toronto homeless

Morning Brew: Ford hits back at OCAP protest, tragedy on the roads, CN Tower gets classical light show, a map of TTC offenses, due slips get ads, and clocks go forward

Rob Ford didn't think much of a sit-in by members of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty at Metro Hall yesterday. Ford said there are more than 100 available shelter beds in the city each night and that he's not interested in paying for more. Protestors say the system is riven with violence, overcrowding, and a lack of funding. Seven homeless people are known to have died this year.

A terrible tragedy yesterday afternoon in Scarborough. A five-year-old girl was struck and killed by a city garbage truck near Cliffside and East Haven drives, west of Bluffer's Park. Rob Ford issued a statement saying he was "shocked and deeply saddened" to hear the news, promising full co-operation with police. Two other children, aged 6 and 13, were also hit and suffered minor injuries.

Councillors Adam Vaughan and Kristyn Wong-Tam want developments in Toronto exempt from Ontario Municipal Board hearings. The provincial tribunal hears appeals of planning decisions. Vaughan says the current system allows councillors to hide behind decisions that are out of their hands. The change was originally floated by local NDP MPP Rosario Marchese.

The CN Tower is going to put on a unique light show on Saturday. A special high-tech tie-in with a classical performance at Roy Thompson Hall will create a light show on the side of the tower in a similar fashion to the visualizer function of a music player, except better, of course. For those of you not accustomed to the symphony, there'll a webcast version too.

The TTC's enforcement team issues tickets for all kinds of offenses, including fare evasion, drinking on subway property, misconduct, and smoking. A handy Toronto Star map lets you browse 2012's shady dealings by subway stop. The Yonge line between Bloor and King is the worst offender, though riders at Finch are also pulling their weight.

Yesterday's storm over a Chicago journalist's tongue-in-cheek attack on Toronto started a nasty war of words on Twitter. Neil Steinberg was forced to fend of barbs from angry 416ers for his suggestion that we're all "anonymous ciphers grinding through joyless lives devoid of charm or significance."

Library due slips will be carrying advertising by the end of the month. The Toronto Public Library signed a trail deal worth about $20,000 for the next six months. A newspaper, educational facility, and cultural production have all bought space, according to the Star.

Don't forget the clocks go forward an hour this Sunday, meaning everyone gets an hour less sleep on Saturday night. On the plus side, it does mean it will be lighter later in the evenings. For early birds, it will mean getting up in the dark for a few more weeks.

Finally, as I'm sure you've heard, Canadian music legend Stompin' Tom Connors died Tuesday aged 77. Here's his classic track "TTC Skidaddler" about the life of a Toronto streetcar driver, featuring the classic line "she's red around the bottom and yellow upon the top and I drive her like a driver aught to do." We'll miss you, Tom.


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

Image: "Homelessness" by AshtonPal/blogTO Flickr pool.

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