2016-04-18 Mon

Toronto – NOT a World-Class City

The book is titled “Street Fight” by Janette Sadik-Khan. ISBN 9780525429845. Essentially it chronicles six years of re-developing New York City’s attitude towards cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. Janette Sadik-Khan was New York City’s Transportation Commissioner from 2007 to 2013.

Janette writes about New York City and makes comparisons (and also “what we learned from ...”) with other cities, amongst them Auckland, Beijing, Belfast, Bogotá, Cairo, Chattanooga, Chicago, Hangzhou, Copenhagen, Curitiba, Dallas, Detroit, Dublin, Fort Lauderdale, Hamilton, Houston, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Medellin, Melbourne, Mexico City, Minneapolis, Ottawa, Paris, Portland, Rome, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Seville, Stockholm, Sydney and Vancouver.

Not all that much about most of these cities, but generally good. The book is positive in tone (“Here’s a good way to go, and here’s why ...”).

Look up “Toronto” in the index and this is what you see:-

The only reference to Toronto, (“World-class city”) is to Toronto City Council’s agreement to scarp bicycle lanes on Jarvis street.

IOW (“Here’s NOT a good way to go, and here’s why ...”).

And just in case you are wondering, those other Canadian Cities mentioned (Hamilton, Ottawa and Vancouver), Janette has good things to say about them.

I’m not saying that Toronto City Council is dysfunctional. It is functional. Just that the “n” is silent.

The Crane Game

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So I was walking up Church Street Monday evening and spotted four cranes.

Nothing unusual in that. It is difficult to walk anywhere around downtown Toronto and NOT be able to spot four tower cranes at a time. On this same short walk I was in place to see six cranes.

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I was struck here by the proximity of these four cranes. The narrowness of view that gave me four cranes, and all within one city block.

The furthest crane, atop the silver-sliver building is on the south-east corner of Bloor and Yonge. I am, I think, at the intersection of Charles and Church.

OK. Maybe two city blocks, but small ones.

Here is, behind me, a crane at Huntley and Isabella(?) and of course the two or three others around Grenville and Grosvenor, and another crane will be installed Saturday, April 16, 2016 right here on Grenville Street. The street will be shut down for the event.

Again.