TORONTO TRANSIT’S ANDY BYFORD PREPARES TO MEET ‘THE MONSTROSITY’ – NEW YORK CITY’S SUBWAY

After five years as CEO of the TORONTO Transit Commission, ANDY BYFORD <photo – CTV> is about to take on the New York City Transit Authority (the MTA). He’ll be in charge of subways, buses, paratransit services and the Staten Island Railway.

Andy begins work in the Big Apple this January.

Just in time for Mr. Byford’s arrival, The New York Times Magazine presents its first January/2018 cover story – “The Case For The Subway”, an in-depth look at the system and how it was wrecked.

JONATHAN MAHLER writes “New York City’s subway is falling apart. It built the city, and the city must rebuild it to survive. Long before it became an archaic, filthy, profligate symbol of everything wrong with our broken cities, New York’s subway was a marvel – a mad feat of engineering and an audacious gamble on a preposterously ambitious vision.”

Photographs by DAMON WINTER
Read the in-depth story at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/magazine/subway-new-york-city-public-transportation-wealth-inequality.html

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DEPARTURES OF THOSE WHO BRIGHTENED OUR LIVES IN 2017 – OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH THEM

<PHOTO – Toronto sky, PHILIP HARE>

BARBARA Cook – ultimate interpreter of Broadway songs
CHUCK Berry – musician
CHRISTINE Keeler, UK model and showgirl
JIMMY Breslin – journalist & author
*JOHNNY Bower, Toronto Maple Leafs hockey legend
GLEN Campbell – musician
*ARNOLD Chang – Member of Parliament, Scarborough/Agincourt
*JULIETTE Augustina Cavazzi – CBC television star
LIZ Dawn – longtime ‘Coronation Street’ actress
FATS Domino – musician
*GORD Downie – musician, poet
DICK Gregory – civil rights activist, satirist
*ROY Halladay – former Blue Jays pitcher
*TOM Harpur – author, religion writer
JOHN Hurt – actor
*BETTY Kennedy – CFRB journalist, CBC personality
MARTIN Landau – actor
JERRY Lewis – comedian, actor
*DAVID Livingstone – fashion journalist
*BILL Marshall – Toronto International Film Festival co-founder
*STUART MacLean – CBC radio personality
MARY Tyler Moore – actor
ROGER Moore – actor
JEANNE Moreau – actor
TOM Petty – musician
DELLA REESE – musician
DON Rickles – comedian
DAVID Rockefeller – banker & philanthropist
*DAISY Sweeny, piano teacher & sister of Oscar Peterson
*JUNE Rowlands – Toronto’s first female mayor
SAM Shepard – playwright, actor
ADAM West – actor, the original Batman

Canadians or closely connected with Canada (asterisks*)

AN UNIDENTIFIED CALIFORNIAN SHOWS THERE’S STILL GOODNESS IN THE WORLD

With raging wildfires all around, an unidentified driver pulled over to the side of the road, and risked his/her life to save a rabbit. How magnificent is that! – December 7/2017

To understand what it’s like to open your front door and come face-to-face with a wildfire, read this chilling account – ‘Doom Season in Los Angeles’ – by Hector Tobadec, New York Times, December 8/2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/08/opinion/sunday/fires-los-angeles-california.html

“THERE’S A DIRECT LINE THAT GOES BACK TO CKDH” – IAN HANOMANSING, ANCHOR OF CBC’S “THE NATIONAL”

What is CKDH you might ask? It was, and still is, a small-town radio station in AMHERST, Nova Scotia. After a lengthy career as a reporter, documentarian and news reader IAN HANOMANSING, born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, is now a co-anchor of CBC television’s The National – the network’s hour-long, prime time nightly newscast.  <ABOVE – Ian on the left is next to co-anchors Andrew Chang, Adrienne Arsenault & Rosemary Barton>

Beginning his broadcasting career at CKDH – “For somebody like me to walk in the door of a radio station, looking for a job with my long, unusual last name – not only did (Station Manager Geoff De Gannes) hire me, but not once did (he) suggest I change that last name to something that might be a little more radio friendly.” <PHOTO BELOW – IAN on the air at CKDH in 1979; photo Ron Bickle>

Hanomansing to De Gannes – “You gave me an opportunity that you didn’t have to. (The CKDH job) was essential to where I ended up.”

IAN walking into CKDH looking for a job in 1979, was preceded by your faithful ‘torontosavvy’ blogger 20 years earlier. I was in high school at the time, and managed to land a non-paying gig hosting a Saturday afternoon show for teens <PHOTO ABOVE, me at the mike in 1958>.

From there it was on to ‘The Malt Shop’, also for teenagers and then a Sunday shift that nobody else wanted, and after that Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, commercial radio and television in Montreal & Toronto, and finally 3 decades producing and directing public television.

It began for both of us in a 250-watt radio station (later 1,000-watts, and now 23,000 watts). We bow to you, CKDH!

IT’S NOT SURPRISING THAT TORONTO IS MORE DIVERSE THAN EVER – STATISTICS CANADA/2017

The latest census figures show that 51.5% of Torontonians are members of visible minority communities. That’s up from 49% in 2011.

Increases since 2011 – ASIA – 674,495
EUROPE – 298,270
THE AMERICAS – 212,010
AFRICA – 77,445

INDIGENOUS total 23,065 (First Nations, North American Indian 14,380); Metis 7,270; Inuk (Inuit) 275.

LANGUAGES spoken in the city – English only (2,323,235); French only (2,725); both English & French (245,695); neither French nor English (132,765).

Number of Aboriginal languages spoken – 425.

CALIFORNIA TO MARYLAND IN 5 DAYS, 17 HRS., 56 MINUTES NON-STOP ON BIKES

A team of TORONTO cyclists raced across the United States, crossing three mountain ranges and 5,000 kilometres, becoming the fastest-ever Canadians to bike from one side of the US to the other. The eight-person team pedalled in 10-hour shifts, allowing some recovery time in a trailing Recreation Vehicle.

The team, finishing in Annapolis, Maryland on Friday, raised over $120,000 for the True Patriot Love Foundation, a Canadian charity that supports veterans, military personnel and their families. <PHOTOS – Chris Slawson>

“OUR’S IS A GOOD LAND – THIS DAY IS CANADA’S” – FORMER PM LESTER B. PEARSON, JULY 1/1967

In a message delivered by Prime Minister Lester Pearson 50 years ago, he wrote “Every one of you, and every Canadian before you, has had some part, however humble and unsung, in building the magnificent national structure of Confederation that we honour and salute today.”

TORONTO Member of Parliament ARNOLD CHAN, who has been battling Nasopharyngeal Cancer since 2014, recently stood up in the House of Commons and delivered a 20-minute emotional speech to fellow members.

“It is the basic common civility we share with each other that is fundamental,” he said. “It is giving way to someone on the road. It is saying thanks. It is the small things we collectively do, from my perspective that makes a great society, and to me, that is ultimately what it means to be a Canadian.

“I would ask Members of Parliament to carry on that tradition because that is the foundation of what makes Canada great. My advice is simple. We should use our heads, but follow our hearts.”

Read Amanda Taub’s June 27th column from the New York Times headlined ‘Canada’s Secret to Resisting the West’s Populist Wave’https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/world/canada/canadas-secret-to-resisting-the-wests-populist-wave.html