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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Friday’s Headlines

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Mayoral Race
• Rossi would fight for municipal term limits [ Toronto Star ]
• Rossi plans to horn in on labour’s parade [ Toronto Star ]
• Smitherman reverses himself on $10M tax hike on businesses [ Toronto Star ]
• Mayoral candidates debate youth issues [ Toronto Star ]
• The British version of Rob Ford [ Toronto Star ]
• Smitherman sees tax hike as way to fix high youth unemployment [ Globe & Mail ]
• Rossi pledges term limits for city’s elected politicians [ Globe & Mail ]
• Smitherman pledges 7,500 more jobs for youth [ National Post ]
• Smitherman, Rossi volunteer square off [ Toronto Sun ]
• Voters like idea of firing council, poll says [ Toronto Sun ]
• Transit plan on track, Ford says [ Toronto Sun ]

G20 Aftermath
• Montreal man arrested in connection to G20 vandalism [ Toronto Star ]
• G20 detainees launch $115-million suit [ Globe & Mail ]
• Police made mistakes in G20 tactics, chief admits for the first time [ Globe & Mail ]

• Another side to the TTC story [ Toronto Star ]
• GO riders will be able to appeal fines online [ Toronto Star ]
• TTC riders help cop make bust [ Toronto Sun ]

Urban Green
• Tree-lined streets not worth the cost, arborists say [ Toronto Star ]
• City offers soil-cleaning tips to promote urban gardening [ Toronto Star ]

City Building
• Toronto architecht adds new layer to AGO history [ Toronto Star ]
• Hume: North Toronto condo complex sets new standard of urbanism [ Toronto Star ]
• Sunnybrook opens $188-million maternity wing [ Globe & Mail ]
• Historic start to military site’s redevelopment [ National Post ]

Other News
• Worst of the worst? [ Toronto Star ]
• Workers strike at TIFF hotel [ Toronto Star ]
• On the record: Bill Blair [ Globe & Mail ]


  1. “Tree lined streets not worth the cost” seems to be a bit of a cheap-shot headline for a much more complex story. I guess “Urban trees suffering from bad infrastructure, maintenance” wouldn’t sell as many papers.

    And by the way, if you did a true real estate regression analysis of land value I suspect the data would show the worth of tree lined streets to be an absolute bargain (as any broker would tell you).

  2. Hi iSkyscraper:

    I thought that headline was misleading too. Then I read it and realized I was quoted in it.

    What I talked to the reporter about, and was not included in the article, was the need to diversify the types of on-street plantings. I’ve seen shrubs, bushes, and crawling vines (attached to a metal frame) on street side trees in other cities.

    I’m glad Ubbens talked about trenching trees, but too often that is considered a frill in street repairs and instead planter boxes — tree coffins, I call them — are still in use. They shorten a trees like by 50% cuz their roots are exposed to cold weather when inside a raised planter box instead of being buried deep under ground.

  3. Matthew,

    totally agree with your “tree coffin” assessment. One extra disadvantage, the planter boxes take away a lot of sidewalk space. Anyone walking Bloor west along the Annex-Korean town stretch will notice that.

    Really if cost is the problem here, I’d rather see the city planting less trees, but planting them properly so that they can reach maturity.

    Also I think the point made in “Worst of the worst?” is a very good one. The statistical methods (if you can even call them “statistical methods”) used in those “worst road” or “worst speed-trap city” report are just laughable. All it tells us is that Toronto has most drivers complaining about these things.

  4. re: Smitherman sees tax hike as way to fix high youth unemployment

    increasing employment by hiking business property tax? That is really “smart”.

  5. re: Smitherman sees tax hike as way to fix high youth unemployment

    It’s odd that he has a specific plan to pay for a relatively small $10 million program, but vague on how he is going to pay for billions in subway expansion.

  6. I don’t think a comparison with Ford and Johnson (“The British version of Rob Ford”) is quite apposite.

    For one thing, Johnson bikes. In fact, public bikes in London are called “Boris bikes”.

    For another he helps out citizens being attacked (Ford would probably say it was the attacked person’s fault somehow and what we need is cops on every street corner).

    For a third, with Muslim, Jewish and Christian ancestry Johnson’s a good fit for a multicultural world city.

    Finally, Johnson takes public transit seriously. Ford is defined by the kind of transit he is against with no plan for what he is for.

  7. I hate tree coffins. They take away sidewalk space, look cheap with their concrete construction, and don’t even allow trees to grow well. Also, if we want trees to grow along our streets (as they really beautify streetscapes as they mature) then we have to bury our overhead wires, or the trees will be pruned around the wires and it’ll look very ugly.