Category Archives: Ontario

The “One City” 30-year plan possibly 20-years too late?


English: "Transit City" billboard pr...

English: “Transit City” billboard promoting proposed LRT expansion in Toronto by the TTC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ford says “No”, and Karen says “Yes”! Most Torontonians know we need subways and better transit. We need a proper transit system in Toronto and transit is a smart investment. I was amazed to see how bad transit is in Toronto, when I attempted to make a simple trip on the roads the other day. To travel on Eglinton, from Wynford to Warden, took approximately 20-30 minutes, and I thought I was taking a short-cut. On another day I got off the 401 and got stuck on York Mills. I could not believe how many cars were on the road.  I understand why people are stressed. Drivers are upset in traffic, it makes sense. Trips that should take 10-15 minutes are now taking 45 minutes to an hour. There is not even a proper strategy for bicyclist downtown.

So what to do now? Well we have ‘another’ new 30-year transit plan. I have some news for our politicians, and I will keep it simple. We don’t have 30-years! I think we actually only have 10 years, max 15. We need shovels in the ground now and some out of the box ideas.

1. GO Transit has lines and tracks crossing through the city. Keep it simple! We need trains running on these lines in minimum 20-30 minute intervals; both ways, not in one direction downtown. Let’s utilize some of the infrastructure that exists and make it better.

2. Open up David Millers original Transit City plan and do more. Lets enhance that plan and fix what needs to be fixed. Get it done! No more long-term plans. Let’s get the maximum value out of the plans we have.

3. Let’s get a downtown “No Frills” relief line for Toronto. It does not have to be fancy. There are under-utilized CP/CN lines in the city. Put something on them and get people moving! In Ottawa they created a line on a single track, with track switching on certain portions of the line. It was not fancy, but they got it done.

4. Where are the BRT‘s and bike networks? Lets use our hydro corridors for BRT’s and a proper bike network.

5. Let’s get inventive and use Lake Ontario to move people to downtown Toronto, between Oshawa, Bowmanville, Hamilton and more.

6. Possibly re-visit Leslie as a relief to the Don Valley Parkway, maybe even using it for transit. We don’t need a massive change, but when we get to Eglinton somehow connect the road to the Bayview extension via a tunnel or via the valley in a creative fashion.

7. Merge transit across the city and lets get Presto implemented everywhere! Should Metrolinx be in charge of the entire transit system across the G.T.A?

We have to stop saying Torontonians, and G.T.A residents, cannot afford new taxes. I don’t like them either, but I don’t like to see people idling their cars. I don’t like stress. It’s pointless, if we know the solution to a better and healthier city. We do not need fancy, we just need to move! We know something must be done, so let’s get it done now; not 30 years down the road. It’s nice to have a plan, but we have had too many since the Liberal Peterson Government. We need transit in 10-15 years, not 30.

Is it too late for RIM?


English: Screenshot from the upcoming Bold 990...

English: Screenshot from the upcoming Bold 9900 / 9930 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

RIM seems to be broken and customers in North America are leaving Blackberry for Google Android and Apple iPhones. There Playbook, albeit a great device, seems to be lost in a sea of tablets and obscurity. So what is RIM to do now? It seems that they are taking their time. Moving slowly towards a goal. BB10 will be a great OS and will provide Blackberry users with the update they need, however it seems that RIM is in slow motion; in an industry moving at lightning speed. We have already heard word that the first BB10 phone will not come with their signature keyboard, which some feel is suicide; a keyboard version not coming until 2013. We still don’t even have a release date. We want the best for RIM and they have a network, with software services, that other players covet. The only positive note is for RIM is the move by Microsoft to produce their own device; upsetting their OEM manufacturers. Google buying Motorola and potentially going it alone; now releasing updates about their Nexus 7. The question, is it too little too late for RIM?

Markham is building for the future


A 2005 Van Hool newA330 stops at Warden Vivast...

A 2005 Van Hool newA330 stops at Warden Vivastation, in Markham, Ontario. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So Markham wants to build a 20000 seat arena and entertainment complex that will rival the Air Canada Centre. In a way it makes perfect sense. There has been a lot of talk around bringing an NHL team to Markham, however I believe Toronto residents and possibly the media have it backwards. I used to live in Markham and based on the makeup, demographics and changes in Toronto, I think it will do quite fine with or without a team. Markham is building a new downtown and the facility is part of the plan. With a large ethnic mix of Asian and South-Asian residents; along with the diversity of York Region and north Toronto, other uses are possible. It’s perfectly situated near the Unionville GO station and is well served by VIVA. I remember when prices for brownstone styled homes were listed at $400000. At the time I thought it was high, but now it seems like a bargain. Will it work, who really knows. The world does not only revolve around downtown Toronto. I believe that Markham politicians have recognized that the times are changing and they are betting that they will be on the right side of the future.

Is an election on the horizon in Ontario? Liberals, NDP still trying to make a deal


Ontario general election, 1999

Ontario general election, 1999 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ontario Liberals and New Democrats are meeting again today, trying to negotiate a deal before Tuesday’s crucial budget vote to keep the minority government alive and avoid another election.

Sources with both parties confirm the talks continued all weekend, but aren’t saying when NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Premier Dalton McGuinty will hold a face-to-face meeting.

Read more

ONTARIO AMBER ALERT! Joshua Low


THE TORONTO POLICE SERVICE HAS REQUESTED AN “AMBER ALERT” FOR AN ABDUCTED CHILD IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA.

