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Morning Brew: Rumours cops knew about alleged tape, Rob Ford keeps mum, selling Metro Hall, St. Lawrence Market wing gets boring, and a big Fucked Up breakfast

Toronto police knew about the existence of video allegedly showing Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine months before newspaper reports first surfaced. The Globe and Mail says a "source familiar with the investigation" for the information. The news came as police raided 39 addresses and arrested 28 people, several at the Dixon Rd. apartment building where it was reported the alleged tape was kept.

Talking about the co-ordinated operation, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair avoided saying whether Rob Ford came up as part of the investigation. He did say, however, that police are "aware of that picture" of Ford with murder victim Anthony Smith and that Mohammed Khattak, another pictured man, "form[s] part of this investigation." More information is expected today.

Ford on the other hand says he's got nothing to hide.

Also in Fords, the mayor and his brother said earlier this week they would like to see Metro Hall, the King Street office complex built to house the now-defunct Metro Council, sold as a surplus asset. Opened in 1992, Metro Hall once housed 1,800 city staff and 32 Metro councillors. A real estate agent says there would be "good demand" for the building. Should the city sell?

The designs for the new St. Lawrence Market North complex just got a whole lot less fancy. The squat concrete building opposite the current market is planned for demolition some time in the near future and the complex that will replace it looks, well, boring at best. The design has been simplified and many of the unique details removed. Should the city show off with this building?

Ayden Byle has been leaving his Cedarvale neighbours cryptic chalkboard messages, and everyone seems to love it. Byle started leaving the notes in his Atlas Ave. window when passers-by would peer inside while he was moving and the trend stuck. A sample of the messages includes: "One simple hello could change everything," and "Is there any better place than here?" Byle says he has even scored a few dates from his celebrity.

The Humane Society has a new rooftop oasis for its resident dogs and cats. The charity turned its rooftop space at its Queen and River offices into a space with potted plants and shrubs where the animals can enjoy nature while they await new homes. Even hamsters will be allowed to use the space, apparently.

Getting a patio in Toronto can be notoriously difficult. Strict rules covering the width of the sidewalk, the location of street furniture, and the amount of "encroaching" allowed by store awnings often make for a costly and ultimately fruitless application by bar and cafe owners. The CBC explains a common Toronto phenomenon: the micro patio.

Finally, visitors to Sneaky Dee's can now enjoy a "Fucked Up Breakfast" of enchiladas, poached eggs, rice, beans, and salsa. No, the name isn't a testament to the quality, it's a tie-in with shouty local punk rock band Fucked Up. Another plate, the "Queen of the Heart Attacks" with meat, eggs, toast, poutine, mushrooms, and tomatoes, is also available.


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

Image: Ben Roffelsen/blogTO Flickr pool.

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