Google veteran jumps to Yahoo as CEO

Marissa Mayer
It’s an executive choice guaranteed to get attention. Yahoo has persuaded a woman of brains and beauty to leave Google, a company she served since 1999,  to become Yahoo’s new CEO.  Analysts are counting up the accomplishments of 37-year-old Marissa Mayer during her eleven years at Google. She is the fifth person to take the helm at Yahoo in five years. Mayer had been responsible for some of Google’s most popular features, including “the famously unadorned white search homepage, Gmail, Google News, Google Images” and Google Maps, according to a New York Times report. “I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo, one of the Internet’s premier destinations for more than 700 million users,” Mayer said in a statement, according to the Wall Street Journal. “I look forward to working with the Company’s dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world.”  It can be fairly said that Yahoo needs Ms. Mayer’s best shot to bring Yahoo back from a fate as an Internet antiquity.

Man charged in 2011 “Empress Hotel” arson

Police have cracked the 18-month-old arson case of the 123 year old Empress Hotel building at Yonge and Gould Sts. The shocking fire brought an end to attempts to restore the old building. Now a Toronto man is accused of setting the fire and he may soon face charges in a number of other unsolved arsons in the city, police said today. Stewart Poirier, 53, was charged with nine criminal counts tied to the 2011 fire at Yonge and Gould streets and another arson last Thursday at his home, a Toronto Community Housing building on Sackville Street. Police arrested Mr. Poirier on Friday for violating probation, and after being interviewed, he was further charged with two counts of arson causing damage to property, two counts of arson with disregard for human life, two counts of mischief endangering life, one count of attempted murder and two counts of failing to comply with probation. Police could not comment on Mr. Poirier’s possible motive. Before it burned down in January 2011, the 19th-century building was the subject of a dispute between the owners, who wanted it demolished, and city council, which designated the structure as a heritage site.

Gymboree new tenant at Bayview/Moore

Updating our post of yesterday, the worldwide chain of children’s play and learn centers known as Gymboree will be the new tenant in the retail block at Bayview and Moore Aves. Large signs went up today. (inset) From Wikipedia, information which is apparently posted by the company describes its operations thus: “Gymboree Corporation is a San Francisco-based corporation that operates a chain of around 900 specialty retail stores of children’s apparel in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada. It has nearly 500 Play and Music centers worldwide. Bain Capital acquired the company in 2010.” Gymboree Play and Learn website

Eglinton Ave after the LRT goes through

This story from the Town Crier about a meeting at the Northern District Library, 40 Orchard View Blvd., that tried to envision the shape of Eglinton Ave post LRT. There was a lot of gung-ho stuff apparently and it seems quite clear that there will be immense pressure to go up in what are being called “employment hubs”. a term that goes without much explanation, at least in the story. Condos that are eight or more storeys are mentioned. Someone is said to have called for the “widening” of Eglinton and the elimination of street parking so traffic will go faster. The wisdom of this seems doubtful but merchants in particular will see the end of their businesses if street parking is eliminated. Funny how shoppers prefer their cars to transit. No more parking would make the shops along Eglinton almost worthless and easy to buy for redevelopment too. There was an assurance given to a Leaside woman that Eglnton will not be widened between Bayview and Laird. They would have to knock down houses to do so, it would seem. The term “mobility hub” is said to apply to an intersection like Yonge and Eglinton. It looks like the sky will be the limit as far as development is concerned there. Feel better?  Town Crier

Ralph Lean to support Mayor Ford in 2014

Ralph Lean, a somewhat legendary backroom figure in Toronto politics has said that he will raise funds for Mayor Rob Ford at the next election. In 2010, Mr Lean worked for George Smitherman.  As quoted in the Globe and Mail this morning, Mr Lean says that he feels Mr. Ford has gotten the “big things” right, leaving aside the numerous issues and/or quibbles that some people have with the Mayor. Ralph Lean, a senior partner at the law firm of Cassels Brock, has been a sought after person by candidates of almost all political stripes over the years. He is known to be fairly apolitical in choosing his candidate. Logically, he seems intent on picking someone who can win office. Globe and Mail

Midnight mugging at Glen and Beaumont

Toronto Police Service report: A 27 year old male reports that on (Friday) July 13, 2012, at approximately 0030 hours he was walking in the area of Glen Road Bridge and Beaumont Road when he was approached from behind by two male suspects. The suspects grabbed the victim by the throat, kicked him about the head and removed a wallet, cellular phone and jewellery from his person. The suspects fled the scene southbound on Glen Road. The victim sustained minor injuries and will seek his own medical attention. Police are requesting the assistance of the public in identifying the following described persons in connection with this offence. Description of Suspect #1: Male, black, 25 to 30 years old, 5’10”, brown eyes. Suspect #2: Male, black, 30 to 35 years, 6’0” to 6’2”, brown eyes, short black hair.

Noon hour robbery at BNS Eglinton/Laird

Toronto Police Service report: A female teller for the Scotiabank, 880 Eglinton Avenue East reports that on (Saturday) July 14, 2012 at approximately 1156 hours a male suspect entered the premises demanded cash. The suspect then approached the wicket and jumped over the counter and removed a quantity of cash from the til and also removed a quanity of cash from a lower drawer. The suspect then fled the scene in an unknown direction. Police are requesting the assistance of the public in identifying the following described person in connection with this offence. Description of Suspect: Male, black, 20-30 years, 6’ to 6’1”, thin build, brown eyes.

Bayview south of Pottery sees brief flood

Lower Parkway

This afternoon’s brief but intense rain is said to have flooded the Don Valley Parkway at the Bayview and Bloor exit ramp. The rain also put cars awash on the Bayview extension south of Pottery Road. Toronto Star  Also, a very good selection of pictures here on Citytv site.

Five Guys will open in Leaside Village

We’re told it’s just the hottest place for the gang to grab a burger. It’s Five Guys Burgers, a dynamic franchise operation from the U.S. which so far has three locations in and around Toronto. Now the signs announce that Five Guys is coming to the still-under-construction Leaside Village shopping development on Laird Drive. The picture inset is from the company and shows the trademark red and white checkerboard theme for the burger spot. Locations now open are on York Mills near Don Mills, Mississauga and  Scarborough at 800 Warden Ave.

Severe weather watch for Toronto

Thunderstorms with strong winds, hail and very heavy downpours are possible in Toronto today. The storms are expected to affect the Toronto regions this afternoon and into the early evening hours. Some of these storms may produce strong wind gusts, hail and very heavy downpours.

Helium balloon flight terminated early

A most thrilling adventure for two men who tried to fly from Oregon to Montana in lawn chairs hung from a cluster of helium balloons. They were forced down and landed safely in Montana on Saturday because of thunderstorms. They had been attempting to set a world record for two-person cluster balloon flight.  

Toronto Council thumbs nose at taxpayers

City Council has voted to reverse the economies related to Councillors  expenses which Mayor Ford brought in on his election two years ago. The budget chief’s response to this series of votes was “These people are not serious about financial management.”  Toronto Star editorial