THE YONGE-UNIVERSITY SUBWAY LINE MAY SOON INCREASE ITS LENGTH BY EIGHT KILOMETRES

A quote from Marcus Gee, Globe and Mail columnist – The Yonge Subway Line will eventually pass its current Finch Avenue northern terminus. It now has attracted developments along its hubs, such as . . . . . . . . . The 407 Toll Highway in the city of Vaughan, and then would end up in suburban Richmond Hill. Developers can’t wait to start building along this connected new section. They can demand a higher price for homes and offices next to a subway that will take them to and from the heart of downtown. Building projects along a subway line means that people can get to their homes or work without using a car. Toronto’s booming region can accommodate thousands of new residents without worsening urban sprawl. Urban planners are calling what is happening along Yonge and in other cities “transit oriented development.” This idea is being pursued in cities all over the world. Marcus Gee says “The real madness would be to build a subway all the way to Richmond Hill and put nothing else there.”

‘CARS OVER BIKES’ ONCE WAS A “WAR” IN TORONTO, BUT TIMES ARE CHANGING FOR THE BEST MAYBE

<Photo above – In Toronto cyclists use Pool Noodles for protecting themselves from cars, trucks and drivers. Photo, Twitter – Chris Borkowski. It came to this.> Cycling or walking downtown was once a death-defying feat. Not so much any more. The city launched a three-year plan to upgrade cycling infrastructure by installing the largest single-year expansion of on-street bike lanes in Toronto’s history. At their best cyclists can now travel smoothly, for instance from High Park to Dawes Road without entwining themselves in-and-out of traffic. In Summer/2020 the Bike Share Program added 300 more electric cycles to their fleet. Across Toronto now there are 6,850 rental bikes, 625 new stations and 12,000 docking points. Some advantages for most bikes – 1) Good exercise, 2) Improves the Environment, 3) A possible way to avoid gridlock.

On the other hand, the suburbs aren’t so sure and traffic can be challenging. Cyclists don’t always abide by regulations, and speeding cars can cause mayhem. It depends on the operator. <Info. from Toronto Life, November,2020>   

 

KNOWN AS ‘THE DEPOT’, IT LOOKS LIKE A GIANT FLOWERPOT, AND SITS IN ROTTERDAM

As a cultural symbol in mirrored glass, it occupies space in the heart of Rotterdam, just as the Eiffel Tower does in Paris. It reflects the extraordinary character of its function – to store more than 151,000 works of art in the collection of The Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum close-by. This outstanding Museum itself is under construction until at least 2028. Rotterdam, a major world port city, was reduced to ashes in the City Centre by bombardments of the Luftwaffe in 1940. It has been rebuilt over many years in successive strata – a worthy competitor to  Amsterdam. I first visited Rotterdam in the 1950’s when it was pulling itself together. These days architects and construction experts are creating a magnificent old and new Dutch metropolis, certainly worth more than one visit.

BONNIE & CLYDE BARROW APPEAR TO BE BACK IN THE U.S.A. WITH A NETWORK OF “FLASH ROBBERS”.

They don’t seem to be robbing banks like the Barrows did in the 1930’s, but they do have interests in department stores, bricks and mortar retailers, supply chain delays, luxury outlets, everything that’s smash-and-grab possible. The mobs occasionally number from a handful of participants to as many as eighty. And they’re doing grab-and-go work from big cities to the suburbs. The bottom line, according to Toronto’s Globe and Mail, is this BELOW . . . . “Flash Mob robbers see the stars aligning around a golden opportunity – fewer police, with less power, and laws so lax they can expect slaps on the wrist if they’re caught.” Too bad that Christmas will soon be here.

