Last Monday of March! In the news: Welcome to the 437; the mayor has opinions and he will share them; Ryerson engineering students are in trouble; and ermahgerd panders.
Toronto gets a new area code today—does 437 have the same ring (ha) to it as 416? The new code is needed because of the increased number of cell phones and mobile devices in the area, meaning that 416 and 647 just don’t cut it anymore. The 905/289 area is getting a new addition of its own: 365. If all this change on a Monday morning makes you grumpy, raise your hand.
Apparently, not content to merely have his own radio show, Mayor Rob Ford called in to Newstalk 1010 show Closing Arguments With Steven Skurka to offer his opinion of the ongoing trial of the man accused of killing Toronto police officer Sgt. Ryan Russell with a stolen snowplow in early 2011. Criminal defence lawyer Leora Shemesh was on the Newstalk panel and was surprised to hear the mayor on the line as they discussed the trial of Richard Kachkar, who has been charged with first-degree murder and dangerous driving. “I just think that it’s perplexing to have the mayor of the city calling in about this issue, particularly because it’s in front of a jury and he knew that, but more so because he seemed to be uneducated about not criminally responsible and what that means,” Shemesh told the Toronto Star. The Star declined to print the mayor’s comments out of concern for prejudicing the jury.
Ryerson’s engineering students are in trouble after a video showing half-nude students crawling through slush showed up on YouTube. School president Sheldon Levy said the event is “completely unacceptable” and likened it to hazing; the students say its an annual tradition and said Levy is overreacting. They say the event is voluntary for students who wish to become frosh-week leaders in the fall. We say this all would have seemed much better if we’d had nicer weather in March. And also that engineers are kind of strange.
Today is an exciting one for the Toronto Zoo, as pandas Er Shun and Da Mao are set to arrive at Pearson tonight. The fuzzy black-and-white pair from China will be greeted by quite the crowd, including the Prime Minister and his wife and China’s Canadian ambassador. The zoo expects that the pandas will be a boon for attendance numbers, as well and some company for its current lone panda. Pandas!