toronto richmond sheppard

Morning Brew: Ikea monkey owner prepares for court, Yonge Street arsonist sentenced, poll shows drivers fear Gardiner, Metrolinx gets choppy, and identifying Linda

The former owner of Darwin the Ikea monkey will appear in court Wednesday to try and get the little primate returned to her. A motion asks that the animal be taken out of a Sunderland sanctuary and returned to Yasmin Nakhuda who maintains the animal is emotionally attached to her. As an alternative, Nakhuda also seeks regular visiting hours.

The arsonist who lit the fire that destroyed the Empress Hotel on Yonge Street has been sentenced for ten years in jail. Justice Rebecca Rutherford said Stewart Poirier "expressed no remorse" in risking lives with his actions. The 53-year-old confessed in October to a string of other fires, including one at a city-owned wood chipper.

More than half of Toronto's residents feel the Gardiner is unsafe, according to the results of a Forum Research poll. Sounds like a high-speed drive over an aged concrete flyover isn't quite the luxury it used to be. Do you feel safe on or under the road?

Toronto's Union-Pearson rail link is coming under further criticism from residents located on the Georgetown GO corridor. Metrolinx, the transit agency building the line, is clear-cutting trees along the planned route to make way for extra tracks. Some residents fear the removal of the plants could mean a natural air filter for pollution will be lost. Should those near the line be concerned?

A mystery woman suffering from amnesia that turned up at Toronto shelter in September could be identified by police later this morning. A DNA test will confirm whether Linda Hegg, a missing woman from Delaware, is "Linda," the woman who is unable to remember any details about herself.

According to a sign photographed on Reddit, Batman and Robin have taken over neighbourhood watch duties on Roncesvalles. What a coup!

While most casino lobbyists are trying to sell the idea of a Toronto hotel and gaming complex to councillors, one company is doing just the opposite. Onex Corp., which has holdings in various other gambling resorts, says a downtown site would negatively impact the city's economy and prefers Markham instead. Reverse psychology?

Finally, the NHL lockout seems to have taken an unusual turn in Toronto. Real Sports, a restaurant next to the ACC, is refusing to take reservations from Maple Leafs players. What's really strange: the restaurant is owned by the same company that owns the team.



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

Photo: "intersection" by tapesonthefloor from the blogTO Flickr pool.

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