Tag Archives: Mel Lastman

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So who really runs the city of Toronto?


So who really runs the city of Toronto?

Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto, greeting a nun at ...

It’s interesting times in the city of Toronto. Mayor Mel Lastman had his issues, however we did not seem to have this endless deadlock. The former flamboyant Mayor definitely had his detractors, but we still got things done. Unfortunately Mayor Ford tried to do whatever he wanted and it has not worked out as planned. He had to work with council and it was not good enough to say that he has the support of Toronto citizens. It was all about the approach, in my opinion and unfortunately he has spent a large portion of his his political capital.  Rob Ford is a great person and has done a lot for the city. There is another side to Rob Ford, which is often not talked about. He has done a lot for the community, and continues to do so even as the Mayor. Mayor Ford has helped to control city spending; helping to promote the fact that council must respect the dollar. He has also been a great defender or the suburban areas of Scarborough and Etobicoke. So where does he go from here? I hope he continues to stay in politics, as it’s always good to have a good balance on council. It’s always good to hear opinions on both sides of the spectrum.

The Sheppard line of Toronto – More than just empty subway cars


Adam McDowell files from North York in a story to be published in tomorrow’s Toronto Magazine:

That was pretty scary when David Miller threatened to shut down the Sheppard subway line, wasn’t it? At any rate, the gesture was meant to shock, even if some people’s reaction to the news was, “Oh yeah. I forgot there was a subway on Sheppard.” Opened in 2002 and derided ever since as a subway to nowhere, the Sheppard line represents, depending on whom you ask, a waste of taxpayer money, an example of poor transit planning or a testament to Mel Lastman’s ability to see his will fulfilled.

While a decision on the proposal to shut down the line has been postponed until September and City Hall watchers are 99% sure Miller and his allies are bluffing, just the threat of its demise made us appreciate it more — or at least want to appreciate it more. Here’s what transit riders could miss if the Sheppard line were to close its doors.

Yonge/Sheppard Station Where would you like to go for lunch? Boston Pizza? The Keg? McDonald’s? Or how about Joons for Korean or Deli Viet for Thai and Vietnamese? With its dozens of affordable, unchallenging lunch options, it seems as though this area’s entire purpose is to feed civil servants who work in the imposing federal government building at 4900 Yonge St. Bon appétit, bureaucrats!

Bayview Station Upscale shopping centre Bayview Village seems to get bigger every year, inflated by the influx of ugly condo dwellers into the area. I mean the condos are ugly, not their residents. They’re just overdressed.

Bessarion Station Suburban Bessarion Road has to be the quietest street to have a subway station named after it, but that will change as the massive Concord Park Place condo development takes shape over the next decade. Burger Hut at 804 Sheppard Ave. E. serves up great peameal bacon sandwiches as well as boerewors sausages, a nod to the area’s South African community. Its strip plaza neighbour Baxter’s sells biltong, chutneys and other South African treats.

Leslie Station They may as well have called it Ikea station, and yet a mess of bridges, train tracks and dead ends makes it all but impossible to walk from the station to the Swedish furniture retailer. Thankfully, there’s a shuttle to zip you to the store (details at ikea.com). Still, good luck lugging your new Extorp home on the TTC.

Don Mills Station Even in the midst of a major renovation, the relative calm of Fairview Mall could leave you wondering why you ever elbow your way through Yorkdale or the Eaton Centre. Fairview’s tranquility is why you have to come here to get the last one of that shirt in medium.

— Photo of Bessarion Station from David Topping’s TTC series.

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The Sheppard subway sandwich that Mel ordered!


One of the lasting legacies for Mel Lastman is the Sheppard Subway. I actually wanted the subway to be built, however not in its present form. If it actually had been completed or better yet extended westwards, along with the completion to Scarborough Town Centre and beyond, things would have been better. Alas, a Mike Harris conservative government, without any foresight and vision killed what could have been a great cross-town subway line. My feelings are that the Sheppard Subway could have been an excellent LRT line. This was an option, back when they were deciding on cutting costs to the Sheppard Subway. I believe that Howard Moscoe was one of the councilors proposing this, but was summarily shot down. It could have been a great option. Underground stations, maybe at Leslie, Don Mills and Yonge; along with a centre right-of-way LRT would have been perfect. A cheaper option would have been to use the Finch Hydro corridor, since a majority of people were traveling from points in Scarborough. However, the real problem is interference from politicians. Until we remove them from play we will end of with projects like this. Don’t get me started on the Greg Sorbara subway to Vaughan. York University would have been good enough for now. That money could fund more then ½ of all the LRT projects on the books. Let people who know what to do, do it. Let’s get politicians out of the way of progress. We do not need another Sheppard Subway. Albeit, what is done is done, it MUST be finished. Otherwise, what was the point? Same is the dumb idea to fill up the Eglinton Line dig, when a large portion of it was already dug. But then again, that wasn’t the subway Mel built? We ordered two 12 inch subs, with everything on it. However, Mike Harris only gave us enough for the Tuesday special.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario