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  • blogTO notes that video rental store Videoflicks, on Avenue Road, is set to close down.

  • The TTC, blogTO notes, has begun "ghost service" on its half-dozen new subway stations.

  • Edward Keenan thinks that we may as well name a football stadium after Rob Ford. Why not? If it makes Ford Nation feel better ...

  • Spacing Toronto features John Lorinc looking at how community parks organizations, like at Ramsden, can exclude outsiders.

  • VICE notes on recent study suggesting the real estate market of Toronto is the most overvalued of world cities.

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  • blogTO notes an exciting open house on the 28th of October for three of the new University Line subway stations.

  • Alex Bozikovic praises the architectural innovation behind the new stations on the Eglinton Crosstown line.

  • Christopher Hume's argument (from August) that Toronto will, despite itself, have to invest in its future works.

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  • CBC reports that the different express bus routes set up by the TTC have had more riders than expected.

  • Steve Munro finds there's much to be concerned about with the way the TTC bought some new electric buses.

  • blogTO notes that the new western extension of the Line 1, into Vaughan, has a set opening date: December 17.

  • The sheer display of TTC fandom displayed by the Athanasopoulos siblings, collectors of transfers, is awesome. The Toronto Star reports.

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  • Edward Keenan observes that Toronto is a city that, rather than plan, prefers to make deals.

  • Jennifer Pagliaro notes how recently departed planner Jennifer Keesmaat tried to stop the ill-judged Scarborough subway extension.

  • Steve Munro updates his readers on the slow progress on streetcar service on the Queensway.

  • blogTO has a photo essay looking at past demolition practice in Toronto. Who does it, and how?

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  • Centauri Dreams shares, from JPL, the schedule for Cassini in its last days of existence. Goodbye, dear probe.

  • Dangerous Minds shares some classic illustrations from a Persian book called Lights of Canopus.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper suggesting that gas giants can stabilize debris disks.

  • Far Outliers shares excerpts from the diary of a Japanese soldier fighting in New Guinea in the Second World War.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the real suffering that high rents impose on the poor in American cities.

  • The Map Room Blog shares some nice X-ray maps of New York City subway stations.

  • The Planetary Society Blog shares more vintage Voyager photos of the outer solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune ...

  • Roads and Kingdoms tells of the marvelous cookies made on the dying Venetian island of Burano.

  • Drew Rowsome considers, at length and with personal references, the differences between "art" and "porn". NSFW.

  • Understanding Society considers the latest thinking on causal mechanisms in modern sociology.

  • Window on Eurasia wonders if non-Russian languages in Russia are attacked out of anxiety over Russian's own decline, and speculates that if integration of mostly Muslim immigrants goes poorly in Moscow, the city could get locked in sectarian conflict.

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  • At Torontoist, a Scarborough transit group notes locals don't know of the negative implications of the one-stop subway extension.

  • Did Metrolinx succumb to political pressure in deciding to locate two new GO stations? The Toronto Star reports.

  • CBC describes how Bombardier lost a contract with New York City to sell cars on the basis of its terrible performance in Toronto.

  • The New York Times describes how legislators in New York State outside of New York City control the metropolis' mass transit system, evoking for me Ontario and Metrolinx.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw notes how light rail development in Greater Sydney is driving a property boom.

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  • Global News reports on Jackson's Burger, driven from Yonge Street by high rent.

  • blogTO shares this man's collection of TTC vehicles done in Lego. It is truly impressive.

  • Steve Munro reports on the cost of renovating the Bloor-Danforth subway.

  • The Toronto Star reports on the private nudist swimming resorts in the GTA. There are no legal public nude beaches without Hanlan's.

  • The Globe and Mail's Dave Leblanc <a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/toronto/neglected-islands-along-torontos-university-avenue-deserveattention/article35663168/?cmpid=rss1'><U>reports</u></a> on the embattled traffic islands of University Avenue.</li> </ul>
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Northbound incoming to Eglinton station


On Tuesday, I took this photo of one of the new subway trains making its way north to Eglinton station.
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Control room window gone transparent


I was quickly walking through Bloor-Yonge station Sunday evening, heading towards the southbound platform, when I looked over and saw that the control room's window, normally set to an opaque mirror, was transparent. Why would I not pause to take a quick shot of the revealed interior?
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  • The Globe and Mail's Joanna Slater talks about how the subway system of New York City is staggering from catastrophe to catastrophe.

  • The Globe and Mail's Stephen Quinn argues it is much too late to save Vancouver's Chinatown from radical redevelopment.

  • The Toronto Star's Tess Kalinowski writes about how young buyers are driving a push for laneway housing in Toronto.
  • Bryan Tucker, also in the Toronto Star, also makes the case for laneway housing.

  • The National Post shares a story about an affordable 18th century house on the Québec-Vermont border.

