Daily Archives: February 22, 2011

TTC’s bad sell on bus reductions

Commission approves reducing hours on Toronto buses
Also plans to improve service on crowded routes
But TTC failed to communicate good news in detail
Kris Scheuer
(Opinion column written for Town Crier Feb 4.)

The TTC is off track, as only the bad news is catching our attention while the good news goes unnoticed.
First the bad news.
The TTC’s gotten negative press recently because pedestrians have died in accidents involving TTC vehicles, drivers have been caught texting behind the wheel, a fare increase was announced then cancelled, and then came the decision to reduce service on dozens of bus routes.
Let’s rewind here.
On Jan. 1, Mayor Rob Ford fulfilled a key election promise to cancel the hugely unpopular car tax, which added $64 million to the city’s budget woes but placed $60 annually back in drivers’ pockets. Then on Jan. 10, Ford announced a 10-cent TTC fare hike to raise $24 million to balance the commission’s budget. When you did the math, it turned out that Metropass holders, like me, would pay exactly $60 more a year while drivers would pay $60 less.
Not good optics, right?
So a day later, TTC chair Karen Stintz announced the fare hike was nixed, as the city would chip in $16 million more for the budget and $8 million can be cut throughout the year.
Good news, right?
But there’s a separate plan to reduce hours on 48 bus routes during slow ridership times. Continue reading

Maclean House could be saved

Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Feb. 18)

Maclean House owner made legal alterations to the property before it was officially designated a heritage site. Now he wants to demolish the home. Photo courtesy of City of Toronto.

Toronto and East York Community Council stamped denied on two of the three of the applications to demolish the Maclean House and have made the conditions for the one they did approve so tight that it will be impossible to knock the structure down.
The building, built in 1910 by celebrated architect John M. Lyle, was once home to publisher John Bayne Maclean but is currently carved up into 10 apartment units.
Community council dealt with the matter after little debate possibly due to city staff’s recommendation to refuse the demolition of the heritage property at 7 Austin Ter.
However, the story is not quite that simple.
St. Paul’s Councillor Joe Mihevc explained that there are actually the three demolition applications before the city regarding this property — one related to it as a rental building, one as an owner-occupied residence and one as a heritage building.

Continue reading