toronto st michael's

Morning Brew: Mammoliti out after emergency surgery, Fords tout runway expansion, David Miller speaks up, a city bike blitz, "positive tickets," and the DVP to close

Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti says he's "dodged a bullet" over a recent health scare that could have resulted in a stroke. The York West councillor underwent four surgeries, including a procedure to widen constricted arteries, at St. Mike's hospital after being admitted for a potentially dangerous swelling behind his eye. Mammoliti says he's waiting for doctor's permission to return to City Hall.

As we heard yesterday, Porter has announced plans to purchase a new fleet of jet planes and extend the runway at Billy Bishop Airport to accommodate the aircraft. That raises the possibility of Toronto's lake shore becoming a busier aircraft corridor. Naturally, that's something Doug Ford can really get behind. He said without Porter's CEO "there'd be a corn field over at the airport right now." Would that be a bad thing?

Former mayor David Miller isn't so enthused, however. In an editorial for Huffington Post, Miller said the Toronto Islands are for people, not planes, calling the airport "a throwback to a time when Toronto had turned its back on the waterfront." Is he right?

Tonight's commute could be ugly if Environment Canada's predictions of a "major ice storm" and power outages are correct. Freezing rain this morning is expected to give way to difficult conditions later tonight. Some school buses have been cancelled and Pearson is telling customers to check with airlines before making the journey to the airport. Are you making any special preparations?

It's bike removal season in Toronto, so if you've left your steed on the street for the winter (and managed to keep it from being stolen) it's probably best to move it for a while. As part of annual Spring cleaning, the city will be cutting abandoned bikes from city-owned locks starting immediately. You can report abandoned bikes by calling 311.

As part of the same program of cleaning, repair, and maintenance, the Don Valley Parkway will be closed all weekend from the 401 to the Gardiner between 2am Saturday and 5am Monday for its annual inspection. It's also the perfect chance to snag a rare photo of an empty highway.

Cops are going to be handing out "positive tickets" to kindly citizens seen doing good deeds, helping officers, or assisting in an investigation. The citations are good for discounts at local restaurants, according to 680 News.

The TTC received an all-time high 45,408 customer complaints last year, up from 38,811 in 2011. Most of the issues revolve around delays and issues with TTC staff. The Commission said some of the additional gripes stem from longer customer service centre hours and services like Twitter that the TTC also uses. Compliments are also at their highest level, which is something.

Finally, among the used bikes and second-hand kitchen appliances, a Toronto man is looking for his birth mother on Kijiji. Dave Rogers, 37, knows the woman who put him up for adoption is from Nova Scotia and worked at a bank in Brampton, Ontario. The rest of the records are sealed. Ring any bells?


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

Image: grecomic/blogTO Flickr pool.

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