Archive for the ‘Toronto’ Category
News of a leak of an unidentified substance onto the tracks at College Station that closed down the subway from Yonge and Bloor down to Union made the news. See Transit Toronto and blogTO. David Hains’ reaction at Torontoist was more profound than many others.
Remember the $2.7-billion backlog in the TTC’s State of Good Repair and maintenance funding that council-watch killjoys like to talk about? Well, when mysterious pus starts coming out of subway tunnels, that’s a good place to start. And all that talk about how the downtown Yonge line is overburdened, and that building a downtown relief line should be a priority over proposed subway lines that don’t have the ridership demand? Yeah, with tens of thousands of people waiting for a crammed bus or trying to flag a cab, that’s a good place to look, too. Or maybe those revenue tools for a cash-starved transit agency would be a good thing, so they could address both State of Good Repair and capital expansion in the way they need to.
When you’re really frustrated today about missing your morning meeting, remember that this isn’t just a TTC issue. There are years of policies and ongoing politics that contribute to small situations like this. So when you’re thinking about the slippery ooze-like substance that stopped transit, feel free to think of the politicians whose supposed solutions do not reflect the state of the TTC today.
We don’t get to keep nice things unless we pay for them.
This Toronto Star article by Manisha Krishnam makes for grim reading, especially since the neighbourhood of Parkdale is one of the few downtown (or near-downtown) neighbourhoods still affordable for low-income people. The effect on Toronto’s Tibetan-Canadian community is also noteworthy.
Property manager Akelius Canada applied to increase the rent at 188 Jameson Ave. by 4.1 per cent in 2014; this year it doubled down, seeking a 4.6 per cent hike. At least 50 residents of the midrise apartment building, including many Tibetan refugees, say they can’t afford to pay that much and are planning to protest outside Akelius’ Toronto head office Monday.
“The amount they want to increase, it’s just too much,” says Namgyal Lhamo, 39, a personal support worker who lives in a one-bedroom apartment with her three-year-old daughter and her cousin.
In a statement to the Star, Akelius spokesman Ben Scott said the increases are meant to subsidize costs Akelius incurred from municipal taxes and utilities, increased security measures and extensive renovations. The provincially recommended guidelines for rent increases were 0.8 per cent and 1.6 per cent for 2014 and 2015, respectively.
[. . .]
Lhamo, a Tibetan refugee, moved to Canada from a small village in India in 2010. As a single mom, she said she works long hours at Baycrest hospital, followed by chores when she gets home, often at around midnight. Making ends meet is difficult enough without the rent hike, she said, adding she can’t afford to move elsewhere.
Akelius, a Swedish company, acquired 188 Jameson Ave. and a handful of other Parkdale properties between December 2012 and November 2013. Last summer, residents from four Parkdale buildings filed an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board claiming Akelius’ decision to remove on site superintendents has resulted in neglect. That issue will also be discussed at an April 28 hearing.
I linked to Tyler Cowen’s blog post on the excellence of food in Scaroborough not long after it came out. More recently, the Toronto Star‘s Lauren Pelly has followed up on his statement. Toronto’s internal divisions play a key role in Toronto’s lack of awareness of this, many convincingly argue.
Over the phone from his office at George Mason University in Virginia, Cowen noted that people in Toronto seem to perceive the new, hip restaurants to be elsewhere. “But it seems to me, you don’t come close to this part of town,” he said.
Rick Halpern, dean of UTSC and Cowen’s tour guide last Wednesday, agreed that most people are fixated on the downtown core. “No one goes east of the DVP,” he lamented.
Cowen’s post is making the rounds online, and sparking discussion on blogs and Reddit. Scarborough is “a foodie’s best kept secret,” as one commenter put it, though it’s no secret to locals.
“I would say that people who are into food, and who have a car, explore Scarborough and other suburbs,” said Jennifer Bain, the Star’s food editor, who has highlighted many of the area’s offerings over the years — including Uighur fare from Scarborough’s Chinese Muslim community, sweets from local Filipino bakeries, and the global flavours of Hakka Chinese food, to name a few.
But many people and publications focus on the downtown core, and west end in particular, she noted, which can give people a “skewed look” at the geographic and cultural diversity of the GTA’s food scene.