NOT EVERYONE IS PLEASED, BUT RUSH HOUR RIDERSHIP ON THE KING STREETCARS HAS SHOT UP

The reports are in, and it appears the King Street streetcar pilot project has increased morning rush hour transit ridership by as much as 25% (a gain of 16,000 additional riders). On-street parking has been outlawed, and car drivers are forced to make right turns off King at most major intersections.

City stats show a decrease in journey times by as much as 14%.  Increased ridership of course means crowded streetcars. And some businesses along the Bathurst to Jarvis Street route are unhappy. The city is working to come up with a solution.

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THE MUCH-LOVED ‘SAM THE RECORD MAN’ SIGN IS SPINNING ITS DISCS AGAIN DOWNTOWN

After a decade of negotiating and restoring, TORONTO’s iconic Sam the Record Man sign is back in business. The sign means a lot to local and out-of-town music lovers who crowded in to Sam Sniderman’s store daily. On weekends, the place was often packed, and Sam himself would be there to keep things moving.

Sam opened his music shop in 1959, and later other branches across the country. The main store closed its doors in 2007, and the property was purchased by Ryerson University. Promises were made to restore the sign – and Ryerson has now followed through. <PHOTO ABOVE – blogto>

Visitors to Yonge & Dundas Square can now look up to Sam’s spinning discs on top of a TORONTO Public Health building.

AMONG THE MILLIONS – SOME REALLY GOOD WEBSITES & BLOGS YOU MAY (OR MAY NOT) FIND HANDY

*** Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) – http://www.cbc.ca/
* Hippie Historian – https://hippiehistorian.com/
* Hung, Drawn and Culturedhttps://hungdrawnandcultured.com/
*** National Film Board of Canadahttps://www.nfb.ca/
*** National Gallery of Canadahttps://www.gallery.ca/
*** O’ Canadahttps://ocanadablog.com/
* Poutine Pundithttps://poutinepundit.wordpress.com/
* Through My View Finderhttps://wesshepherd.wordpress.com/the-photo-page/
*** Torontoisthttps://torontoist.com/
* Toronto Review of Bookshttps://www.torontoreviewofbooks.com/
* Urban Rangerhttps://theurbanranger.wordpress.com/
*** Vancouver Graffitihttps://vancouvergraffiti.wordpress.com/

TIME IS GETTING SHORT TO SEE A SPECTACULAR COLLECTION OF CARPETS AT THE AGA KHAN MUSEUM

“Arts of the East: Highlights of Islamic Art” from the Bruschettini Collection continues until January 21/2018 at the Aga Khan Museum. The more than 40 objects in the exhibition date from the 13th to 17th centuries, and include a large number of remarkable carpets.

The Bruschettini Collection is one of the most important private collections of Islamic Art in the world.

    <Photos by Philip Castleton Photography>

The Aga Khan Museum is located at 77 Wynford Drive, reachable by the Don Valley Parkway, or one light north of Eglinton Avenue, off Don Mills Road. – https://www.agakhanmuseum.org/

“COME ON IN – THERE’S PLENTY OF ROOM” – TORONTO’S POPULATION DENSITY REMAINS LOW

CANADA’s largest city is far less dense than other global metropoli around the world. Which means there’s space for more affordable housing and room to grow, according to Josef Filipowicz (senior policy analyst) & Kenneth P. Green (Senior Director, Fraser Institute).

To accommodate the thousands moving into TORONTO’s core, the city has been building way up, and some neighbourhoods are packed with high rises. But, according to a story in MACLEANS, by comparison, we are not dense.

As a major centre of finance, media and industry, TORONTO’s peers include New York City and Chicago. New York is more than twice as dense as T.O. and Chicago, despite a shrinking population, remains 3.1% more dense than this city.

In the above graph published in MACLEANS – PARIS is #1 with very high population density; TORONTO, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Mississauga are among the lowest. New York is in between.

MACLEANS’ article – http://www.macleans.ca/opinion/toronto-and-vancouver-have-room-to-grow-up-and-more-affordable/

THE WINTER STATIONS/2018 ARE GOING ALL-POLITICAL ON BALMY, KEW & ASHBRIDGES BAY BEACHES

<In 2017 the Winter Stations drew quite a crowd to the Beaches neighbourhood>

The Winter Stations international Design Competition is now in its fourth year. Come February 19th, lifeguard stands at three beaches will be transformed into large-scale, public art installations, until April 1/2018.

The theme this year is ‘RIOT: violent disturbance, uproar, activism and uncontrolled feelings – a large or varied display.’ Quite a challenge, but pictured below are the winning designs.

<“Make Some Noise!!!” – HAMBURG, Germany>

<“Nest” – TORONTO>

<“Obstacle” – UNITED KINGDOM>

<“Revolution” – TORONTO>

<“Rising Up” – GUELPH, Ontario>

<“Power to the Wind Station” – ROTTERDAM, Netherlands>

And the pièce de résistance –
<“The Pussy Hut” – ITHACA, New York>

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