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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

SPACING VOTES WEEKLY: A video game, Thomson’s Bike City, TTC air space

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Spacing Votes — our dedicated 2010 election blog — will feature regular posts form our contributors that examine campaign promises and platforms that focus on Toronto’s urban landscape. Here’s our round-up of posts from the last seven days.

One option for added revenue for the TTC is selling air rights. It’s an option that some are eager about (Rocco Rossi, Sarah Thomson and Rob Ford) and some not so much. Looking to Hong Kong’s transit system as an example, Sandy Wu looks into the feasibility of such a plan and what it would mean to the TTC, and the city at large. And the T-Dot wouldn’t be the first Canadian city to table the idea — both Vancouver and Ottawa are curious, too.

• Sarah Thomson launched a thorough bike plan last week. A plan — Bike City — that is be lauded by many, and being railed against mainly by drivers. (What else is new?) Spacing sat down with Thomson to discuss her proposed Bike City and flesh out what hard action will be taken. With main concentration downtown where the roads are smaller (and unsafer), the mayoral frontrunner proposes physically separated bike paths on major downtown corridors. It’s a progressive plan that Thomson says fits a progressive city.

• And lastly, a little fun has been injected into the race. (Finally, I know. Where are the real satirists when you need them?) A Pac-Man-esque video game has been created to “poll” the mayoral frontrunners. And the five characters look good, quasi-super hero good. The hope is to engage the video game generation (that’s you, reader) in the race and to hopefully get them involved. Involved more than just playing a computer game and to actually see some make their way to the ballot box. Here’s to hoping anyway.

Photo by Cameron MacMaster



  1. I have to say, my first choice in this mayoralty race is Sarah Thomson. However, I will ultimately vote for whoever appears to have the best chance at beating Rob Ford. It’s a shame, but my desire to see Thomson win is dwarfed by my fear of having Ford as Mayor.

  2. Streets are unsafer downtown?

    What is the preferred route for crossing the Don Valley north of Bloor on a bicycle?

  3. So Thompson wants to physically separate bike lanes downtown? that sounds familiar… oh yeah! that’s hat Smitherman proposed – over 3 months ago! Cyclists have a right to use the roads, but they also have a distinctive way of using them – we wouldn’t expect pedestrians to share exactly the same space as cars, yet that’s what we expect for bikes. Time for modal separation as promised in George’s May 28th integrated transport plan.

  4. Leo,

    there is still time for things to change. For people who care about urban agenda, Thomson is now the only choice. The sooner voters realize this, the better.

  5. Sorry, Yu – but if you’re really looking for a candidate that has an “urban agenda,” Pantalone is your best choice.