toronto lake ice

Morning Brew: Big snow and high winds slam Toronto, Rob Ford looks at an owl, workplace fraud costs half a million, carbon copies keep going, and scaring pigeons

Snowpocalypse, snowmageddon, whatever we're calling it is here. The white stuff is causing plenty of disruption this morning and there have already been numerous school closures. The bulk of the wild weather is expected during this morning's commute and Environment Canada is calling for up to 30 cms of snow and driving winds. Stay safe!

Cold weather is fun and games for a lot of people but for Toronto's homeless its a life or death battle that all too often ends in tragedy. The Grid has an important graphic illustrating all 700 homeless deaths on city streets since 1985, weather related or not.

Elsewhere, Rob Ford got up close and personal with a great horned owl at the Sportsmen's Show yesterday. The mayor also took part in a simulated fishing experience and fired pellet rounds in a shooting range during his tour of the event. The owl, who is accustomed to humans, briefly flapped its wings in Ford's face when startled by a flashbulb, resulting in yet another bad photo face and the beginnings of a new meme, "Fordcock." (h/t: @goldsbie and @RandyRisling)

Workplace fraud cost Toronto taxpayers more than $500,000 in 2012. According to a report from the auditor general, 774 complaints translated into 25 punishments for everything from fraudulent health care claims to to accessing porn on a city computer. The report will be presented to the audit committee next week. Here's a list of highlights.

Business is booming for Form Mate, the last carbon paper supplier in Canada. The sheets of inked paper, once used to duplicate documents in offices all over the world, gave their name to the "CC" (carbon copy) field in today's email applications. The Star found out how the North York company is able to keep itself afloat in the electronic world.

The Grid has traced weird sounds from a photobooth at Bathurst station to the TTC's latest attempt to stop pigeons boarding its subway trains. A box above the machine made by company Bird-B-Gone emits a sound the feathery critters, and some commuters, just can't stand. It's thought the in-station bakery is what entices the birds inside.


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

Image: "Inhabiting Winter - 6" by Subjective Art/blogTO Flickr pool.

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