TORONTO SAYS IT WILL NOT ALLOW HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS TO REMAIN IN PUBLIC PARKS

The reasons: concerns of public accessibility, legality and safety. “The shelter system is unsafe, demeaning and overcrowded” according to the Shelter and Housing Justice Network. People cannot be forced to move to indoor shelters, so the City issues a notice of trespassing to those living in homeless encampments, and offers help from city services, including referrals to indoor shelters. Toronto plans to spend about $663-million on homelessness and Housing First services this year, and has opened more than 25 physical distancing shelters to house those coming from encampments. < From The Bridge News, November 2021, by Megan Camlasaran,>

TORONTO’S FILM BUSINESS IS GOING UP – WAY UP – SOON SUPPORTING EVEN MORE SCREEN INDUSTRY

< Artist rendering above, BMH, Basin Media Hub>From VARIETY – Toronto, Canada’s metropolis, home to 1.9-million, known for feature film production, celebrated series, and opening Canadian headquarters this year by Netflix. There’s more coming. Hackman Capital Partners (HCP) and its affiliate, the MBS Group, have won the request to build a major new $250-million studio complex in Toronto. It will provide  up to 500,000 square feet of film, television and digital media studio space and production offices, including eight purpose-built sound stages as well as workshop and production support spaces. HCP-MBS will also work with the city to create a public promenade along the waterfront. City Councillor Paula Fletcher, chair of the Film, TV & Digital Media Advisory Board said “With production value in Toronto on track to hit a 2022 record high, surpassing the 2019 record high of $2.2 billion, this industry needs the state-of-the-art media hub to meet the growing demand for space and Toronto talent.” The HCP-MBS proposal was approved by CreateTO, Toronto’s real estate agency, last month and city council last week, before Mayor John Tory announced the finalization of the partnership. Mayor Tory said “The HCP-MBS proposal is a tremendous opportunity for the city and “an exciting addition to Toronto’s east end.”

‘THE ONE’ IS ITS NAME, AND IT COULD BE THE TALLEST HABITABLE BUILDING IN TORONTO & CANADA

There’s a competition for being the “tallest” in Toronto and Canada since other ‘giants’ are now going up daily.  Should the City approve and the increase permitted ‘The One’ would retain the record of the tallest in the country, with a fine development site and glorious views. The structure still has a way to go, but it’s already attracting multitudes of Torontonians, and record amounts of media.  <Above – ‘The One’ is on the Bloor Street West level.> <Photo above – Constructing ‘The One’, which is in the foreground.> <For More information  – MIZRAHI Developments – “AN ICON IS RISING”.indeed>

MARCUS GEE, GLOBE AND MAIL COLUMNIST, STANDS UP FOR THE TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION

Marcus writes – “The TTC, now celebrating it’s 100th anniversary, is the third busiest system in North America after New York’s and Mexico City’s. It’s a comprehensive, city-wide grid. You only have to travel to just about any American city to see how good we have it. . . . . Both federal and provincial governments are investing billions. The result is a series of huge projects, from the Finch West LRT and the Eglinton Crosstown to the Scarborough subway extension. And there’s the upcoming Ontario Line, a whole new subway route for Central Toronto. The TTC is buying 60 more of those sleek new streetcars, replacing old diesel buses with cleaner diesel-electric hybrids and trying out a battery-powered model. Subway service is speeding up by getting new trains . . . . It’s spending many millions making stations more accessible.” There’s much to consider, thanks to Marcus Gee.

38% OF TORONTO CONDOS AREN’T ALWAYS OCCUPIED BY OWNERS – GLOBE AND MAIL SEPT/2021

The number of non-owners who occupied properties went up by 34,915 in 12 months to January/2020. The Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) said “when a property is not owner-occupied in the cities with major universities, they are most likely rented or vacant. When it’s more rural they might be used for recreational purposes.” CHSP reported the percentage of foreign-owned property remained steady from 2019 to 2020, with the highest share in the Vancouver region. That area was close to the University of British Columbia – where 17% of foreign owners topped the list, followed by 7% in Toronto. The data is based on early 2020.

IN THE 1960’S SURFACE CAR PARKS WERE ‘KING’ IN TORONTO – BERCZY PARK WAS ON ITS WAY

While tearing stuff down to make way for the car was considered progress, Toronto’s city centre was littered with autos and their surface parks. But eventually wiser heads prevailed, and these days all but a couple of surface parking lots are gone. Some have been converted into below-grade parking. Nearly all of the lots have been developed, while a triangular-shaped Berczy Park with its’ dog fountain was built behind the Flatiron Building.  This much-loved park seems to be a change for the better in this old part of Toronto.  <Photo – St. Lawrence Market Neighborhood, ca1970’s, City of Toronto >