Newsstand: August 19, 2013
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Newsstand: August 19, 2013

The sunshine isn't fooling us. It's still Monday, and that still sucks. In the news: Ford keeps mum on news police are investigating his friend, the government had to catch up on daycare inspections, Pape Station is offline for a facelift, and condos are expensive to rent.

illustration of a person walking across a slackline between a tree and a lamp post

Rob Ford refused comment on Sunday on reports that cops are investigating his friend and occasional driver, Alessandro Lisi. Police have interviewed several former staffers of Mayor Ford about Lisi, who works as a driver for the mayor, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star reported. Lisi drove Ford the night he appeared at the Garrison Ball, and was seen with the mayor after reports surfaced that the mayor could allegedly be observed on video smoking crack cocaine. Apparently Toronto police have been asking around about Lisi’s role in any potential attempts by the mayor’s office to retrieve the alleged video. Lisi’s lawyer confirmed he is the subject of a police investigation, but gave no further details. The mayor has maintained that the alleged video does not exist.

The Ontario government did not follow up on 25 complaints—including four of five total complaints against a daycare where a two-year-old girl died last month—over the last year and a half about unlicensed daycares in Ontario, the provincial education minister said last week. Education Minister Liz Sandals said that the province has now applied for an injunction against that particular daycare, Yellowood Circle, and has followed up on all the remaining complaints and determined the daycares are operating within the law. Sandals said that a total of 448 complaints about unlicensed daycares were lodged with the province between January 1, 2012 and July 12, 2013; complaints are supposed to be followed up with an official visit within five business days.

Toronto Public Health will conduct its first Body Mass Index survey of the city’s schoolchildren this year, a practice that some argue is damaging for children but that some official bodies endorse. A paper published today by the American Academy of Pediatrics says that measuring children’s height and weight and sending home letters to overweight children are an important part of combatting childhood obesity, but Toronto schools won’t be following those practices—Toronto Public Health has said that the study is for statistical purposes only and that personal information won’t be collected.

The TTC’s Pape Station is closed for 12 days, starting today, in order to put a speedier end to a station facelift that’s been ongoing for three years. The reopening right before Labour Day won’t mark the end of the work on the station, however—an elevator, garden, and bike rack should be finished in October, and a second exit should be in place by December.

Torontonians are increasingly choosing to rent condos instead of purchasing them, which is slowing sales and upping rental costs. Data that will be released today showed that the number of new leases signed in the GTA went over 5,000 for the first time in the last quarter—up 20 percent from the same period last year—while the number of condos sold over the same time period fell by 7 percent. Rents did grow in the city’s core, but the increase was tempered by the arrival of several new condo buildings. In short: Toronto has expensive rent and a lot of condos.