Newsstand: November 13, 2012



Newsstand: November 13, 2012

Oh, hello, Tuesday! What have you got in store for us today? In the news: A moratorium on development in Parkdale; Toronto's new head of transportation services identifies problems that need solving; Marineland cleared after surprise inspection; principals react to teachers' job action; and three reported sexual assaults.

The once gritty Parkdale has been a model of gentrification as of late, but that growth will soon take a pause. All new restaurants, bars, bakeries, rooftop patios, or other “places of amusement” in the area have been banned for a year, as the city completes a study on changing the area zoning bylaw. Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park) introduced the moratorium to city council in response to the rapid growth in the West Queen West neighbourhood. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because the same was done on the Ossington strip in 2009, though whether that worked to “save” that neighbourhood is certainly debatable.

Toronto’s new new general manager of transportation services isn’t here to solve traffic problems, rather he’ll be looking at short-term opportunities to improve traffic congestion. As of December 3, Philadelphia’s Stephen Buckley will be focused on finding ways to do this by looking at innovative practices with parking, timing the traffic signals, and even deploying SWAT teams to key intersections to figure out how to improve functioning. He’ll likely also make bike lanes a focus, something that’s been top-of-mind for many a Torontonian this week (more on that particular issue later, with a post from our very own Steve Fisher).

Following an unannounced inspection, Marineland has been given a passing grade by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Inspectors report that staffing levels at Marineland are appropriate, that they have no concerns about the health of the animals, and that overall they found no problems, other than Marineland’s water testing protocol. Let’s just hope none of these inspectors become Toronto Public Health inspectors, as we might not survive long after that.

Ontario’s principals are speaking out after teachers at 20 boards across Ontario (including the Toronto District School Board) began strike actions Monday, and they’re none too happy about the situation. According to the Ontario Principals’ Council, if teachers withdraw from student supervision duties, the safety of schools will be jeopardized, as less supervision of students can result in an increase in assault, vandalism, and bullying. Pffft, principals! Always the wet blankets!

Toronto Police are on the hunt for a man who knocked at the door of a home in the Avenue Road and Lawrence Park area claiming he was selling magazine subscriptions before sexually assaulting two women at knife-point inside their midtown home Monday morning. The suspect is described as a white male, between five-foot-10 and six feet tall with a medium build and short black hair. He is clean shaven and was wearing a black nylon jacket, black pants, and a grey shirt. He was seen carrying a white bag.

In another case of aggravated sexual assault in Toronto on Monday, a teenage victim has received medical treatment after an attack at Broadview and Browning Avenues last night. There have been reports that a knife was used in that case as well.