Newsstand: August 26, 2011
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Newsstand: August 26, 2011

New website, new weekend, new pair of pants. This Friday's looking good. In the news: Jack Layton arrives in Toronto, Margaret Atwood doesn't think Doug Ford is stupid, and topless protesters can't go topless in Ashbridge's Bay Park.

Crowds gathered in Nathan Phillips Square last night as Jack Layton’s casket was brought to City Hall, where it will stay until Layton’s funeral Saturday afternoon at Roy Thomson Hall. Until then, you can pay your respects to the former NDP leader and city councillor at City Hall, if you’re so inclined.

And now, from a great politician who has unfortunately passed away to, well, Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), who is very much still with us. The city councillor and official mayoral noogie-giver has received the closest thing to a compliment he’ll likely ever get from Margaret Atwood: always one to take a contrarian approach, the literary icon recently said she doesn’t think he’s stupid. Atwood’s backhanded compliment came in the middle of a dig at the Ford regime and, judging by the cheekiness of his reply, Ford must have recognize that. Hey, maybe Atwood’s right after all.

Bad news for Toronto’s oglers, leerers, gender-equality activists, and slack-jawed gawkers: a U.S.-based sect has been denied permission to hold a demonstration in Ashbridge’s Bay Park on Sunday where women would go topless. Members of the sect say it’s an example of inequality, while representatives from the City of Toronto just blushed and giggled before running away. Instead of demonstrating in the park, the sect will demonstrate on the park’s edges. To promote equality at the demonstration, women will rally topless while men wear bikini tops, which still doesn’t exactly make the genders equal, but we get what they’re going for. Next on the City’s list of events to censor are outdoor rock concerts and any event that attracts those Girls Gone Wild camera crews.

By the way, that tornado that formed between Cambridge and Burlington last night totally was a tornado—an F1 tornado at that. Before you get too excited, despite its similarity to the premiere auto-racing league, the F1 tornado categorization means Wednesday’s twister was actually kind of namby pamby, by tornado standards—more serious than Toronto’s pitiful “earthquake,” but not too much more. Nevertheless, the wicked weather has been wreaking havoc on Toronto’s trees, and the Globe and Mail‘s got a couple of ideas why: a bunch of trees the City planted decades ago are now very close to dying, and workers might not be pruning them correctly.