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Weekend Newsstand: April 19, 2014

Good Saturday! Right? Or is it just Saturday? But every Saturday is a good Saturday, amiright? Anyway, here's some news: a photographer is nearly finished an ambitious Toronto-based project, Olivia Chow's campaign deletes the most Facebook comments, and GO stations are trying to meet customers' food and drink needs.

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Photographer Colin Boyd Shafer is nearing the completion of an ambitious project: photographing one Toronto immigrant from each country in the world. He’s finished 174 of the 190 photographs he needs (the count of the world’s countries varies slightly, and this is the number Shafer chose). He is now working on finding people from some of the more obscure island nations such as Tuvalu and Vanuatu. An exhibition of his work will come “shortly after” the May 15 deadline he set for himself. The pictures show a diverse Toronto, but also aim to depict the social problems facing many immigrants. “This project doesn’t always paint a rosy picture of the city,” Shafer said. “But it paints a realistic picture. Our diversity is not flawless. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

Olivia Chow’s campaign has removed more comments from the campaign Facebook page than any of the other five main mayoral candidates. Her team has taken down at least 312 comments, by the Toronto Star‘s count, while Rob Ford’s team has removed only 51 and is in second place. Karen Stintz’s team has removed no comments. Chow appears to be dealing with the racism and misogyny that so often accompany being a person of colour and a woman online, and her team says the comments they’ve deleted have been derogatory in nature. Ford’s campaign, meanwhile, has left up numerous negative comments. This may be a calculated effort to rally his base around a candidate who claims to be fighting for the regular joes in an uphill battle against the city’s liberal elite.

GO is looking to add more drink and food options in its stations for hungry commuters, but the going is slow. While riders would love to see their choice fast-food operation located conveniently in a GO station, most chains have made the calculated decision not to move into transit stations because the traffic isn’t reliable enough to make a business profitable (or profitable enough). Still, there are Tim Hortons and McDonald’s chains opening in some TTC stations already, so there’s always hope. Even if already popular chains continue to cold-shoulder GO, operators are confident about finding ways to provide for customers’ breakfast and caffeine needs.

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