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Morning Brew: PRESTO gets pricey, Union-Pearson link gets expensive, more Gardiner demolition drama, holy hooch, big blades, and TO plays Tokyo in Pacific Rim

The cost of implementing PRESTO, the province's contactless fare card system, in the GTA has jumped to $700 million, almost three times the expected amount. Ontario's auditor general says the card might be the most expensive to establish in the world largely thanks to the development of an entirely new system, PRESTO Next Generation, for the TTC and Ottawa transit. Good one, Metrolinx!

Getting excited to ride the new Union-Pearson Express when it opens? Well, get ready to pay up. A new report says tickets could cost in the region of $30 each, ten times the TTC fare. Just for comparison, a Via Rail supersaver fare to Cobourg, more than 100 kilometres away, is currently $28. Another good one, Metrolinx! Should the transit agency consider running the line at a loss to lower fares?

The plot thickens. According to Ben Spurr over at NOW, it's possible a study on the portion of the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis was canned by Waterfront Toronto under pressure from Rob Ford's office in 2010. A staff report released Tuesday estimates that even with repairs the section will only last six more years before the deck has to be completely replaced. The nixed report would have revealed whether it's better to knock down part of the highway or foot the repair bill. What do you think should happen to the roadway?

Speaking of Ford, here's a picture of the mayor's head on the body of Ikea monkey. I can't believe this took four whole days to happen [via Reddit].

A limited number of Westvleteren 12, a highly-prized Belgian beer considered to be the best in the world, is heading to an LCBO near you. Stores at Dupont and Spadina, Hwy 401 and Weston, and Queens Quay and Yonge sold out of the beer, which sells for $76.85 a six-pack, in minutes yesterday. The drink was previously available only at the gate of a 19-century Trappist abbey where it's hand brewed by monks. Star beer columnist Josh Rubin described the taste as "dried fruit, demerara sugar and freshly-baked bread."

A set of giant wind turbine blades hanging around the west end on the back of a flatbed rail car have caught the attention of some eagle-eyed photogs. The pieces seem to be moving west past Kipling station in one shot. Neat.

The trailer for the new Guillermo del Toro flick Pacific Rim was released yesterday and the very first shot shows a heavily made up Elizabeth Street behind Toronto's city hall. Portions of the movie were filmed here earlier this year. Enjoy the giant monster show.


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

Photo: "December 2012 Front Street City Place Footbridge" by beachdigital from the blogTO Flickr pool.

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