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Morning Brew: TTC to apologize after messy commute, skepticism over transit fees, Ikea monkey owner starts a foundation, protecting coyotes, and the Leafs' new toy

TTC CEO Andy Byford will issue an explanation and apology later this morning after a particularly wretched subway commute last night. A 20-minute loss of power at Dupont station and similar delays at Eglinton, Keele and Union coupled with numerous assistance alarms triggered long delays. Trains on the Yonge line were packed and moving at a crawl. Did you experience the problems?

Drivers in the 'burbs are, perhaps not surprisingly, unsure about new transit taxes and tolls floated by the Toronto Region Board of Trade. The sales, parking, and gas fees were recommended in a report yesterday. The Toronto Star went to Square One in Mississauga and found most don't want drivers to pay. Should there be better PR for transit construction?

The Ikea Monkey mom (remember her?) hopes starting a foundation will fund her battle to have her illegal pet removed from a sanctuary staffed with wildlife experts. The Darling Darwin Monkey Friends and Co. will also sell a children's book Nakhuda has written. Half the $75 tickets to the launch event have sold - buy now!

Rob Ford isn't the only one conflicting his interests. Eternal Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion is set to go to court next month to contest allegations she failed to abide by the spirit of the law when she participated in a vote related to her son's company. Toronto's neighbour to the west has amended the wording of its laws to legislate against "the appearance of conflict."

Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker wants to laws against people who feed coyotes in Toronto. Animal services say providing food attracts them to residential areas and reduces their natural fear of humans. The proposed rules would also ban killing coyotes.

Toronto's best minds are close to solving Dutch elm disease, the deadly virus that killed many of the city's elm trees. DNA experts at the University of Toronto have mapped the genome of Ophiostoma ulmi in the hopes of finding a cure. Elms used to make up around 12 per cent of the city's tree canopy but now that figure is closer to 4 per cent.

The reasons behind the Maple Leafs' recent ticket price hike is suddenly clear - the team just needed a new practice machine. The RapidShot, which costs $100,000, automatically passes pucks and is probably cheaper than paying an actual Maple Leaf to do the job.

Finally, the Sherbourne Street bike lanes make great parking, especially when you don't get a ticket (via Reddit user kettal).


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

Image: "Mid Century Modernism" by Jack Landau/blogTO Flickr pool.

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