Sorry to say it, but this is the last weekend in August (and therefore the second last weekend of real summer). Don’t squander it, ride a Slip 'n' Slide. In the news: three court cases for the Empress Hotel; an Amber Alert ends safely; a dog is attacked; training questioned in 2008 propane explosion; and the kids get a raise in their allowance.
The site of the former Empress Hotel, once a historic building on the east side of Yonge Street just north of Dundas at Gould Street, isn’t set for redevelopment any time soon. The iconic building that saw part of its façade come crashing down in 2010 is now locked in three legal battles. In one, Wanda’s Belgian Waffles Inc. is seeking over $900,000 from the site’s owners, a numbered company that appears to be owned by the Lalani family, for damages related to the structural integrity of the building and an unreturned security deposit; in another, HMV is suing the owners and the City of Toronto for $700,000 because they feel the City was negligent and had allowed the fire to spread to their neighbouring store; and finally, the owners are themselves suing their insurance company for unpaid insurance which could be up to $4.7 million. These sort of legal proceedings could take years, so don’t hold your breath for any gaudy new billboards or another chain restaurant to be erected at the site soon.
The two Brampton boys that were the focus of an Amber Alert yesterday have been found in New York and their mother has been arrested by state police. The boys were allegedly abducted by their mother yesterday in the late morning and at the time of the boys’ disappearance she was accompanied by two unidentified men. Police are still looking for them.
Yesterday in central Etobicoke, Lucy, an eight-year-old border collie, was fatally attacked by a loose pit bull as she was being taken for a walk by her owner Noemi Stefenatti and Stefenatti’s 12-year-old granddaughter. The dog was not on a leash, but has a thick burgundy collar and identification tags. Police have been unable to locate the attacker, so if you see a loose pit bull in the area, it is best to keep your distance. Also, this will probably not make the lives of pit bulls and pit bull owners any easier.
The training of employees leading up to the 2008 explosion of Sunrise Propane that killed a 25-year-old worker, Parminder Saini, has come under scrutiny from the Province’s lawyers. Apparently Sunrise Propane director Shay Ben-Moshe failed to provide proper safety information and training to the victim of the explosion, which resulted in his death while another employee survived by fleeing in the opposite direction that Saini took.
Toronto will be the recipient of more than 60 per cent of the province’s a new $20 million a year Youth Action Plan. The funding will go towards much-needed after-school programs, youth outreach workers, and summer recreation programs in the city. This money comes as the Youth Challenge Fund, which was focused only on Toronto’s 13 “priority” neighbourhoods, is set to run out next year.