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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Toronto City Council approved almost 7,000 new condo units this week, adding to the nearly 70,000 already in the pipeline, in a staggering rate of development that has some wondering if the city's infrastructure can keep up.

Landing at Toronto's Billy Bishop airport, flyers can count a sea of construction cranes dotting the skyline.

There are a lot of them for condo projects in various stages of development, and there is about to be even more.

"Wow, more condos? We have so many downtown already," said Toronto resident Colton Kotanko. "Why does it have to be downtown? There's less and less to do here."

Toronto already has the highest rate of development anywhere in the world, even before this week's council-approved $21 billion in new development, mostly concentrated in the downtown core.

The development is a financial boon that is hard for council to turn down, but chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat admits there is risk in going forward with condo development at this rate without knowing if infrastructure development can match it.

"We cannot afford to pause on the downtown relief line. We are creating a problem that is only going to grow," Keesmaat said. "You could argue in some areas that a pause is required. There have been times I have sat around the table with my colleagues and we have struggled with that question."
CBC

Please build that darn DRL ASAP! :eek:hno:
 

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Which mayoral candidate backs the DRL, John Tory? I know Olivia Chow thinks buses and LRT will get us where we need to be, but that doesn't seem sound to me at all.
 

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Chow is the only one who supports it actually, Tory is the one pushing his dumbfoundingly bad "smart"track proposal.

Chow made a comment that got misrepresented to her not supporting it, she said that the DRL is a long term project 10+ years out and that her initial priority as mayor will be for improved local transit service. It doesn't mean she doesn't support it, but the project will be lucky to be reaching the beginning of construction by the end of the term, and that there is other things that can be done to improve peoples experience on the TTC in the meantime. The EA for the project won't even be completed until the middle of next year, then it has to get funding (may actually be done already via the province), go through detailed design, issue RFPs, etc, etc, etc, before the shovels finally hit the ground. Even if we moved ASAP on it shovels couldn't be in the ground until 2018 and completion would be 2023-2024ish.

As for the comment about buses and LRTs, there will always be a need for them for low ridership corridors and mid ridership corridors. You can't go right from nothing to a subway. 60% of TTC trips involve a bus, even more if you count streetcars. Transport planning involves planning for all levels of demand and all types of corridors, there is no one size fits all solution. You can't build or provide any one kind of service (LRT, Subway, or Bus), you need to build for all of them. That means an LRT on some corridors (suburban arterials), buses on most others, and on certain corridors that have extremely high use levels, subways.

Transport planning isn't a simple manner, people get PhDs in it all the time and barely scratch the surface of it. there is a reason that Metrolinx exists and employs over 2,700 people.
 

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Chow is the only one who supports it actually, Tory is the one pushing his dumbfoundingly bad "smart"track proposal.

Chow made a comment that got misrepresented to her not supporting it, she said that the DRL is a long term project 10+ years out and that her initial priority as mayor will be for improved local transit service. It doesn't mean she doesn't support it, but the project will be lucky to be reaching the beginning of construction by the end of the term, and that there is other things that can be done to improve peoples experience on the TTC in the meantime. The EA for the project won't even be completed until the middle of next year, then it has to get funding (may actually be done already via the province), go through detailed design, issue RFPs, etc, etc, etc, before the shovels finally hit the ground. Even if we moved ASAP on it shovels couldn't be in the ground until 2018 and completion would be 2023-2024ish.

As for the comment about buses and LRTs, there will always be a need for them for low ridership corridors and mid ridership corridors. You can't go right from nothing to a subway. 60% of TTC trips involve a bus, even more if you count streetcars. Transport planning involves planning for all levels of demand and all types of corridors, there is no one size fits all solution. You can't build or provide any one kind of service (LRT, Subway, or Bus), you need to build for all of them. That means an LRT on some corridors (suburban arterials), buses on most others, and on certain corridors that have extremely high use levels, subways.

Transport planning isn't a simple manner, people get PhDs in it all the time and barely scratch the surface of it. there is a reason that Metrolinx exists and employs over 2,700 people.


David Soknacki supports it ... although he prefers to call it the Commuter Relief Line.
 