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Maintenance crew on the platform, walking west


I was waiting for the eastbound train at Dufferin station when I saw these maintenance workers emerge from the tunnel walk past us all.
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  • Steve Munro calls for an honest public review of what Toronto actually does need insofar as mass transit is concerned.

  • Torontoist is justly critical of a one-stop Scarborough subway extension that will help make mass transit there worse.

  • Spacing's John Lorinc is critical of plans for mass transit expansion that do not respond to existing issues.

  • The Toronto Star notes that Union-Pearson Express ridership is up but also notes that it remains heavily subsidized.
  • rfmcdonald: (photo)
    The TTC's Old Mill station, one of the westernmost on the Bloor-Danforth line, is too easily overlooked. Although it is apparently the least busy station on the Bloor-Danforth line, it's arguably one of the more striking, with its transparent glass walls open to vistas overlooking the Humber River and its valley.

    IMG_2272


    IMG_2273


    IMG_2274
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    The tracks of Bonaventure


    Montréal's subway stations, like Bonaventure, are at their best gorgeous public spaces full of art and light. Even at their more pedestrian, they show a good sense for design that I wish was more common on Toronto's different routes.
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    The Globe and Mail's Oliver Moore reports on how costs for the Scarborough subway are estimated to be spiraling up even as the numbers of potential users are falling. This Scarborough line simply makes no sense at all, apart from the political that is.

    The projected cost of redesigning Scarborough transit around a new subway extension continues to rise, even as the number of new riders the project will attract has plummeted, according to a number of reports released Tuesday.

    The latest information on the controversial project puts its cost at $3.35-billion, provided city council follows the staff recommendation for a more expensive underground bus station option that would add $187-million. The whole project was priced at only $2-billion a year ago, when the plan to go from a three-stop to a one-stop subway emerged.

    The growing subway cost reflects ongoing analysis and is likely to continue to change. A staff report said the final price is likely to be within 70 per cent and 150 per cent of the current estimate. Council will be asked in March to push the project forward, with a round of more detailed reports from staff expected late in 2018.

    Based on the most recent cost and ridership projections, the city will be spending approximately $1.45-million for each new rider the subway extension attracts.

    “It’s madness,” said midtown Councillor Josh Matlow, who has long supported an LRT instead for Scarborough and argued Tuesday that Toronto has its priorities skewed. “It’s clearly a reckless use of the limited tax dollars that the city has.”
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    What can be said but that this, reported by the Toronto Star's Jennifer Pagliaro, is unacceptable?

    A $100,000 consultant’s report meant to help determine whether transit projects worth billions of dollars are cost-effective has been kept secret by the city.

    In June, the city paid the firm, Arup, which consults on transportation projects worldwide, to provide business case analyses for several projects planned by the city, including Mayor John Tory’s original “SmartTrack” idea for additional stops along the GO Transit rail line travelling through Toronto, and the controversial one-stop Scarborough subway extension.

    The report produced by Arup, however, was never publicly released as part of a city staff report to executive committee in June, which was then debated at a July council meeting.

    The missing consultant information adds to a series of questions over future transit plans that include delayed reports and a secret briefing note on the Scarborough subway extension that has been called a “political football,” and still-incomplete analysis of the mayor’s key campaign promise for an additional heavy rail service that is moving ahead, while heavily modified.
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    The Toronto Star's Jennifer Pagliaro reports on the latest scandal involving the Scarborough subway debate, allegations of massive systematic confusion regarding the costs of an extension. This is getting meta, and ridiculous.

    A city watchdog is recommending referral of a complaint of alleged wrongdoing by staff in the controversial Scarborough subway debate to the auditor general’s office, calling the allegations it contains “very serious.”

    In a letter dated Jan. 24, Ombudsman Susan Opler told a group of residents their complaint was best submitted to the auditor general, who is responsible for investigating alleged wrongdoing by the public service.

    The residents, backed by the transit advocacy group Scarborough Transit Action, filed the complaint Jan. 19 following a Star story over a misleading briefing note produced by the TTC in the midst of a controversial debate that saw council again approve a more than $3.2 billion one-stop subway extension over the alternative of light rail line fully paid for by the province.

    Opler wrote that “at its core” the complaint appeared to be allegations against TTC CEO Andy Byford under the Toronto Public Service bylaw, according to the letter provided to the Star by the complainants.

    While she said her office did not come to any conclusions about the “validity” of the allegations, Opler said it’s her opinion the allegations fall under the definition of “wrongdoing” in the bylaw, which is described as “serious actions that are contrary to the public interest,” including fraud and waste but also “breach of public trust.”
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    Je me souviens (2)


    Montréal's Papineau subway station is named after the nearby avenue Papineau which in turn is named after Joseph Papineau, an early politician known for his advocacy of the interests of the Canadiens under British rule. The murals in the station, by Jean Cartier and George Juhasz, all deal with the 1837 rebellion against British rule led by his son Louis-Joseph Papineau.

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