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Morning Brew: Rob Ford heckled on holiday, Mad mag lampoons the mayor, Scarborough subway costs could go up, Stintz and Murray make nice, and garbage gripes

Rob Ford is having a merry old time on vacation in Winnipeg and Regina. The mayor left before the end of last week's council meeting and has been spotted among the home fans at a Roughriders game in Saskatchewan's capital city in a suit jacket and t-shirt. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, fans at an earlier Argonauts-Blue Bombers game booed and yelled "crack" when he acknowledged the crowd from the sidelines.

Despite the dissent, Ford declared the the fans "the most friendly people I've ever met." He's due back in Toronto today.

The Ford crack saga has graced the venerable pages of Mad magazine with a listicle entitled "Signs Your Mayor Smokes Crack." Number 4 reads: "Proposes balancing the budget by stealing all the car radios from the next town over" above a cartoon of a cracked out "Mayor of Moronto." Watch out Mississauga.

The planned Bloor-Danforth extension in to Scarborough could cost significantly more than expected, the TTC is warning. CEO Andy Byford says without the benefit of soil studies, land valuations, and other calculations the $2.3 billion price-tag is simply a "best estimate." It's hoped the province will still chip in the $1.8 billion budgeted for the LRT conversion.

On the subject of LRT money, TTC Chair Karen Stintz and Ontario Transit Minister Glen Murray have agreed to discuss the topic sensibly after a public dispute. The province says just $1.4 billion will be available for the subway, owing to renovations needed at Kennedy station and costs already incurred by the light rail line.

Lake Ontario has famously been conquered bottom to top several times, most famously by Marilyn Bell in 1954, but now a team of swimmers are planning to attempt an end-to-end crossing from Kingston to Burlington. Working in a non-stop relay, the team think the 230 km swim will take about five days.

Toronto's former garbage can provider is filing a $60 million lawsuit against the city over alleged breaches of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and even trespass. The gripes of EcoMedia, the maker of the old style silver receptacles, date back to the 2009 garbage strike and clauses in its contract with the city. Why does Toronto have such trouble with its trash contracts?

Finally, the intersection of Broadview and Gerrard will remain closed for a few more days the TTC says, as repairs to overhead wires damaged by a recent fire continue. It's expected streetcar routes will be back to normal by the end of the week. Also in transport, the Gardiner is going to lose two eastbound lanes from Jarvis to the Don River this week for repairs.



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

Image: Dan Cronin/blogTO Flickr pool.

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