Sullivan blue-skies a plan for hospital site

Mike Sullivan released his ideas for the Humber River Hospital Church Street campus on Friday. He says that the building should become a seniors’ long-term residence.

As the hospital moves to its new location, they had planned to sell the building and land to to the highest bidder. That plan hit a small bump when it was discovered that part of the site had been deeded by an old Weston family for hospital use only. While likely not a deal-breaker, the parcel of land is, reportedly, in the middle of the hospital, and undoing the deed will take time.

Using the land as a long-term care facility would, Sullivan says, “fit with the original intent of these lands, [and be] consistent with its original purpose”.

His press release also says that hospital to long-term care conversions have been done before in other cities.

 

High praise for Nunziata

Frances Nunziata got some high praise from the retiring Auditor General of Toronto, Jeff Griffiths.

When I asked him who on council most supported him over the years, he named Doug Holyday, Mike Del Grande, Frances Nunziata, Brian Ashton, Jane Pitfield, Michael Walker and most recently, Josh Matlow. He couldn’t name any others, which in itself is very telling.

“I’m so angry that he’s leaving,” says Nunziata. “He’s one of the best employees we have at the city … We do owe him a lot.”

Griffiths worked for 16 years as Auditor General and was responsible for finding fraud and waste in municipal government. This year, among other areas, AG department has overseen the Pan Am Games (doing fine), Toronto Community Housing (not so much), and telephone equipment at City Hall (a total mess).

In the interview with Levy, is quite spare with his praise for City Hall politicians.

I Can Too Research.

Last week, an anonymous commenter responded to an article on the coming Liberal revival with the following comment:

Roy may not know this — research doesn’t seem his strong suit — but there was a fourth candidate contesting the Liberal nomination: A young, gay, Aboriginal man who actually lives in YSW. He had a very vigorous campaign going and was signing up plenty of members. But he was instructed by Trudeau’s minions to drop out. So much for a new, inclusive Liberal party. No thanks . . .

The blatantly truthful bit about my research skills (we have thick skins here at WestonWeb) was overshadowed by the possibility that this commenter, while lacking the integrity to come forward with his or her real name and email address, may actually be on to something. OMG, an actual scoop. With this in mind, I put on my ace cub reporter’s hat and contacted Riding Association President Ryan Ward for a comment. He quickly referred me to Liberal Party spokesperson Kunal Parmar who again quickly responded that for confidentiality reasons he was unable to reveal why the candidate had withdrawn. He stated that, “Anything to do with this individual is up to them. He will not be commenting further.”

Repeated attempts to contact the candidate by phone and email failed – even though as of July 15, a website still proclaims his candidacy. Obviously if he feels aggrieved, he’s not saying so.

So there we have it – pretty much a non-story but I promised a follow-up and here it is.

Albanese gets another promotion

Big Red Wave’s a coming.

Can you hear it? The faint but steadily increasing roar of a second big red Liberal wave about to crash on the shores of York South-Weston. After the excitement and dramatic results of the recent provincial election, all eyes will soon turn to the Federal Liberal York South-Weston nomination process. According to riding association president Ryan Ward, the Liberals are looking for a high profile candidate to unseat incumbent NDP MP Mike Sullivan. To date, three candidates have come forward; Anthony Cesario, Monique Rudder and Bill Saundercook. The nomination meeting will be held later this year.

In the interest of brevity, WestonWeb asked the candidates three questions:

1. What relevant life experience have you had that would serve you well as an MP for York South-Weston?

2. What do you see as the main issues in the riding?

3. Do you live in the riding?

Weston Web will publish the answers once they come in.

Hark!–A transit plan that benefits WMD

The front-runner in the Toronto Mayoral race has a transit plan that would make Mount Dennis (and, to a lesser degree, Weston) a transit-rich part of the city. John Tory’s transit plan includes an electrified Georgetown track for LRTs that would connect with the Eglinton LRT.

Tory leads in the polls, though the election is months away, and his transit plan is a centrepiece of his campaign. As far as YHC can see, it is, as yet, unmatched by Olivia Chow (or, needless to say, Rob Ford).

map (1)

Tory’s campaign calls for a line that runs from the northeast of the city, through Union Station, back up to the airport area. It would run on the existing GO lines, except for the section after Mount Dennis, and it would be “express service”—with far fewer stops and trains than a subway. It would, however, run all-day and on 15-minute intervals, unlike today’s GO trains.

John Tory’s campaign says, cleverly, that Toronto has a hidden and underused resource—surface rail corridors. Currently, these are used by diesel trains, but he is calling for “EMUs”—trains that look like subway cars.

EMU copy

The exciting part for us, though, is that the train would run all day, from Mount Dennis, and join with the Eglinton LRT. Local commuters could choose to either go downtown via Union, or crosstown on Eglinton. Either path would connect with the subway.  The Weston—Mount Dennis area would have a GO train, the Eglinton LRT, and the Tory Train.

Tory says that the line could open in 7 years and be paid for by the increased taxes in the communities it benefits.¹

Your correspondent can’t find any answers to some natural questions:

  • Why not build to the airport instead of the industrial areas around it?
  • Why not use this to replace the UP Express?
  • Why not use the UP Express infrastructure for this?
  • Why does the east end get 13 stops while the west end gets only 8?
  • How, precisely, does it relate to the planned electrification of the GO corridors?

The plan has been generally well-received. Royson James says it is a “transformational” and “exhilarating” idea. Steve Munro, however, says that it is an idea that leaves downtowners out.

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¹ Yeah, I know.

Laura Albanese gets a promotion

Laura Albanese, our recently-reëlected MPP, has been given a promotion. She will now be Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance.

In other political news, Glen Murray, who promised to electrify the UP Express by 2017, was shuffled out of his position as Minister of Transportation. This comes with speculation that the reëlected Liberals may be short-circuiting expectations about electrification. He will now be Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.