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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered



  1. Tory = Same old, same old. Will NOT raise taxes. Less money for infrastructure be it flood control or transit.

    Keesmaat = A fresh outlook from someone who KNOWS what Toronto needs for its future, not just the next election.

    Vote for the future! Not the past.

  2. Thanks for this; there’s an awful swirling about and lurking that needs to be given light. Absolutely correct on three big problem projects; the Gardiner folly, the Suspect Subway Extension, though the Smart Trick has a germ of plausibility to it – if it had been concentrated on improving from Dundas St. W. to Union to Main St., as I’m sure older plans have suggested.

    I’m grateful that Ms. Keesmaat was riled up by the relative roll-over on the Council halving – and at times it sure feels like Tory’s got high comfort level with this proposal – and there’s not too much of a difference between the Carservative and the Carswervatives that he and Mr. Ford essentially are. If we put in a Vehicle Registration Tax, gee that would bring in ten times the amount proposed to be saved by halving the Council, and scrapping the SSE would have billions in flexibility, though we do need to spend $$$$$ in Scarborough, yes. So it’s not about the money.

    WIth our trans*it and subway stresses, there’s an aspect that is not yet picked up on, but given all the politricks of the Subway Industrial Complex and cui bono (it’s far more about the jobs, and the benefits to construction types and owners than the mere public), it’s a Problem. While users know full well, how overloaded Bloor, Danforth and Bloor/Yonge are, the politicians don’t seem to get it.
    In 2009 and 2013, there were Council motions to NOT extend the Yonge Line any further North up to Richmond Hill, unless there was Relief, (which shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a subway quite yet, but what are relief functions? eg. surface, because maybe done faster vs. decade plus). But in 2017, that was relaxed, somehow, and odds are Mr. Tory and the suburban car-onlies were in the majority. Details p. 2/3 here:
    So the TTC is going ahead with design work for tunnels and stations for a Richmond Hill extension but there is near-zero happening with Relief, and odds are high that there may be poison pills put on to Relief funding that Toronto ‘has’ to accept a Richmond Hill extension in order to get __ and ___. And given how desultory and feckless the majority of Clowncil/TTC have tended to be in the overall sell-out and putting heads up the tailpipe, and how costly the Subway Industrial Complex is, odds are high there will be a cave-in, instead of insisting the regional transit demand be filled with a regional solution like GO, and yes, manage the stormwater, including by charging for it and depaving parts of the Don rivershed.
    Judging from some of the tweet responses to Ms. Keesmaat’s position today, most riders ‘get’ that we have real serious problems now, and don’t want to/can’t wait for another decade, so truly, what triage is possible now. Yes, Bloor/Danforth bikelanes as subway relief – but this last Council was so pathetic couldn’t do a tiny bit of Bloor St. E. for bike safety from the 2001 Bike Plan that is now a very nasty/rough segment, but repainting it, not necessarily for bike lanes as a wider curb lane is a change, might be $25,000. And yes, at times ‘progressives’ aren’t on top of what needs to be done either, or the City is so thoroughly broken down in basic ways, we are really as bucked as the climate is.

  3. Agreed. Based on recent events, for it’s own preservation, Toronto does need a Mayor who will call out Doug Ford for what he is, a revenge seeking, liar and hypocrite! John Tory will not do that. He’ll be – John Tory – tepid and wishy-washy. The reality is John Tory is really just a sane version of Rob Ford. Let’s NOT forget that in these hyper-partisan political times, the Fords and John Tory are from the same political party – The Conservative Party.

    After the mayhem, chaos, and dysfunction of the Rob Ford Years, and with Doug Ford knocking at the door, John Tory was the steady hand on the tiller that Toronto needed, to get things back to “normal”. Now, though, with key challenges, such as transit, housing, and other key infrastructure, essentially in neutral for 8+ years, it’s time to REALLY move forward. John Tory is NOT the person to do that!

  4. Agreeing with Steve Fleck. Mr. Tory has put in many hours, reads, presents well, and gives a degree of respect to all, but on larger challenges, D as in desulTory. A key issue to raise the bar on is the transit/mobility/Relief – what is Relief Function in the next term vs. a Belief Line stubway for billions that won’t be long enough to actually help Yonge, which under Tory, is now having design work for its foolish extension as per link in first comment thanks.

  5. Good post, but I wonder about the praise for Mel Lastman.

    Lastman was essentially the Conservative choice (by Harris-Leach and Godfrey) to preside over their Toronto amanglemation, aided by Liberal Mike Colle (who previously posed as an opponent of amalgamation). Lastman’s job was to make it seem palatable, and to the extent that it wasn’t to jump up and down in fruitless complaint.

    Like an organ grinder’s monkey on a rope, he did the job.