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Morning Brew: More twists in the Ford saga, Kensington Walmart gets slammed, Ford's ratings steady, big plans for 1 Spadina Cr., and transit shelter shopping is here

In case you missed it, the Rob Ford story took an even darker turn yesterday when Gawker revealed details of a violent home invasion at the home where Rob Ford was pictured with shooting victim Anthony Smith. The site reports men regularly visited the house demanding the alleged video and later stormed the house with metal bars, beating the occupants.

Meanwhile, The Star is reporting the @PeeTeePeee Twitter account that has reported inside details of the Ford saga is Michael Prempeh, a special assistant to the mayor who quit on Friday. The account provided cryptic glimpses of the reaction to the original Gawker and Star stories from inside the mayor's office.

Despite the setbacks, the accusations of drug use, and the ongoing numerous high-profile departures from his office, Rob Ford's approval rating appears remarkably steady, proving Ford Nation really is loyal servant. The latest figures put the mayor's approval rating at 43%, roughly the same as it's been since January 2012.

Police have linked the disappearances of three men in Toronto's Church and Wellesley neighbourhood. Skandaraj "Skanda" Navaratnam, Abdulbasir "Basir" Faizi, and Majeed "Hamid" Kayhan vanished between 2010 and 2012 and were previously considered separate cases. Cops haven't ruled out foul play. "The concern is definitely there," a local bar manager told the Star.

Plans are afoot for major renovations and a new addition at 1 Spadina Crescent, the gothic revival masterpiece halfway up the Toronto's grand avenue. The University of Toronto will unveil a major restoration and extension project for the empty building next Tuesday. Until then, everything's hush-hush.

Also in development, Riocan, the developers behind the proposed Bathurst Street Walmart store, didn't exactly get a warm welcome during last night's community meeting. The company's lawyer was repeatedly jeered when he claimed the big box store would benefit the area. Riocan's plans still need to go through city council.

Anyone that's had a bicycle stolen in Toronto knows what a terrible violation it is to lose your mode of transportation to some thieving scumbag. Tapping into that vein of frustration, Twitter user Sinead Brown posted a lengthy rant on a telephone pole near where her bike was swiped and was even kind enough to provide the key to the lock that was also taken. Hasn't everyone wanted to do this at some point?

Transit riders rejoice - Walmart is coming to a shelter near you. Yep, that's right. City dwellers long deprived of the joyless big box experience can now use their smartphones to buy Proctor and Gamble products off a poster. The Walmart shelters are scattered across downtown and midtown areas.

Don't forget - the Yonge line will be closed Saturday and Sunday between Bloor and Union stations for signaling upgrades. A shuttle bus will run every three minutes between Rosedale, King, and St. Andrew stations but it's probably just best to use the University line, which will be running as normal.


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

Image: W/blogTO Flickr pool.

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