We have something very original to say. Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th be with you! If anyone else uses that today, just remember, you heard it here first. Also, the news: Don't bet on a $100-million casino hosting fee just yet, a new coalition opposing jets at Billy Bishop has taken off, Mayor Rob Ford may soon become an artist's muse, marathon runners to pay their respects to their Boston brethren, and subway disruptions (but what else is new?).
While the number $100 million seems to get thrown around an awful lot, betting that this is the fee a Toronto-based casino will generate may not be a sure bet. In fact, sources tell the Globe and Mail that the Ontario government has reviewed several possible formulas for casino hosting fees and has so far rejected the scenarios that would allow Toronto to take in $100 million annually. This could mark a make-or-break for the casino vote, as some councillors have said they cannot back the casino plan if the City gets anything less than that magic number.
The fight against jets at Billy Bishop Airport continues its ascent as a new group has been formed to argue against the expansion plan. NoJetsTO, which describes itself as a non-profit coalition of citizens and groups, showed up at City Hall on Friday to make their demands known. According to their website, the coalition opposes longer runways and intends to stop the introduction of jets to the Toronto Island Airport. They are also lobbying to halt the City’s study examining Porter’s bid to change the Tripartite Agreement that governs the airport.
Mayor Rob Ford’s likeness will soon be captured in a masterpiece that will outlive us all. Artist-turned-city councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36, Scarborough Southwest) has been commissioned by the mayor’s mom to paint a picture of her baby boy. While the picture most of us may draw in our heads when we imagine how councillors would represent the City’s head honcho on paper may be of a more satirical variety, we assume that Mama Ford is looking for something a touch more regal.
The Toronto Marathon is this weekend, and memories of Boston are not far from people’s minds. In order to show respect to the American city, the race will kick off with a moment of silence at Mel Lastman Square and there will be “Remember Boston” patches on every bib. While the run is expected to draw the usual crowds—this year approximately 60,000 spectators are expected—there is also a heightened sense of unease with organizers warning participants and spectators to “be vigilant” and to report any suspicious behaviour. Here’s a list of marathon-related road closures.
Lastly, just one final reminder that there will be no subway service today on the University line between St. George and Union stations. Shuttle buses are operating, as is the Yonge subway line.