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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Thursday’s headlines

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• Did council’s vote to excuse Mayor Ford’s conduct undermine integrity commissioner’s office [The Star]
• Doug Ford apologizes after complaint filed [The Sun]
• Rebellious councils [Torontoist]

• Special transit meeting: Mayor Rob Ford dismisses council’s vote against his subway plan [The Star]
• Ford takes a midnight ride on the TTC after ‘irrelevant’ council vote [The Star]
• Council vote on light rail transit [The Star]
• James: Mayor Rob Ford loves subways but doesn’t want to pay for them [The Star]
• Ford pays price of obstinacy in council’s rebuke of his transit vision [Globe & Mail]
• TTC chair defeats Rob Ford, wins bid to bring transit above-ground [Globe & Mail]
• Ford on Stintz: ‘She stabbed me in the back’ [The Sun]
• Scarborough residents, not Ford, the real losers in transit vote [The Sun]
• Ex-TTC boss puts blame for Toronto’s transit woes on Metrolinx [National Post]
• Growth in Toronto suburbs indicates need for upgraded transportation infrastructure: experts [National Post]
• Council makes it seem easier to build rail through the Rookies than getting transit to Scarborough [National Post]
• Transit City rides again [NOW]
• Transit debate crib sheet: key votes and reaction roundup [Torontoist]

• Quantifying the value of public space [Torontoist]
• Minding the gap [Torontoist]
• Census: Condo boom driving up Toronto’s density [The Star]
• Canadians high on city life fuel condo boom [Globe & Mail]
• Toronto suburbs spur city’s growth [Globe & Mail]
• Census 2011: Milton fastest growing community, growth outpaces some infrastructure like hospitals and schools [The Star]
• Locals exasperated by derelict Gerrard St. E. storefronts and buildings [The Star]
• Mississauga passes 7.4% tax hike, but rejects pay increase [The Star]



  1. Relative sense by Council and Schadenforde….

  2. Light rail can be built quicker for less money while still delivering quality transit service. Some point out the flaws of the Scarborough RT that uses a linear induction motor to propel the train, the light rail replacement would use LRVs using traction motors rather than an electromagnet and reaction rail, so there would no longer be an issue with ice and snow getting on the power or reaction rails ((the RT technology was leftover from a far flung plan from the early 1970s for a network of magnetically levitated maglev rapid transit lines that would have covered Metro Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa, dubbed GO URBAN. When the maglev plan fell through due to mechanical issues with the trains operating with winter weather and the pulling of funding from the government for development of the technology to the company from the company’s home country of Germany put an end to that plan, but the ICTS RT concept was revived with magnetic propulsion while running on railway tracks instead of magnetic levitation..).

    The light rail lines will also be totally unlike the earlier built light rail lines of 604 Harbourfront and 510 Spadina. Lines like the Eglinton Crosstown will be high speed, in some cases even faster than parts of say the Bloor Danforth line with their closely spaced stations or the northbound Yonge subway during afternoon rush hour that can often be constricted to a snail’s pace. We don’t have to break the bank going all out on heavy rail rapid transit. In the inner city we put in place a streetcar system in the 1860s that was partly replaced by subways (that being the Yonge streetcar and Bloor Danforth streetcar) in the 1950s-1970s. Lets give the low income residents of suburban Metro the most feasable option first, that being light rail, and then worry about subways at a later time when the money comes. Light rail is still very flexible and can be run in coupled trains as long as the four car trains on the Sheppard subway or even longer (the LRVs are also of a modular design so a single unit LRV can be as long as as a subway train with open gangways like the new Toronto Rocket trains). And I also see no reason why climate controlled shelters could not be placed at key locations. Many people also take the GO train and put up with the elements (though there are still the climate controlled GO Train station buildings if needed), there was a plan for an inter regional automated rapid transit project in the ’80s called GO ALRT that would have allowed for climate controlled stations with automatic train operation and platform edge doors, but of course that plan was scrapped, another casualty of a new government getting elected (in this case the then new David Peterson provincial Liberal government back in 1985) and scrapping the last government’s plan.

    Yesterday city council fought hard to stop the inaction on our transit infrastructure that has been going on since the 1980s, what happened in council that day was probably as historic as when the people of Toronto fought for publicly owned and operated public transit back in the late 1910s/early 1920s with the creation of the TTC in 1921 and the decision to go ahead with rapid transit in the 1940s. It gives me hope for the future of this city when I see what happened on council yesterday. Now we can move ahead from the headache of the last year and start making this city a better place. : )