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.
The Greenland Food Market property has been sold and the business was recently put up for sale. What will become of food shopping in the walkable areas of Weston? The GF supermarket building is large – it once housed a Loblaws and has an excellent selection of produce and ethnic foods and spices. It serves hundreds of people within walking distance. The next nearest supermarket is the Loblaws Superstore at Weston and the 401 which is a considerable way when carrying groceries. The term ‘food desert‘ has been applied to areas in the U.S. where there is a lack of a healthy variety and selection of food. Weston may be in grave danger of becoming a food desert when Greenland Farm closes.
The GF site owner and developer has shown some attractive artist renderings indicating that a food retailer may be occupying the ground floor of the proposed high-rise. The bottom line is that the attractive drawings are done purely to attract support for the project. The actual building may be completely different. Without a legal requirement, the developer has neither wish nor obligation to specify the businesses that may lease space in their building.
Let’s hope that our councillor is working to ensure that vibrant and varied food sources are available in the densely populated parts of Weston and Mount Dennis.
How much would a $15 hourly wage be as an annual salary? Just under $29,000 for someone working an 8-hour day, 20 days a month for 12 months a year. It’s not exactly high living.
Alleged think-tanks like the Fraser Institute claim that as many as 50,000 people will lose their jobs if the MW is elevated to such lofty heights. The Fraser Institute BTW, is one of the many propaganda arms of big business, generously supported by all of us because it has been allowed to call itself a charity. There are also claims that prices will rise as a result. Even the media seems to be repeating (many false) claims of impending doom without checking the facts.
In 2015 about 1.7 million people in Ontario earned less than $15.00 hourly. Incredibly, that’s just under 30% of the workforce. In Weston / Mount Dennis that percentage is likely considerably higher since we are one of the poorest areas of the city.
What we do know is that unlike the rich, poor people don’t send their money to tax havens. They spend it when they get it and largely on local goods and services. Income and sales tax revenues will actually rise as workers will pay more income tax and many may not need to apply for tax credits – a form of government wage subsidy for employers.
A study done last year, reported in the Huffington Post investigated the effects of raising Wal-Mart wages in the U.S. from $10 an hour to $15. The study concluded that revenue for the giant chain would be reduced by $5 Billion annually. Compared to the total annual revenue of $482 Billion, that works out to a hit of about 1%. In other words, raising wages 33% would increase costs less than 1%. Why then doesn’t Wal Mart raise wages? Share prices and dividends might go down.
Australia has a similar economy to ours and currently mandates a minimum wage of $18.29 – somehow, the universe has managed to stay in one piece. Perhaps Australians believe in fairness more than we do.
Our readers might want to tell local MPP Laura Albanese that they support increasing the minimum wage.
York South–Weston students are being streamed into high-school programs that limit their life opportunities, according to Social Planning Toronto.
The province formally did away with streamed high-school programming many years ago, but much of the old system persists, SPT says. The results are profound: students choose “academic” or “applied” courses in grade 8 that will affect their careers, and earnings, for decades—and they do so without knowing the difference.
Further, “low-income and marginalized students [are] over-represented in lower level courses”.
Applied courses are an academic lobster trap: easy to get into, but hard to get out of. Students are asked to take make-up courses in the summer or after school to make the transition into the academic program.
The report recommends:
Delaying choices about education pathways for as long as possible
Providing better support for students who want to move into the academic stream
Improving communication about pathways to parents and students
Providing better one-on-one support, especially from teachers
Mount Dennis has the coolest museum in Toronto. InsideToronto profiled them this week.
Prehistoria is a museum devoted to weird and wonderful artifacts from around the world, and its sister store sells many of them, including cave bear molars, beaver teeth, and human bones and brains. If you’ve ever wanted to own an “overmodelled human skull from the Iatmul peoples of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea”, you may only get one chance.
The Star has the sad story of a cyclist killed in the Mount Dennis area last week. A motorist struck 70-year-old Gary Sim while he rode near Alliance and Jane. He later died in hospital.
The police recently released a 10-year data set on cyclist and pedestrian deaths and serious injuries, which your correspondent has mapped for Ward 11. The results are telling.
Four pedestrians and one cyclist have been struck at Weston and Lawrence.
19 pedestrians and four cyclists have been struck on Weston Road.
Ten more pedestrians and four cyclists have been hit along Jane.
These data are certainly very conservative, and only report deaths and serious injuries.
Many of these accidents—I use the word loosely—happen because we have very poor cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.
There is no way, for instance, to get to the Junction, and the bike paths from there to downtown, without riding on the hilly, fast, four-lane Jane expressway. Riding on Weston terrifies even me, a gigantic, fast, fit and ferocious cyclist.
The West Toronto Railpath is exceptional. It’s fast and safe, and good enough for downtown. Why isn’t it good enough for Weston?
Metrolinx could make this happen. They’re working on electrification, which will entail widening and moving tracks (again). Instead of wasting billions on hydrogen powered trains, they could build paths for potato-powered people.