Not Going Anywhere for a While?

Stuck in traffic? Streetcar at a dead halt? It could be thanks to a move made 34 years ago. This date in 1971 marked the cancellation of the Spadina Expressway, a route that would have run from the 401 and ended up in the downtown core; possibly passing through the bachelor you're sitting in right now. At the heart of the issue was the irreparable damage that would have been done to the Cedarvale ravine, not to mention the hundreds of homes to be bulldozed in both Forest Hill and the Annex. Thanks to the efforts of citizens and local politicians alike, the development literally ground to a halt at Eglinton Avenue.

Now, what is left is "The Allen", a brief, clogged roadway that essentially goes nowhere. As Toronto continues to grow, the issue of transportation will only become more paramount. Recently, we were held hostage by the possibly of a TTC strike and now with the summer heat upon us, checking the air quality index each morning is the city's newest parlour game.

Dealing with urban sprawl is a delicate issue, one that has to juggle both the needs of the city and its citizens while keeping the environmental concerns in mind. In the decades since the cancellation we've had a number of suggestions from changing Yonge and Bay to opposing one way streets to Mel's idea of closing the downtown core to cars altogether. Sooner or later we need to tackle the seriousness of the situation. Whether the answer is in bicycles, more public transit, expanded roadways or stricter environmental controls, one thing is for certain - it'll take me twice as long as it should to get anywhere today!


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