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Toronto ranked 8th in the world's liveability index, the latest in the Rob Ford v streetcar battle, and a new (appropriately-timed?) Tom Cruise trailer

Toronto ranked 8th in the world’s liveability index

 Image: MarkWatmough on Flickr

Toronto is the eighth-greatest city in the world! A new world liveability index has ranked Toronto eighth amongst 70 global cities, making it the only North American city to reach the top 10.

The rankings were determined by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Buzzdata, a data-sharing company, which had contestants rate which city was best based on a number of different factors.

The EIU says this data required contestants to “mine, mix and mash it up to create fresh perspectives on what makes a city truly great.”

Architect Filippo Lovato, who created the “Spatially Adjusted Liveability Index,” measured each entrant using attributes like green space, urban sprawl, cultural and natural assets, connectivity, pollution and isolation.

Though Toronto received the highest-possible score in green space and pollution, its marks were not as impressive in the sprawl and cultural assets categories. According to the Toronto Star, “The survey didn’t include perennial winners of similar rankings like Vancouver, B.C.”

Hong Kong was first on the list, with Amsterdam and Osaka placing in second and third, respectively. Washington, D.C. was ranked 14th, the next-highest North American entry, after Toronto.

The latest in the Rob Ford v streetcar battle

Streetcars, streetcars, streetcars. Accused of illegally driving past a Dundas St. W. streetcar last Wednesday, Mayor Rob Ford says this was not the case, and the TTC union president believes his story.

Speaking to a media scrum on Tuesday, Ford said he drove past the closed back door of the streetcar, but stopped in short of the open front door, as per protocol. According to the Mayor, the driver then “came out and accosted me,” later saying, “I don’t know exactly what was said.”

As per Ford’s recollection, the driver, referring to the streetcar as a bus, said to him, “Get behind the bus.” Ford said he replied with, “I don’t have to get behind the bus, the back door’s closed.” The exchange continued, as did an argument over where a car was supposed to land when in line behind a streetcar.

Speaking to the Toronto StarPolice Staff Sgt. David Stirling confirmed that the Highway Traffic Act requires drivers to maintain a distance of two meters only from doors that are open. Still, he added that it is “probably most prudent and safe” for drivers to exercise caution and stay behind the streetcar, even if the back door is closed, as it was in this case.

A new (appropriately-timed?) trailer for Tom Cruise, the highest-paid actor in Hollywood

Happy 50th Birthday, Tom Cruise! Everybody is talking about you, though probably not for all of the reasons you’d like.

In the heat of Friday’s shocking divorce announcement, Paramount Pictures released the trailer for the megastar’s newest movie, Jack Reacher, which opens on Dec. 21. The preview was attached to the Tuesday theatrical debut of The Amazing Spider-Man, and, to Cruise’s milestone birthday on the same day.

In rather serendipitous timing for Cruise, and for Paramount, Forbes Magazine listed him as the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. According to reports, the actor earned an estimated $75-million between May 2011 and May 2012, largely from Cruise’s blockbuster, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol which posted a worldwide take of $690-million at the box office. 

Talk about positive spin. In a statement, Paramount said, “Tom is a huge movie star for the right reason. His ability to make a great movie, as we saw with the most recent installment in the ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise – the most successful of the series to date – is the thing that moviegoers remember above all else.”

Jack Reacher stars Cruise as an ex-military investigator in pursuit of a murderous sniper. 

Joanna Adams is the online and social media editor for Toronto Standard. Follow her on Twitter at‏ @nowstarringTO.

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