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Morning Brew: Police watched Rob Ford "drug house," Attorney-General blasts reference letter, smoking ban moves forward, combined transit fares, and a chasuble

The notorious photo of Rob Ford with his arms around Anthony Smith, Monir Kassim and Muhammad Khattak was taken at a "drug house," according to a police document seen by the Toronto Star. Toronto police watched the home of the Basso family at 15 Windsor Road in Etobicoke as part of Operation Traveller. Mohamed Siad, the man who shopped a video allegedly showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine, was also one of the visitors to the house, the documents reveal.

The documents also suggest police may have watched Gawker editor John Cook meet with Siad at a Dixon Road highrise. The time, date, and location of a conversation between Siad and an "unknown party" matches the version of events Cook reported in the story that broke the crack video scandal.

The Rob Ford-Sandro Lisi character reference scandal - "Lettergate" if you will - took another turn yesterday when the Ontario Attorney-General told the Globe and Mail it was "inappropriate" for the mayor to have used his city letterhead. The letter, which praised Lisi for his "tact and diplomacy," was signed "Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto" and carried the city's seal at the top of the page.

A ban on smoking at sports fields, park pools, and swimming beaches took a step toward reality yesterday. The parks and environment committee voted unanimously in favour of the idea. City council must approve before the ban can become law. Does the proposed ban make sense?

Cllr. Mike Layton wants passengers boarding the GO train at Exhibition station near Liberty Village to pay a single $3 fare and have access to the TTC subway at Union Station. Many commuters pay extra to use the GO train over the King streetcar because of overcrowding. Should there be a single fare within the City of Toronto for GO and TTC?

An embroidered chasuble - a sleeveless vestment worn by Catholic priests during mass - kept in a drawer at St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church may have a tenuous link to Oscar Wilde. The garment was made from the wedding dress of Augusta Elizabeth Baldwin, whose son, Robert Baldwin Ross, was Wilde's lover, historians think. The garment will be on display at the "Sacred Stitches" exhibit until Nov 1 at St. James Cathedral.

The owners of several food trucks voiced their opinions on the future of mobile kitchens at City Hall Tuesday night, tackling a range of issues from buffer zones around traditional restaurants to licensing costs. Here's a snapshot of what was said.

Finally, construction will re-start on York University station within three weeks, according to the TTC. Construction on the Norman Foster design stalled about a month ago during a changeover between contractors, leaving the excavated pit a flooded mess. The station is expected to open with the rest of the Spadina line extension in 2016.


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

Image: Empty Quarter/blogTO Flickr pool.

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