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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Thursday’s headlines

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Porter: ‘Save Our Sheppard’ group missing the point [ Toronto Star ]
James: Where is Giambrone’s ‘leadership’? [ Toronto Star ]
McGuinty quashes hopes for last-minute TTC funds [ Globe & Mail ]
Why the TTC should get a liquored up [ Eye Weekly ]
TTC customer service plan to be unveiled [ Toronto Sun ]
A creative director for the TTC? [ Eye Weekly ]
Sex scandal behind him, Giambrone gets back to transit business [ Globe & Mail ]
GO train chaos in east end [ Toronto Sun ]
Transforming the TTC [ Toronto Sun ]
Hotelier hired to head TTC service panel [ National Post ]
TTC – The transit system that ate Toronto: Granatstein [ Toronto Sun ]
New TTC deal key to city’s budget future [ Toronto Sun ]
Seeking ‘democratization,’ TTC hands Yorkdale subway station to the people [ National Post ]
Giambrone goes back to being boring [ National Post ]
‘Toronto guy’ tackles TTC woes [ Toronto Star ]

Follow the money [ Now Magazine ]
Billboard tax attack [ Now Magazine ]
Leslie car house stirs soil stink [ Now Magazine ]
Smitherman slams budget, calls for hiring freeze [ Globe & Mail ]
Smitherman weighs in on city budget [ Toronto Sun ]
Time for a new Toronto mayor to handle city budget: Granatstein [ Toronto Sun ]
How they’d plug the city’s budget gap [ Toronto Star ]
Fines won’t burn Good Samaritans [ Toronto Star ]
An alarming fee hike [ Toronto Star ]

#voteTOin416 [ Now Magazine ]
George Smitherman promises to ‘sacrifice a few hobby horses’ if elected mayor [ National Post ]

Stayin’ Alive [ Toronto Sun ]
Charges considered after car crash [ Globe & Mail ]
2 pedestrians hurt by same car [ Toronto Sun ]
2 pedestrians seriously hurt [ Toronto Star ]

Residents pillory port authority over noise controls at island airport [ Globe & Mail ]
No-cost Bixi now seeking city funding [ National Post ]
Province asks city to re-zone Bay Street site for 39 storey tower [ National Post ]
Kelly McParland: David Miller’s sad legacy [ National Post ]
Lethal wildlife epidemic putting pets at risk [ Toronto Star ]
Call 311 to report rusty, ‘forgotten’ bikes [ Toronto Star ]
Toronto Zoo finds a new CEO [ Toronto Star ]


  1. That Porter article on Save our Sheppard is great. Funny and wise. She notes one of the things that I love about streetcars: by moving at street level, they keep people engaged with the neighborhoods they pass through.

  2. The chief designer for the TTC is a terrific idea and so is community involvement in stations but there doesn’t appear to be much chance that the Commission and Staff will not strangle those innovations at birth. Every time Bruce Mau introduced an idea, it would have to go to the Commission, who would ask staff to report, who would tell them in nine months it’s a bad idea.

  3. It is official, Joe Pantalone has no idea how to deal with Toronto’s finances.

  4. That article by Porter was a waste of time. She basically concludes by being naively accepting that Sheppard will become a new Queen Street with the LRT in thirty years and that suburbanites just don’t get it.

    Also, her claim the “905 snobs” take issue with her urban lifestyle of raising a family while not giving up on transit just annoyed me. What is this, the car and suburb crazed U.S.? It’s a practical choice for many, not because they hate urban living.

  5. Community involvement in station management is an interesting idea, but somehow I can’t quite wrap my head around it. Other than addressing rather superficial things, I can’t see how it will benefit many people to fix a point in a system rather than the system itself. Bruce Mau should become our creative director…like it was said in the article, he’d have to have complete authority, otherwise nothing would ever get done…

  6. I actually agree with much of what Porter says regarding the Save Our Subway group. But I also think there are reasons why SOS exists which she fails to address, just as she doesn’t bother to address the many legitimate reasons many Scarberians are skeptical concerning the claims made about LRTs. And why should she when it’s so much easier to just paint people as suburban rubes? Personally, I wouldn’t want to live in Scarborough. But if Porter is going to be writing about urban/suburban issues (and unfortunately it looks like she is), she do a better job if she drops the inner-city, enlightened urbanite smugness and tries to understand the mindset of the people she’s writing about. Only an arrogant twit would think she is entitled to pass judgment that there is no community in that part of Toronto after a brief visit. Maybe there isn’t — or maybe it doesn’t look like what she’s used to.

  7. What I think is most revealing in Catherine Porter’s article is that her definition of “community” is much different than the gentleman she interviewed. For the most part, people living in that part of Scarborough cannot leave their home without getting into a car, and this is so engrained in their day-to-day lives that their definition of “community” is much different than someone living on the Danforth. The fact that he took her on a tour of the neighbourhood in his van sums it up well. People don’t walk there, and many don’t even take the TTC. They’re simply trying to protect what they have and don’t want to see any changes. That’s not something that can be easily changed, if at all.

  8. I’m surprised that Spacing has not covered the developing story about the City’s plans to centralize Parks operations into an homogenized fast-food franchise model. The Friends of Dufferin Grove are currently leading an email campaign to defend locally-focused, community-driven parks. The new “Dufferin Grove Park Needs Your Help!” Facebook Group has attracted over 1,000 members in less than 48 hours.

  9. Pedestrian safety issue has resurfaced and police again calls for pedestrians to be exercise extra caution, even though this time the fault was clearly on the red-light-running motorist. The following message was sent by a colleague of my wife recently. With this kind of judicial system, a driver’s license is almost a license to kill!

    $400 fine and 3 demerit points for the life of my beloved mom! please sign the petition to fight for change in this unjust judicial system

    Dear friends and colleagues,

    My mom Siu Mui Lam was killed by a dump truck driver on June 23, 2009 (second day of the city strike) when she was crossing St. Helen’s / Bloor Street before a STOP sign. The impact was so huge that she was dead at the scene. We were so shocked and devastated to the sudden death of our beloved mom.

    The police informed us the driver was charged “careless driving causing death”. However, at the court hearing on Feb 4, 2010, we were outraged and shocked to learn that the charge was changed to “unable to proceed with caution at a STOP sign” and the sentence is only $400 fine and 3 demerit points!

    Where is justice? The careless driver was set free with just a slap on his hand! We, as family of vicitm, have no right to appeal both the conviction and sentence. This judicial system fails to serve the justice.

    I come across a website: and learn many family tragedies who are going through similar pain and sorrow. Human life loss is not valued and the whole system favours the careless drivers. The organizer of the website has been advocating for law change to fair conviction and sentencing to careless driving since 2008 after his dad was killed by a careless driver in Hamilton.

    I signed the petition. I urge everyone of you to view the website and showed your support for this good cause; and to honour the life of my mom and other victims. Thank you very much for reading and your support. I will also appreciate you forward this email to your friends who may support this cause.

    In grief,

    Miu Lin