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Morning Brew: City plans to re-use Muir's maple, TTC reveals its new voice, lake swim relay delayed, no more backyard pizzas, and how the Brick Works stayed dry

The historic Maple Leaf Forever tree, felled by high winds last week, could live on as a bench, sculpture, or council gavel under plans being considered by the city. Several boughs from the Silver Maple, said to have inspired Alexander Muir's song Maple Leaf Forever, were rescued from the chipper last weekend. Some locals salvaged small branches in an attempt to start a new from seed. What else could the city do with the tree?

The TTC is planning to overhaul its automatic stop announcements when the new streetcars hit the road in 2016. The voice used on the current CLRV and ALRV vehicles is that of Cheryl BomĂŠ, a real-life TTC employee. The replacement voice is from the same synthesizer used to create the announcements on the new Toronto Rocket subway trains. Here's a sample of what the new streetcars will sound like. What do you think?

The relay swim team attempting to cross Lake Ontario end-to-end, from Kingston to Burlington, are running behind schedule due to choppy waters. They now expect to arrive on Sunday, eight hours late.

A clandestine back-alley pizza joint in Toronto's east end has been placed on ice, possibly for good. Neighbours complained that Brooklyn Alley Pizza, a semi-official operation run out of a Brighton Avenue backyard, was in breach of local bylaws and an investigation by the city forced Craig Horning, the chef, to close. On Friday nights he served around 20 pizzas to local devotees.

Despite being directly in the path of this summer's unprecedented flooding, the Evergreen Brick Works, on the floor of the Don Valley, was prepared for a sudden deluge. Special design features and the use of water-resistant materials were among the stipulations laid out by the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority before a building permit would be issued. CityNews has the story of how the historic site stayed (relatively) dry.

Ken Hills can't catch a break. After losing everything to the 8 July flood and being forced to live in a tent, another bout of severe whether has left the Mississauga man completely homeless. Hills canvas shelter blew away on Friday, leaving him to fend for himself outside. He says he's received some donations and food but is still unable to return to his basement apartment.


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

Image: Jason Cook/blogTO Flickr pool.

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