Newsstand: July 11, 2011
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Newsstand: July 11, 2011

Illustration by Kyra Kendall/Torontoist.

For an extra 50 cents, you can supersize your Monday: swimming in Lake Ontario’s not just for disease-seekers, C.difficile makes going to the hospital difficile, the City maybe doesn’t wanna be your loan guarantor anymore, and Dan Aykroyd gets revved up.

Toronto’s 2,000 acres of waterfront property includes eight beaches that are recognized as good-for-the-swimming by Blue Flag, an international organization that assesses beaches with strict criteria for water quality and safety, but you’d probably never know it by the number of Torontonians who wouldn’t set a toenail in Lake Ontario. The local branch of Waterkeepers, an international charity devoted to clean water, is on a mission to get Torontonians to see what a great, bathing-worthy lakefront they have. Last month they launched Swim Guide—a website and free app that reaches out to Torontonians looking to take a dip by giving real-time updates of the water quality along Lake Ontario. The moral? Lake Ontario is not as gross as you might think it is.
If you’re no Great Lake Swimmer, you might have a harder time getting out to the local wading pool for a dip (or, you know, to dip your kid, since wading pools are for small children) since Ontario implemented new guidelines stipulating that non-circulated water needs to be drained and re-filled every four hours. The change means that many of the city’s wading pools now have to close an hour early each day, leaving parents with fewer options for places in which their kids can can pee cool off.
The City’s executive committee has recommended that the municipal government scrap its loan-guarantee program, in which the City acts as a guarantor for community groups looking to borrow money to fund expansions and major-capital projects. The program has been used by the likes of the Artscape, the non-profit which revitalized the Wychwood barns, and the folks over at the Evergreen Brick Works. The recommendation to pull the plug on a program that comes at no (necessary) cost to the City comes after the Lakeshore Lions Club defaulted on $43-million in debt accrued in building a hockey rink, and the City now finds itself on the hook for the bill.
While C. difficile may sound like the French grade and commentary on your behaviour from your high school report card, it’s also a sometimes-deadly superbug bacteria that’s seeing an outbreak at a slate of Ontario hospitals. The president of Public Health Ontario is encouraging citizens not to stay away from the hospital on account of a little stomach lining–attacking superbug. Three of the original 10 hospitals officially on the outbreak list (again, not a high school throwback: those were break-outs, not outbreaks) have turned the situation around. So, have no fear. Or, you know, have an appropriate amount of fear.
In case you didn’t notice the persistent mosquito-on-crack sound issuing from the south end of the city, the Honda Indy Toronto was on this weekend. That’s a car race, by the way, but unlike the charming Pixar films (Cars, and Cars Two), the cars don’t talk. We’re just kidding—Cars is totally un-charmingly the worst of Pixar’s films. But anyway, that’s not the point of this tasty little news hors d’oeuvre: the word is that Dan Aykroyd, the Indy’s grand marshal, was caught speeding en route to the race. Don’t get marshalled and drive, folks. Also, the ever-conscientious Ottawan actor has proposed changing the Indy’s kick-off line from “Gentleman, start your engines” to “Drivers, start your engines,” which he’s saying is more gender neutral, but that’s just silly because everyone knows women can’t drive.