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Morning Brew: Rob Ford heckled on holiday, Mad mag lampoons the mayor, Scarborough subway costs could go up, Stintz and Murray make nice, and garbage gripes

Posted by Chris Bateman / July 22, 2013

toronto filmores hotelRob Ford is having a merry old time on vacation in Winnipeg and Regina. The mayor left before the end of last week's council meeting and has been spotted among the home fans at a Roughriders game in Saskatchewan's capital city in a suit jacket and t-shirt. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, fans at an earlier Argonauts-Blue Bombers game booed and yelled "crack" when he acknowledged the crowd from the sidelines.

Despite the dissent, Ford declared the the fans "the most friendly people I've ever met." He's due back in Toronto today.

The Ford crack saga has graced the venerable pages of Mad magazine with a listicle entitled "Signs Your Mayor Smokes Crack." Number 4 reads: "Proposes balancing the budget by stealing all the car radios from the next town over" above a cartoon of a cracked out "Mayor of Moronto." Watch out Mississauga.

The planned Bloor-Danforth extension in to Scarborough could cost significantly more than expected, the TTC is warning. CEO Andy Byford says without the benefit of soil studies, land valuations, and other calculations the $2.3 billion price-tag is simply a "best estimate." It's hoped the province will still chip in the $1.8 billion budgeted for the LRT conversion.

On the subject of LRT money, TTC Chair Karen Stintz and Ontario Transit Minister Glen Murray have agreed to discuss the topic sensibly after a public dispute. The province says just $1.4 billion will be available for the subway, owing to renovations needed at Kennedy station and costs already incurred by the light rail line.

Lake Ontario has famously been conquered bottom to top several times, most famously by Marilyn Bell in 1954, but now a team of swimmers are planning to attempt an end-to-end crossing from Kingston to Burlington. Working in a non-stop relay, the team think the 230 km swim will take about five days.

Toronto's former garbage can provider is filing a $60 million lawsuit against the city over alleged breaches of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and even trespass. The gripes of EcoMedia, the maker of the old style silver receptacles, date back to the 2009 garbage strike and clauses in its contract with the city. Why does Toronto have such trouble with its trash contracts?

Finally, the intersection of Broadview and Gerrard will remain closed for a few more days the TTC says, as repairs to overhead wires damaged by a recent fire continue. It's expected streetcar routes will be back to normal by the end of the week. Also in transport, the Gardiner is going to lose two eastbound lanes from Jarvis to the Don River this week for repairs.



Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Dan Cronin/blogTO Flickr pool.



steve / July 22, 2013 at 08:14 am
"stealing all the car radios from the next town over" actually sounds a lot more like a David Miller policy.
Marc replying to a comment from steve / July 22, 2013 at 08:20 am
user-pic it doesn't
W. K. Lis / July 22, 2013 at 08:26 am
On the Mad magazine article: What me worry?
oh / July 22, 2013 at 08:45 am
...“Some issues” are currently being re-negotiated, but the city calls it an “innovative partnership” of “unprecedented” scale, which has already brought in $70-million...

Except the lawsuit is for $60 million so if Ecomedia prevails the city gets $10 Million, maybe.

tl;dr: If it was David Miller's idea it's probably crap.
loop replying to a comment from steve / July 22, 2013 at 08:45 am
steve made a funny.
Joe replying to a comment from steve / July 22, 2013 at 09:08 am
hahahaha lame
Logan replying to a comment from steve / July 22, 2013 at 09:08 am
David Miller is like a bad parasite that will not go away.
Aaron replying to a comment from oh / July 22, 2013 at 09:14 am
Well, the contract was signed when Mel Lastman was mayor so I guess nooooobody could have gotten a better deal. We need to end with this public private partnership crap. It always sounds cheap in the beginning but then costs a fortune in the long run.
Dave / July 22, 2013 at 09:38 am
The problem is public it wants travel in cars but does not want roads in their back yards like Allen Expwy. Wants trains but do not want under or over the ground. What is wrong with people? So far we are perhaps very few countries who does not have subway or train from airport to the city. Shame on all. We could easily build above 401 train corridor from Montreal to Windsor years ago a system of trains similar to Switzerland but not, because of politicians sold to petroleum companies public have nothing.
Stan / July 22, 2013 at 09:51 am
Instead of an LRT or a subway,has anyone given some consideration to an EL?
Several US cities have used them for years,such as Chicago,New York,St.Louis.

