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Weekend Newsstand: September 25, 2010

matt_newsstand_gull.jpg
Illustration by Matt Daley/Torontoist.


News, you say? Why, certainly: a seven-alarm fire on Wellesley Street, Bixi’s falling short of the mark, and Sarah Thomson gets cooperative.

A seven-alarm fire at an apartment building at 200 Wellesley Street forced some 1,200 people from their homes last night. The high-rise is part of St. James Town, one of the country’s largest public housing units. Torontoist was on the scene by 6:10 p.m., as the fire engulfed apartment 2424 of the massive complex. After burning for two hours, the blaze was thought to be extinguished, only to flare back up again later in the night. By the time it was finally put out at around midnight, at least 120 firefighters and twenty-seven firetrucks had battled the blaze. Fourteen people were hospitalized, including three children, and up to ten firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion. Residents spent the night on cots in a nearby community centre gymnasium. Fire Chief William Stewart said they are unsure what started the fire, but that the apartment where it started was packed with possessions. For more of Torontoist’s coverage, click here.
The Bixi bike-share program that has seen so much success in Montreal has been slow to gather support in Toronto. The program is set to launch in May 2011, but only if one thousand people sign up for a one-year membership by November 30. So far, they’ve only sold 650. If you’re interested in checking out the bikes and their docking stations, Bixi will be staging demos this Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 550 Bayview Avenue, and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 191 Augusta Avenue.
And gosh golly gee, it was hot out yesterday! In fact, it was the hottest day on record for a September 24 in Toronto, as temperatures reached 30.3 degrees Celsius at 1:00 p.m. But don’t take that bikini out of storage just yet—today is expected to be considerably cooler, at around seventeen degrees.
And no, we haven’t forgotten there’s a mayoral election campaign going on, try as we might. The National Post hosted the “Big Small Business Debate” and live-blogged the event, which saw Ford promise not to spend money like a “drunken sailor” and Pantalone call out Ford on his poor math skills. So, pretty much business as usual.
And mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson finally spilled the beans, admitting the possibility of dropping out of the race to throw her support behind whoever has the best chance of beating Rob Ford. She says she’s initiated discussions with Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman, and Joe Pantalone, who she says all agree on the “anyone but Ford” cooperative mentality. None though, says Thomson, are prepared to drop out of the race just yet.

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