Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, disaster, government, Life, news, Parenting, politics, school, Toronto, travel, ttc

Can This Eglinton LRT Be Built Any Sooner?!?


Apparently the Eglinton Light Rapid Transit (LRT) aka should have been a subway, can be built faster, but in doing so, it’s found an even newer way to inconvenience the residents who live so close to it.

Forgetting the fact that they started this thing in 1971, okay, it started in summer of 2013, and that residents near the construction have been besieged by dust, noise, a significant increase in street traffic and near death experiences trying to drive, or walk in the community, but the roads themselves are falling apart.  Not only are the roads full of potholes, and one-way streets, speed limits and stop signs all “optional”, but as a resident, trying to get out to Eglinton Avenue or Bathurst Street has become nearly impossible.

Well, now that’s going to get even better!

This morning I received this lovely email letting me know that Bathurst Street north of Eglinton is going to be closed for 7-months!!!

GASP… Or is that GULP.

You see, the Cedervale community and to some extent, the Forest Hill community, have very few options when it comes to getting to Bathurst Street or even Eglinton Avenue.  For the past 5-years, we have given up on getting to Allen Road, because that is a 20 minute endeavor in stress and frustration.

The only street going north which has a traffic light, Glen Cedar Avenue, is backed up all the time and doesn’t allow cars to go straight or left in morning or evening rush hour.  Even if that changed, Eglinton Avenue heading towards Allen Road cannot handle all the cars so Glen Cedar would become a parking lot.

The other street that heads north is Hilltop road, which is steep, narrow, and when the Kings and Queens in the community stop to get their Starbucks and leave their vehicles on the road, it renders that road undriveable.

Not that getting out to Bathurst and waiting in that traffic is a boatload of fun either, but it means all the cars who can’t go north on Bathurst will swoop into Cedarvale and race through this community ignoring all traffic laws and the fact that there are a LOT of children walking to and from school.

This closure could start next week.

SIGH.

I can’t wait until it’s completed, to be so perfectly honest.

I’ve have 7 flat tires, lost 2 rims, and the traffic delays have brought in “people” who stand where the traffic crawls to go car to car seeking handouts.

I just hope at the end of the day it’s worth it, and that traffic on Eglinton doesn’t suffer the way it does on St.Clair Avenue (one major intersection south) which is impossible to drive.

Here is the email:

 Bathurst Street Closure

Beginning in Mid-December 2018, Bathurst Street will be closed for one block between Eglinton Avenue West and Wembley Road to accelerate construction of Forest Hill Station.

By closing Bathurst Street for seven months, the duration of the construction in the roadway is nearly cut in half. The intersection will be back to normal by June 2019.

You’re invited to an upcoming Open House at Forest Hill United Church. Come out to speak with experts about station progress, construction methodology, and ask questions about the upcoming road closure.

When: 

Tuesday December 11, 2018
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where: 

Forest Hill United Church
2 Wembley Road, Toronto

 

Parking available at Hilltop Road Green P. 

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Posted in cars, Community, family, government, Life, politics, Toronto, ttc

Monday Musings of The Urban Daddy: Toronto Traffic SUCKS!


Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Have to drive anywhere in the City?  I did… It was not fun, and quite frustrating…

What the heck is going on in my City?

City Construction

This is the view from the stop light heading north from the downtown core.  The right lane, as you can see, is blocked.  The right lane has been blocked for a while, during the construction of this building, but the other northbound lane was closed so that stuff could be dropped off / picked up from the right lane.

It boggles my mind and makes me really angry that the City;

  1. Allows developers to take out an entire lane of traffic to help them with their construction for as long as they need to take.  The same annoyance is occurring at Bathurst Street, just south of St. Clair Avenue.
  2. Allow builders to build to the capacity where they cannot do so on their own space that they need to use City streets.
  3. With the addition of bike lanes, parking restrictions and general congestion, that this is even allowed to happen.

Yes, this rant is a real one, and comes from a resident of the City who pays taxes… Lots of taxes, and has to struggle to drive in the city because lanes are closed, construction is taking WAY too long, the Eglinton LRT is dragging along and the roads are AWFUL.

I’ve had 7 flat tires since the LRT construction has begun.

You want pot holes and shitty roads?

Forget the odd pothole that pops up here and there.  Try living around the LRT construction where your only access to the main streets are via roads which should have been torn up and paved over years ago.

In our area, for example, near Allen Road and Eglinton Avenue, the only ways out are Glen Cedar Road – which is an absolute disaster, or to the West, heading towards Oakwood, the roads are worse.

Where is the compensation coming from the developers for taking up our roads, so we can drive where we need to go?

Where is the compensation from the City for either picking terrible contractors, or for not doing their jobs and keeping our roads safe so I don’t have to keep repairing my tires from driving on these roads?  My dealership told me that if my car keeps driving on these roads for a couple more years, the car will be a write off.  The potholes, bumpy and buckling roads and vibrations from these horrid streets are shaking my car apart.

But hey, we’ve got bike lanes, one way streets, no cars on King Street and the Gardiner is falling apart.

