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Real Estate

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Story of 85-floor condo in Corktown briefly terrifies people, until they get the joke

Unreal: a screen shot of a post by urbantoronto.ca user AndroidUK

The tricksters at Urban Toronto managed a bit of an own goal yesterday. The fun started when user AndroidUK posted a pic of ad boards claiming to show a new condo tower in downtown Toronto. What’s new about that? AndroidUK’s picture got pushed to the front page, where it started a Twitterlanche based on the following description:

We don’t generally miss one so blatantly but today is such a day. Taken by forum member androiduk, today’s Photo Of The Day shows work starting on the new 85 storey Tremont Condos. Located on Cherry Street, the tower will be the tallest condo in the city when completed. Tallest condo in the city (country in fact) and we missed it. Sorry for this loyal Urban Toronto readers!

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Politics

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Coffee spill on United flight just one of many terrifying/hilarious incidents in Toronto airspace. Here are five more

A plane lands at Pearson Airport (Image: End User)

The Toronto Star is reporting that a Chicago-Frankfurt flight made an emergency landing at Pearson after the plane’s communications equipment malfunctioned and put the plane out of touch with ground control. The culprit was the pilot, who spilled coffee on the radio. (Film students and almost nobody else will remember a movie about this kind of thing.) Like all incidents of this nature, this one was logged by the Web site the Aviation Herald and has been reported on all over North America. Imagine our joy when we discovered that the site was searchable by city. A quick search for “Toronto” taught us just how common these kinds of incidents are, and how bizarre some of them get. Here, a small survey.

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Random Stuff

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283 University of Toronto students’ diplomas recalled due to typo

This will cause a lot of gloating around the offices of such institutions as Carleton, Ryerson and York, we imagine. A typo on the diplomas issued by the University of Toronto in July has led to them being recalled like wonky Toyotas.

According to the Toronto Star:

The mistake, which incorrectly identifies the title of a signatory, has resulted in a diploma recall for nearly 1,350 recent graduates from U of T Mississauga.

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The Informer

Politics

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Department of predictable headlines: York subway costs mounting

Most of the candidates running for mayor of Toronto are basically in love with subways and have said so. There are just a couple of problems: one, subways start off being more expensive than other options; two, it’s rare to hear of a government project that doesn’t exceed its budget. Those two issues dovetailed perfectly today in the pages of the Toronto Sun, which reports that the cost of the Spadina subway line extension up to York University is growing.

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Random Stuff

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Toronto Police give lamest excuse ever: G20 charges lost in mail

Fence fracas: the chain-link barrier that was erected for the G20 (Image: Gary J. Wood)

The grand saga of the G20 cluster bomb that hit the city last month is interesting enough, but we’ve found that the most telling aspects are in the details: fake lake, Officer Bubbles, and the fence rule that turned out not to exist. A few weeks ago, the one and only charge laid in connection with that fence rule seemed to have disappeared when Dave Vasey showed up for his day in court, prompting much WTFing from his lawyer. Well, the police looked into it, and we can all rest our heads because nothing nefarious was involved. According to the Star, the charges were lost in the mail.

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The Informer

Sports

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With nasty tweet, Argos’ player goes from “offensive lineman” to just plain “offensive”

When in transit, most celeb tweeters entertain their followers through cheeky comments on their surroundings or updates with lots of exclamation marks. But when Rob Murphy, offensive lineman linebacker for the Toronto Argonauts, was waiting for his train to take him to his game in Montreal last week, he joked about “smelling foreigners” at the station early in the morning, saying “They smell less offensive this way … little known fact” (fun fact: Murphy is actually an import himself—from the States). Later he complained about being tired of riding through “Frenchland.”

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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Actually, that G20 security fence cost nearly twice what was projected

Remember that security fence that nobody was supposed to go near unless they had papers (and not the fun kind)? Then it turned out the government had been lying about the whole thing? Well, things get even better with today’s news that the already bloated security spending was kicked up a notch to build the damn thing.

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The Informer

People

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The Toronto Star’s unfortunate juxtapositions

A screen shot from thestar.com taken this morning around 1 a.m.

There’s no better way to illustrate irony than an ad for Virgin airlines with the slogan “You deserve it, Toronto” appearing right above unfortunate or controversial stories. Last night (left), it was a photo of G20 protestors getting tackled by cops in riot gear. This morning (below), there’s a home page story about a woman with polio who fell for a marriage scam.

