Illustration by Kyra Kendall/Torontoist.
Good morning, clouds. We were wondering which Wednesday we’d witness you again. In the news: The school board has no problem with Muslim prayer sessions in a public school, Dundas subway station will be the first to have naming rights sold off, and a cigarette and way too many newspapers are found to be the culprits in last year’s towering TCHC inferno.
The Toronto District School Board is defending its decision to allow some 400 Muslim students at Valley Park Middle School to skip class for Friday afternoon prayer sessions in the school lunchroom, claiming that although there is a mosque close to the school, students would not come back to class quickly enough after the prayer sessions end. The initiative, which is run entirely by the community with no public school staff, has drawn criticism from advocacy groups representing Hindus, Jews and other people jealous they don’t have a holy day during the work week. Some of us just wish we’d thought of that excuse for our fourth-period pot-smoking sessions in the school parking lot.
It begins! Dundas subway station will be the first station to have naming rights sold off, according to TTC chair Karen Stintz. The potential sponsor? Ryerson University, which says it would raise funds for a much needed station renovation in exchange for having its name plastered all over the place.
In other TTC news, Toronto MPP Mike Colle wants less blah blah blah and more build build build on the Eglinton crosstown line. The comments come after a former TTC chair suggested the underground line would be better as a subway rather than light rail, adding to a debate older than most of today’s pop stars. In related news, Toronto bookies are now giving four to one odds that the Eglinton line will be built before the Leafs win another Stanley Cup.
The city’s arts community is getting ready for massive cuts in City funding if Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West> is successful in his quest to be not only the biggest buffoon on council but also the biggest douche by blocking funding to any cultural event deemed “political.” Can’t we all just go back to the good old days of everyone dismissing Mammoliti’s crackpot ideas, regardless of political leanings?
Toronto, meet your newest enemies: hoarding and careless smoking. Together they’re to blame for the six-alarm fire that forced 1,200 people to evacuate a public housing high-rise last September after a discarded cigarette landed on a bundle of newspapers on a hoarder’s balcony, according to the Ontario Fire Marshal. To prevent future fires, the Marshal is asking that hoarders seek professional help, or at least start hoarding ashtrays.