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Newsstand: October 15, 2013

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Time to place your bet as to when we'll start hearing Christmas music in department stores. In the news: Rob Ford chats about robocalls, plans to revive Seaton House are taking shape, the environmental assessment of the east end of the Gardiner continues, the Ikea Monkey may see another day in court, and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada opens.

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During his weekly radio show, Mayor Rob Ford defended his decision to order robocalls to inform Scarborough residents that Ward 43 councillor Paul Ainslie voted against the Scarborough subway extension. The mayor also said that he paid for the calls personally.

Eight abandoned homes on George Street will be used by the City as part of a planned revival of Seaton House, the neighbouring shelter located at 339 George Street that currently houses over 500 men. Toronto Star reporter Gemma Karstens-Smith gives a detailed history of the area and outlines plans for the dilapidated heritage properties to be redeveloped into an emergency shelter, long-term care facility, and community space.

Later this morning, Deputy City Manager John Lively will be joined by Waterfront CEO John Campbell and planner Chris Glaisek to announce the next phase of the environmental assessment for the east end of the Gardiner Expressway. By spring 2015, the assessment will ultimately determine whether the Gardiner between Jarvis Street and Leslie Street should be either maintained, improved, replaced, or removed. City residents will also have a turn to weigh in on the issue at a public forum on Wednesday night.

The fight for the Ikea Monkey may not be as over as we’d like it to be. A judge previously ruled that custody of the tiny primate named Darwin would not be returned to owner Yasmin Nakhuda. Well, Nakhuda has filed a notice of appeal with the Court of Appeal for Ontario to have that ruling overturned. Insert facepalm here.

Finally, get ready to unleash your inner Steve Zissou when Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada opens its doors to the public tomorrow.

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