Wake up Toronto (and Torontophiles the world over), because it’s Friday and you probably haven’t felt like this in at least a week. In the news: Olivia Chow teases us; Scarborough gets ready to take a dip; a chocolate factory doesn’t like where the neighbourhood is headed; and the TTC cleans up and starts playing fare.
Ford 2014 better start campaigning, because it is confirmed that Olivia Chow will 100 per cent, definitely be seeing “what happens down the road.” Chow, who is currently the federal opposition critic for transportation, appears to have moved off of the straight denials of even just the past few months when asked about her thoughts on running for the mayorship of Canada’s biggest city. So, cross your fingers, wish upon a star, and get out all your lucky charms. Or, just stay focused on things that are probably more pressing in the next year and a half.
Splish, splash Scarborough. Construction on our fancy new Pan-Am Games Aquatic Centre, at the University of Toronto Scarborough, got underway yesterday. The $158.8 million building should be done in around two years from now and once complete, it will have two swimming pools, a dive tank, and seating for 6,000 people poolside. We already have our water wings inflated.
Yeah Nestlé, who would want to live or work near a place as wonderful as a chocolate factory? An unused plot of land beside a Nestlé factory near Dundas Street and Lansdowne Avenue has thrown the candy maker into a fit of NIMSARDism (Not-In-My-Shipping-And-Receiving-Dock-ism) as it attempts to make a push against potential NIMBYism and a developer’s hope of rezoning the empty land from industrial to mixed use. The developer, Castlepoint Studio Partners Ltd., has already held 10 public consultations to discuss with local residents plans that would see 2,500 workspaces and enough condos for 700 people brought to the area. They have also already spent $5 million cleaning up the toxic soil. Part of Nestlé’s concern is that their factory will be too loud and stinky for new people in the neighbourhood and that they will therefore be forced to spend money on improving the environmental effects of their operations. Willy Wonka is rolling over in his grave.
The TTC, in what could be taken as a continued effort to make the transit token irrelevant, has agreed in principle to raise the price of the little metal dime-lookalikes by five cents and raise the price of monthly metro passes by $2.50. Additionally, the commission voted yesterday to outsource 159 bus-cleaning jobs in an effort to help relieve pressure on the TTC budget. All this still leaves a $10-million gap in the budget and puts city council in a sticky situation as they try to decide if they can follow Mayor Ford’s dreams for neither a fare-hike nor increased subsidies to the TTC. Our article on the meeting has more details on these points and why the TTC will continue to be a hot issue in upcoming council meetings.