Hello, Tuesday, it's nice to see you! Gather around, and get ready for what's in the news: apparently Toronto isn't such a bad place to live, the downtown population isn't getting any older, yesterday's fire at Bathurst and Olive had one fatality, the TTC is giving transit enforcement officers their constable superpowers back, and Union Station renovations are getting expensive.
“Toronto: It’s not the best, but it’s also also not the worst!” That would make a great bumper sticker, because it’s more or less true according to the biennial Anholt-GfK City Brands Index. It ranks Toronto as the eighth best city to live in for 2013. The City Brands Index determines its rankings by measuring a whole lot of vague things about a city, including international reputation, culture, standard of public amenities, and economic status. Who ranked number one this year? London, England. Rob Ford can’t compete with a Royal baby.
Unless you have an aging portrait of yourself locked in an attic somewhere, you will get older. Here’s hoping that isn’t a shocker. However, you may be surprised to learn that Toronto’s population is staying young. The recently released Vital Signs report, issued by the Toronto Community Foundation, found that 47 per cent of the downtown population is between the ages of 20 and 39, giving Toronto a younger demographic than most Canadian urban centres.
Sadly, it appears the two-alarm fire that engulfed a vacant building at Bathurst Street near Olive Avenue in the early hours of yesterday morning had one fatality. Toronto Police Detective Robert Choe has stated that the remains have yet to be identified. The Ontario Fire Marshal has been brought in to investigate.
The Toronto Transit Commission is working with the Toronto Police Services Board to reinstate the special constable status to its transit enforcement officers. While it doesn’t give them the superpowers of invisibility or clairvoyance, the special designation does grant TTC officers the power to make arrests. TTC officers were stripped of the special constable designation in 2010 following allegations that the authority was being misused.
Finally, in what is likely to be the most unsurprising news of the day, the National Post reports that the overhaul of Union Station is going to cost more than originally projected. A new report details $171-million in extra costs, $80-million of which won’t be covered by the current contingency fund. It’s going to take an awfully big bake sale to cover that gap.