Advantage: They won't take away any road space reserved for vehicular traffic,and are definitely less expensive than building an underground subway.
Disadvantage: A blight on the eyes,visual pollution. Heaven forbid should Toronto ever get an ice storm.
Craig replying to a comment from Dave / July 22, 2013 at 10:00 am
Dave, as I understand it Toronto is one of the last major North American cities to build a fixed link to the airport. Both Washington DC and Toronto on the way to rectifying that issue.

The Windsor-Montreal rail corridor has been studied to death since the early 1970's. What we've leared is: we're really great at producing studies that sit on a shelf.
iskyscraper replying to a comment from Craig / July 22, 2013 at 10:04 am
LRT is not the best for long term transit in Scarborough or along Sheppard in North York.

The Star's former Mayor Miller should have upgraded the city's outdated signaling systems before borrowing close to a Billion dollars for new subway and street cars.

Corporations operating and doing business in Ontario that have gross annual revenues in excess of $500 Million should be levied with a 2% transit and infrastructure tax immediately like it or not as an investment in this city and the GTHA.

There is no way individual taxpayers and property taxes can continue to bear the brunt for transit and infrastructure costs and there is no way street cars or LRT's are the solution to any cities transit requirements across Canada that has a population of over 2.6 Million residents.

Construct Scarborough subway now, replace the TTC signaling system now and within 3 to 5 years start construction on the DRL and then 2 years later finish the Sheppard subway connection to Scarborough and Spadina.
Reynold replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 22, 2013 at 10:18 am
Seriously?! You've appropriated iSky's username to spout partisan idiocy promoting subways.
Dave replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 22, 2013 at 10:21 am
The Sun's mayor Ford should build a DRL line right now. Three stops in Scarberia won't hold enough people to clear the roads for his SUV.
It is dave replying to a comment from Reynold / July 22, 2013 at 10:23 am
half the names on this thread are from dave.
Reynold replying to a comment from It is dave / July 22, 2013 at 10:26 am
You mean Dave Price, infamous media fraud and prolific gambler?!

