Morning Brew: Rob Ford wants subway funding report, trading toilets for Bixi bikes, postal worker investigated, Ford Fest robocalls, Pan Am Trail is go, and home runs
Rob Ford wants to know how the city might pay for an extension of the Bloor-Danforth line in the hope of securing rapid transit for the east end. The TTC thinks converting the RT to subway will cost around $500 million, Metrolinx thinks it will cost a $1 billion. Presumably Ford isn't interested in an earlier staff report that said dedicated taxes and fees could pay for new transit.
Toronto's ailing Bixi network could find a saviour in a poop receptacle. Cllr. Denzil Minnan-Wong is suggesting redirecting $8 million earmarked for a fleet of new high-tech public toilets to prop up the bike share network. The city is on the hook for the company's start-up loan should it fail. The fancy latrines are part of the current street furniture with Astral but have proved difficult to install. Good idea?
Subway riders on the Yonge line will know yesterday's commute was a total disaster. Signal problems caused delays so bad TTC CEO Andy Byford was forced to personally apologize for the disruption via a special PA announcement. Byford insisted the signals, some of which are almost 60 years old, are safe despite the outage. Were you affected by the outage?
A Canada Post employee is under investigation after allegedly making an (extremely) blue joke and using a homophobic slur. Rick Kopfensteiner claims the unnamed worker called him a "faggot" after the bizarre exchange in a Yorkville elevator. Kopfensteiner told Xtra the carrier seemed "intoxicated."
It's summer and that means it's almost time for Ford Fest, the mayor's annual BBQ/love-in. Rather than mailing a note or sending an email blast, Ford opted to robocall to several thousand invitees. The event will take place at Thomson Memorial Park near Brimley and Lawrence from 6 to 10 PM.
Finally, a win for Toronto cyclists. The city's executive committee voted in favour of establishing a continuous trail from Brampton to Pickering by connecting existing walking and cycling trails. The Pan Am Trail will cost $2 million and should be ready by 2015. Is this a good legacy project for the games?
The Leafs couldn't swing it for a goal light, but the CN Tower will light pink or blue depending on the sex of the latest Royal spawn when it's released in to the world. The 553.33-metre structure will light up on the hour every hour the evening the birth of the child is announced. It's thought the baby will be born in the next two weeks.
Finally, the Rogers Centre is baseball's home run HQ this summer for reasons no-one seems to be able to explain. Players have slugged 121 homers at the halfway stage, 50 by the Blue Jays. The average is around 82 by the halfway mark of the season. It's possible changes in wind flow inside the stadium, unique temperatures, or big crowds could be responsible. Thoughts?
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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