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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Morning Brew: Hundreds march for Sammy Yatim, similar death remembered, David Soknacki for mayor, Queen West street photos, and a cryptic sign explained

toronto alleyThe mother of Sammy Yatim, the 18-year-old boy shot to death by police on a Toronto streetcar, led roughly a thousand people in a sometimes tense protest at the death of her son last night. The crowd marched to the place on Dundas West where Yatim was shot nine times and tazered by a police officer after brandishing a knife on a streetcar, pausing at several police stations.

Cops confirmed yesterday evening they had suspended the officer in question with pay as an enhanced version of the video appeared to show Yatim goading cops before the fatal shots were fired. Sahar Bahadi, his mother, said "in his death he will live forever."

Meanwhile the Globe and Mail is remembering the case of Edmond Yu, a 35-year-old paranoid schizophrenic who was killed on an empty bus in 1997 after wielding a hammer. An inquest into his death recommended mandatory crisis-resolution training for all police officers.

Former Scarborough councillor David Soknacki is mulling a run for mayor, saying he's canvassing friends and colleagues for their ideas. According to the Star, he's in favour of light rail for the east end of the city, putting him at odds with the mayor and his allies. Could the former budget chair win?

Saks could be coming to Toronto now that Hundson's Bay has bought the company for a whopping $2.9 billion. HBC chairman Richard Baker said his company would "move as quickly as we can" to open seven "full-line" stores and two-dozen discount locations in Canada. Is this an exciting prospect?

Did you see a man dressed as The Flash running through the streets pushing a stroller? If so, don't fret, it was Jamie McDonald, an English long-distance runner making a crossing of Canada. McDonald made a ceremonial lap of the city, briefly pushing a boy dressed as Spiderman from SickKids. He's aiming to raise $40,000 for the charity and £60,000 for UK causes.

The City of Toronto Archives has a just uploaded a collection of Queen West street photos from the mid-1990s to Flickr. Shot by Ivaan Kotulsky, a local jeweler, the collection features candid portraits of several of the area's notable faces, including Mark Hartmaier, the quadruple amputee street performer famous on Spadina Avenue.

Finally, a North York homeowner has erected a cryptic sign praising a recent home intruder for not stealing anything. The billboard outside Roy Abraham's house reads: "To the Careful Burglar - Gratefully" and has been confusing passers by ever since. The sign is "for what he didn't do -- not what he did do. He could have wrecked the house -- done real havoc," Abraham says.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Lisa D/blogTO Flickr pool.

by Chris Bateman via blogTO

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