toronto demolition

Morning Brew: Byford says Yonge relief line a priority, U of T instructor under fire, GO probes reports of fraud, TTC's approval rating goes up, and condo sales go down

TTC CEO Andy Byford says a Yonge relief line should be a priority over extending the Bloor-Danforth line through Scarborough. Speaking after the TTC endorsed extending the subway to Sheppard Avenue via McCowan Road, Byford said he would pick the DRL if given the choice. Too bad it's not that simple.

U of T instructor David Gilmour is in hot water after an interview he gave to Hazlitt, an online magazine. Gilmour said he only teaches books by "serious heterosexual guys." "When I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women," he said. Gilmour says his words were taken out of context, but Hazlitt has since published a full transcript.

GO Transit has called in a team of auditors over allegations it was overcharged by CN Rail for construction work on rail lines west of Toronto. Former CN Rail construction supervisor Scott Holmes filed a complaint with the OPP over the alleged racket to bill Ontario taxpayers millions of dollars for upgrades that had nothing to do with the GO Transit work. As CBC notes, the allegations haven't been confirmed and Holmes is currently involved in a bitter dispute with CN.

First Rob Ford, now the TTC's approval rating is on the rise. A survey by the Toronto Transit Commission found 79% of customers were happy with the service, up 7% since the end of last year. Just 21% said the TTC represented good value for money. Have Andy Byford's customer service tweaks made a difference to you?

Toronto could once again have two Vaughans on city council if a business owner from Etobicoke wins the nomination to fill Doug Holyday's vacant seat. Ross Vaughan, a family friend of the mayor, has Ford's blessing but not endorsement for the seat. He served as the election-day chair and a realtor for Doug Ford Sr. - the Ford brothers' father - when he was an MPP in the 1990s.

A pile of possibly poisoned hot dogs found in an east end park have parents and pet owners worried. The dirty dogs were found in Oakvale Green Community Gardens near the TTC subway yard just west of Greenwood Avenue. In 2004 a dog died after eating hot dogs laced with blue crystals that later turned out to be insecticide.

The police watchdog has been called in after a video appearing to show two police officers beating a suspect was released online. The cops were making an arrest near Avenue and St. Clair in connection with a shooting at a barber shop of Sherbourne Street. The witness who took the video said the officers asked the man not to resist.

Condo sales are at their slowest in a decade, according to market research company RealNet. 633 high-rise units sold in August, which is 46% lower than the 10-year average. The number of unsold units actually declined in August, falling to 1,260. Is this a sign of trouble or a bump on the road?


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

Image: Stephen Gardiner/blogTO Flickr pool.

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