Morning Brew: Councillors pitch a Scarborough subway, city told to take over BIXI, Toronto is a top 5 food truck city, and Rob Ford makes news in Arlington, Virginia
A group of Scarborough city councillors say they will back new transit taxes if the city agrees to make an extension of the Bloor-Danforth line a priority. Councillors Michael Thompson and Michelle Berardinetti met with Rob Ford yesterday and say he's considering supporting the motion. Berardinetti told the Star 7 of 10 east-end councillors agree with the idea to turn the SRT into subway. Should agreeing to new revenue tools be tied to specific projects?
City staff want Toronto to take over the ailing BIXI bike program before it defaults on its city-backed $3.9 million start-up loan. The company told the city it's just months from being unable to make its payments. Toronto's various options are discussed in a confidential report that circulated at the last executive committee meeting and was leaked to the Toronto Star yesterday. If the city lets BIXI fail it could sell its bikes and other assets for between $800,000 to $1.2 million.
Calorie and sodium levels could be coming to a burger joint near you. Toronto's Board of Health voted 9-2 yesterday to ask Queen's Park to enact a law requiring all chain restaurants to label their menus with nutritional information. If the province doesn't act by the fall then the city could go ahead an pass the law itself. Should restaurants with 10 or more outlets label their menus?
Kids and teenagers are borrowing fewer books from Toronto's library system, possibly because of a recent increase in fines for overdue material. The latest report from the Toronto Public Library also found overall borrowing - adjusted for the 11 day strike - is down by about 1%. Overdue adult books are now charged at the same rate regardless of the age of the borrower.
Toronto is one of the top 5 food truck scenes in North America according to the Travel and Escape channel website. The city ranks beside New York, Vancouver, Austin, and Portland for its mobile culinary prowess. Now if we could just got the things organized properly. Oh, and I couldn't mention food trucks without a shameless plug for our beautiful (and free) eats finder app.
Finally, Rob Ford is making headlines in Arlington, Virginia for his anti-streetcar stance. There, County Board member Libby Garvey used a Ford quote ("I hate those damn streetcars - they are a pain in the rear end") during a recent discussion of the county's own "ongoing streetcar saga." Chris Zimmerman, another Arlington County Board member, noted that our mayor is "somewhat alone" in his opposition.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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