It's the first Monday in December...Hurray? Before you face the cold grey morning, why not warm up with a spot of the day's news: The UFC could be coming to a school near you, Nestlé gets all NIMBY on the west-end, the YRT strike continues with a little friction, sad news for Canadian roller derby fans, and good news for one Toronto senior who likes to get rid of pesky leaves in the most dangerous way possible.
“Hard” balls may be too hardcore for Toronto schools, but the Ultimate Fighting Championship is just the right fit? According to a report from the Toronto Star, city councillor Doug Ford’s (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) office is circulating a brochure to members of the Toronto District School Board promoting an initiative called UFC Community Works that, through mixed martial arts training and meetings with UFC fighters, is meant to teach “discipline, respect, teamwork, honesty, time management and physical fitness.” Yes. UFC. The very same sport that until recently was banned in Ontario and involves bloody knockouts and oxygen-depriving choke holds. Seems a little far-fetched…so is it true? The Star contacted councillor Ford’s office for commentary, but, well, you know (though as it happens, the Fords do talk to other outlets, and um, yeah, it’s true).
Think living near a chocolate factory has the whimsical quality of a Roald Dahl book? Well, Nestlé doesn’t, and the chocolate giant would ask you to keep your Charlie Bucket-like dreams far, far away from their west-end plant thankyouverymuch. A major developer is proposing to build a mixed-use residential development next to the chocolate factory on Sterling Road, which could include new live-work townhomes, office towers with urban agriculture rooftops, a public square, and a revitalization of the heritage Tower Automotive building. Local residents are on board with the plans, but Nestlé has expressed concerns about building residential units so close to its plant, citing issues of noise, trucking, and smells that could become a source of friction down the road. Oompa Loompas do have a reputation for being a bit loud, all the singing and all, so you really can’t blame Nestlé for trying to protect Torontonians from those little dudes.
Hey, GTA commuters, are you sick of the YRT strike yet? If the seven-week strike hasn’t yet gotten under your skin, today might be the day when you finally lose your cool as striking transit workers are preventing GO buses from entering Richmond Hill Centre with a large demonstration. When buses enter Richmond Hill Centre, riders are being told to walk—about 300 metres—to the nearest stop on Yonge Street. Oh well, at least it’s a nice day for a stroll, right?
Sometimes our great city is one that crushes hopes and dreams. This weekend, it was Team Canada’s turn to have its spirits dashed as the US roller derby team knocked them out of the running to take home the gold in the sport’s inaugural world cup held right here in the Big Smoke. On the bright side, Canada racked up more points against Team USA than any other team in the tournament. Which sounds pretty awesome…until you read the final score: 336-33.
On a happier note, a Toronto octogenarian has survived a fall over the Scarborough Bluffs with just cuts and bruises. Eighty-nine-year-old Gene St. Marie was trying to dispose of leaves at his home at the foot of Birchmount Road when he took a 30-metre tumble down the bluffs. Think that’s lucky? It’s the second time this very thing has happened! Next time, Mr. St. Marie, just bag ‘em. They allow that sort of thing now.