City and province to make joint transit announcement
It’ll include Ford’s privately-funded Sheppard subway plan
Plus provincial cash for Eglinton and Scarborough LRTs
(Written for Town Crier March 30. March 31 UPDATE.)
Mayor Rob Ford's plan includes $4 billion in private sector cash to build a Sheppard subway. Town Crier file photo.
The city and province are both climbing aboard a new transportation deal that will be unveiled tomorrow morning.
TTC chair Karen Stintz confirmed on March 30 that the provincial government, its transportation agency Metrolinx and the city are moving full steam ahead with the plan outlined by Mayor Rob Ford.
“We have an agreement that will see major transit expansion in the City of Toronto,” Stintz told the media at an impromptu press conference this afternoon. “It is a real win for both the city and the province and I am really excited about the announcement tomorrow.”
That announcement to take place at the TTC’s Wilson yards at 9 a.m. on March 31 will be to confirm the province is still committed to its original investment of about $8.4 billion.
The provincial cash will be spent on a fully underground and expanded Eglinton LRT and to turn the Scarborough RT into an above ground light rail transit route.
Posted in Toronto transit
Tagged announcement, cash, city, Eglinton, Karen Stintz, Kris Scheuer, LRT, Mayor Rob Ford, plan, private, province, Scarborough, Sheppard, subway, Town Crier, Transit, transportation, TTC
She’s accepted Liberal’s invite to be candidate
The Trinity-Spadina riding association to hold nomination meeting
Sarah Thomson has accepted Liberal invite to run as their provincial candidate in Trinity-Spadina. Nomination meeting yet to be held. Photo courtesy of Sarah Thomson.
Former mayoralty candidate Sarah Thomson confirmed to me today she’s accepted the provincial Liberals invite to run for them in the Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina.
When I reached her on Monday she would not say, but did announce her intentions on her Facebook page yesterday so now she is more open about her plans.
She is taking on NDP provincial rep Rosario Marchese who was first elected in Trinity-Spadina in 1990 and has been in that seat ever since.
I will report back for the Town Crier on March 10 and will post a full story on this blog as soon as that story is edited.
Budget includes some service cuts
And 2012 budget outlook grim: city officials
(Written for Town Crier Feb. 24)
Mayor Ford talks to city hall media Feb. 23 about the budget. Town Crier file photo.
The good news is that city approved its 2011 operating budget today with a tax freeze.
However, the 2012 budget is already shaping up to be one that will involve hikes in TTC fares and property taxes and selling off city assets to fix the projected $774 million hole for next year’s budget.
But that’s a worry for another day.
Mayor Rob Ford was beaming after the passage of the first operating budget of his administration.
“This is a great day for the taxpayers of the city. For the first time in 11 years we passed a zero percent tax increase,” Ford told the media. “We campaigned hard and definitely slowed down the gravy train.”
Ford said not only did he attend the four public meetings on the budget with hundreds of deputations, but personally returns calls from Torontonians regarding their priorities.
“If you talk to the citizens out there, I am sure 99 percent of them are happy at not having to pay higher taxes,” he said.
The city passed the $9.381 billion gross budget with few amendments.
Councillor John Filion that did get one through with a 44-1 vote to increase the Toronto Public Health Budget with one-time provincial funding of $100,000. This money from the provincial Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is earmarked for a communication strategy to encourage HIV and Syphilis screening.
Mayor Ford was the only one to vote against this provincial money.
“Everyone says it’s provincial money. No it’s taxpayers’ money,” Ford explained his vote to the media.
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged 2011, 2012, budget, city, freeze, funding, Gord Perks, HIV, increase, John Filion, Kris Scheuer, Mayor, Mike Del Grande, province, Rob Ford, Syphilis, tax, Toronto, Town Crier, vote, zero
New mayor wants subways not streetcars
TTC will cost-out different options and report back in Jan
(Written for Town Crier Dec. 1)
Rob Ford at press conference Dec. 1, his first day as mayor. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.
Transit City is dead.
So said Mayor Rob Ford on his first day in office Dec. 1.
The first task of the new TTC board will be to formally stop spending on the project we do not need anymore, said Ford.
“Transit City is over,” Ford told the media this afternoon. “Their second task will be to move forward on subway construction. I expect they will report back on options by the end of January.”
“We will re-focus our transit plan on subways not streetcars. And we will not build anymore tracks down the middle of our streets.”
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged city, dead, Eglinton, Gary, Kris Scheuer, LRT, Mayor, Metrolinx, province, Rob Ford, Sheppard, Town Crier, Transit, TTC, Webster
Province halts alterations of 100-year old home
City explores heritage criteria for 7 Austin Terrace
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Dec. 23.)
President of Casa Loma Residents Association Robert Levy and Dyan Kirshenbaum cheered the provincial stop work order. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.
Is the MacLean House at 7 Austin Terrace worth saving?
The province has bought the city 60 days to find out.
Minister of Culture Aileen Carroll issued a stop work order Dec. 21, halting the owner from continuing to destroy possible heritage features of the 100-year-old mansion near Casa Loma.
The new owner, a numbered company, applied to the city for a demolition permit to tear down the house and build a townhouse development.
But residents who want to see the home designated a heritage property will have nothing of it.
“Residents said we should look at it from a heritage standpoint,” Councillor Joe Mihevc said. “That was communicated to the developer who started work on (removing elements of the home).”
Some damage had already been done before the stop work order was issued.
Posted in Toronto
Tagged 7 Austin Terrace, Aileen Carroll, architect, city, Committee of Adjustment, Councillor Joe Mihevc, demo, heritage, John Lyle, John MacLean, Kris Scheuer, MacLean House, Minister of Culture, Ontario Heritage Act, Ontario Municipal Board, province, Robert Levy, stopped, Toronto, Town Crier newspaper