Saturday Brew: Pan Am Games Win, Rebranding Israel in Toronto, TTC Token Limits, Bloor Station Bottlenecks, and the Attack of a Copy Editor
What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):
Former Canadian Olympian, Marnie McBean summed it up nicely: "Toronto finally won something." Beating out Lima and Bogota on the first ballot, the Pan Am games will come to the city in 2015. Although the bid organizers are ecstatic about the win, public reaction has been ambivalent. As desirable as new sporting facilities and infrastructure are, many are worried about the price tag of an event that's not as prestigious as it used to be.
A Globe article featuring Amir Gissin, Jerusalem's leading PR man and Israel's consul-general for Toronto, explores his project to "rebrand" Israel abroad by using Toronto as a testing ground for the international community at large. Citing the city's overall size, its large Jewish and Muslim communities, and the fact that it's home to some of Israel's harshest critics (the article mentions the United Church and the Canadian Union of Public Employees), Gissin views it as an excellent testing ground for a PR project that aims to change the discourse that surrounds the country.
The TTC announced yesterday that it'll be limiting the number of tokens purchased at one time to 10 or less. The move is intended to prevent hoarding in the face of a possible (likely!) fare increase in the new year. Was it ever fast, though. The decision on the fare increase won't even take place until Nov. 17th. I also wonder about the effectiveness of such a strategy. If one really wanted to hoard tokens, couldn't he/she just purchase 10 over and over again on separate days? I guess they bank on people not going to the trouble of doing so.
In other TTC news, a pilot project to decrease bottlenecks at Bloor Station will get underway Nov. 23rd. Because both the main entrance to the station and the escalators/stairs for passengers transferring from the Bloor/Danforth line are located on the north side, there tends to be considerable congestion at this end. To try and spread things out a bit, the TTC will use a series of stanchions and staff members to direct the flow of riders southward. The hope is that this will reduce "dwell" time and allow for the running of a few more trains.
And although it's already been posted online, the edited version of John Cruickshank's internal memo informing Toronto Star employees of possible job cuts is still worth a look. Insofar as a hundred some odd copy editors potentially stand to lose their jobs, there's a not-so-subtle irony to the heavily marked-up memo, which reveals a number of significant stylistic and grammatical errors.
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