Cycle Path Update

End of the trail, Cruickshank Park looking north.

Just a quick item to inform readers that the City of Toronto is looking for input on their new multi-use bicyle lane projects as outlined here. From the link is an input form that looks like it has to be printed off and faxed.

The city would like to extend the bike trail that ends abruptly at Cruickshank Park and link it via the riverbank to rejoin the network north of the 401 avoiding streets and traffic entirely. Apparently the various property owners along the route have been consulted.

Perhaps it won't.

Another project proposes extending the west-rail path north along the rail lines.  Right now their plan is to come north and when it reaches Black Creek and Weston, to follow north along the creek.  Ideally, it would continue along the railway and head up into Weston Village.

The bad news is that the deadline for for comments is Friday February 24.

Traces of Weston’s Past

A hint of days gone by

A tantalizing glimpse of Weston’s past is still visible on Weston near Lawrence. Here, an old mural proclaims what appears to be his and hers engagement rings for $125. This apparently was available at Weston’s Peoples Credit Jewellers. Payments were $2.00 weekly after a $12.00 deposit. My neighbour tells me that prior to Yorkdale Mall’s opening in 1964, Weston was a hotbed of commerce with several shoe stores, high-end tailors and department stores (Kresge’s). She remembers the streetcars that once trundled up Weston Road.

I wonder if there is thought to preserving or even restoring this mural, now that Weston seems poised to be on an upswing. It might be worthwhile to find and replicate or restore further examples.

Mt Dennis LRT station back in play

Details are sketchy, but in a presentation last week, Metrolinx said Mt Dennis will again be getting a rapid-transit station, but that it may be redesigned. That station, at Weston Road and Eglinton, had been thrown into doubt by the Ford administration’s now-overturned decision to bury the line.

Frances Nunziata opposes the old plan to build the station because homes would have to have been expropriated. Steve Munro, Toronto’s best transit blogger, says that Metrolinx may be willing to redesign that station. He said,

I asked about the possibility of redesign of the section through Mount Dennis (Weston Road) and near Don Mills and the DVP. Metrolinx confirmed that details of these areas are still being worked out.

I have some good news and some bad news

The bad news is that a man was arrested for possession of a prohibited handgun and a large quantity of drugs. The good news is that the man was arrested.

Octavio Travassos, 30, was arrested by the Guns and Gangs Task Force in a home on Denison road on Monday. They found cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and hash as well as a handgun and ammunition.

Travassos now faces 11 charges.

Some good news for St John

While students, parents and staff continue to petition for an entirely new school to replace the crowded premises, St John the Evangelist has got some good news. The school will get all-day kindergarten starting in September 2012.

St John has had a rough patch lately. The school will have to be moved to the site of Brother Edmund Rice in the Junction Neighbourhood so that Metrolinx can build the ARL tunnel through Weston. St John had also not been able to get all-day kindergarten because it is already terribly overcrowded. They had planned on getting it in 2014, later than most schools in Ontario, and after all other schools in Weston.

In a letter to the community, Bruce Rodrigues, Director of Education, says that all-day kindergarten will bring “before and after-school programs, Parenting and Family Literacy Centres and Early Years Centres and Child Care Centres.”

Cash Max robbed

12 Division police say the Cash Max store at 2175 Weston Road was robbed on February 13 at around 6:30 pm.

A suspect approached the counter, produced a handgun, and demanded cash. He fled northwards on Weston Road.

Cash Max was robbed almost exactly one year ago. On February 14, 2011, two men robbed it, stealing cash and jewelry.

Nunziata tries end run around City Council

Frances Nunziata signed a letter at Community Council asking the provincial government to “reconsider” Rob Ford’s subway plan, even though City Council has already rejected it and Dalton McGuinty has said that he will follow the will of City Council, not the mayor. Inside Toronto calls this letter a “dramatic end run” around City Council.

Last week, in a fractious debate, the city brought back plans to build light rail around Toronto instead of more-limited subways. The Etobicoke York Community Council letter says, oddly, that “recent decision… poses a number of concerns. In particular, the now obvious rapid transit deficit that will exist in Scarborough and plans for a Finch West LRT. Each of the public transit directions will have a significant impact for Etobicoke residents”.

Nunziata said,

Unfortunately, some of us who live in the suburbs do not have transit or the Bloor subway line. We are stranded in our communities. When councillors voted not to bury the LRT at Eglinton and Weston Road, they voted to expropriate businesses and homes in my ward. We want the LRT underground.

The Eglinton surface LRT plan will lead to the expropriation of between 10 and 18 homes near the intersection of Eglinton and Weston Road, according to Steve Munro, a transit pundit.

There are, in your humble correspondent’s opinion, a number of things wrong with Nunziata’s letter, quite apart from its propriety.

First, the Eglinton LRT will bring transit to our area. That is a good thing, even though it will probably mean the expropriation of homes.The abandoned Ford subway only went as far as Black Creek Drive. Nearer rail service hardly leaves us “stranded”, as Nunziata says.

Second, the Finch LRT was sacrificed to free up money for the Scarborough subway. Bringing it back is a good thing—a resurrection.

Finally, reducing transit in Scarborough will have no deleterious effect in Etobicoke York. In fact, inasmuch as it frees money up to improve our quite poor transit (by Nunziata’s admission), their loss is our gain.