Friday, August 22, 2014Mostly Cloudy 24°C
Sports & Play

This is what the Raptors' training facility will look like

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 22, 2014

toronto raptors trainingThe Toronto Raptors' planned $30 million, 68,000 sq. ft. Exhibition Place training facility moved a step closer to reality earlier this week. The city's executive committee voted to give the centre, which will be funded by Maple Sports and Entertainment, the green light. All that stands in the way now is the approval of city council next week.

The basketball centre would be built on a parcel of land at the west end of the Exhibition Place grounds, next to the Medieval Times arena, which is currently a baseball diamond.

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News Flash

Road closures in Toronto: August 23-24

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 21, 2014

toronto road closuresRoad closures in Toronto for the weekend of August 23 and 24 rounds up the key transportation shut-downs affecting the city, including street and TTC closures.

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City

Should Toronto mark off public and private space?

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 21, 2014

Private property torontoIn light of Brookfield Properties' highly publicized bike confiscation scandal last week ("Bikegate,") and the same company's manhandling of a busker, councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam is asking the city to look at the possibility of marking the often invisible line between public and private property.

If you recall, Brookfield Properties, the owner of the Hudson's Bay Centre at Yonge and Bloor, removed a bike that was legally chained to a street fixture on public property and placed it in storage--no note of explanation. The incident was, of course, a PR disaster.

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City

5 famous Toronto signs in danger of disappearing

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 20, 2014

Honest Eds signAfter a lengthy preservation battle, the famous spinning vinyl discs of the Sam the Record Man sign are safe. Starting soon, the neon sign that used to mark the downtown Toronto location of a mighty music store empire will be installed on top of a city owned building on the east side of Yonge-Dundas Square.

Late last month, the Inglis sign, famous for its strange messages to passing motorists such as "The greatest remedy for anger is delay" and "Destiny is not a matter of chance it is a matter of choice," was taken down, the company that built it having vanished from Liberty Village years ago.

Although they often mark businesses, Toronto seems to have a certain amount of affection for some of its more prominent (and eccentric) signs, especially when one is threatened with destruction.

Here are 5 famous Toronto signs in danger of disappearing.

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City

The story of the last new streetcar launch in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 20, 2014

toronto clrv streetcarAt the end of this month, the TTC will debut a new design of streetcar for the first time in 32 years. The new low-floor LRVs (sorry, no catchy name like the Toronto Rocket) will enter service on Spadina Aug. 31. It's not clear whether there will be one or two new streetcars available--the TTC is guaranteeing just one, for now--but that there are any new surface rail vehicles at all is due to the efforts of activists. The result of their labours: the current fleet of streetcars.

In the early 1970s, the TTC, like transit providers in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Montreal, Vancouver, and numerous other cities, was preparing to do away with its streetcar network. With each new underground extension, the TTC planned to shut down its surface rail in favour of buses. After opening the Yonge, University, Spadina, and Bloor-Danforth subways, streetcar routes on Dupont, Bay, and Coxwell were taken out of service. By 1980--the planned opening year of the Queen St. subway--the last Toronto streetcars were supposed to have vanished.

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Tech

5 urban innovations Toronto could use right now

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 19, 2014

urban innovations torontoThe Toronto of the future will be bigger, bolder, and (hopefully) smarter. New technologies and ideas are helping cities around the world improve the quality of life for their citizens by way of better transit, more accessible services, and modernized or repurposed infrastructure, and Toronto should be no different. While we're pretty influential (according to Forbes magazine,) there is still plenty the city could learn from the rest of the world.

Here are 5 useful ideas Toronto could use right now.

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Other Cities: Montreal