says it could be the biggest dump in two years. So stay home if you can.

Several environmental groups are urging the federal government to give the future Rouge National Park greater levels of protection. When the paperwork is complete, the watershed area in the east end of the GTA will become Canada's first urban national park. City council said it will also seek to ensure tighter provincial protections for the wildlife corridor and park area are carried over when the lands are transferred to the feds.

A Toronto choose-your-own-adventure Shakespeare comic has broken a Kickstarter publishing record. Cartoonist Ryan North raised over $101,000, more than five times the original goal, in a single day to get his re-imagining of the classic Hamlet tale off the ground. The new story has more than 100 different deaths but sticks true to the original for purists.

GO Transit is a good way to get around unless you're a wheelchair user that wants to get off at Long Branch, one of the networks step-laden stations. One dissatisfied customer is hoping Metrolinx can push on with its plan to make all its trains and platforms barrier-free.

Microloans are helping Regents Park community start-ups get off the ground. The Toronto Star visits Paulina Tshuma's catering business, a small-scale enterprise the area's revitalization cash has helped get off the ground.

Toronto's medical hardship fund that provides basic healthcare funds for the city's most vulnerable residents is back in the 2013 budget council voted to eliminate the funds last year. The money provides dentures, glasses, and prescriptions to low-income seniors.

Finally, Christmas 2012 might be in the books but here's a festive music video from DJ Krueger and Megan Hughes-Jones telling an uplifting Toronto tale. Enjoy.

Christmas in Toronto - DJ Krueger and Megan Hughes-Jones (Director's Cut) from John Du on Vimeo.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo: "grace under pressure - 1" by Subjective Art from the blogTO Flickr pool.

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