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Weekend Newsstand: November 3, 2012

Good riddance weekdays, Saturday is here! Let's all give a cheer! Maybe crack a beer! This poem will soon be over, do not fear! In the news: The dream of train travel to Pearson may soon be a reality; Mayor Ford gets up-close-and-personal with some cows; the fate of the Masonic Temple; and a strip club gets some cash money bling bling from the government.

It may seem hard to believe, but construction on the direct rail link between the airport and downtown is finally in full swing. Once complete, trains on the line will swiftly whisk passengers from Union Station to Pearson Airport in just 25 minutes, every 15 minutes. But first there is the minor matter of putting all the pieces together. The construction will involve widening 16 bridges, completing five major separations to divide rail and road traffic, and, of course, building the tracks. So, based on what history has taught us about major construction projects in Toronto, the launch date may coincide with the roll-out of flying cars. Hopefully they’ve worked that traffic issue into the plans.

If it seems to you that Mayor Rob Ford has been up to his neck in bullshit as of late, you have it all wrong. As it turns out, he’s pretty good at avoiding stepping in it. Mayor Ford kicked off the 90th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Friday, and spent some time with the “rock solid” cattle, even providing them with the royal spa treatment. Seems he didn’t do a bad job at washing and drying the cows, but he may need to work on ensuring he’s a “little looser in his wrist” and “keeps the hair going the right way” if he wants to do this again. We can’t make this stuff up.

After nearly a century, Toronto’s Masonic Temple may become yet another victim of the condo takeover of Toronto. As of Thursday, filming on MTV shows came to a halt in the temple as Bell Media prepares for its move to 299 Queen Street West. While the fate of the 1918 building remains uncertain, Bell Media confirmed Friday they “are considering all options,” including selling the historic building to developers. However, this could be an uphill battle for would-be condo builders as the building was added to the list of heritage sites in March 1974, which protects the facade and some interior features. It’s also based in a mixed-use zone and the highest a developer can build within the official plan is 30 metres, or roughly 10 storeys.

Who knew a little civil unrest could impact the (ahem) bottom line of a strip club? Zanzibar Tavern was among the businesses reimbursed by the federal government due to financial losses when the City hosted the G20 summit. Zanzibar received $5,886 in compensation, which is only about half the amount the club claimed in losses. It seems that rather than stopping to enjoy the catchy advertisements the club thoughtfully added to its marquee, things like “Forget G8, try G-strings,” and “G20 leaders solve world peace in our VIP rooms,” protesters went all smashy-smashy on the place, tearing down its iconic flashing sign and breaking windows.

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