I guess logistics means propagandist.
Alex / July 22, 2013 at 10:45 am
Why did they need to announce that the subway cost was a vague estimate? Why not announce that the sky is blue too? I don't understand people who think that a major construction project can be estimated to 90% accuracy or better in a couple of days. The subway will cost a ton more, and we'll all get taxed extra for it. Thanks for raising taxes for a useless project Mayor Ford! Those of us on Eglinton will be cruising along in our new LRT laughing at the poor schmucks in Scarborough who insisted on over paying for something worse.
Alex replying to a comment from Dave / July 22, 2013 at 10:51 am
What it all comes down to is this.......The Downtown Voters/People/Councillors want to give Scarborough and the rest of the suburbs a cheap system so that they can spend large for their DRL. They are afraid a subway for the suburbs will mean they might not get their DRL for a few more years...or maybe not at all if the whole project goes WAY overbudget and way overtime. Let's not forget....the downtown core ALONE (south of Bloor) just got over $2 billion worth of Streetcar improvements (that's not including St Clair Aveue West LRT construction) !!!! Give the suburbs day old bread to eat and water to drink while the downtowners dine on caviar and champagne.
Logan replying to a comment from Alex / July 22, 2013 at 10:55 am
Once you factor in Snow, weather and the fact that the vast majority of Scarborough people want a subway, this article is poisoning the well. Rob Ford has it right. The LRT is just that...light rail. It is not for heavy use or excess capacity. Does London have LRT as part of it's main lines? Does New York? No. Neither one do. LRT will feed into the main lines. But it should never form 'The" main line. Subways should be expanded into Mississagua, Richmond Hill and Durham. Then you can have LRT feed those lines. We are 30 years behind major world cities. All that money spent on pensions, and salaries with left wing governments at the helm has resulted in this mess. And now the left wants little cute rail lines, that we can walk too, and ride our bikes too.
Al replying to a comment from Alex / July 22, 2013 at 10:55 am
The DRL isn't for people living downtown. It's for people working downtown and coming from other areas. It will benefit those people coming from Scarborough on the Bloor/Danforth line and people coming from North Toronto and North York on the Yonge side of the YUS. It is not meant to be local transportation for downtowners.
Jacob / July 22, 2013 at 11:11 am
This just in: Subway extension to open in 2026 at a final cost of $3.8 Billion dollars.
iskyscraper replying to a comment from Stan / July 22, 2013 at 11:14 am
This points in this debate especially around Scarborough transit, is usually told from the point of views of downtown dwellers and cyclists who's only knowledge of Scarborough is what the media tells them. Geographically Scarborough is massive and spread out, as well, our population is the among the highest in Metro Toronto. Yet we have the worse transit system and some of the worse inner-city traffic. Some narrow thinking folks form the TTC and City wanted to put a rapid transit lines in the middle of Finch Ave and Shepard Ave which would take up existing car lanes making the traffic even worse! They have obviously never tried to drive in rush our in Scarborough! We need Subways that expand pass the current LRT!!! That is not up for debate, stop worrying about money that is already there (look in your political cookie jars and hiding spaces) and start thinking about Scarborough over the next 50 years...It is not about your political agenda's it is about what is needed
Dr. Acula / July 22, 2013 at 11:14 am
Would it be possible to do an article on Dave Price?
Al replying to a comment from Stan / July 22, 2013 at 11:22 am
The SRT is the closest thing Toronto has ever had to an EL. It is elevated in spots so that it doesn't interfere with traffic. The LRT option would have continued that.
Jen replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 22, 2013 at 11:27 am
Durng the election Ford said he wanted to build subways. Many of us agreed so the MAJORITY of us voted him in. The people of Scarborough also want a subway built there. Why are a small group of people in this city who hate Ford trying to stop subways. Just because Ford wants them does not mean they should not be built. People (the voters) who use LRT do not like the LRT. They want subways.Perhaps Ford should just stop talking and say nothing should happen til the next election. Once he wins again then he will have an undisputed mandate to get the job done. By the way, where is that "video"?
Dr. Acula replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 22, 2013 at 11:32 am
Not sure if you got up too early, but your sentence structure this morning is as bad as Dave's.
AV replying to a comment from Dr. Acula / July 22, 2013 at 11:33 am
There's lots of info out there on him if you look hard enough.
Logan replying to a comment from Jen / July 22, 2013 at 11:34 am
The Toronto Transit Commission has earmarked $58-million for streetcar platform and curb modifications plus another $110-million for new overhead wiring, bringing the cost of getting its system ready for a fleet of sleek new vehicles to nearly $700-million.

The largest chunk, $436-million, is for a controversial repair and storage yard at Lake Shore Blvd and Leslie Street that will house most of the 204 vehicles, slated to start hitting the road in 2014. Another $17-million is for electrical work for new on-street ticket-vending machines; $75-million will go to modify the Roncesvalles and Russell carhouses and the Harvey repair shop, according to TTC spokesman Brad Ross.

Add in the costs for the StreetCars and you have $2billion spent on STREETCARS !!!!!! BTW whose bright idea was it to build a "garage" on the lakefront? What a bunch of idiots... SUBWAYS, SUBWAYS, SUBWAYS. There's a reason hardly any city in North America runs streetcars. $$$$$$$$$$
Rich replying to a comment from Jen / July 22, 2013 at 11:35 am
I was in Scarlem this weekend, what a fucking wasteland. A subway is not going to save that place and I can see the reason why the "city" hasn't been too concerned with connecting Scarberia to downtown.
shut up replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 22, 2013 at 11:35 am
Shut up dave and stop stealing skyscrapers name.
Dave replying to a comment from AV / July 22, 2013 at 11:35 am
That would mean he would have to research. Acula, seems to take anothers opinion and claim it to be his own.
Wrong replying to a comment from Jen / July 22, 2013 at 11:36 am
" Many of us agreed so the MAJORITY of us voted him in. "

