Morning Brew: Council to resume transit tax debate, Rob Ford joins McHappy Day, a first look at the TTC bendy buses, Sheppard Ave. is most congested, and Leafs lose
Council will continue to debate whether or not to endorse certain taxes or tolls to provincial transit agency Metrolinx later this morning. The debate returned yesterday to sometimes heated discussion over whether or not to re-open the master agreement and convert several proposed LRTs to subways. There were also calls to extend the Sheppard LRT to the zoo. Metrolinx has asked municipalities for a list of preferred revenue sources to cover the cost of $32 billion in transit upgrades.
Taking a lunch break from city council, Rob Ford dropped by a nearby McDonalds to promote McHappy Day, an annual event in which the fast food company donates $1 from certain menu items to charity. During his visit Ford posed with the Hamburglar and briefly served food from behind the counter. One heckler didn't like it - "the mayor's a bum," he shouted.
Toronto's transit riders are getting a first look at the new TTC "bendy buses" expected to hit the street next year. Reddit user jdoe1369 snagged a picture of one of the vehicles fresh off the production line in Quebec. The high-capacity buses will operate on the TTC's busiest surface routes, likely 29 Dufferin, 7 Bathurst, and 85A Sheppard.
Sheppard Avenue is home to six of Toronto's ten most congested intersections, according to a new report by Transportation Services. The city division is planning to tweak the signal priorities on the street in an attempt to speed up crawling traffic. Bayview Ave. and Sheppard Ave. E. is the worst in the city, followed by Yonge St. between Highway 401 and Sheppard Ave.
Local residents are fighting to save the crumbling Mount Dennis Kodak building from demolition. The once bustling camera production facility closed in 2005. Metrolinx owns the land and plans to build a maintenance yard for the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT line on the site - it says it will keep the structure standing but doesn't have firm plans for its use. What could they do with the building?
High-end Yorkville grocery store Pusateri's could end up keeping its controversial lay-by, albeit in a smaller, narrower format. An agreement between the retailer and the city would force valets to move cars away quicker and stop it being used as short-term parking. Local councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam says lobbyists may have forced the city to revise its decision to remove the feature and widen the sidewalk. Is this a good compromise?
Finally, it was a heartbreaking night for the thousands of fans at the ACC last night. Despite taking an early 2-0 lead, the Leafs were defeated in overtime 4-3 by the Bruins, giving them a 3-1 series lead. A video of goalie James Reimer's wife looking daggers at Elisha Cuthbert, the girlfriend of captain Dion Phaneuf, was making the rounds after the game. It's not what it seems, though - Reimer's wife says she was looking at someone else.
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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