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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Thursday’s headlines

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Fraud has TTC set to get rid of tickets [ Toronto Star ]
TTC ticket collector charged with fraud [ Globe and Mail ]
TTC collector at Wilson station accused on selling forged tickets [ National Post ]
Fake fare nets charges [ Toronto Sun ]
Head-on streetcar collision puts driver in hospital [ Globe and Mail ]
Streetcar driver lax in collision [ Toronto Sun ]
Sign points TTC rider in wrong direction [ Toronto Star ]

Heights of isolation [ NOW magazine ]
Confessions of a suburbia lover [ National Post ]

Poisoned playground [ NOW magazine ]
Anti-littering signs delayed for Rouge Park [ ]
Apartment buildings to receive energy retrofit [ Toronto Star ]
Mini bins could hold a surprise [ Toronto Star ]
Stupid trash bins line Yonge St. [ National Post ]

Frameless lights could lessen blight [ Globe and Mail ]
A degree in consumerism [ Eye Weekly ]

City services don’t require proof of citizenship [ National Post ]


  1. Confessions of a suburbia lover > “True, you have to drive for a litre of milk. But look at all the free parking! ” Now you dont have to read the High Cost of Free Parking.

  2. Barber’s call for the removal of yellow traffic light backboards is interesting.

    I really hate Ontario’s yellow-on-yellow traffic light, which has become the standard across Canada now, with the exception of Quebec, parts of Atlantic Canada and a few municipalities here and there like Hamilton and Sudbury which have chosen black-and-yellow.

    Kingston just installed all-black traffic lights downtown and they look so much better and less of a distraction to the historic architecture. Richmond Hill does it downtown as well. Cities like Chicago and Montreal and Boston do fine with backboard-less black signal heads at low levels in downtown and low-traffic areas, larger overhead lights are installed where visibility is needed.

    The expensive Downtown-Yonge BIA installations would look better with black signals – the standard installation clash with the black and red design.

  3. While I’m in agreement with Jonathan Goldsbie that the prolificness of ads on school campuses and the general sell-off of public spaces is astoundingly bad and shot-sighted, and that sending Ryerson’s business students up, way way up, is rather disrespectful, there’s a bunch of things in his eye article I can’t agree with.

    Making the AMC theatre multiuse as lecture halls is a real stroke of genius, though maybe the implementation is slightly lacking. Both theatres and lecture halls are dead space when not in use–combining the two is an excellent use of resources with the only drawback in the current arrangement being that students need to use the same entrance as movie patrons.

    And there’s a very good reason why the City has that 60% retail requirement along Yonge St. It involves people on the street, encourages pedestrian flow and serves the needs of students as well. What good would a ground floor lecture hall or offices or even chilling space do in the Sams building?

    The knitting together of Ryerson’s campus with the retail and service businesses and residential towers/homes of downtown Toronto does much to make both the City and University vibrant and engaging places as well as increase the safety of everyone around. (Walking home late at night from an abandoned suburban campus is never pleasant–especially when paired with the inevitable warnings and reports about muggings and rapes in such settings. Eyes-on-the-street works.)

  4. From the Star’s article on the mini-bins: “…city staff had tweaked their estimates to cover the possibility of 20 to 30 per cent choosing the small bins. (This they did by jacking up the fees for the large and extra large bins to ensure the city would get its $54 million from the plan.)”

    So they worry that more people will choose the small bin and cleverly account for this by making it more attractive in price terms? Better check the ventilation in the office that produced that line of thought.

    Why not go all the way and make all of the bins free except for the largest, for which they can charge $54 million a year? Hey, surely one household will want the largest size, right? Problem solved!