CBC on ECWE

The CBC has a good piece on the arguments around the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension that will run through the Eglinton Flats:

Tunnelling for the extension started in early April and later that month, Metrolinx invited shortlisted builders to submit proposals to design and construct the elevated section. But Brissenden’s group and the Mount Dennis Community Association are calling on the agency to change course before it’s too late. And they’re not alone: the City of Toronto asked the provincial transit agency at least twice in recent months to consider bringing the elevated section underground.

But Metrolinx says the current design is the most cost-effective option, and can bring the most number of riders onboard without the risks that come with tunneling underneath the Humber River.

Though the piece is balanced, it doesn’t mention the third possiblility: that the line could be neither buried nor destructive—and could instead run down the middle of Eglinton, as first planned.

MPP Ford still in the news for nepotism

Our MPP’s appointment to Minister of Multiculturalism and Citizenship led to continuing criticism this week.

Bob Hepburn, a Toronto Star columnist, said “It’s a blatant case of political nepotism — unfair and a misuse of authority” and in “total disregard for political decency”.

Marcus Gee of The Globe and Mail despaired that nobody cares that “Michael Ford owes this appointment – no, his whole political career – entirely to his family connection”. (Though Gee elides the ridings Ford won.)

Both were responding to Premier Doug Ford’s defence of his choice. Premier Ford was asked earlier this week why he appointed his nephew to provincial cabinet—and gave him a $50,000 a year raise.

He said “He just won the seat in York South–Weston that we haven’t won in 71 years. I think he’ll do an extremely good job. He has a lot of knowledge and he’s been an elected official probably longer than 60 per cent of our caucus.”

Michael Ford was also defended by Mayor Tory, who said “I put Michael Ford on the Police Board, which is a very signifant place with significant responsible…. he is thoughtful, he is hard working, he does understand his community as well as anybody else”.

EYCC approves large development

The Etobicoke York Community Council approved the two-tower development at Weston and Little on Monday. The towers, when built, will be the largest in Weston: one is 35 storeys, the other 29.

From the application

Six residents spoke out against the proposal at the meeting. They raised concerns about

  • The character of the neighbourhood
  • The large scale of the development
  • That the smaller tower was remained large, though staff had recommended it be made smaller
  • The location of the driveway on Little Avenue
  • The poor record of city planning

It seemed to me, however, that their concerns were not given much consideration by the members. Early in the meeting, Councillor Mark Grimes ignored a speaker and met briefly with Doug Holyday until they were told off. Only Frances Nunziata asked a follow-up question, and it wasn’t about the development—it was about whether it was appropriate for her tenant to hang clothing on the property. No other committee members asked any questions.

In addition to the speakers, about 20 people (including me) wrote to the council, and 29 others signed a petition.

The towers will have 733 condominium units when built. Councillor Nunziata announced that it would include a space for the Weston Historical Society.

The development must next be rubber-stamped by City Council.