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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Tuesday’s headlines

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When the Gardiner falls, so will T.O. [ National Post ]
The Gardiner must die! [ National Post ]
Save the Gardiner! [ National Post ]
2 wheels? Too bad [ Toronto Sun ]
Plan to boost power of mayor gets rough ride [ Toronto Star ]
Miller’s new gun gambit misses mark [ Toronto Star ]
Cab drivers eye hefty fare hike [ Globe and Mail ]
Table set for debate over food cart menus [ Globe and Mail ]
Q&A: Toronto city hall’s street food bungle [ National Post ]
Public-private deal proposed to build museum [ Globe and Mail ]


  1. So….car driver doors bicyclist and kills him and the police don’t take any action. But each bicyclist that gets caught without a bell and it is a $110 fine. The Sun story reads like it is bicyclist’s fault for getting killed by cars.

    Something is wrong with this picture.

  2. Although the title reeks of sensationalist journalism, (When the Gardiner falls, so will T.O. – really?, c’mon) and Menzies (or perhaps his editor) seems to like carving for himself the cliche position of opposing something because it’s perceived to be fashionable, parts of his position (because they might represent Post readers) should be considered. Namely, what plans has the city, GTA municipalities, province, or this unusual Waterfront Toronto outfit for providing commuters with viable transport alternatives? Will increasing commute time by another 4 or 5 minutes force commuters to finally turn to the GO? Has anyone considered transforming the dead industrial space beside the DVP into a Don Valley Bikeway and National Park, providing uptown commuters with a safe, healthy and enjoyable alternative to ‘gridlock’? I’m all for the Gardiner being torn down, but not for the sake of the Gardiner being torn down. It needs to be part of a broader sensible and sustainable plan that considers all stakeholders well into the GTA’s future. An eye sore removed can still cause lasting infection elsewhere.

  3. To address the issue of transport alternatives, in the presentation by Waterfront Toronto titled, “Presentation on Improving the Gardiner – Transforming Toronto 09-27-06” (available here:, it says that approx. 10% of all incoming trips to the downtown core are by the Gardiner (slide 3). Additionally, slide 8 mentions that 70% of Gardiner users live outside of the city of Toronto, for whom I don’t think a bikeway would be a realistic alternative.

    Just speaking of GO Transit, the presentation mentions on slide 8 that the expansions over the next few years will add the equivalent of “10 freeway lanes during rush hour”, and only slide 10 these projects are expected to be completed by 2009, well ahead of the end of the environmental assessment completion date.

  4. I find it disappointing that the police are claiming the intention of their Crackdown on Cyclists is to educate and have everyone on the road share responsibility for safety. Is there any co-operative plan to have the cops or parking enforcement specifically go after cars parked, stopped or generally endangering the people in the bike lane?

    and that the week-long crackdown is an official Bike Month event? Priceless.

  5. Investing in GO is a far better investment than roads and this includes the likely demised Front St. Ext. While a few types don’t like my long vexing about all of this, the FSE EA/revival didn’t include ANY assessment of merely adding GO trains instead of the $255M project, nor really did it look at the harms the road would make for the Lakeshore west line in the moving of the railtracks just west of Bathurst for c. $60M or so, plus delays. So the civic “leadership” on waterfront transport has been dismal in my view, and to tie it into bikes, the push to “complete the grid” with the FSE was never thought to extend to the bike network in the area by Cnclrs Pantalone and Giambrone as there’s a gaping hole in the east-west bike routes in the Parkdale/WQQ area that the Bike Plan completely and utterly fails to plan anything for, with one fatality already in the 7 years since the Bike Plan. And they’ve not done a darned thing since – really – and the glassphalt on the Gardiner/DVP is in marked contrast to what bikes get to deal with every day.
    Caronto the Carrupt could be our motto.

  6. And a great phrase Kevin Keane – “an eyesore removed can still cause lasting infection elsewhere”

  7. Mr. Bailey
    I appreciate your clarification. You might address this to Mr. Menzies (and for that matter the rest of Toronto media who have conveniently overlooked these pertinent details in their pro- or anti-Gardiner gusto).
    Regarding bike ways as an alternative – a little imagination might solve this problem regardless of how many Gardiner users live outside of the city of Toronto (and the 30% living in town is a significant portion in itself). Park and rides seem to be appropriate for public transit, why not for bike transit? A stacked parking lot complete with a commuter bicycle garage to me seems like a viable alternative to consistent congestion on the DVP or the Gardiner, provided the proposed Don Valley Bikeway and adjoining city capillaries are safe and enjoyable. Certainly this would help during the dreaded summer smog months in our beloved city?
    As far as the presentation provided by WT, slide 4 is completely out of date (1998!). The last ten years has seen the population of the GTA explode. It’s a nice graphic that supports their view, but it’s misleading. Are all their supporting statistics this dated? (Conveniently for them) I can’t tell.
    As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m not against tearing down the Gardiner, in fact, I’d like to see it all torn down as the core needs to be linked up with the lake in my view. But by the time this all happens, we’ll be mid-way through the next decade. Mr Bailey, I sense a confidence in your defense, and I do hope you’re right that a cohesive, practical and sustainable plan is in place to deal with the residual for decades to come.

  8. I think that we need to see if removing the Gardiner is possible first. What the city should do, is block off lanes, for the section they want to close, block off a couple of lanes, and see how that affects the traffic flow, if after a year it doesn’t create an issue, block off more lanes, until you can close a section, once it’s closed, and remains closed for a period of time, then knock it down. Now move to another section, and begin again, you block off some lanes, and continue to block off lanes, until you can close another section, then after a period of time, you can knock that down. Continue until the whole highway is gone.