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Wow! They approved $21 billion dollars of projects in just three days!! :eek:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...ttanization-of-downtown-core/article20229182/

Toronto is experiencing a ‘Manhattanization’ of its downtown core


Elizabeth Church - CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Aug. 27 2014, 8:33 PM EDT

Last updated Wednesday, Aug. 27 2014, 8:36 PM EDT


Construction cranes will continue to dot Toronto’s skyline, with city council approving 755 storeys in new development this week, including three new office towers – a trend that underlines the increasing density in the downtown core and the need to plan transit and infrastructure to support it, says the city’s chief planner.......


read it all here:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...ttanization-of-downtown-core/article20229182/
 

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Wow! They approved $21 billion dollars of projects in just three days!! :eek:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...ttanization-of-downtown-core/article20229182/

Toronto is experiencing a ‘Manhattanization’ of its downtown core
That is pretty unbelievable actually, as much as I love this news I'm starting to worry about the demand on the existing infrastructure especially the at or near capacity TTC.

As a frequent visitor to Toronto I always park my car at the Kipling station and use the subway to get into and around the city and I see the effects this massive growth for the last decade or so has had on the system. Unless we skip the assessments & studies and just start building subways and relief lines NOW, Toronto is going to have a very serious and negative situation on it's hands and that's just the transportation issues what about sewage, water & electricity!? The city as it is now was not designed to accommodate this explosion of people living and going about their daily lives in the core and with speedy approvals like this without much thought... Toronto may be sabotaging itself!!!

I just hope the next city council when elected makes infrastructure their #1 priority, they work together and do it fast and that they get the provincial and federal governments on board to fund and expedite things!
 

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"Wow, more condos? We have so many downtown already," said Toronto resident Colton Kotanko. "Why does it have to be downtown? There's less and less to do here."
Yeah, I guess having fewer and fewer fun parking lots to play in has really taken away from the enjoyment of the downtown area. :rolls eyes:
 

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Now if they were only going to make them livable sizes for decent prices...
 

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Me either. I'd feel like a hamster living in most new condo units.
 

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The place I rent has 800 sq ft and I know if I were to move closer to the core I'd start losing perks like my ac, the 2nd washroom, the dishwasher and laundry in my unit. Plus, the bed would barely fit :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Waterfront LRT back on Toronto's transit roadmap

Two of Toronto's top bureaucrats are pushing to bring a waterfront LRT to Toronto. TTC CEO Andy Byford and City Manager Joe Pennachetti have already had talks with the provincial government about a line stretching across the foot of the city, which would ease congestion on Lake Shore Blvd. and the Gardiner Expressway.

According to the Globe, the prospective route would include the East Bayfront LRT and the Waterfront West LRT, the latter of which was part of the original Transit City plans. Pennachetti pegs the cost of waterfront LRT from East Bayfront to Ontrario Place at $600-million and $1-billion, which is far easier to get together than the funds required for a subway. Still, previous proposals for LRT along the waterfront have been de-prioritized over the years, so it will take a tough sell to make this line a reality.
BlogTO
 

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^^ That's very good news. Toronto's waterfront needs that LRT. I just hope it goes to Ontario Place.
It won't. It will run along Bremner/Fort York near the railway tracks.

Perhaps you meant moving the current 509 to terminate at Ontario Place as Fort York would now have service from the WWLRT and no longer requires 509 service on Fleet? Instead of crossing LakeShore the 509 could run along the edge of Coronation/Battery Park.

Is Ontario Place expected to be a high use destination? I'm not sure its ever warranted a basic bus service (20 minute frequencies).
 

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Chow is the only one who supports it actually, Tory is the one pushing his dumbfoundingly bad "smart"track proposal.

Chow made a comment that got misrepresented to her not supporting it, she said that the DRL is a long term project 10+ years out and that her initial priority as mayor will be for improved local transit service. It doesn't mean she doesn't support it, but the project will be lucky to be reaching the beginning of construction by the end of the term, and that there is other things that can be done to improve peoples experience on the TTC in the meantime. The EA for the project won't even be completed until the middle of next year, then it has to get funding (may actually be done already via the province), go through detailed design, issue RFPs, etc, etc, etc, before the shovels finally hit the ground. Even if we moved ASAP on it shovels couldn't be in the ground until 2018 and completion would be 2023-2024ish.

As for the comment about buses and LRTs, there will always be a need for them for low ridership corridors and mid ridership corridors. You can't go right from nothing to a subway. 60% of TTC trips involve a bus, even more if you count streetcars. Transport planning involves planning for all levels of demand and all types of corridors, there is no one size fits all solution. You can't build or provide any one kind of service (LRT, Subway, or Bus), you need to build for all of them. That means an LRT on some corridors (suburban arterials), buses on most others, and on certain corridors that have extremely high use levels, subways.

