A couple of long reads worth your time this weekend:
John Michael McGrath weighs in on the ugly-looking process behind the province’s hydrogen-powered GO train push, which could replace the well-developed and reasonable plans for electrification:
Metrolinx is asking for private companies to bid to make something that doesn’t currently exist. The costs are a big question mark. So is the performance. One of the reasons the government was going to go with overhead wires was that electric trains can accelerate faster than their diesel counterparts, allowing a railway to run more vehicles in and out of stations, safely. That means more frequent train service for riders. Can Metrolinx find a hydrogen train vendor that can meet those specs while delivering the number of trains needed by the 2025 deadline?
The Globe’s Alex Bozikovic covers what houses we should be keeping in Toronto, and the broken-down system of heritage evaluation. It’s a mess, and one we struggle with in Weston.
The areas of the city that are facing the most development pressure – and where planning is most open to development – is in and around the downtown core, which is also the area richest in built heritage.
“We wind up asking, What do we want to keep?” Ms. MacDonald says. “And the larger question, a very different question, is, what matters to people? What are the landmarks for different faith communities, for different waves of immigration? Not everyone in Toronto has the same history. We believe that the city’s architectural heritage represents community and social value as well.”
Alino Lopes thought the lot he bought in Weston could be a place for him and his daughter to live side by side.
Instead, they’re finding the aging house they’re hoping to tear down and replace with two new ones is becoming the centre of a conflict between those who want to preserve the neighbourhood’s eclectic character, and provincial plans that favour intensification.
I can still remember Dave Bennett holding up the cage of my hockey helmet as I ate a hotdog from the snack bar of Weston Arena during an intermission of a Weston Dodgers game. Stories like this one aren’t unique to me as a hockey-playing kid from Weston; I’m sure hundreds of other kids have similar stories about Dave’s compassion and patience at the arena.
From as long as I can remember, Dave has been a tireless volunteer both in the arena and out in the broader community.
Last week Dave was awarded the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education’s Parent Volunteer of Excellence Award for his dedication and advocacy efforts in getting a new school for the students of St. John the Evangelist Catholic School in Weston. When I heard about this, I couldn’t think of a better person to receive the award.
Securing the new school has been a successful, but ongoing, fight for Dave and other members of the community for years. Dave had been involved in the advocacy work every step of the way—long before the construction crews broke ground in 2014. I often get Dave to give me updates on the project, and he can tell me every single detail from the nitty-gritty of the floor plan to what’s going on with the construction process. This is just another example of his attentiveness to the “little things” that are often overlooked in community advocacy work.
His patience, dedication, and service to the community is inspiring for Weston. Thanks for all that you do, Dave! Congratulations!
The city will host a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) on updated plans for the Mount Dennis section of the Eglinton LRT. The new plans call for extending light rail to the airport area (instead of John Tory’s original plan for subways), fewer stops, and some very cool grade separations to clear busy intersections.
The meeting will be Wednesday, November 15, at York Humber High School (100 Emmett Avenue) from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.
A man in his 50s was stabbed and killed outside the Shoppers on Weston Road today. Just before noon, witnesses reported a fist fight between a young man and the victim. The victim was found in life-threatening condition, and died in the hospital.