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Morning Brew: Council grabs transit tax debate, jets get closer, Mammoliti says he's changed, Rob Ford's drink identified, viewing fees, and Beer Stores get a new look

Toronto city council will debate transit taxes at some point this week after a group of councillors lead by TTC Chair Karen Stintz managed to wrangle the two-thirds vote necessary to take the matter away from Rob Ford's executive committee. Ford supporters coun. Michael Thompson and coun. Gary Crawford were among those that voted in favour of the debate. Is this a step in the right direction for Toronto transit?

In case you missed it yesterday, city council also approved a feasibility study into flying jets out of the island airport and extending the runway to accommodate the larger planes. The report will asses the environmental and economic impacts and provide a recommendation to council. Does allowing Porter jets leave the door open for other airlines?

Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti says he's a changed man after recent brain surgery. Speaking to Metro, the at times polarizing and outspoken York West rep promises he'll "stop getting under everybody's skin," saying being told he might not live was "life-altering." Is this end of Mammoliti as we know him?

The Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington says a picture of Rob Ford apparently holding a beer at Monday's Maple Leafs playoff game isn't what it seems. The columnist says the mayor was drinking ginger ale, and he took a sip to prove it. Doug Ford told media during the Sarah Thomson incident that he'd never seen his brother take a drink.

Lifestyle tourists beware, viewing this $5 million Toronto mansion will set you back $50. The owners of the seven-bedroom, five-bathroom home in the Beaches don't want potential buyers touring the house if they're not interested in moving in. But don't worry, the cash is going to SickKids.

More concrete fell of the Gardiner Expressway yesterday, closing parts of Lake Shore Boulevard East at Cherry Street for several hours. And you thought Toronto's elevated highway had stopped shedding its skin.

Three Toronto Beer Stores are going to be slightly less depressing from now on. Customers can now choose some beers from front-of-house fridges and select larger orders on tablet computers attached to the wall. The stores at Bathurst and College, Danforth and Greenwood, and Parliament and Winchester are part of a pilot project to asses whether the changes could work across the province.


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

Image: Hamid.A/blogTO Flickr pool.

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