Transport planning isn't a simple manner, people get PhDs in it all the time and barely scratch the surface of it. there is a reason that Metrolinx exists and employs over 2,700 people.
I'm very much aware of the need for a multi-pronged approach to transit, but I don't think Chow is being as aggressive in her time line as we need to be. And isn't 'smart track' about using existing rail corridors for what would be comparable to an above ground subway line? It's no surprise that it's quickly gained wide spread support.

I like Chow personally (I've spoken with her a few times), but find her too left leaning for my liking. There needs to be a balance between economic benefit and social benefit and she's lacking in the first department. Her stance on Porter, the downtown casino, and skyscraper development means I won't be voting for her.
 

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Tories smarttrack is a joke in planning circles, there are dozens of reasons why it doesn't work.

The proper use of the rail corridors is GO RER, which means 15 minute off peak service using EMUs running with large stop spacing (3-4km), and is what the province is implementing right now, which of course makes Tories plan largely a duplicate of an already planned service. Politicians drawing lines on maps sounds fun, but its a horrible way to go around transit planning.

Chows transit platform largely consists of supporting what transit planners think is required, and thus is really the best plan.

As for the waterfront LRT, the final routing hasn't been officially decided yet and it is quite possible that it will run along lakeshore beside Ontario place. It may actually be a condition on the province giving money as it would improve access to Ontario place which is a huge provincial investment in its own right.
 

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Tories smarttrack is a joke in planning circles, there are dozens of reasons why it doesn't work.
Like any idea, it really depends which circle. Many do not see it as a joke, including our former chief planner:

"Paul Bedford, a former city planner, said SmartTrack is “not a slam dunk” but “it’s a huge, powerful idea that finally connects urban and suburban ridership and addresses the choke points and Yonge and Bloor.” He’s especially excited about how it connects transit to areas that the provincial government has designated as “places to grow.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/0...me-the-talk-of-the-2014-toronto-mayoral-race/

Ken Greenberg, a respected urban designer in the city also had positive comments on the idea:

“John Tory just put forward a good idea for using our surface heavy rail infrastructure more resourcefully.”

And Steve Munroe:

“This is very much a refocusing of what transit in Toronto should be.”
 

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^picking and choosing. Tories idea is great for the first line of it, "using rail corridors", beyond that, its a dump. Steve Munroe has also been very critical of the idea, his qoute you are using there is in the context of using the rail corridors.

1. way, way too expensive. $8 billion? christ, its cheap compared to 50km of subway, but metrolinx is looking at electrifying the entire GO network for $12 billion, close to 400km.

2. stop locations. 1 stop on each side of downtown, but a stop at 14th avenue in Markham. Um, What?

3. Eglinton corridor. Eglinton corridor has long since been sold off to developers, it no longer exists. Probably the most expensive part of the entire line, and its very low ridership at that.

4. Funding. Land Value capture is bullshit "magic money" and sure as hell cannot raise $2.6 billion required to pay the municipal portion of the project. Plus, all it is really doing is stealing from existing city revenues. Additional land value works into the existing tax system, part of the reason Ford has kept tax hikes so low is because land value has been increasing rapidly with all the new construction, meaning just as much expenses spread between more people. If the new people started getting their taxes sent toward Smart Track, more burden will be placed on the existing residents to deal with increasing costs. Its a fancy way of saying "property tax hike!"

5. Questionable relief of the YUS line and Bloor-Yonge. The DRL is expected to take 25% of the pressure off of the YUS line south of Bloor, This would be *lucky* to take 8-10%m and at nearly triple the cost of the DRL.

6. Unanswered questions on how the line would operate. Frequencies? Ridership forecasts? Cost-benefit ratio? Fare setup?

7. GO operations. GO trains will still need to run on the corridors, There is no way northern Markham and Stouffville will give up their GO train so that Unionville gets a fancy "surface subway". This brings us to the next point:

8. Space for the line. The stouffville corridor is only wide enough for 2 tracks, and if at least one is needed for GO, how do you fit the two required for Smart-Track? Expropriate peoples back yards? That'll be fun.

