Let’s Save Transit City Together – Saturday, 2PM

When: Saturday, December 4, 2-4PM
Northwest corner, Yonge & Eglinton
Canvassing the Yonge & Eglinton community in Ward 16 to organize supporters of Transit City and inform people of what’s at stake
Who: All supporters of great public transportation! Children are welcome and whether you like to speak to strangers or not, there’s a role for you.

With news that the Ford Administration will ask for Transit City progress to be halted as one of its first orders of business, a group of Torontonians is building support for the rapid transit plan, beginning with a canvas on Saturday afternoon. The group’s first canvas is planned for the ward represented by Ford’s nominee for TTC chair, Councillor Karen Stintz. Stintz had campaigned for re-election earlier this fall as a staunch supporter of Transit City in part because it would bring an underground LRT to the portion of Eglinton Ave. that she represents.

For the many who have blogged, Tweeted, Facebooked and commented their frustration with Ford’s plan to cut this vital infrastructure, this is your opportunity to get involved.

RSVP on Facebook

Photo credit: Transit Toronto.


  1. What about canvassing in the northwest, in areas that would lose out from Transit City being canceled in favor of a Scarborough Subway? Fairbank, Humber Valley, Jane and Finch etc.

    Ford split the city to get elected, why not split the suburbs east/west to save Transit City?

  2. It really bugs me that politicians who admittedly say that they don’t make use of their free Metropasses, prefer to drive, and avoid public transit are the ones who will make decisions on public transit projects for the rest of us who do use public transit regularly. Don’t they read? Oil is finite, it cannot last for the next generation. We must make rapid transit networks available available for most of Toronto and not just a small line here or there.

  3. I don’t like how Ford is moving on this — but my guess is that there are probably few strong supporters for Transit City in the areas it’s supposedly for. Overwhelmingly, the strong vocal supporters seem to be from downtown. I think there are many good things about Transit City. But a problem with the plan and its implementation (and I hope it does not prove to be a fatal flaw) is that little was done to build public support for it in the areas it is designated for. Many of the people in those areas see it as a plan being rammed down their throats.

  4. Hilarious! Good luck. Transfer City will be dead in the morning.

    Just one question: where were your protests when TTC Commissioner Adam Giambronne ran up $2,479 dollars in TAXI fares considering: 1) He is the TTC Chairman and in theory – should take the system he is responsible for running.. 2) He has a free Metropass as part of his job. 3) He charged taxi fares to the city – and not from his $100,000 a year job and 4) in most cases he only went a few blocks which would best be served by….yes, public transit!

    Tomorrow morning a new era of public transportation in Toronto will begin and it will be change for the better! Bring on the Subway!

  5. Hey JW, where were your protests when Giambrone was TTC Commissioner? Guess it failed to make the evening news?

    Good luck with the Gravy Train…er subway plan. Should work out almost as well as the last stubway.

  6. JW, stop trolling. This isn’t a soap opera, it’s city planning and economics.

    The alternative is more buses. Do you like buses?

  7. Toronto seams to be a city that loves to keep deluding itself. There isn’t space for more roads, and the population keeps growing. Yet a lot of people think Ford can somehow take us back to the days when the 905 was filled just with farmer’s fields and there was enough room for everybody on the road. It’s not happening.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Ford understands this. If he dose then he also know it’s no skin of his nose; we will be the ones paying that cost when he’s long gone from office.

    Ironically more subways don’t make much sense with current ridership levels but do start to make sense in some places when you take into account transit city drawing more riders into the system.

  8. Save the subway network. Rather than making it bare bones and geared at replacing GO for distant suburbanites, how about making it something that can get people from neighbourhood to neighbourhood? I’m tired of hearing that it’s unaffordable. We never got our expressways. We were supposed to get subways, but after 1978, we got almost nothing. It’s not that it’s unaffordable; it’s that the province would rather build more GTA highways or widen them. The MTO should build a certain amount of subway every year without any fuss for the next decades. Anything less is simply neglect of our transportation needs.

  9. A.R., the perfect is the enemy of the good.

    If anything less than perfect is nothing to you, get ready for more nothing.

    Every time the provincial government changes, projects get canned. Remember 1995 when Mike Harris (Papa Ford’s colleague) got swept into office to stop the provicial gravy train? What did he do: cut the subways under construction to Etobicoke and Scarborough. Makes it extra ironic that people frustrated at the lack of subways to Etobicoke and Scarborough elect Rob Ford.

  10. Anthony, in response to your first comment: I figured starting in the new TTC chair’s ward, especially given her previous record of support for Transit City, makes most sense. I’d like to get teams of people mobilized to go meet/organize/education people in every part of the city, beginning with those that live on/near TC lines.

  11. @JW

    It’s so nice to hear from you, QueensQuayKaren.

  12. I just realized that I’ve never seen a Transit City ad with any kind of photo or architectural rendering. Nobody can agree on what LRT is, because nobody knows, and this abstract ‘text with icons on black background’ isn’t helping.

    I can’t make the rally but I hope some folks can print up signs showing successful LRT projects all around North America.

  13. Well said Antony. Calgary promotes their LRT projects with fly-through renderings.  TTC could have used some of those to show how the ROW will integrate with the streetscapes.

