toronto demolition

Morning Brew: Glen Murray "not fussed" about subway, big E. coli hits Toronto beaches, disgruntled residents, a flying machine, digital ads, and a Toronto superhero

Ontario Transport Minister Glen Murray says he's "not fussed" whether Scarborough gets an LRT or a subway extension in place of the existing light rail line. City council will discuss the issue next week but the final decision rests with the province who will have to shoulder some of the conversion costs. The issue is likely to be key in the Scarborough-Guildwood byelection.

The consequences from Monday's storm just keep coming. Many of Toronto's beaches are closed after unsafe levels of E. coli were detected in the water. The city regularly tests its swimming areas for the bacteria but sewage overflows caused by the deluge have caused a city-wide spike. A safe reading is under 100 - Sunnyside hit 1,784 on Thursday.

A disgruntled Scarborough resident is making dozens of frivolous complaints to the city, tying up resources and generally pissing people off. Cllr. Glen De Baeremaeker, who says many of the calls are regarding trivial issues on a well-maintained street, will motion that city council find a way to ignore serial whiners.

A team of Toronto engineers have claimed a 33-year-old, $250,000 prize by inventing a human-powered helicopter. The gigantic contraption flew using bicycle for energy at the Vaughan Soccer Centre in June. First person to spot one of these in the bike lane wins.

Astral Media is hoping to recoup its $40 million info pillar losses (a third a too big to be installed) by bringing digital advertising and wrap-around ads to Toronto's transit shelters. There are concerns from councillors the ads could be too distracting to drivers or simply too ugly. What do you think?

The cost of traffic congestion and overcrowded subway lines could be as much as $11 billion a year in Toronto. Think tank C.D. Howe Institute says the figure, much higher than other calculations, factors in damage to relationships and businesses in the city. That social cost could be worth up to $5 billion, a figure not cited in other estimates.

Construction on the Union Station terminal of the Union-Pearson Express will begin next month, the province says. The line is scheduled to be up and running by 2015.

Two city councillors want federal and provincial help to cut the carp. Mike Layton and Paul Ainslie say an invasive Asian carp species currently hogging rivers in the U.S. could pose a threat here. The fish were introduced in the 1970s to combat algae.

Finally, what would it be like if Toronto got its own superhero in the form of a crime-fighting flying man - would we consider him a hero? That's the question Marcus Alqueres considers in his movie The Flying Man. It's beautifully shot and just a little bit creepy. Check it out.

The Flying Man from Marcus Alqueres on Vimeo.


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

Image: Jason Cook/blogTO Flickr pool.

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