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Real City Matters

Join us Tuesday night for a discussion about municipal ethics in Toronto

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Newsstand: August 8, 2014

Milos Raonic is the last Canadian remaining in the Rogers Cup, so figure out how the scoring in tennis works and then support him. In the news this morning: the TTC wants to implement all-doors boarding, anti-immigration flyers show up again in Brampton, Rob Ford approves of evicting the operators of the City Hall cafeteria, and the Adelaide bike lane is a mess.

matt newsstand bikelane

TTC CEO Andy Byford has a simple plan for improving the experience of streetcar riders: introduce the proof-of-payment system (which is currently in effect only on the 501 Queen) to all streetcars. There’s already a plan in place to move to POP boarding as new streetcars come online through 2019, but Byford suggests moving to POP on January 1, 2015, instead. That would mean the 60 per cent of TTC riders who use Metropasses, and any other riders who already have transfers, could board in the back. Byford estimates this could cut down on boarding times by up to six minutes on the King streetcar. The plan calls for fare-checkers to enforce the POP system, which Byford is currently making the case for, and as such the entire plan relies on budgetary approval.”We’re not here to hold the fort. We’re here to rapidly and aggressively increase the quality of transit in Toronto,” Byford said.

It’s been mere months since anti-immigration flyers showed up in Brampton decrying the presence of Sikhs in the city, but a new flyer was distributed this week. Immigration Watch, the organization that claimed responsibility for the first flyer, says it did not distribute this most recent one, though the its name appears at the bottom. The new flyer reads, “Say ‘NO’ to the Massive Third World Invasion of Canada!” near a photo of a Sikh man wearing a turban, and also declares that the government’s policy of multiculturalism has “ruined the country.” The first flyer, which was similar in tone, was deemed not to be hate speech, and Peel Police Const. George Tudos said this new flyer also “probably does not meet the definition of hate speech,” though the police will investigate as complaints are made.

Mayor Rob Ford has added his voice to growing calls for the eviction of Café on the Square, the operator of the cafeteria in City Hall. The company is only two years into its new 10-year lease but City of Toronto staff say it already owes more than $330,000 in unpaid fees. “I really want these people to own up to their agreement, pay what they owe,” Ford said Thursday. He favours opening bidding on the space to any interested businesses and encouraged potential future operators to expand the cafeteria’s hours.

There’s a brand-new, clearly painted lane for bikes to ride on Adelaide Street downtown, but Now has damning evidence of drivers ignoring that and driving—and even parking—wherever they please. To combat this, there’s talk of installing a physical barrier between the bike lane and vehicular lanes. Maybe this will be the catalyst for actually trying to make Toronto a bike-friendly city (maybe).

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