ARL to be diesel, made in Japan

As Metrolinx prepares to meet tomorrow, news is coming out about their plans for the Airport Rail Link.

According to the Toronto Star, the airport shuttle will be tier 4 diesel, not electric, and likely made in Japan, not in Canada.

“No one in Canada makes these vehicles. In Canada you can buy light-rail vehicles through Bombardier. We do not have a buy-Canada kind of requirement,” said Metrolinx President Gary McNeil, who is leading the air-rail project until a new executive is hired, probably in January.

The Clean Air Coalition has criticized the estimated number of passengers and said that it still doesn’t make sense to build the link. According to Metrolinx, 5000 riders will use the service per day. The coalition says it would actually make more environmental sense for those riders to drive:

5000 per day (within 5 years) is 37 per train, or 18 per railcar.  The trains, if Diesel, will emit 3 times the [greenhouse gases] as automobiles… [the emissions are] a wash at 56 passengers per railcar.

Another swarming in Weston

At about 1:15 in the morning on November 9, four young people between 11 and 19 years old swarmed a 31-year-old man in the area of Weston and Rectory roads. Two males punched and kicked the victim then stole his backpack. They were aided by two females. The group fled, and the victim sustained minor injuries.

As always, you can view a map of the muggings in Weston here. Some patterns are beginning to emerge from the data; the north-west corner of Weston is dangerous, especially at night. There have been three robberies along Weston Rd between Rectory and Oak. All occurred after 9 pm, and all were quite violent: one was a gunpoint robbery, one was a stabbing, and one was a beating.

Pine and Lawrence is also a very dangerous area. Three reported muggings happened at that intersection in the past month. Two more happened nearby, in the development between Lawrence and Denison. The robberies in this area were somewhat less violent; the perpetrators seem to favour stealing  phones from teens.

Funding update

Thank you. Thank you.

Four very generous readers have given $50 to hire a local student. I’m putting in $50 of my own. And, as you can see, I’ve also started running a little advertising. All told, WestonWeb now has $251.50!

I’m working on the hiring process. The local schools wouldn’t help, so I’ve gone to a community non-profit to see if they can. So far, it sounds very promising, and I hope I’ll be able to get someone working for us very soon.

If you’re still interested in putting a little money, I would be very grateful. I promise to use it only to hire a student to write for the community. The ongoing expenses associated with this site will come out of only my pocket.

Thank you again. Thank you so much.

Carjacking in Weston area

On November 5, an 18 year-old was carjacked at the intersection of Wilson and Jane. He had just popped the trunk of his car when he was approached from behind. The assailant beat him with an object, stole his keys, and drove off with the car.

The victim was taken to hospital, and his condition is unknown.

Two muggings at Pine and Lawrence

Pine and Lawrence is a corner like any other; there are houses on three sides and a donut shop on the other. You’d never guess that it’s shaping up to be one of the worst corners in town.

Last Friday, there were two muggings within 30 minutes, in broad daylight, right after school. According to police reports, at 3:30, an 18 year-old was approached by two young men who demanded his cell phone. When the victim refused, they threatened him and punched him. Other assailants approached and began beating the victim. They all fled, empty-handed, in a unknown direction. The victim had minor injuries.

Only 30 minutes later, a 16 year-old young man was approached by two male suspects at the same corner. One demanded the victim’s phone while the other stood watch. The assailants fled southbound on Pine.

The police reports do not say that the cases are related, but in both police are seeking black males around 17 years old. One is of thin build and one is of medium build. In the second case, the larger man had shoulder-length dreadlocks.

Only two weeks ago, a woman was swarmed by three men at the same intersection. You can view a map of muggings in the Weston area here.

Two residents at In Touch may have died of starvation

Two residents of the In Touch Retirement Home may have died from neglect and starvation according to a front-page article in the Toronto Star.

Two elderly residents died after suffering severe malnutrition and weight loss at a Toronto retirement home, their families and friends charge….

Family and friends of Farrell and Henderson told the Star both died because the food was cheap and no one in the home helped with their struggle to eat.

The In Touch Retirement Home is at the corner of King and Rosemount in the old Tyrrell House. It was recently investigated by an undercover reporter from the Star, who found deplorable, filthy conditions. Another resident, Christos Atahasiou, died of pneumonia on October 31.


On the day of the Clean Train rally outside their offices, Metrolinx will be updating their board about which lines might be electrified. The final conclusion about electrification will not be presented.

Metrolinx is currently studying whether they should electrify the entire GO Transit system. While many people, including almost all the politicians along the line, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, and many residents support electrification, Metrolinx is studying several different options for diesel, hybrid, and electric trains.

The meeting on November 16 will be about how much of the GO Transit catchment could be electrified. According to Vanessa Thomas from GO media relations, the Metrolinx board will be presented with “an overview of the process for developing six options” for different degrees of electrification:

  1. Only electrify Lakeshore
  2. Only electrify Georgetown
  3. Electrify Lakeshore and Georgetown, and leave the rest diesel
  4. Electrify Lakeshore, Georgetown and Milton, and leave the rest diesel
  5. Electrify Lakeshore, Georgetown, Milton, and Barrie, and leave the rest diesel
  6. Electrify the whole system.

The complete agenda will be posted five days before the meeting.