you would need 51% to need the majority in election results, Ford did not get that. I love ford nation math.
iskyscraper replying to a comment from shut up / July 22, 2013 at 11:38 am
You know what? Build an LRT line, or build a subway if it makes you happier. JUST STOP CHANGING YOUR MINDS EVERY TWO YEARS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. Every time some new clown gets in on the debate the old plans get scuppered, millions of dollars are thrown away on cancelled contracts and rejected plans, and we start all over again. Why not finish the LRT plans already in progress, and then start on new subway plans? Eventually you can have a full network of transit with multiple options, rather than a single-bullet project that is meant to be perfect but ends up cancelled and revised and frittered to nothing over and over and over again. Paris and New York have large networks of LRT lines, subways and buses, and Toronto needs the same thing. I'll be glad to pay higher taxes for this as long as the higher-ups can show at least an ounce of real leadership and decisiveness on the matter.
matts replying to a comment from Jen / July 22, 2013 at 11:40 am
I have wanted a BMW for a long time too. But I also don't really need it and can't afford it anyway so there
Right replying to a comment from Wrong / July 22, 2013 at 11:43 am
This "laughing stock" as you call him will win re-election in 2014.
You know the old saying:"He who laughs last, laughs best."
Shut up replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 22, 2013 at 11:49 am
Shut up dave and stop stealing skyscrapers name.
Dr. Acula replying to a comment from AV / July 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm
I've read a bunch of info in the comments, but it would be nice to read a profile. I'm fascinated by the simple single-mindedness of a man who deplores cronyism and freeloading government employee's, yet he works for the government, and has no qualifications except that he coached our Mayor in high school. Ironic cronyism?
I'd also like to know from him what it's been like watching a fairly healthy teen turn into the incredibly unhealthy man we see today. Rob Ford obviously respects him, so when does he say enough Mr. Mayor? It's in his best interests to see that the Mayor is mentally and physically fit, yet all he does is blindly defend and obfuscate. Does he honestly not see how this will end?
There's a video on youtube called, 'RSA Animate - The Divided Brain'. It explores how both hemispheres see thing differently, yet need to work together.
iskyscraper replying to a comment from Shut up / July 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm
Oh yes, don't bother thinking rationally and cost effectively, just copy what others have done no matter the costs or the need. You may now return to perusing the Gucci website for outrageously priced crap to impress people who don't care.
Shut Up replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm
Shut up dave and stop stealing skyscrapers name.
Simon replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm

No successful City going into this vehicle ridden future will keep that success level without addressing gridlock. The Subways have to be built. Every successful G8 Nation and their host major cities have strong and in some cases superb Train and Subway systems.

The more people complain about this, it is just going to delay the inevitable. Only a total fool would think that Light Rail will solve Toronto's problems. Toronto could become the City of Tomorrow but it seems like lots of people want to keep it as the City of yesterday.
iskyscraper replying to a comment from Simon / July 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm
We need some version of a DRL regardless of what happens in Scarborough. Nobody is suggesting delaying a DRL. You could just as easily say you're against a Scarborough subway because we need the money for full-day kindergarten, or sewer maintenance, or knee replacements. But governments can, and should, do more than one thing at a time.
Get a clue replying to a comment from Logan / July 22, 2013 at 01:04 pm
The 'snow/weather' excuse for not using LRT is BS.

The new ticket vending machines are coming no matter what.

The new yard at Leslie & Lake Shore is hardly controversial: it will have a short stretch of non-revenue track that doesn't even compare to what's at some other carhouses. It's not as if it's prime lakefront property either: the site of the garage was previously home to a pile of contaminated soil.

They're not streetcars, they're LRVs - something that many cities in North America currently operate and which several others are working to build.
Logan / July 22, 2013 at 01:32 pm

Most people who don't live in Toronto won't recognize the dynamic at play here. The city core tends to vote more-or-less as a block and they tend to vote on the political left. The outlying regions are larger and less predictable, which means during election time, that's where the money goes.