TORONTO, April 21, 2012 /CNW/ –

Victim’s name: Joshua LOW

Date of Birth: 28 April 2003 (8 years of age)

Physical Description: Oriental
Height- 4 ft
Weight- 40-45 lbs
Hair color– Black
Eye colorBrown

Clothing: Last seen wearing dark hooded sweat shirt, blue and yellow shoes.

Believed to be in the company of: “Jessica” Yi Qing LOW-ZHEN

Date of Birth: 28 August 1966 (45 years of age)

Physical Description: Oriental
Height- 5 ft 1″
Weight- Thin build
Hair color- Long black hair
Eye color- Brown

Click here for photos and more details from the Toronto Police Services

Have you seen missing teen Michelle Yu


Michelle Yu, 18, has been missing since Tuesday

Toronto police are seeking the public’s help in locating Michelle Yu, an 18-year-old who has been missing since Tuesday.

Police say she was last seen at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the TD Bank at 354 Bay St., near Temperance Street. Her image was captured on the bank’s security camera and she appeared to be alone. Members of her family say this is not the bank branch Michelle regularly uses.

She was also seen at around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the York Mills Road/Chipstead Road area.

Read more

Link

W5 presents “Buyer beware of used car deals”


Used Car Lot

Used Car Lot (Photo credit: rptnorris)

W5 presents “Buyer beware of used car deals”

When it comes to shopping for a second-hand vehicle most buyers are wary of smooth-talking used car salespeople who may try to sell you a lemon. So what can you do to ensure that you and your hard earned money aren’t being taken for a ride?

Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/WFive/20120413/used-car-investigation-toronto-w5-auto-sales-apa-120414/#ixzz1s877Zhn8

Link

Is it time to open the skies in Canada and allow U.S carriers?


Air Canada Boeing 747-133 C-FTOC at Zurich Int...

Air Canada Boeing 747-133 C-FTOC at Zurich International Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it time to open the skies in Canada and allow U.S carriers?

Despite the issues pilots have with their employer, Air Canada, the issues today are showing the serious flaws in Canada’s transportation system. Air Canada, like the photo, is starting to look old and out-dated. There are alternatives for trips to Montreal, Ottawa and other locations; using Porter or WestJet, however other remote and specific locations are leaving Canadians hanging. People are upset and rightly so. There is a dependency in Canada, on Air Canada. However, there are a not a full list of choices. I am sure Buffalo Niagara is seeing an increase and maybe it’s time to get other carriers in Canada. Our Federal policies prevent an American, or other carrier, from flying within Canada. Air Canada is taking a big hit and Canadians are angry. The Conservatives, now with a majority, may take notice. We have underutilized airports in Hamilton, London and even Oshawa. Is it time to open the skies?What do you say?

Do the Ontario Liberals want an election?


An interesting game of poker is taking place in Ontario and it seems that the Liberals may have the best hand. Who has the most to lose? At the moment it’s the NDP. No one wants an election and I suspect that if one is called you can kiss all of those NDP seats goodbye. Both the NDP and the Tories cannot afford an election at the moment. In a funny sense if the NDP votes against the budget I am sure the Tories will end up having to support it. The Liberals be in the best position if an election is called. So who will blink first?

BREAKING NEWS: Air Canada employees wildcat strike at Pearson


Air Canada baggage handlers have walked off the job at Pearson Airport. Twitter is a blaze with angry travellers who are unable to get their bags, board plans or even get off their plane. I am not sure if this is going to help their cause, as it may just speed up the demise of Air Canada and more government involvement by the Conservatives. If you are heading to Pearson you will need to check your flight ahead of time. If you have a connecting flight, at another airport, you may want to check your arrival or departure.

http://www.torontopearson.com/

http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120322/120322_air_canada/20120322/?hub=CP24Home

http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/local/article/195356–air-canada-ground-employees-stage-wildcat-strike

Toronto police stop and document black and brown people


An interesting article from the Toronto Star. It would be interesting to know how widespread this is. It’s unfortunate to commonly hear the line “well if you have nothing to hide, why does it matter”. It matters because you have the rights, however how is that balanced? If you are a targeted community what are the long-term effects on youth? Do kids grow up feeling that they are always a target. The comment is often made because it does not affect the person making it. There is a failure to understand how an person feels on the other side of the fence.I would urge you to read Freakanomics. It’s an interesting take on what happens in certain conditions.

— Read more from the Toronto Star article below —

Young white males and those designated as “other” do attract police attention, but nothing as pronounced as black and brown youth.

Toronto police Chief Bill Blair dismisses the possibility that his officers, who are encouraged to stop, question and document citizens in all areas of the city as part of regular and targeted police work, may have documented all young black and brown men in certain areas.

“I can’t imagine that that’s true,” Blair said in an interview that stretched over two hours and included two deputy chiefs.

People come and go, he said, and citizens are documented in areas where they do not live, which indeed accounts for many of the cards filled out in certain neighbourhoods.

Read more

Astral Media has just been bought by Bell for over 3 billion dollars


News has just broken that Bell has bought outright the entire assets of Astral media. This means that the popular News Talk 1010 is now owned by Bell. Definitely showing that convergence is not dead in Canada. It will be interesting to see how this will play out in the media landscape and if Rogers or Telus will make any moves on the media front in Canada.

Read more:

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/938567/astral-enters-into-definitive-agreement-for-acquisition-by-bell