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Morning Brew: Ford against nixing rec fees, Lisi papers could be released today, city mulls affordable waterfront units, no corner store booze, and inspecting the Sam sign

Rob Ford says Toronto can't afford to scrap recreation fees. Charging for skating, swimming, and fitness lessons generates around $30 to $40 million a year for the city; removing the fee would require the city to get the money from property taxes. "You have to pay for stuff in this life, nothing's for free," Ford said.

A stack of papers related to the arrest of Rob Ford's friend Sandro Lisi could be made public today. Media lawyers for several Toronto organizations will argue before a Superior Court judge that the information, used to obtain search warrants to investigate Lisi, should be released. It's not clear what, if any, of the 480-pages relate to Rob Ford.

The City of Toronto could be about to snap up 70 to 75 units in a waterfront condo for affordable housing. The unbuilt homes, to be located in the $1.1 billion Bayside neighbourhood, just east of Sherbourne Common, would be owned and operated by a non-profit housing company and targeted at low-income tenants. Rob Ford isn't a fan: "You don't use your waterfront prime property for affordable housing," he said.

Cllr. Michelle Berardinetti wants right turn lanes on Eglinton Ave. E when the Crosstown LRT arrives in 2020. The turns will be banned from Brentcliffe Rd. to Kennedy station where the trains run in a surface right of way but Berardinetti wants the city step in.

No corner store booze for you. The provincial Liberals say they're not interested in 7-Eleven, Mac's, and Petro-Canada selling beer and wine even if they are pledging to promote local brews. Kathleen Wynne said the government would be expanding the LCBO distribution network by allowing wine and beer in more specialty stores. Bad result?

Ryerson yesterday allowed the first pictures of the Sam the Record Man sign since it was taken down and placed in storage. Cllr. Josh Matlow tweeted photos of the sign, which is in thousands of small pieces in a storage container behind a warehouse north of the city. It appears everything is labeled and in decent condition. Are you hopeful the sign will make a comeback?

And finally, Toronto Zoo looks poised to get a zip line. The Soaring Eagle ride would run over the arctic wolf and snowy owl enclosure to the Mayan Temple picnic area, according to papers before the zoo's board. The company planning to build the high wire says it will carry 40 people an hour.


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

Image: Ferit Onurlu/blogTO Flickr pool.

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