5 Toronto News Stories You Need to Know From Last Week

 

By Emma Sandri ​

From Monday to Friday life can be hectic. People rush their kids to the bus stop, study for exams and cram themselves into TTC cars in the name of work.

When people barely have enough time to sleep, it can be hard to keep up with the comings and goings of life in Canada’s most populous city.

To make it easy, here’s a rundown of the five Toronto news stories you shouldn't miss from last week:

1. Toronto election keeps the status quo

Like the rest of Ontario, Toronto had its municipal elections on Monday, Oct. 22 and city council has largely remained the same.

Out of the 25 seats up for grabs, only 4 councillors were newly-elected - this means that 84 per cent of city council will be made up of incumbents.

Yet since council seats were cut from 47 to 25 by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the redrawing of Toronto’s wards has actually put 13 incumbent councillors out of a job. Most notably, controversial councillor Giorgio Mammoliti was ousted from Ward 7 after serving the York West area for almost 25 years.

Current Toronto mayor John Tory was also re-elected for a second term, winning almost 64 per cent of the votes according to most poll reporting.

2. Supposed serial killer Bruce McArthur appears in court

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur waived his right to a preliminary hearing during a court appearance Monday.

Accused of killing eight men with ties to Toronto’s Gay Village, the 67-year-old will have a trial by judge alone.

McArthur was first arrested in January and charged with eight counts of first-degree murder in connection to several disappearances dating back to 2010. The bodies of seven men were subsequently found in planters at a home the self-employed landscaper stored his equipment. An eighth set of remains were found in a ravine below the same property.

According to several news outlets, McArthur made no eye-contact with the families of the victims during his court appearance this week. The supposed killer will be back in court Nov. 5, when an official trial date will be set.

3. 8-year-old boy nearly hit by gunfire in Rexdale ​

An eight-year-old boy narrowly escaped gunfire when two men fired in his direction on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 27.

He had been playing with his friends in the city’s west end when he left the group to buy candy from a nearby store. That’s when shots rang out.

“I ran. I was just breathing in and out, and then they left,” the young boy told CTV News.

In a video now being circulated online, two suspects can be seen exiting a white SUV and firing at another man who had crossed the street before the eight-year-old.

Police are currently looking for both suspects. The driver has been described as having a medium build, dark skin, and wearing dark pants with a black hoodie.

As of Oct. 21, Toronto police have reported 336 shootings across the city in 2018.  

4. Toronto woman charged with pretending to practice witchcraft

A 27-year-old woman has been charged after a senior paid her over $600,000 to ward off “evil spirits” that had been tormenting him.

According to York Regional Police, the investigation was first opened in Nov. 2017 after investigators received a report of elder abuse. The unidentified 67-year-old met with the supposed-psychic multiple times before police intervention.

Now identified as Samantha Stevenson, the suspect allegedly told the senior that in order to cleanse his home of spirits he needed to sell it and give her the proceeds.

According to police, she claimed that she would return the money after the spirits had been banished. Instead, she asked for six-thousand more to burn in another ritualistic ceremony. In order to comply the senior sold his car and borrowed money before police intervened.

Stevenson has since been charged with possession of property obtained by a crime, fraud and pretending to practice witchcraft.

5. Ryerson satellite campus loses funding

The provincial Tories announced on Tuesday, Oct. 23 that they would pull $300 million in funding for the expansion of three university campuses across the province.

In partnership with local colleges, the universities of Laurier, Ryerson and York had each planned to open campuses in Milton, Brampton and Markham respectively. All three had been relying on the provincial government to fund a portion of their projects.

Citing a 15-billion dollar deficit, the province said that it would “no longer be in a position to fund” the satellite campuses, however, it would not disclose how much it had already spent on planning the projects.

Ryerson University and York University have both promised to release details on the status of their campus expansions in the coming weeks.