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Morning Brew: Single-file cycling bylaw dead, streetcars avoiding east end, meet Toronto's 105-year-old, Masonic Temple could get Masons, and the TTC says sorry

Cyclists rejoice - an arcane bylaw from pre-amalgamation Etobicoke that nearly made it against the rules for bikers to ride side-by-side is dead. The public works committee voted yesterday to squash the law before it could be enacted, pending approval of city council.

Streetcars are diverting past much of Corktown, Riverdale, and Leslieville this morning after a vehicle pulled down overhead wires on Queen Street near Degrassi and Saulter. The 501 Queen, 502 Downtowner and the 503 Kingston Road cars are diverting via Coxwell, Gerrard, and Parliament. The King streetcar is using Parliament, Gerrard, and Broadview.

Also in transit, the TTC's new streetcar has once again appeared under the cover of darkness, this time in the west end at College and Dundas. Caught on video by Reddit user NIMBYY, the new vehicle glides almost silently when traveling in a straight line, it seems.

Rose Lefko-Cohen is 105. She was born in 1908 four years before the Titanic sank and was 31 at the outbreak of the second world war. She grew up on Baldwin Street when Joseph Oliver was mayor and Sir Wilfrid Laurier was prime minister - the TTC was over a decade away. The Toronto Star profiles the North York woman and her astonishing longevity.

The Masonic Temple, a former music venue and headquarters for MTV Canada at Yonge and Davenport, could return to its original purpose, according to the Star. The Masons will lend their expertise redeveloping the site providing some room is set aside for meetings. Is this a good way to ensure the heritage building is preserved?

Winter is here to stay for some time yet, according to Environment Canada. Spring officially arrived at 7:02 this morning but cold weather and flurries are in the forecast. Last March was a relative scorcher with record-breaking temperatures in Toronto.

Also in winter, Stephen Buckley, Toronto's new general manger of transportation services, says the city shouldn't be afraid to declare a winter emergency in the event of a major snowfall. He says similar rules in Philadelphia are used more often to keep transit moving. Is he right?

TTC CEO Andy Byford has apologized to subway riders for the dismal commute Monday evening. In a YouTube video, Byford explained how two separate fire alerts and an incident in which train doors were accidentally opened in a tunnel severely disrupted service. Is an apology a sign of better customer service from the TTC?

IN BRIEF:

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

Image: "Right Angles" by ronnie.yip/blogTO Flickr pool.


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