Weekend! YES. In the news: several homes are on shaky ground due to storm-related erosion, congestion is costing Toronto a bundle, several city beaches are unswimmable, and a kitten is recovering after a horrible incident of public abuse.
Erosion caused by Monday’s storm has placed about 20 properties in North York at “high” or “critical” risk. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has received more than 200 calls in the past week about damage to GTA properties lining ravines. The areas of Black Creek, Mimico Creek, West Humber, and some locations along the Don River were most affected. Assessments of the damage are ongoing.
Congestion may be costing Toronto even more than we realized. A new study by the C.D. Howe Institute estimates that congestion is actually costing the city as much as $11 billion each year, much more than the $6 billion cost estimated by the Toronto Board of Trade in 2011. The difference comes from including the costs of opportunities people bypass because of congestion, said report author Benjamin Dachis, along with the cost of productivity lost when people are stuck on transit or in traffic. “People sometimes don’t even get into their cars because of congestion,” Dachis told the Toronto Star. “It’s about all the benefits we in Toronto aren’t taking advantage of because it’s too far.”
If you were planning to hit the beach this weekend, you may want to read this: seven of Toronto’s 11 beaches have been closed for swimming. E. coli levels at those beaches were unacceptable in most recent testing, thanks to the after-effects of Monday’s storm. The affected beaches are Marie Curtis Park East Beach, Sunnyside Beach, Hanlan’s Point Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach, Centre Island Beach, Ward’s Island Beach, and Cherry Beach. Sunnyside Beach, in particular, will take a while to get back to normal. Bummer.
A kitten was allegedly flung out of a car in a busy downtown intersection on Wednesday, but fortunately the little guy is starting to recover after receiving an emergency amputation to an injured back leg. A tourist reported seeing the cat thrown out a window at University Avenue and Dundas Street West, and a man heading home from work drove her and the kitten to an animal hospital, where staff have named the 10-week-old cat Dundas. Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen the incident, Dundas is getting better and up for adoption, and Torontoist wonders what is wrong with some people.