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Morning Brew: Rob Ford swipes seat at Bills game, cop still critical after crash, report says mid-rise will ease gridlock, taxi driver beaten, and Jesus statue stolen

Rob Ford turned out for the Buffalo Bills-Atlanta Falcons game at the Rogers Centre this weekend. At one point Ford, mobbed with photo requests, took a seat belonging to rock musician Matt Mays, who promptly took to Twitter to voice his displeasure. Mays got his seat back but the Falcons went on to win the game 34-31.

Ford also made an official appearance at the Cavalcade of Lights Saturday night. The mayor greeted the crowd, who appeared to respond positively (NOW called it "mixed,") with his wife and two children in tow. Councillors Paul Ainslie, Peter Leon, and Peter Milczyn and their families were also on hand for the illuminating of the Nathan Phillips Square Christmas tree.

A Toronto police officer remains in a critical condition following a collision Saturday at Bloor Street West and Neilson Drive. The 34-year-old's unmarked cruiser collided with another vehicle and struck a tree en-route to a call, police say. Const. John Zivcic is in his 7th year with the Toronto police.

Adding more mid-rise buildings to Toronto's downtown avenues and encouraging building on the available - though less desirable - downtown land will help reduce gridlock by taking cars off the road, a new report suggests. The Pembina Institute found there's enough land inside the city's Greenbelt to last until 2031. "We still think we can run the fourth-largest city in North America on low-density housing and cars," Cherise Burda told the Toronto Star.

A taxi driver was severely beaten over the weekend after demanding two passengers pay a $15 fare, police say. Two men got in Maheswaren Iyampillai's cab near College and Clinton early Sunday morning and left near Bloor and Dundas West without paying. Iyampillai followed them on foot and was punched and kicked. Police are seeking suspects.

A sculpture by Homeless Jesus artist Timothy Schmalz was stolen from a Kensington Market church Saturday night. The resin statue, titled "Whatsoever You Do," depicts a seated Jesus in a thick hooded cloak with his palm out, representing charity. Two week ago the Pope blessed "Homeless Jesus," another one of Schmalz's pieces.



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

Image: Vik Pahwa/blogTO Flickr pool.

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