Photos of gun, bundle shown in Millard/Smich murder trial

The jury at the first-degree murder trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smith has seen a photo of a .32-calibre handgun which Millard allegedly purchased during the first few days of July, 2012. It also saw a picture shown before in court of a large bundle securely wrapped in blue plastic tarpaulins. The Crown says this photo was recovered from a phone camera backup on a computer seized from Millard’s home. It alleges that the picture was snapped in the early days of July 2012. The man who sold the gun, Matthew Ward-Jackson, 30, was in the witness box Wednesday afternoon, often evading the Crown’s questions. As reported by the CBC, he was wearing a black tracksuit with tattoos covering his face and neck. Mr. Ward-Jackson told the court he was there against his will, after Crown prosecutor Jill Cameron read out his criminal record which included gun charges and a conviction for the gun sale to Millard. The Crown alleges Laura Babcock, 23, was killed on July 3 or 4, 2012, at or near Millard’s home in Etobicoke. The motive offered by the prosecution is that Babcock was a threat to Millard’s relationship with his girlfriend Christina Noudga.

Feds reveal $40 billion ten-year low-cost housing scheme

The federal government has announced a $40 billion long-term housing strategy designed to provide “affordable” housing and help the homeless. It will not begin until after the next election and roll out over ten years. Among other things, the prime minister said that “housing rights are human rights.” The ambitious plan promises to tackle everything from homelessness, the shortage of new housing units and repairs to existing units. Mayor Tory was laudatory of the strategy saying it shows the federal government was paying attention to the concerns raised by Canada’s seven big-city mayors when they met last year.

6-storey frame of self-storage building pops up on Esandar

The changing skyline on Esandar Drive opposite Leaside Village and behind the Telus building is #19, shown at the Toronto Building Application site as a six-storey self-service storage building “with some retail space on ground floor.” The frame of this building has jumped up almost overnight and presents a surprise on all sides, including how it looms up in the view from Southvale Drive heading to Laird Drive. The steel structure has a large concrete apron in front which would accommodate a lot of retail if that is what it is for although it may be mostly for parking.

Family gives $10 million to Sunnybrook brain centre project

A Toronto couple, Glenn and Stacey Murphy and their children, have donated $10 million to build the Murphy Family Centre for Mental Health at Sunnybrook Medical Sciences Centre on Bayview Ave. It will be a state-of-the-art 27,000 square foot space within the new Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre where mental illnesses will be treated the same as other brain disorders like stroke or dementia. The Centre’s inpatient units for adults and youth will offer advanced clinical facilities that include home-like private suites, a gym, a classroom, and an outdoor courtyard. SHSC said in a recent release that the donation brings the project within reach of the $62 million needed to break ground for the 60,000 square foot Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre. Glenn Murphy is the head of FIS Holdings Limited, a Toronto investment firm. He was Chairman and CEO of The Gap from 2007 to 2014 and previously Chairman and CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart from 2001 to 2007. He has also had leadership positions with Indigo Books, Loblaw Companies, Lululemon Athletica and Yellow Pages Income Fund.


St. Michael’s Hospital will build the BARLO MS Centre to treat multiple sclerosis on the top two floors of a 17-storey tower under construction at the downtown Toronto complex. MS is known as “Canada’s disease” because the country has the highest prevalence of the neurological disease in the world, with one in every 340 Canadians living with MS. It affects three times as many women as men.

Loblaw cleared in one probe, bread price inquiry proceeds

The Competition Bureau has has ended its three-year investigation into how Loblaws deals with its suppliers. It found no action was necessary but added it could re-open the case if it had new information. The issue relates to fees and discounts Loblaws might impose to do business. At the same time, the bureau confirmed it continues with a multi-firm probe of what it says might be price-fixing in the sale of bread. BNN

Windsor school bus driver fired as child left in locked lot

A Windsor school bus driver has been fired after a four-year-old girl was left on a bus in a locked parking lot after she fell asleep during the ride. The bus company, CG Pearson Bus Lines, said the driver broke policy when he neglected to perform a “child check” walk of the bus to make sure no one was still aboard before he left. The kindergarten pupil Ellery Chartier-Molinari drifted off during the ride and was on the bus for three freezing hours Monday night while her mother and relatives desperately searched for anything that might find the girl. In the end, her sister turned to a Facebook group of some 5,000 mothers.Word  spread through the membership that Ellery was missing. Did anyone know how to contact the bus firm? The post reached a woman who worked for Pearson bus. She put the family in contact. Police and the mother’s brother-in-law headed to the yard where the bus was stored. They had to wait at the locked gate until staff arrived with a key. Inside they found Ellery “shaking and cold” on the bus.

Christmas windows arrive on Bayview Ave., events planned

David Cassidy dead and Uber pays hackers secret $100,000

David Cassidy has died at age 67, an apparent victim of dementia. Then, rather shocking news that Uber has hidden a huge hack of customers information and paid hackers $100,000 to keep it quiet. It is also silent on how many Canadians were compromised. Ugh. Below that, a restaurant for nudists has opened in Paris. South Bayview needs one of these. Just kidding. Finally, the devastating cost of the college teachers strike on international students. Many have to go home after getting exactly nothing for their money. Shameful.

Man not guilty of dangerous driving in fatal accident

A man has been acquitted of dangerous driving in Toronto after a two-year investigation and trial. Gideon Fekre told court that he became distracted when a water bottle fell to the floor of his vehicle and in a reflex action he looked down at it. His car mounted a sidewalk and killed Kristy Hodgson, 31, who was walking her dogs at the time. A judge decided that although it is not reasonable to pick up a bottle while driving, it was more of a momentary lapse of judgment and did not constitute dangerous driving. 


Gunshots in a darkened park and a man is dead. Thus is was again about midnight as police responded to Gennela Square and Morningview Trail, near Morningside and Sheppard Aves.. Police say were there many shots fired but they haven’t got enough facts to say just what is involved yet.


A man is recovering in hospital from a gunshot wound received about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday near Islington and Finch avenues. Police are investigating.



Off-duty copper Sidhu investigates new Cheescake Factory

The new Cheesecake Factory restaurant opened Tuesday at Yorkdale and Toronto PC Jenniferjit Sidhu @OfficerJen carried out an investigation to authenticate the cheesecake. Yep, it’s real.

Laurier U so sorry for teacher’s “he and she” tongue-lashing

Wilfred Laurier University has apologized to teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd for the tongue-lashing she took because she aired a clip of a debate featuring Jordan Peterson, the unreformed crusader for conventional pronouns “he” and “she.”  Canadian Press says the university is proceeding with a third-party investigation into the dispute with Shepherd but admitted that audio recordings of her interactions with immediate superiors required an apology. Shepherd said she secretly recorded a meeting with three Laurier staff members in which she was roundly criticized for failing to condemn the views of Peterson. He refuses to use gender-neutral pronouns in addressing students and others who insist they do not wish to be called, or are not in fact, he or she. On the recording of the meeting, Shepherd is heard tearfully defending her decision to play the clip while staff accuse her of being transphobic and liken her failure to condemn Peterson to remaining neutral on the views of Adolf Hitler. Shepherd told CP she is happy about the apology but figures that Laurier didn’t have much choice after she the let the recorded cat out of the bag.

Doug Ford calls King St. streetcar land a disaster for City

Mayoralty candidate Doug Ford was working over core issues among his supporters. The war on the car. Elsewhere, the marginalization of cars on King has been met with hallelujahs, it’s said, by politicians and streetcar riders.