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Morning Brew: Two councillors get cheap apartments, Pan Am expenses under fire, Ford's attendance mapped, Raptors to get a major rebrand, and 220 years in a video

Councillors Giorgio Mammoliti and David Shiner have been renting apartments at an apparent steep discount from a company that does a significant amount of business with the city, the CBC reports. Greenwin-Verdiroc, the owners of 88 Erskine Ave., near Yonge and Eglinton, manage Toronto Community Housing, develop social housing, and donated to Mammoliti and Shiner's election campaigns in 2006 and 2010.

Shiner has been paying around $630 since 2004 for an apartment that costs around $1,650. Mammoliti, who looks set to rejoin the mayor's executive committee, pays slightly more, around $1,000. "You don't have the correct information," Shiner told the CBC earlier this summer. Mammoliti would not address the claims.

Pan Am executives are coming under fire at Queen's Park over their expense claims. A document obtained by the Toronto Sun found staff with salaries around $500,000 a year were expensing items as cheap as 91-cent parking fees, laundry, cellphone cases, and coffee. "There should not be that kind of entitlement," Premier Kathleen Wynne said.

Rob Ford makes it to just under half of every event he says he'll attend, numbers crunched by the Globe and Mail reveal. Of course, as mayor of a major city Rob Ford gets a lot of invitations, but Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly is hoping to improve Ford's attendance record. "I think it is important to get out and about," he said earlier this month.

Big news for Raptors fans. Toronto is going to host the 2016 NBA All-Star game and Drake is going to make the team cool with a new logo and jersey (no change away from that awful name, though.) "I want excitement for this team. I want them to be one of the biggest teams in this league," said Drake. Good luck with that.

Fans of the Sam the Record Man sign have an unlikely ally in Rob Ford, it seems. The mayor discussed the ongoing controversy about whether Ryerson should stick to a signed agreement promising to return the neon sign to its original location on Yonge Street with the university's president, heritage staff, and musicians in his office yesterday. I think we've narrowed it down to either the original 347 Yonge or Gould Street, one or the other," he said.

Toronto could be about to drastically reduce the number of places it's still OK, at least in a legal sense, to have a smoke. Lighting up could be banned from all outdoor patios if the Toronto Board of Health gets its way. Do you think current anti-smoking laws go far enough already?

Toronto's one-day TEDx conference was last week but the opening video for the event has just been released online. The stirring short film chronicles the city's history from a tiny town beside a military fortification to the biggest (and best) place to live in Canada. Let's hear it for Hogtown!


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

Image: Jason Cook/blogTO Flickr pool.

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