Could you die in a Grenfell-esque inferno in Toronto?

Toronto Fire Services promises to tell you—soon

The fire at Grenfell Tower in London drew attention to the lack of transparency with Toronto’s fire safety inspection reports. (Photo courtesy of ChiralJon via Flickr.)

As an inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower that killed 80 people gets underway, the long-standing concerns of its residents are now coming to light. Residents of the London apartment had noticed the building was missing fire alarms, sprinklers, and a fire escape. There was only one means of egress, a single staircase. And then there was the flammable aluminum cladding (known as Reynobond PE) that has since come under particular scrutiny.

Most building codes in Toronto forbid structures taller than four to six storeys from using combustible cladding. But Toronto Fire Services still conducts annual evaluations on all high-rise buildings to test their adherence to the fire code. The public is notified about serious violations through online notices, once the file has been closed by fire services.

Keep reading: Could you die in a Grenfell-esque inferno in Toronto?



Don’t sell the Hearn

Losing the landmark would be an irreparable blow to waterfront redevelopment.

Turbine Hall inside the Hearn. (Photo rendering courtesy of Luminato.)

Back when the Hearn Generating Station was opened in 1951, it was the largest enclosed space in Canada: a cavernous, 40,000-square-foot hulk on the waterfront that powered the surrounding city, until it was decommissioned in 1995.

Under Mike Harris, the province deregulated its energy system, and the Hearn was rendered obsolete. Asbestos insulation and gigantic turbomachinery were removed, and in 2002, the site was leased to Studios of America, though it’s technically still owned by Crown corporation Ontario Power Generation. The original plan was to build a gigantic film production studio, but in 2006 the idea was scuttled, though the abandoned, industrial-chic space has featured in a few movies since then.

In the intervening years, all three levels of government have been collaborating on an ambitious revitalization of the waterfront, including the Port Lands where the Hearn is located. Projections suggest as many as 40,000 people will move to the area in the decades to come.

Keep reading: Don’t sell the Hearn



Twitter cracks down again on Ford satire accounts

The latest crackdown targeted accounts including one that tweeted out factual historical information.

A second Doug Ford satirical account, @frodnation2018, was suspended on Oct. 12, but it is unclear what suddenly prompted the suspension.

“I merely received the same vague letter claiming that it violated Twitter’s “impersonation” rules,” says Richard Feren, the man behind the account.

Another DoFo related account, @DougFordFacts—this one unrelated to Feren—was briefly suspended last week, but was reinstated after some minor modifications were made to its profile. Feren then discovered that the other Twitter account he runs, @FordYearsAgo, an informational account that tweeted historical facts and articles about the Fords from exactly four years to the day, was also suspended. He appealed the suspension, and received a vague form letter claiming impersonation again.

Keep reading: Twitter cracks down again on Ford satire accounts