FROM MY ATTIC – ‘FORTUNE’ MAGAZINE/1974 – A STORY ABOUT ‘SURPRISING TORONTO, THE NEW GREAT CITY’

EDMUND FALTERMAYER writes – “Canadians have seen their metropolises become better than ever. The most stunning improvement has taken place in TORONTO (1974), where a formerly tedious provincial capital has emerged as the world’s newest great city.”

<PHOTO – 1960’s skyline with the Admiral neon sign>

“In the 1950’s and 60’s TORONTO was so dull that a good time was a weekend in BUFFALO. TORONTO (1974) is a new sort of Fun City without angst or affectation – a place where the residents feel wondrously spared from the urban troubles to the south.”

<POSTCARD – the skyline in the 1970’s from the Gardiner Expressway>

TORONTO (1974) is in amazingly good repair. The new downtown skyscrapers are bordered, not by a wide zone of decayed housing and glass strewn lots, but by flourishing neighborhoods, that are some of the city’s chief glories.”

TORONTO (1974) has reined in suburban sprawl, kept its transportation in balance, and made sure that its streets stay safe and clean. In 1953, over-riding suburban objections, the province established a metropolitan government, which not only planned the region’s growth but also builds such basic facilities as arterial roads and trunk sewers.”

<PHOTO – Highway 401 interchange – Chuckman’s Nostalgia>

“In transportation, TORONTO (1974) has created the best of two worlds. There are a goodly number of expressways, including one twelve-lane monster (the 401) where the prevailing speed limit outside of rush hour is 75 miles-per-hour (121 km/hour). But these roads all go around the old urban core.”

<PHOTO – an all-red subway train by Robert Taylor, 1970’s>

“TORONTO’s subway system, begun in the early 1950’s, is needed to lure motorists out of their cars. The trains are immaculate, quiet and frequent. With fares subsidized at 25 cents, the average citizen rides the subway, buses and streetcars 158 times a year.”

<PHOTO – when police cars were yellow>

“Strict controls over handguns and comparatively unclogged courts get credit for the low TORONTO (1974) crime rate. A high level of maintenance deters littering and vandalism. Government has done a lot of things right.”

<PHOTO – an East York bungalow>

“Horrific inflation of housing prices is the one big blot on life in (1974) TORONTO. If this goes on, the non-affluent will be driven out of suburbs as well as the inner city. Mortgages in the TORONTO area carry a 12% interest rate; unpretentious new single-family homes recently sold for $65,000.”

<PHOTO – building the CN Tower – Photoscream>

To wind up his story, EDMUND FALTERMAYER wrote “ TORONTO may never reach the size of ‘world cities’ such as New York or Paris. But it has nonetheless won a secure place in the big time. Until something better comes along, the civilized city is still where many of the world’s civilized people prefer to be.”

<PHOTO – the waterfront, north of Billy Bishop Island Airport, in the 1970’s>

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