A bridge to the future of Toronto’s revitalized waterfront has floated into view. Half of the new Commissioners Street bridge glided into Toronto Harbour’s shipping channel, south of Polson Pier, early Tuesday afternoon. The western half of the bridge, all 83 metres and 650 tonnes of steel, started its journey May 5 at a manufacturing plant in Dartmouth, N.S. It rode the St. Lawrence Seaway past Montreal, the Thousand Islands and into Lake Ontario. It will sit in the channel for a few days and then be hauled overland into place as an eventual connector between Villiers Island, being created along with a “renaturalized” Don River mouth, to the east downtown shoreline. The section will then wait for the eastern half, slated to float its way to Toronto this summer. When completed the Commissioners Street bridge will be 152 metres long, the biggest of four stylish bridges being built for the massive project. The first bridge, installed at Cherry Street, floated into the harbour with great fanfare last November, heralded by officials as a “future iconic landmark of the city’s skyline.”
Travel & Leisure
The federal government will spend more than $12 billion on transit projects in Toronto and Hamilton. Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna said Tuesday that $10.4 billion in funding will go toward four “shovel ready” transit projects in Toronto — the Ontario Line, the Scarborough Rapid Transit replacement, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and the Yonge-North subway extension. This funding will cover about 40 per cent of each project. However, none of these transit lines will be completed until at least 2029, said Ontario’s Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney. The federal government will also help fund a light rail transit line in downtown Hamilton and buy zero-emission streetcars for the TTC, made at Thunder Bay’s Alstom automotive plant. More details about those projects will be announced in the near future. Prime Minister Trudeau said the “historic” agreement will reduce traffic congestion and pollution and create tens of thousands of jobs, as part of Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. “Rapid transit shortens commutes, which gives parents more time with their kids and ensures kids will inherit a cleaner future,” Trudeau said.
Former President Donald Trump is at the center of controversy as a new report details how he and members of his family benefited financially from his time in the White House. According to a new report published by The Scotsman, U.S. taxpayers were left to foot the bill for Trump and his family members’ trips to his foreign luxury golf resorts in Turnberry and Doonbeg. The publication reports that the invoices were obtained by the Washington, D.C.-based ethics watchdog organization American Oversight under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The report shows a number of invoices adding up to thousands of dollars for the former first family. One invoice, dated August 14, 2017, had a total cost of approximately $7,000 — equivalent to £5,400. Although it remains unclear who may have visited the resort at that particular time, Trump’s younger son Eric did travel there later that month. In addition to that invoice, there were other invoices from Trump’s resort totally approximately £5,310 and £6,680. According to the report, “US taxpayers were charged thousands of dollars for luxury-car rentals during Eric’s visit in July 2017.”
Premier Doug Ford is urging the federal government to roll out further restrictions at Canada’s borders. In a joint letter with Quebec premier Francois Legault addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ford cites concern for the growing number of cases attributed to variants coming into the country through international travel. Currently, the border between Canada and the U.S. is closed until at least May 21. It has been shut down since March 2020. The premiers are asking Trudeau to consider reducing incoming international flights and taking further protective action at land borders. This comes as a variant that appears to be wreaking havoc in India was detected in Quebec earlier this week. B.1.617 is considered a variant of interest. The rising number and percentage of COVID-19 cases that are identified as variants is a concern for us all. Collectively we have continued to take action to limit community spread and protect our citizens. We are concerned about the growing number of cases attributed to variants, which arrived in Canada through international travel. We are writing to you to request that the federal government take further measures to limit the spread of the virus.
As federal officials consider a ban on flights from a country dealing with a massive COVID-19 outbreak, a variant first discovered in India is now in B.C. It’s a massive humanitarian crisis: India reported more than 300,000 cases of the disease in a single day. And it has some experts wondering whether it’s time to suspend flights to and from the country for the time being. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s under consideration in Canada, and travel restrictions are already in place in some countries. On the West Coast, three recent flights from India were added to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s list of flights with possible COVID-19 exposures. Looking back a little further, eight of 13 international flights with cases on board which have landed in Vancouver since April 11 have been from India. At least one doctor says he thinks a flight ban should be considered as India deals with its second wave. B.C.’s health minister said the province has had concerns with the implementation of the federal quarantine rules. India is a concern not only because of the mutation, but also because of a massive resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
In the spring of 1943, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann took a bicycle trip like no other. While working in the pharmaceutical department of Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, where he was hoping to develop a circulatory and respiratory stimulant, the 32-year-old first synthesized the compound D-lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, in 1938. Five years after creating that first batch, Hofmann returned to the compound for further experimentation. After producing a small amount of LSD, his workday was soon interrupted as he began experiencing “unusual sensations,” he wrote in his 1979 memoir LSD: My Problem Child. Feeling slightly dizzy, and remarkably restless, Hofmann decided to call it a day. It was the correct decision. Upon arriving home, he had entered a “not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination.” When he closed his eyes, he entered a dreamlike state and for about two hours, he “perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours.” He hypothesized that while handling the compound in his lab, he may have accidentally absorbed LSD through his skin.