TORONTO’s ‘little airline that could’, is about to purchase 12 Bombardier CS100 jets, with an option on 18 more. PORTER AIR has built an amazingly successful business flying Q400 turboprops out of Billy Bishop Island Airport in downtown TORONTO. The new jets will potentially increase Porter’s reach, competing with Westjet and Air Canada. If approved, Porter Air could become a new Canadian national carrier.
Jets will facilitate service to Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, Florida, the Caribbean and elsewhere. And tagging along will be a plethora of controversy over airport expansion, and lots of fights at TORONTO city hall.
Fasten your seatbelts. Heavy air turbulence ahead!
To inform yourself on Porter’s plans, look at their website: http://www.porterplans.com
A new series of 25 double-deckers has just been added to the 22 already in service on GO Transit’s suburban service. They’re 10 centimetres lower than the old models, which means they can travel on almost any route. The buses seat 81 passengers; purchase price: $800,000 each for a total of $19.5 million.
GO (Government of Ontario) operates a vast network of trains and buses in TORONTO’s outer suburbs.
Greater TORONTO – especially suburbia – is awash in traffic. Something has to change. The Toronto Region Board of Trade has launched a new advertising campaign to boost public support for funding a massive regional transportation plan. The region is losing about $6 billion annually in lost productivity due to traffic congestion.
TORONTO is one in a series of cities mapped to show the places locals and tourists frequent. Using images posted to the Geotaggers Word Atlas and placing them on a map, the images provide a handy travel reference to quiet spots and action spots in various metropoli. In TORONTO’s case, the lights are much brighter downtown.
BOTTOM – downtown Toronto
BLUE dots – where locals have taken photographs over a month or so
RED dots – where tourists have taken photographs
One of several subway train yards around TORONTO. This one is on Greenwood Avenue in the East End.
PHOTO – http://www.jamiesarner.com
In the wee hours of Thursday morning, TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION engineers were testing the first of 204 new streetcars, scheduled to go into service in 2014. The new cars are much longer than today’s fleet, measuring about 30 metres (approximately 90 feet) from end to end. According to the TTC, all went well. <PHOTOS – Toronto Transit Commission>
“Around 1:30 a.m., (my) fantasy became a reality. At a red light at Dundas and Spadina, there it was: the gleaming, red and white test car, like a visitor from some strange and advanced cityscape, making its way south on Spadina’s dedicated tracks. The 30-metre-long mini-train, capable of reaching speeds up to 70 km/h, moved slowly, almost cautiously, flanked on either end by two of its out-of-service ancesters, which functioned as bodyguards . . . A simple U-turn put the streetcar in our rearview mirror. It sped off into the night, disappearing from sight, back into the future.” - an encounter with TORONTO’s new test streetcar on a late-night trial run, by Rob Duffy/The Grid
New Yorkers CORY BORTNICKER (Emmy-winning writer) and ANDY JIMISON (illustrator) recently introduced their Pedestrian Penalty Pack. These ten little cards focus on city sidewalks and how to use them. Says Cory: “When you walk around on sidewalks with lots of other pedestrians, it’s very easy to get frustrated by the lack of etiquette. I want to turn street rage into something fun.”
Hand them out to rule-breakers – if you dare. http://www.pedestrianpenaltycards.com
Victoria Park Bus Terminal – once a cavernous, concrete bunker – now has a much friendlier face. Thanks to the Toronto Transit Commission, 25,000 daily commuters will be bathed in natural light from multiple windows, as they connect to the subway and buses. Access to the outdoors has also been greatly improved. Well done, TTC!
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities was impressed, and gave the TTC a Sustainable Communities Award/2013.
Unlike most major cities, TORONTO’s Bus Terminal is right in the city centre, in a safe neighbourhood. Day and night, public transport and taxi service is available. The Terminal – now more than 80 years old – is woefully small; it’s been locked in on all sides by tall structures. Several times a day, there are buses to Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Montreal, connections to all parts of Canada and the USA. 610 Bay Street, just north of Dundas West.
Subway stop – DUNDAS, and walk west one block.
<Overcrowded bus bays on Edward Street, PHOTO – SimonP/Wikipedia>
The way we were: back in the 1920′s and 30′s, coach travel was more ‘refined’ than it is today. <PHOTOS BELOW – City of Toronto Archives, Alfred Pearson>
One Google critic says: “Quality Very good. Compared to other comparable big-city bus terminals (Chicago, Denver, Cincinnati, Montreal, Seattle etc etc) this little old-fashioned station compared favorably.”
<Pearson International Airport, February 7/2013; photo – Frank Gunn, Canadian Press>
The usual jibes about TORONTO and snow came blowing in yesterday. The city, hit with a major blizzard, was fighting to dig itself out. Canadians in other parts of the country thought this was a big joke . . . until Pearson International Airport began canceling/delaying flights – up to 800 – causing airline chaos from sea to shining sea. Pearson is the ‘centre of the universe’ when it comes to national and international air travel in Canada. Funny, eh?