9. building on the space issue, what happens to the SRT? It won't close until 2023, but Tory wants Smart-Track done by 2021. Now you need to fit 5-6 tracks in a space designed for 2.

10. COST? This cannot be stressed enough. the god-damn cost. This line is a friggen white elephant if I have ever seen one. You can build the entire DRL from Don Mills and Eglinton to Dundas West station for that cost. You can electrify every single GO line and bring it up to 15 minute off peak service levels inside of the Urban GTA for that cost. You can build 2 pearson airports, 50km of Collector-express highway system widenings, etc, etc, etc. This thing costs a ton, and for no apparent reason.
 

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^picking and choosing. Tories idea is great for the first line of it, "using rail corridors", beyond that, its a dump. Steve Munroe has also been very critical of the idea, his qoute you are using there is in the context of using the rail corridors.

1. way, way too expensive. $8 billion? christ, its cheap compared to 50km of subway, but metrolinx is looking at electrifying the entire GO network for $12 billion, close to 400km.

2. stop locations. 1 stop on each side of downtown, but a stop at 14th avenue in Markham. Um, What?

3. Eglinton corridor. Eglinton corridor has long since been sold off to developers, it no longer exists. Probably the most expensive part of the entire line, and its very low ridership at that.

4. Funding. Land Value capture is bullshit "magic money" and sure as hell cannot raise $2.6 billion required to pay the municipal portion of the project. Plus, all it is really doing is stealing from existing city revenues. Additional land value works into the existing tax system, part of the reason Ford has kept tax hikes so low is because land value has been increasing rapidly with all the new construction, meaning just as much expenses spread between more people. If the new people started getting their taxes sent toward Smart Track, more burden will be placed on the existing residents to deal with increasing costs. Its a fancy way of saying "property tax hike!"

5. Questionable relief of the YUS line and Bloor-Yonge. The DRL is expected to take 25% of the pressure off of the YUS line south of Bloor, This would be *lucky* to take 8-10%m and at nearly triple the cost of the DRL.

6. Unanswered questions on how the line would operate. Frequencies? Ridership forecasts? Cost-benefit ratio? Fare setup?

7. GO operations. GO trains will still need to run on the corridors, There is no way northern Markham and Stouffville will give up their GO train so that Unionville gets a fancy "surface subway". This brings us to the next point:

8. Space for the line. The stouffville corridor is only wide enough for 2 tracks, and if at least one is needed for GO, how do you fit the two required for Smart-Track? Expropriate peoples back yards? That'll be fun.

9. building on the space issue, what happens to the SRT? It won't close until 2023, but Tory wants Smart-Track done by 2021. Now you need to fit 5-6 tracks in a space designed for 2.

10. COST? This cannot be stressed enough. the god-damn cost. This line is a friggen white elephant if I have ever seen one. You can build the entire DRL from Don Mills and Eglinton to Dundas West station for that cost. You can electrify every single GO line and bring it up to 15 minute off peak service levels inside of the Urban GTA for that cost. You can build 2 pearson airports, 50km of Collector-express highway system widenings, etc, etc, etc. This thing costs a ton, and for no apparent reason.
Munro has been critical, but has not denied that it is possible to build, or the benefits that the line would create for the city (why it is better than GO RER). Yes the plan isn't perfect, but its nothing that cannot be worked out during the EA process.

Listen to his interview with Goldhawk, and you will see that it isn't all doom and gloom as you have made it out to be.

http://www.goldhawk.com/2014/06/02/steve-munro-6/
 

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Tories smarttrack is a joke in planning circles, there are dozens of reasons why it doesn't work.

The proper use of the rail corridors is GO RER, which means 15 minute off peak service using EMUs running with large stop spacing (3-4km), and is what the province is implementing right now, which of course makes Tories plan largely a duplicate of an already planned service. Politicians drawing lines on maps sounds fun, but its a horrible way to go around transit planning.

Chows transit platform largely consists of supporting what transit planners think is required, and thus is really the best plan.

As for the waterfront LRT, the final routing hasn't been officially decided yet and it is quite possible that it will run along lakeshore beside Ontario place. It may actually be a condition on the province giving money as it would improve access to Ontario place which is a huge provincial investment in its own right.
The Tory platform is GO RER just like you explained. So your issue with their plan is that they agree with what is being implemented right now? Besides, if the mayoralty race was just about transit that would be one thing but it's not.
 
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