Happy Wednesday. Mayor Ford, if you are reading this, please wait until you are done driving. No matter how much you could kill to read Torontoist right now, we deserve your full attention. In the news: try a deep-fried light rail vehicle; three police inquests are combined; a whole lot of street art; Toronto’s no-tow-zone; and topless aliens.
The new LRVs destined for the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown line, Sheppard Avenue, Finch Avenue, and the SRT will be making a stop at the CNE this year. A sample-size version of the new light rail vehicles will be sitting outside the Direct Energy Centre starting this Friday. Seeing the vehicle will only be exciting to CNE-goers until it is time to head home and they find themselves squeezed onto a Bathurst streetcar with 80 other people quickly realizing that the future is not now.
The mandatory inquests into the deaths of Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis, and Michael Eligon have been combined into a single inquest because of similarities in the cases. In each case, the deceased may have been experiencing a mental health crisis when they approached police with a weapon and were shot. Let’s hope that including these three cases together prompts the police force to address how they deal with cases of mental illness and how mental illness is dealt with in training—although there just might not be any new money to make these potential changes.
The largest graffiti production wall in Canada is almost done. The mural, which runs along train tracks going to the northwest of the intersection of Dufferin Street and Queen Street West, is on a wall 300 metres long and showcases the work of 65 artists—mostly from Toronto, but also from other parts of Canada. Urbancorp, the company that built the wall, provided the paint and a $100 stipend for each artist, but the painters volunteered their time and skill to the project. All told, the project cost Urbancorp about $100,000. This is a very worthwhile investment, considering the cost of continually painting over the word SPUD.
Can’t find parking? Try any street in the area of roughly East York, Leslieville, and the Beaches. Just park wherever you feel like—you probably won’t get towed. Not a single bid has been received for the City contract to tow illegally parked cars from the area (District Five in City contract terms) during the most recent round of Toronto Police Services Board proposals. The last company to have the contract for the area, which averages only 13 tows a day, went bankrupt while the majority of their 21 contractually required trucks sat idly by.
What happens when Toronto the Good comes up against a group started by the Raelian religious leader, Rael Maitreya, who teaches that humans were created by aliens? Topless women, obviously. Last year, GoTopless, a group fighting for equal bare-chestedness rights between women and men, was denied a permit to hold a rally in Kew Park because of a bylaw outlining what is considered “appropriate bathing attire.” However, the City says that this year it will not block a similar request because doing so “may be seen as discriminatory based on gender.” No word on which City manager looked up the word “discrimination” in a dictionary between last year and now.
This post originally stated that the graffiti mural mentioned above went to the intersection of Dundas Street and Queen Street West. This is incorrect, and the post has been updated.