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Newsstand: January 17, 2014

Live every day like you're Glen Coco. In the news: Doug Ford is angry with Premier Kathleen Wynne for not meeting with his brother, Olivia Chow says she's thinking of entering the mayoral race, lots of recommendations to improve taxi cab operations in the city, Book City is closing its Annex location, and the Don Jail is getting a public park.

matt newsstand raccoon

Well, that didn’t take long. Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) accused Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne of acting childish yesterday, saying she should “grow up” after she declined to meet with his brother Mayor Rob Ford to discuss disaster relief funding for the December ice storm. Premier Wynne—who has been liaising with Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly on all city council matters since Mayor Ford was stripped of his powers last year—was also lambasted by Councillor Ford for sending Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Linda Jeffrey in her place to attend a storm relief meeting of Toronto-area leaders that is scheduled for today. Councillor Ford also found time in his busy schedule of tirades to accuse Deputy Mayor Kelly of crashing that very meeting. Kelly, who had not previously been scheduled to attend, confirmed on Thursday that he would be there along with Mayor Ford. The Mayor appeared to play the peacemaker somewhat yesterday when he said that Deputy Mayor Kelly was welcome at the disaster funding meeting, and that the two had met briefly on Thursday afternoon and were “on the same page.” People getting along at City Hall? Perish the thought.

Those of you hoping that Olivia Chow will step into the 2014 Toronto mayoral race might want to start YouTube-ing old clips from Perfect Strangers to brush up on your “Dance of Joy,” because she says that she is giving the idea some serious consideration. She made the non-committal declaration yesterday while urging the federal government to step up with financial aid to help Toronto’s post-ice storm cleanup. Chow is believed to have campaign organization already in place, and if she does enter the race, previous polls indicate she would be a serious contender—if not the mayoral frontrunner.

An extensive report based on a three-year review of taxi cab operations in Toronto calls for some major changes, which include allowing drivers to charge for rides in advance and demand cleaning fees from people who soil their cabs. Additionally, it recommends that all vehicles eventually be completely wheelchair accessible. The report—which will be discussed at a future meeting of the municipal licensing and standards committee—also proposes a new taxi cab licensing structure that would eventually phase out the two-license system that currently exists within the city, and is aimed at making it easier to get more taxis up and running. The city also suggested the use of fire hydrants downtown as taxi stands, to make it easier to hail a cab in the city.

Book City’s flagship Annex store located on Bloor Street West will be closing in the spring, according to a Tweet the bookstore sent from its account yesterday evening. Owner Frans Donker says that with the lease of the location expiring, it does not make economic sense to keep the location open, given the radical changes the area has undergone since it opened in 1976 that have made it less profitable. It hasn’t been a stellar year for local booksellers in the city. In November, the World’s Biggest Bookstore announced it would be closing next month, and Nicholas Hoare shut down in April of 2013. Thankfully, the three remaining Book City locations will remain open.

What the city taketh, it also giveth. Or something like that. As we lose a pretty great bookstore, we can at least look forward to gaining a new public park on the grounds of the old Don Jail, located at the corner of Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street East. The park will be located in the forecourt of the heritage site, which is now owned by Bridgepoint Health. A loss for reading, a win for Mother Nature.


  • eastegg

    As I recall Olivia Chow made similar comments a couple of months ago. That she’s still thinking about running for mayor is a non-story – maybe the media wants to hold up until she actually makes a decision? Tired of this will-they-or-wont-they-run narrative surrounding Chow (and to a different extent John Tory).

    • Jacob

      She’s waiting for the right moment to make the announcement. Announce too early, and the excitement fades by the time the election rolls around. Announce too late, and you can’t get momentum.

      • eastegg

        Yeah I realize that, I guess I’m more alluding to the media hanging on every single word that comes out of her mouth. Until she confirms or decides not to run, it’s just not newsworthy to me.

  • Dinah Might

    And what exactly would happen at this hypothetical Ford-Wynne meeting that wouldn’t already have happened during an earlier Kelly-Wynne meeting?? Besides Ford having his childish ego appeased, I mean.

  • torontothegreat

    It’s sad that a lot of people think this conversation is framed as: Wynne won’t meet with Toronto.

    Thanks for posting this.

    • dsmithhfx

      “a lot of people”


      • vampchick21

        Ford Nation.

        • dsmithhfx

          No, they think she won’t meet with Rob Ford. And probably could care less; it’s not like they’re ever going to vote for her. They don’t give a rat’s ass about Toronto. The only people getting hot and bothered are SAL.

    • Jacob

      Wynne won’t meet with Ford Nation.

      Ford Nation to Toronto is akin to 647 to 416.

      • vampchick21

        My cell is 647. I has a sad now, knowing that my cell is part of Ford Nation. They said it was a smartphone! What?

        • Jacob

          I refuse to play the game. I’ve lived here for 5 years, and still have my 905 number.

          Because I can.

          • vampchick21

            I’ve lived here for 20 years. Took the local area code because, you know, local. Didn’t want people to think I was in the boondocks still with that 705 thing. (also, seriously dude? Playing the game? What?)

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Wynne should be biased toward Toronto, to an extent anyway. Half the province lives and works here, the fortunes of the entire country flow through our streets and business and ports.

    • dsmithhfx

      Ooh. I guess we’re all fucked, then.

  • vampchick21

    Gods. I wish the media would stop sticking microphones in Doug Ford’s face. I’m sick and tired of him and his delusions of grandur.

    • dsmithhfx

      You gotta wonder if he got turfed from Decco like Rob.

      • CaligulaJones

        Sorry, haven’t paid much attention to anything with “Ford” in the conversation (missed a note from my dealership about an scheduled oil change…): when did this happen?

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    I’m eagerly awaiting the day Doug Ford goes nuclear during one of his many tirades and drop kicks the whole human race in the face.

    • Dinah Might

      Drop kick isn’t 80s enough. Roundhouse kick to the face!!

      • vampchick21

        “Pain don’t hurt”


      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        Yes, Doug really is more of an ’80′s guy…..he’s more WWF than UFC. Heck, I bet he still listens to his old Huey Lewis records.

        • Squintz

          more like WCW, off brand knockoff bs.

    • Sean_Marshall