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Friday, November 9, 2012

Flashpoint, Toronto and the character of Setting

Flashpoint is a hit show both here in Canada as well as in the USA, and its Toronto setting is a part of its success. But, what took so long for Toronto to be front and centre?

Setting is an important part of story-telling. Setting is often actually a form of character, and certain stories can only be told in certain settings, because the character of setting impacts the story.

For some strange reason, Toronto had yet to be embraced as a setting in which a compelling story could be told...but I've never understood why. Thanks to Flashpoint, however, those days could finally be over.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Urban Rail Express Grid

Engineer Julian Li, speaking as a private citizen, shares his professional vision of what public transit in Toronto could look like, and it's worth fair consideration.

How to make Toronto to be one of best transit cities using existing fund from julianli
Mr. Li held court, took questions and ably defended the grid here. He also replies to email if you wish to contact him directly (find contact info in his slides above).

Among Toronto's greatest strengths is its diversity. What's more, Toronto has a proud heritage of contributions to transit logistics by visible minorities (all Torontonians should know the name Thornton Blackburn), and being true to this heritage demands that we continue to leverage our diversity for progress.

There are good ideas out there - when people come from London UK or NYC and "laugh at our pathetic transit system" it's painfully obvious we have failed our obligation to lead, we've failed to live up to the responsibilities of "world class status" - a term that is more than just words.

Lincoln Alexander leaves Queen's Park for the last time

Signing the guest register. Photo courtesy Ann Green.
I was able to get downtown last night to pay last respects to Lincoln Alexander and shoot this video of his motorcade pulling out and heading to Hamilton.

There's plenty written about his life, work and legacy all over the internet - he lived a life dedicated to not only making Canada a better place, but also to inspiring people to do the same. 

I'll just echo one quote of his that I particularly embrace:
"I'm proud of being black, but my role in Canada is to serve all the people. I'm a Canadian. Period."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Spend billions for one DRL someday, or flip switch on seven existing lines today?

This article commenting on the need for a downtown relief line (DRL) is utterly maddening.

This one line would cost $3.2 billion (and rising) and would be completed...um...someday - the article says "currently there is no money set aside for a downtown relief line."

Yet, right now, today, as I type, there are not one, not two (I feel like LeBron James here), not three, not four... but seven existing rail lines, like spokes, out from the Union Station hub (three east of Yonge Street and four west of Yonge Street). Yes, I said seven. These lines are in operation, by GO Transit. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Scarborough RT service is deplorable

On a typical weekday morning, people waiting at Lawrence East RT Station on the southbound platform to go one stop to Kennedy Stn.  will often stand there while one, two, three, four…trains enter the station full (or, semi-full, more on that later) and leave without those people being able to get on. At 8am, those people are not out gang-banging or slinking in the shadows targeting little old ladies; at that time of the morning, people are out using public transit because they must, to get on with a productive day either working for a living or going to school to better themselves and prepare for being able to contribute to society.
This is cruel and unusual torment and torture for people just trying to get on with their day.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Toronto crime, relatively illustrated

"A picture is worth a thousand words." Below are some pictures of crime statistics - tell me what you see.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rob Ford's fictional rhetoric vs. facts

In the wake of the recent shootings in Toronto, there is no shortage of right wing rhetoric being spewed. In an effort to provide balance with some actual facts, consider the following:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Introducing Blumenfeld

When those two cocky young journalists broke the Watergate story back in 1972, they rocked the world with thanks to their anonymous source, an insider whom they called "Deep Throat."

Toronto My Way is excited to announce that we now have "insiders" in various agencies of the city to act as our anonymous sources in Toronto politics.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Scarborough Fair?

Scarborough residents have to swallow "no subways for you." 

I recently looked into the Presto payment option and discovered that there are multiple Presto machines at various TTC subway stations all across the city...except in Scarborough. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Harder Way

There are all kinds of methods by which TTC could improve service, methods that do not require testing beyond the proven real-world success other systems not far away already deploy. One topic with many opportunities is fare.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

TTC Mall

Recently, TTC advertisements are revealing that it is the most underfunded big city transit system.

While that is annoying itself, for reasons that demand the extended attention of a longer exploration, it confirms that TTC has got to get creative and resourceful to find additional sources of funding. 

I'm not sure what's in the fine print of the by-laws, but it would seem to me a very good idea would be to expand the TTC landlord empire, collecting rents for increased retail tenants within the system.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Respect and dignity" is a two-way street

Last night I attempted to engage a TTC bus operator in a conversation that could have the potential of saving not only his life, but that of his colleagues, as well as the productive lives of commuters.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dealing with Rob Ford's conflict of interest is simple

There is an Act that sets clear language describing what should not be done, as well as the consequences for doing it - if he voted on a matter in which he was directly and materially involved, the mandatory minimum is removal from office; a ban from office eligibility could additionally be handed down.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What have we become?

Previously, I'd hoped aloud that we would not be embarrassed by this man. This episode from City Hall demonstrates very clearly that my hopes were in vain. (Note: contains foul language, viewer discretion advised.)