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Morning Brew: Ford friend released on bail, neighbours say Ford paid regular visits to Lisi, Metrolinx offers no new subway cash, and a Toronto paint mystery solved

A neighbour of Rob Ford's arrested friend and occasional driver Alessandro Lisi says the mayor is a regular visitor to her Etobicoke street. Carol Peck, 77, who lives two doors down from Lisi, told the Star that Ford visits around four times a week in his car, but often does not go inside. "He's a good guy," Ford said during a scrum at an Esso gas station. "I don't throw my friends under the bus."

Lisi was released on $5,000 bail Wednesday. He's charged with possession of the proceeds of crime, possession of marijuana, and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. He is due in court again Nov. 12.

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail is drawing a connection between the Lisi arrest and the broader Project Traveller investigation. Toronto police confirmed Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux is the lead investigator on the case yesterday. His resume includes the high-profile investigation in to crimes committed at the G20 Summit. Cops said it would be inaccurate to link Giroux's involvement to the alleged video of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine, however.

Metrolinx says the TTC and the city are best placed to make a decision on the Scarborough subway extension, but isn't offering any more cash. In a letter to city manager Joe Pennachetti, President and CEO Bruce McCuaig said the $1.48 billion LRT fund is available for the subway, but confirmed the amount won't increase. City council made the extension contingent on $1.8 billion from the province.

The Grid's Dave Topping has put to bed a bizarre Toronto mystery. A series of thin painted lines, weaving across roads and sidewalks downtown like paint leaking from a can, are in fact just that. "Bobby Q," an OCAD U student, has created three of the intriguing art pieces by riding a bike with a specially adapted trailer. So far, no-one's tried to stop him, he says.

Enbridge is planning to expand an oil sands pipeline that flows through Toronto, in places centimetres from TTC subway structures, to handle more unrefined petroleum. Currently line 9B carries about 120,000 barrels a day. Enbridge wants to increase the line's capacity to 300,000 barrels a day. The city is concerned a leak could prove disastrous, especially near TTC tunnels.

The Greater Toronto Area has been split in two - the 416 and the 905 (and 647 and 437, but never mind that) - for twenty years. Bell Canada introduced the new code in 1993 as the number of available 416 numbers dwindled, in doing so creating a new shorthand for the 'burbs. The Globe and Mail has the story.


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

Image: Ferit Onurlu/blogTO Flickr pool.

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