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Morning Brew: Subway vote "historic day" for Toronto, cutting councillors, heat wave lingers, Honest Ed's sale risks small businesses, meet Pachi, and Rob Ford is sexy

Scarborough is getting a subway. Well, that's the plan for now, anyway. After over 14 hours of debate, council voted 28-16 in favour of ditching the fully-funded LRT conversion and extension of the aging RT and instead opt to study an extension of the Bloor-Danforth line to Sheppard Ave. The project relies on federal and provincial cash to proceed. Ford called it "an historic day for Toronto." Will it happen?

Council will vote later today on whether to halve the number of representatives in the Clam Shell. The city clerk says the number of wards will have to be reduced if the plan wins an unlikely victory.

It's hot right now - ridiculously, maddeningly boiling - but you know that already. It doesn't take a cop baking cookies in his cruiser to tell you what you already recognize to be true, namely: THERE IS NO MERCY. Temperatures peaked at 34 C at Pearson yesterday (45 C with the humidex) and will get close to that today as well. No relief until the weekend.

The sale of Honest Ed's will mean numerous Mirvish Village stores must find new homes, including comic store The Beguiling, Suspect Video, and Sonic Boom record store. David Mirvish says sale is unlikely to take at least three years, giving small retailers time to find new locations.

The Pan Am Games have an official mascot, a anthropomorphic porcupine named Pachi ("Patchy.") The cartoonish, multi-coloured character was designed by a group of Grade 8 students from Buttonville Public School in Markham and selected from 4,100 competition entries. Pachi has 41 quills - one for each of the countries participating in the 2015 games - not for stabbing fellow athletes, OK?

More than a week after Toronto received an unprecedented soaking (and flooding), garbage collection is still struggling to pick up the piles of garbage and waste created by the deluge. Special collections have taken away more than 1,500 tons of unwanted material but staff believe the amount may only be 30% of what's out there. Additional pick-ups are planned for the rest of the week.

680 News is assembling a neat interactive map of TTC buskers. At a click, users can hear a handful of the system's 75 licensed buskers perform by which station they most often visit. It's hoped users will submit more videos and complete the map.

Finally, perhaps surprisingly, Rob Ford is the Toronto Sun's hottest male at City Hall. 5,000 people - almost half the electorate - voted to declare Ford and his "300 pounds of fun" the sexiest man in municipal politics. Yesterday was that sort of day.


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

Image: AshtonPal/blogTO Flickr pool.

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