Newsstand: August 13, 2013
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Newsstand: August 13, 2013

It's hard to find things to say about Tuesdays. They're just...Tuesdays. In the news: another Toronto paper introduces its paywall, queer youth have a tough time in city shelters, backyard chickens are still not okay in the GTA, and birders are worried about dogs in one city park.

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Notice anything different at the Toronto Star site? The paywall for the newspaper’s website launched today, capping readers at ten free articles each month. Digital subscriptions are 99 cents for the first month, then $9.99 plus HST per month after that, including free delivery of the Saturday paper for the rest of the year. Home subscribers who meet certain conditions will have free online access. If you were keeping track, that means that all four newspapers headquartered in Toronto—the Star, the Toronto Sun, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post—now have online paywalls.

Gay youth in Toronto shelters often face verbal and physical abuse, a new U of T study found, and shelter staff often don’t have the training to deal with the problem. A City study recently found that nearly one in five homeless youth in Toronto are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or queer. LGBTQ youth often come to Toronto from other parts of the province hoping to find big-city tolerance, study author Alex Abramovich told the Star, but some encounter violence and harassments in shelters instead. Ambramovich would like to see the City open a shelter specifically for gay youth; such transitional housing facilities exist in New York and Chicago, but there are none yet in Canada.

Mississauga’s Marianne Kalich has access to organic eggs right in her backyard, thanks to the six chickens she keeps. Unfortunately for her, those chickens and their pen are illegal—a Mississauga bylaw prevents the keeping of livestock on land that’s zoned residential, and she will have to go to court later this month to fight to keep her birds. Mississauga city staff will report on chicken-raising in the city by the end of the year, the Star reports, but last year Toronto shot down a feasibility study on overturning its own similar ban. Kalich, who says there’s already an underground chicken-keeping movement in the GTA, has started a petition asking the city to allow the backyard fowl.

In a different kind of bird news, birders are charging that dogs are destroying nesting habitats for songbirds in Etobicoke’s Colonel Sam Smith Park, and say that dogs should be banned from the designated bird sanctuary. They argue that the canines have been attacking birds in the parks wetlands and meadows while off leash, which some charge is leading to species decline. The park does have a leash-free zone, but some residents let their dogs go off-leash throughout the park—a habit that is illegal, but often not enforced because of a shortage of bylaw officers.