Two long reads worth your time

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.”

Upcoming events

Lots to do this week!

Frances Nunziata will be having a meeting on crime in the neighbourhood at  in the gymnasium of Weston Memorial Junior PS (200 John St), at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 22.

UrbanArts is hosting a Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy meeting on Saturday, November 25.

The 38th annual Weston Santa Claus Parade will be on Sunday, November 26. It’s the cutest Santa Claus Parade in the city. You have to go.

The Frontlines annual holiday brunch will be just before the parade. Tickets are $20 per person, or $30 for an adult and one child, which gets you on the float, should you wish to be.

And last, but certainly not least, UrbanArts’ annual Winter Expo will be Friday, December 8 at 6 pm. It promises to be lots of fun.

More on 135 John

The Toronto Star has picked up the story of the lot division at 135 John.

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.

From The Toronto Star

Elves needed

The Weston Santa Claus Parade needs some elves to help out with the parade this year. Volunteers from 11 years-old and up are needed to help carry banners, wear costumes, and put up posters. 

Eglinton LRT meeting tomorrow

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.

Image from

The meeting will be Wednesday, November 15, at York Humber High School (100 Emmett Avenue)  from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.


Man murdered outside Shoppers Drug Mart

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.

The perpetrator fled in a red SUV, and is described as

a black male in his late 20s or early 30s. He stands around five-foot-eleven, with a slim build and long curly hair. He was wearing all black clothing and a black toque.

The SUV was found in a parking lot not far away, and the perpetrator had fled.

Frances Nunziata has said there will be a community meeting about crime in the neighbourhood on November 22 at 7 pm. The location has not been announced.


Nunziata votes for bike lanes

Frances Nunziata seems to have had a change of heart about bikes. She joined the overwhelming majority of councillors and last week voted in favour of keeping the Bloor Street bike lanes.

Bike Lanes on Bloor
Photo by Eric Robinson (CC licensed)

In the past, Nunziata has not been resolutely probike. Notably, she voted to remove bike lanes on Jarvis, and wanted to license bikes (can we not re-litigate this? It’s a terrible idea.)

In Nunziata’s own ward, bike lanes remain few and far between, though that will slowly start improving with input from the newly-struck citizen committee on pedestrian safety and cycling.