It's no mistake that the Sheppard Line got built.. or that Miller is sending the subway to Vaughan... or that Ford is obsessed with subways in Scarborough. It isn't about prioritization or demand. It's about votes.

Want to know why Stintz jumped on the Scarborough Subway bandwagon? She's going to make a play for the big chair. Bank on it.

Toronto desperately needs a carefully planned and managed subway.... and city officials are doing their absolute best to make sure that never happens.
Alex replying to a comment from Dr. Acula / July 22, 2013 at 01:34 pm
Haha, I wouldn't call Dave single-minded at all. He's used at least 3 different names in this one comment section alone, he's practically got multiple personalities now. One of his iskyscraper comments even says to build the LRT! Careful Rob doesn't see that, you might not get paid.

Someone in this comment thread said to build subways to Durham. Please, please let that be sarcastic. Not only does Toronto have nothing to do with Durham, but NOBODY in Durham rides transit. Students do, and the elderly. That's it. Subways in Durham is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. For the last time people, transit isn't about status, it's about what's needed. You don't build subways to suburbs because they aren't designed for them. Why we are currently building a subway to Vaughan, nobody knows. It sounds like it was done to buy votes, though if they actually have the ridership then I guess go for it. Scarborough does not have the ridership levels for a subway though, and unless all those houses are gonna be bulldozed and turned into condos, it never will.
Dave replying to a comment from Alex / July 22, 2013 at 01:41 pm
You really should calm down and read what I wrote. I'm not mentioning platforms on the Bloor line.

I am speaking of platforms on the Yonge line. Maybe you should open up the TTC map if you don't live here and get used to the way platforms are described.

The Yonge line is NOT YET at capacity. That is a proven fact. If it were at capacity then the DRL would have been nearly built by now.

You never heard of the DRL prior to Oct 2012 and you never cared when it was ignored in 2009.
Jacob replying to a comment from Dave / July 22, 2013 at 02:12 pm
Dave: Where do you live, and have you even taken the Yonge line during rush hour?
Dave replying to a comment from Jacob / July 22, 2013 at 02:14 pm
I am not championing any subway extension. Yes I would like to see the DRL built today if possible. I am giving context about what capacity there is, and how and what the DRL running from just Yonge to Danforth will actually do. Most people think its the latest catch phrase and will solve everything when it actually won't. Yonge trains southbound will still be packed in any station north of Bloor and people currently left waiting on platforms and can't get on trains will sill have that problem.
Al replying to a comment from Logan / July 22, 2013 at 02:59 pm
This hasn't always been a core/suburbs or a left/right issue. Jack Layton opposed the DRL because he didn't want to see more density in the core. He supported the Sheppard line as a way to divert funding from the DRL. Giambrone and Miller decided to kill it in favour of the Transit City proposal. It hasn't only been right-wing suburban politicians that have stopped the DRL from being built.
Logan replying to a comment from Al / July 22, 2013 at 03:05 pm
Give context before you make a comment like that. The DRL built just from Yonge to Danforth will relieve only the Danforth line in both rush hours and the southern Yonge line in the afternoon rush. That is what I wrote here from comment number 1. So don't claim that I oppose the DRL. Quite the opposite. I was emailing Councillors about the DRL when most of you and them knew nothing about it.

And capacity of the Yonge line is known by the TTC and its forecast was given to council when it mattered. Since then they have done two tings which will improve it, trains with slightly more capacity and an improved signalling system.
Alex replying to a comment from Dave / July 22, 2013 at 03:22 pm
I know this is confusing, since you're replying to a different Alex, but I was the first Alex to post so it's their responsibility to use a different name or a number.