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Random Stuff

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Embarrassment of glitches: undercover RCMP officer planted at student paper can’t fool Ryerson students

Fresh off their coup of exposing explosive stores in Forest Hill and finding drugs in proximity to hippies, the G20 security forces have had a small setback: the Ryerson student paper, The Eyeopener, is reporting that an undercover RCMP officer was escorted from its downtown Toronto office yesterday.

An undercover RCMP officer was escorted out of the Eyeopener office today by Ryerson campus security after refusing to leave. Around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon RCMP Officer Leslie Tull was attempting to use the student newspaper’s office to monitor about 10 quiet G20 protestors in Ryerson’s Student Campus Centre (SCC).

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People

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“Cougars prowl in Ontario”

This story on the Star‘s site probably got more page views last night when the headline was “Cougars prowl in Ontario.” That was before some Torstar spoilsport changed it to “big cats.” Oh, Star, why fight sophomoric humour with dour precision? And by the way, is covering animal stories the big thing this week?

• Confirmed: Big cats prowl in Ontario [Toronto Star]
• Stolen tiger, camels recovered [Toronto Star]

Images: sign, MPD01605; cougar head, Conroy Library

The Informer

Random Stuff

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Allegedly stolen police uniforms: can the cops trust their dry cleaner?

This is totally reassuring: 680 News reported last night that more than a dozen police uniforms were stolen from the cleaners. That report led to headlines no police force wants to see, with phrases like “police cannot confirm.” Just days before the city goes into G20 lockdown, there are obvious concerns about what a handful of people with legit police uniforms could do if they wanted to make mischief. There’s only one problem with those concerns: there might not be any missing uniforms at all.

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The Informer

People

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Beauty queen puts foot in mouth, reminds us of Mel Lastman

There’s an argument for having beauty pageant contestants warn young people about body image and eating disorders, but none seem forthcoming in the wake of beauty queen Tiffany Munro’s speech to Oshawa teenagers, during which she firmly planted her foot in her mouth. Speaking about her entry into the Miss Universe Canada competition, the 26-year-old told the kids that pageant organizers didn’t want contestants looking anorexic, “like some little African child with the ribs going on,” reports the Star.

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The Informer

Politics

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Paula Fletcher accidentally kills bike lanes she championed

Laneless: bikes head down University Avenue (Image: Commodore Gandalf Cunningham)

According to city clerk John Elvidge, the buttons that city councillors—including Paula Fletcher—use to vote are about two centimetres square. One is clearly marked “Yes” and the other “No.” When it’s time to vote, the former lights up green, the latter red. City councillors then have as much time as they need to press the illuminated button that best expresses their will. Sure, if they are taking too long, Elvidge will call their name out and remind them to press one of the brightly lit-up buttons in front of them, but it’s not like they’re on Jeopardy! It’s not a race.

And yet, bicycle lane proponent Fletcher (Ward 30) somehow managed to push the wrong button when it came time to vote on whether to take University Avenue out of a larger bike plan that will put cycle-friendly lanes on more city streets. She pressed “Yes” instead of “No,” effectively killing bike lanes along University by one vote.

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The Informer

Politics

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Is Rob Ford Toronto’s Sarah Palin? A five-point comparison

Rob Ford and Sarah Palin (Images: toronto.ca, auburnxc)

Rob Ford is in trouble again for blabbing sensitive information to the public. This time, his critics on city council are accusing him of revealing an $8-million judgment against the city by the Canada Revenue Agency. (Ford says he’s innocent, and, in any case, Pam McConnell said it first.) But the choicest bit from this latest Fordian brouhaha is the reaction of Adam Vaughan: “There’s a poll coming out [Wednesday] that says he’s in first place [in the mayoral race]… You want to elect Sarah Palin, you’ve got the candidate before you.”

Is it really fair to compare Ford to Palin? We’ve compiled this five-point guide.

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The Informer

Politics

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Actually, we do like him when he’s angry: Furious George shows up for mayoral debate

Furious George Smitherman (Image: Shaun Merritt)

Months into the snooze-inducing mayoral campaigning, we’re thrilled to announce that the candidates’ gloves finally came off last night at the Real Estate Board debate. All of Smitherman’s campaign manager’s talk of “unleashing George” seems to be having an effect, as the front-runner called out Rob Ford over the latter’s comments about AIDS prevention. To wit (and remember, these remarks were made in 2006, not 1986):

Rob Ford spoke out against the city spending $1.5 million to help prevent the disease. “It is very preventable,” he said at the time. “If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably. That’s bottom line.”

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