It's Saturday, so why not kick off your weekend with a little opening ceremony we like to call "Reading the News." It's got all the glitz and glamour of London, but without all the crowds! Enjoy: TCHC Special Constables may soon be armed; media training in the city's east end; more jobs, but also fewer jobs, at the TTC; the seemingly unsinkable Captain John floats on; Trinity Bellwoods is down one piano; and city planning woes.
While debates about gun control swirl about the city, the new CEO of the Toronto Community Housing is talking about the prospect of arming TCHC Special Constables. Right now, these constables aren’t allowed to carry guns, but according to Gene Jones, this leaves them “naked” should someone pull a gun on them while on duty. So, the plan is to fight gun violence by adding more guns? Got it.
Danzig-area residents received an unusual training opportunity from City Hall last night—a crash course in how to deal with the media. The media training workshop was run by the City’s community crisis response program, apparently in response to concerns from the community about how they were being portrayed in news articles.
Though the TTC has announced plans to hire 500 subway, streetcar, and bus drivers, the employment news coming out of Toronto’s transit department is not all good. TTC CEO Andy Byford is considering contracting out non-core jobs, including 150 overnight cleaning, servicing, and fueling jobs that pay around $27 an hour.
So far, Captain John seems to be unsinkable. Captain John’s Seafood restaurant had until Friday to remove its signs and gangway, but still they stand. The City has already turned off water and utilities to the boat as owner John Letnik owes more than $500,000 in taxes, rent, licensing, and insurance, but it seems that the captain is willing to go down with his ship. Until it sells. Hopefully for $1.2 million (his asking price).
It seems that Trinity Bellwood–area residents were not as tickled by the ivory as were late-night park visitors. After complaints about late night piano playing, the teal “Play Me, I’m Yours” piano has been moved out of the park.
Anyone who has battled traffic or squished inside the Bathurst streetcar on a family trip to Ontario Place can likely understand the transit concerns related to the proposed plans for Ontario Place’s grounds. Currently, the TTC’s 29 Dufferin bus route is the only direct transit option to Ontario Place, and service is spotty. Politicians and urban planners have raised concerns about transit options in light of the plans to convert the area in to a mixed-use residential property and are recommending new options including a direct TTC bus service, a new LRT line, and a local streetcar loop.
Those planning departments really do seem to be a buzz kill. In addition to getting all uppity about street transit, they are also concerned about water-transit options. Sigh. Several city departments are raising concerns over plans to fill in part of the lake near Billy Bishop airport, citing issues related to the drinkable water supply, and restricted space for boaters who need to get through in an emergency. Sheesh, always with the negativity!