Anyway...the Yonge line is very near capacity. During rush hour it is over capacity, since people have to wait for multiple trains at some stops before they can get on. Since a lot of new condos are being built outside the downtown core I'll assume that at least 25% of those new residents need to get downtown to jobs, or north to jobs, thus adding more people to the line. So basically I'm saying that the DRL is very much needed. It will take years to actually plan and construct, so understandably everyone would like them to start on it right away. Scarborough had a plan already done and all they needed was to construct the LRT, and now they are taking away resources from other projects to plan a new subway that isn't needed, since the RT is breaking down, not over capacity. It's why everyone is so pissed, because it's such a selfish move and it doesn't make any sense. There are a ton of rail lines that have a much higher capacity than the RT, and instead all of this effort and money is going to what should be something really simple.
Dave replying to a comment from Alex / July 22, 2013 at 03:39 pm
Sheppard is a lot different than it was 15 years ago and it'll be a lot different 15 years from now. Yonge & Eglinton is only getting serious development now. Meanwhile parts of Danforth have changed relatively little in almost 50 years because the old city wanted no part of development. Maybe we should tear down the whole B-D line because of that.

The area to be further developed is around Scarborough City Centre. This is a 3-4 stop proposal, and unlike the SRT none of them will be useless until the end of time.

Beyond all that, the bottom line is that power brokers in Scarborough support this subway proposal and have worked to move it to where it is today. The only other Toronto priority that inarguably surpasses a B-D extension is a DRL. But going back to Giambrone's stupidity, the power brokers downtown have done squat about championing a DRL, so we're reaping what we've sown.
Alex replying to a comment from Dave / July 22, 2013 at 04:01 pm
Have you been to Scarborough City Centre? I used to go there every day and I still go every few weeks, and it always seems scuzzy and a bit industrial. The mall isn't the grungiest one I've ever been to, but it's up there. It's not bad, but it's not the kind of place that attracts condo or office development. What projects being planned for or built there? Slow day today, but I still didn't want to bother searching for it since you already know the development going in.

Everyone's issue is that "power brokers" shouldn't be in charge of transit development. Metrolinx needs to be given some serious power so experts can plan transit based on what's needed.
Dave replying to a comment from Alex / July 22, 2013 at 04:12 pm
These things ALL get decided by political grandstanding in the end, whether or not you or I think it's a worthwhile project. Like it or not, Scarborough is working for it and it looks like they're going to get it.

Here's the recent history of people downtown working really hard for a DRL.........

1982: Mel Lastman opposes a Sheppard subway (!) and proposes a subway from downtown up the DVP. Downtown laughs and says no thanks.

Late 80s-early 90: the TTC proposes a downtown line to go across Queen (or maybe King) and loop up to Pape Stn. Downtown, led by Jack Layton, says no way! Mel knows sooner or later subway money will come Toronto's way that needs to be spent, so he starts pimping for Sheppard. Since downtown doesn't care, Mel has one fewer opponent to worry about. In the end he wins.

SRT subject to even more breakdowns and slowdowns. People not happy! But they live in Scarborough so who really cares?

2007-08: a mayor and TTC Chair from the old city are gifted billions of transit dollars from the province. They ask themselves, do we need a DRL? They laugh and say no. (Actually I'm not even sure about the last part. It's entirely possible they never even considered a DRL.)

2010: Years of complaints about the unreliability of the SRT prompt most mayoral candidates to propose a B-D extension in place of LRT for the SRT rebuild. It's a Festivus miracle!

Today: DRL still being studied, or waiting to be studied. Or on vacation. We're not quite sure. Meanwhile a B-D extension could be right around the corner. But it's all Scarborough's fault!
mindblown replying to a comment from Dr. Acula / July 22, 2013 at 06:29 pm
You just blew my mind, making me think about Dave coming here to comment on an article about Dave Price.
duh, Alex... replying to a comment from Alex / July 22, 2013 at 06:42 pm
...why feed dogs champagne and caviar???

Day old bread is good enough for curs.
tommy replying to a comment from Alex / July 22, 2013 at 07:12 pm
The suburbs got hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new buses just a few years ago. Seems fair that downtown Toronto gets the same funding for their streetcars, based on usage and life of the equipment.
Shut Up replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 23, 2013 at 08:54 am
Shut up Dave and stop stealing iSkyscrapers name.

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