Thursday, April 17, 2014Partly Cloudy -1°C
City

The top 5 issues set to define the 2014 Toronto election

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 16, 2014

toronto island airportSo you want to be the next mayor of Toronto. Well, you'll have to learn to talk the talk on a bunch of issues that matter to the people of the city (or at least be good at deflecting questions for the next few months.) Toronto needs new transit and leadership on a range of issues from the expansion of Billy Bishop airport to who's going to pick up the garbage east of Yonge Street.

Here's a quick guide to the top 5 issues in the 2014 election.

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City

Huge blackout hits the west end of Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 15, 2014

toronto blackout 2014A large portion of Toronto's west end was in darkness this evening following a sudden and massive power outage. The lights went off around 9:15 and stayed off for close to two hours in parts of the city.

Toronto Hydro said the blackout was caused by a Hydro One transmission issue. While the city was dark, the outage map on the electricity provider's website was down due to a surge in demand. At its greatest extent, the problem affected most of the west end south of the 401, parts of downtown west of Yonge, and the Port Lands. A small pocket in the Beach also appeared to get hit.

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City

Is Bay & Bloor in danger of becoming a condo jungle?

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 15, 2014

toronto yorkvilleFour major residential towers planned for the south end of Yorkville, near Bloor and Bay, are putting the local area on course for a "disturbing" future, the chair of the city's Design Review Panel says.

The group of experts who advise city staff about how to blend new developments with the public realm is worried the size of condos proposed at 50 Bloor Street West, 2 Bloor Street West (which already has OMB approval,) 37 Yorkville Avenue, and 1 Yorkville Avenue could ruin the livability of the upscale neighbourhood.

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City

What Exhibition Stadium used to look like in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 14, 2014

toronto exhibition stadiumWhen expansion wraps up in 2016, BMO Field in Toronto will hold close to 30,000 people, a touch under 70% of the capacity of Exhibition Stadium when it was razed in 1999. The ancient ball park and football stadium was a mostly dormant relic when it was flattened with little fanfare 15 years ago.

Loved and loathed, the original stand that would later form part of Exhibition Stadium was built in 1879 for spectators of horse racing and equestrian shows at the Ex. It burned down in 1906 and was quickly re-built. During the 1920s, the horses, as they had on the streets of Toronto, gave way to deafening motorcycle and auto races. An astonishingly dangerous game called automobile polo was popular around the time of the first world war.

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City

Who's really funding new transit in Toronto?

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 13, 2014

Transit funding torontoIt's not easy to build new transit in Toronto. Right now, the Yonge relief line, arguably the most urgent and important transit upgrade in the city's history, is at least 16 years and several billion dollars away - a carrot on the end of a very, very long stick.

The biggest obstacle is funding. Subways are astronomically expensive: the smallest version of the relief line, which would link a station on Yonge with one on the Danforth, will cost upwards of $3 billion ($13 billion to reach Eglinton), excluding the western arm to Bloor. Even big cities like Toronto cannot afford a price tag that big without revenue tools and help from higher levels of government.

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City

The story of the Bay-Adelaide Centre stump

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 12, 2014

toronto bay-adelaide stumpFor 15 years, a six-storey concrete gravestone to the late 1980s Toronto office tower boom sat in the heart of downtown. Affectionately nicknamed "The Stump," the unfinished structural core of the first Bay-Adelaide Centre, was a constant reminder that building skyscrapers is a risky business.

The story of the grey, apocalyptic landmark, which marked the location of a massive underground parking garage and took a decade and a half to finally destroy, is one of deal-making, powerful lobbying and awful timing.

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