  14. I’m guessing no-one at the TTC had the guts to authorize spending on “promotional materials”.

    Same tech-oriented thinking behind scrimping and saving for illegible station maps, clashing design themes, and terrible signage.

    A real shame if lack of public understanding is what axes the first city-wide rapid transit plan of the past 15 years.

  15. Anthony:

    Yeah, I’m the enemy of mediocrity. Billions of tax dollars should give us something great, not just good or barely better than what we have now. Forcing people to change between bus, LRT, and subway on Sheppard is mediocrity. If that’s what you stand for, then I and many others are evidently not impressed. It’s not just the suburbs who voted this in and I’m not from the suburbs. Smitherman wasn’t fully behind Transit City either. Things like signal priority probably won’t work, as the suburban drivers will want the advanced green because the ROW will block many left turns from side streets and plazas.

    What we need is the province working with our planners to build the rapid transit network we already have, not our mayor coming up with a new type of vehicle every few decades. You think we should keep playing this game of every mayor completely changing the transit plan like Miller did; I disagree. I think we should plan an ideal subway network to build on the 63 kilometres we already have and have continuous expansion that can’t be cancelled. For goodness sakes, Montreal has a longer subway network.

    You say it’s unaffordable, I say that no one would cancel smaller contracts granted, for instance, every 5 years by the province for continuous expansion. On the other hand, a one-time commitment of billions of dollars is just too easy to cancel or radically scale back. It’s clear that the strategy used by proponents of Transit City is a failure, just like other transit expansion visions which required one-time multi-billion dollar investments.

    And yet, contrary to what you may presume, of course I support LRT. LRT has to get a lot of people to the expanded subway network within a reasonable amount of time. A fully grade separated LRT line is a reasonable alternative to a subway line. LRT vehicles are narrower, making it cheaper to build tunnels and build viaducts for. I was never too thrilled about the design direction for the Eglinton LRT underground stations, either. They would have been extremely simple and repetitive, like the Bloor Danforth line. Sterile and generic public spaces used by thousands of people daily? The image we present of ourselves to be simple, boring, and austere? I reject such mediocrity and self-deprecation as well, like our fellow Canadians did in Montreal.

    The suburbs should have one new east-west line, from Scarborough to the airport. Sheppard should be finished; there’s not that much more to go to Scarborough Centre. A new U-line is needed to take the pressure off the Yonge line, and to a lesser extent, the Bloor Danforth line. Of course, LRT should feed into the new lines. Other North American cities aren’t building subways, but we are definitely unique. We’re a much younger city, but a big city nonetheless. Portland doesn’t need a subway; we do. New York has a massive network; it’s no surprise there’s no push for further expansion, save for a particularly expensive line. No one was building subways when we built the Yonge line, or the Bloor Danforth line. But that certainly doesn’t mean that it was the wrong direction. It was the right direction, and we need to keep moving, rather than stalling and further packing the overcrowded subways.

  16. I thoroughly agree – people do not understand what the LRT / Transit City plan actually LOOKS LIKE.

    I’m a communications / PR professional and the ball dropping of Metrolinx / TTC on this initiative makes me want to volunteer to help them out!

    I desperately want to help out – I may just lug myself out to this. Any recommendations for signage or whatnot?

  17. A.R., you’ve got good spirit, I’m glad you’re out there asking for more and better.

    I’m not from Ontario, I moved here a few years ago. I never lived through the OPG Nuclear build fiascos, or the Harris years, or saw the Scarborough RT prototype built with cutting-edge Canadian technology. I never saw the Eglinton subway cancelled and the Sheppard line aborted. I just moved here, to the country’s biggest city, and gradually learned of its 20 year “unique” history of political trainwrecks and the worst funded transit system in the US and Canada.

    And finally, a mayor pulled some teeth and money out of not just the province but the Feds, and got professional Transit planners to try and stretch that cash as far as it could to link some of the poorest neighborhoods in the City. Affordable fast transit could mean 1/2 hour less of a commute for Eglinton and Finch bus riders – one hour per day, per transit rider, to spend with their families, to volunteer at schools… how much is that worth?

    And now, the ignorant and cynical are saying “wait, let’s throw out everything that’s been done and start over again”.

    Please don’t add the idealistic to that bloc. Don’t let simple, cheap station architecture be the reason to keep screwing Jane and Finch.

  18. Everyone is trying to counter Mr. Ford’s declaration that Transit City is dead with logic. Wrong approach.

    Mr. Ford has admitted he has road rage. I can only imagine that as he sits in his car with his blood boiling, he believes that the only reason he is delayed is because of the streetcars. He wants anything above ground to go below ground so he doesn’t have to see it. Logical arguments cannot counter emotional problems.

    Rather than the city lose a half-a-billion dollars on the penalties of cancelled contracts, I suggest the city hire a driver for Mr. Ford, and maybe send him for some anger management therapy.

    He campaigned on the concept of respect for taxpayers and fiscal responsibility and on day one his sticks a finger in the eye of both ideas. I’m a taxpayer, a home owner, a parent and a man who has never owned a car. I pay for the roads and I say the roads should be shared: Transit riders are taxpayers too!

    Mr. Ford wants transit riders out of sight and out of mind, I say we stay in sight and in mind, and demand the respect we deserve as taxpayers.


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