queen's park view

Morning Brew: two airlines apply to fly out of island airport, first public pay toilet opens, CN Tower to close for G20, OMB approves controversial view-killing condo towers, Toronto Board of Trade report on transit

The Toronto Port Authority has confirmed that two airlines have applied to set up operations and join existing carrier Porter by offering flights out of the already controversial Island (Billy Bishop) Airport. They won't say which airlines have applied but it's a sure bet that Air Canada is one of them.

Like flies on a freshly laid cow pie, the media were all over the official opening ceremony for the City's first public toilet yesterday at Harbourfront. The verdict? The seat's cold, the cost per unit is an incredible $400,000, and it's a good thing taxpayers aren't footing the bill or there'd be some serious shit hitting the fan.

Bar patios are to be closed, bankers will be working from home, parents are temporarily abandoning their daycare facilities, The Jays have moved a series out of town, and now the CN Tower has announced plans to close down for three days during the G20 summit. I don't know about you, but I've already made plans to be out of town that weekend. I just don't want to be here while bank burning protesters, overzealous security measures, and media circuses are the main attraction in my city.

The Toronto Board of Trade has issued a report that suggests that solving the GTA's ongoing transit woes is possible is we take the bull by the horns, so to speak. Implementing congestion tolls, gas taxes, and parking surcharges are a few of many proposed strategies that could bring in billions of dollars each per year, funnelling serious funding into expansion projects that work. Something's gotta give, right? Traffic has gotten seriously out of control in this city, but are we prepared to collectively pay significant sums of money to fix the problem?

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)has approved plans for two new condo towers on Avenue Road north of Bloor -- buildings that once erected will adversely affect the "postcard" view of the Queen's Park legislature from south of College. Fortunately for the developers (and unfortunately for heritage advocates), planning policies aren't in place to preserve views of other buildings. Imagine how impossible the waterfront condo boom would have been, if arguments about skyline shape were allowed to affect development policies?

Photo: "The Ontario Legislative Building (+ tourist bus)" by bensonkua, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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