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Newsstand: May 22, 2014

Apparently the United States Army has commissioned a real-life Iron Man suit for its Special Operation Forces. It seems doubtful that the soothing sound of Jude Law’s voice will be incorporated into the design. In the news: Toronto is the fourth-best city for economic opportunity, the TTC investigates why a bus was left driverless on Eglinton Avenue, construction on the western portion of Queens Quay is still happening, and some rich Torontonians are looking at buying the Buffalo Bills.

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Toronto has come in fourth place in this year’s Cities of Opportunity survey, which PricewaterhouseCooper says measures the world’s top cities for economic opportunity. London, New York, and Singapore topped the list just ahead of our fine metropolis. Even though Toronto still sits near the top, the city has been gradually sliding downward in rankings since it finished second behind New York in 2012. Last year, Toronto came in third on the list, which scores cities on vast criteria, including technology readiness, transportation and infrastructure, economic clout, and ease of doing business. Toronto came first in the quality-of-living sub-category of the survey and second in public transportation. While there was no specific sub-category listed for most entertaining and/or embarrassing mayor, it is pretty safe to say we would have taken that one, also.

The Toronto Transit Commission is investigating how a bus ended up being left unattended for 20 minutes on the 32 Eglinton West route on Tuesday. A TTC bus operator apparently abandoned ship at a transfer point where another operator was scheduled to take over, but passengers report that the relief driver did not materialize. A rider eventually phoned the TTC, who dispatched another driver to the scene. Bob Kinnear, president of the TTC workers’ union, said that drivers are always supposed to identify the operator who is taking over the vehicle before departing. Whether the driver left with or without doing so remains to be determined. TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said they were looking into the matter.

Tired of hearing about the construction plans for the Gardiner Expressway? Why not take a break and look at what’s happening over at the western portion of Queens Quay. The project is into a second year of lane reductions and is scheduled to be completed in the late summer of 2015. There is some good news, though: TTC service is expected to be restored to the area at the end of this summer. So far, the revitalization project happening east of Bathurst to Bay has largely focused on underground infrastructure work and a rebuild of the TTC corridor, but it will eventually also include new greenery, granite sidewalks, and streetcar right-of-way.

Anyone want to buy an NFL team? If so, it looks like you’re in luck. The Buffalo Bills are officially on the market. Last valued by Forbes to be worth a pretty $870 million US, the team is expected to fetch closer to $1 billion because it isn’t everyday that a professional football team goes up for sale, and apparently—much like Toronto real estate—it is definitely a seller’s market. Needless to say, there is ample interest in purchasing the team. Even Donald Trump has expressed a desire to add a football franchise to his empire of troubled condominiums and boring reality TV shows. Another group that is reportedly interested in purchasing the team consists of Larry Tanenbaum, the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and Edward Rogers, the deputy chairman of Rogers Communications. However, if they are keen on buying the franchise with the purpose of relocating it to Toronto, they should keep in mind that the earliest the move could happen would be 2020. Bills President Russ Brandon says that any future transaction would ensure that the team’s current lease obligations at Ralph Wilson Stadium will not be broken, meaning the team would remain locked into playing there until at least 2019.

CORRECTION: May 22, 2014, 9:23 AM This post originally stated that the Queens Quay revitalization was happening west of Bathurst to Bay, when in fact it is east of Bathurst.


  • motorbikelkid

    Paul Bettany FTW!

  • Notcleverguy

    I’m a pretty big Bills fan, but I would hate it if they moved to Toronto. Going down to games in Buffalo is a blast, and the fine people of Buffalo are great and loyal fans. I’d like to see an expansion team in Toronto so a possible regional rivalry with the Bills could form.

  • SonuvaScrimbro

    What’s this? We’re not the bureaucratic, anti-business sinkhole that Ford’s flatuators constantly say we are? Say it isn’t so!

    Yay for us. That said… second in public transportation? The hell?

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Yeah, how are we second in transit to New York, London, or Singapore?

      • SonuvaScrimbro

        No, what I meant was… how is it possible we ranked that highly in the survey on the public transport front?

        • nevilleross

          We just did. It seems that not everybody who rides the TTC is a big bunch of whiny crybabies (not saying that you and Rek are like that, though.)

        • bobloblawbloblawblah

          Toronto does have a pretty good transit system despite how underfunded it is. We do need a much more robust network of subway/LRT/streetcars/buses but it can get you to most corners of this city, so it should rank up there. Iguees the surprise comes from how much we like to grumble about transit.

          • Notcleverguy

            I don’t know, I’ve lived in several large cities and have had to rely on public transit. I find the service the TTC offers is worse than just about all the ones I’ve experienced.

          • OgtheDim

            Most complaints come down to headways and cleanliness and something to do with rudeness, either passenger or driver.

            If they could figure out how to fix the headways issue (amount of time between vehicles), the TTC would resolve most of its bad press.

            Just get me a bus/streetcar/LRT/subway within a certain time.

  • torontothegreat

    AFAIK the NFL would have to approve the Bill’s moving to Toronto. Which is never going to happen