Toronto City Council really messed this up… Big time.

Hey Council… You want to put a giant park over the railway tracks in the downtown core?  Before you do that, move the tracks, add a driving tunnel, add a subway or LRT, and then once you’ve used that space to the max, then bury it and put a park on top.  Then above the park, put a bicycle path – enclosed or covered or not – where bikes can shoot across the city and not interfere with traffic and visa versa.

It’s not rocket science…

It has to get done.

Speed it up, make it safe, and remember that there are cars who have to drive in the city.  By pretending that by adding a LRT line I’m going to stop using my car – that I pay lots of fees to the city for, if an exercise in nonsense.  I’m not going to all of a sudden pack my kids and their sports equipment and them and hop onto the subway to take them to their games and practices.

It’s not practical, and is never going to happen.

 

In other Toronto-news:

The Toronto Rock Lacrosse team is the BEST game in town that no one goes to see.  These games should be sold out!  Best game in town!  The Rock destroyed the 1st place New England Black Wolves 21-9 in front of just 9,125 fans at the Air Canada Centre.

As a LONG time season ticket holder, I’d like to see more fans venture down to the ACC to take advantage of a great event.   Coincidentally, the Rock play the Calgary Roughnecks Saturday February 3rd at 7pm at the ACC.

 

The Royal Rumble was last night.

The Grammys were last night.

The NHL All-Star game was yesterday.

 

Great time of year to be a fan.

As long as you’re not driving.

 

Oh, and we take the subway to the Rock games… Convenient, cheap and reliable.  Good thing the games are at the ACC, or we’d drive.

 

 

 

Posted in Community, family, government, news, politics, Toronto, ttc, urbandaddyblog

How The Eglinton Avenue Re-Development Message Got Lost: It’s NOT About You!


This was a very troubling week for The Urban Daddy and our community.  An apparent sudden decision by the municipal government here in Toronto had thrust our neighbourhood into chaos and as citizens moved into action our efforts to seek the truth were suddenly derailed by the actions of one man – whom I will not mention by name, nor show his picture – who feels his 15 minutes of fame are far more important than the residents and taxpayers in this area.

It all started with a news report on CP24 alerting residents in Toronto that Toronto City Council was going to vote on the narrowing of Eglinton Avenue from Allen Road to Bathurst Street from 5 lanes, to just 2 lanes, so that the sidewalks could be widened, trees and artwork placed on the strip and bike lanes added.

All of this seems very nice, and very practical, and as a resident in Toronto, specifically someone who lives in between those streets and who is already impacted by the Eglinton Crosstown LRT / subway, this information came as quite a shock to me, and apparently to many of my neighbours.

This strip as it currently stands is terrible – construction aside – as a result of many one-way streets, and the absolute lack of traffic on the strip.  At night-time, the street is aglow with “MASSAGE” signs and very few people walk in this area at night because, frankly, there is nothing to walk to.  If the goal was to make this strip feel more “European”, then maybe Toronto City Council might want to think about the 3 months a year in which weather would comply with this drastic transformation.

In addition with St. Clair Avenue already being down to one lane in parts as a result of the transit right-of-way, doing the same to Eglinton Avenue, the next major road north, makes even less sense.  Eglinton is the end of Allen Road, an “expressway” of sorts which helps traffic flow north and south from Wilson Avenue without traffic lights, but with a lot of traffic.  People use Allen Road to head north to the 401 highway, and the delays have always been long and frustrating with or without construction, one could imagine it would only get much worse.

Let me at this point identify that I am pro every method of transportation.  Cars, bikes, walking, public transit are all great.  If I could take public transit everyone in Toronto, I would, where it makes financial sense.  If I could bike safely, I would, and my kids would too.  But we are not there yet, and don’t appear to be for quite a long time, so in the meantime, doing anything to slow down traffic does not make sense at all.  But that is my opinion…

So where is traffic going to go, if it cannot move along Eglinton Avenue, or St. Clair?  Well the side streets, of course.  We are already seeing a huge increase in traffic as a result of the construction, and in front of my house, for example, there is a stop street which very few cars actually stop at, some do not even try, and they fly through without even braking.  The “30km” traffic limit is always ignored, and speed bumps only cause a momentary delay as cars race off after passing them.  Even one-way streets are ignored, and it’s going to get worse.

But what about the kids?

This community, Cedarvale, which lies just north of Forest Hill, has a ton of children, and these children cannot safely walk in this community as it already stands.  Is Toronto city Council’s shortsighted view of the war on cars overlooking or ignoring the impact this re-development will have on the children in the community who are already scared to cross streets because vehicles travel very fast and do not follow the street signs when using Cedarvale as a short-cut to avoid the delays on Eglinton?

It would appear so.

When Toronto Mayor Rob Ford came to speak to the community about this issue, a couple of says after his return from rehab, I met some community members who lived on the other side of Eglinton Avenue in the next phase of this narrowing of Eglinton were just as shocked as I was, and who had put together a traffic study, which can be found right here; (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjP4HWMeieo&feature=youtu.be)

Adding to this frustration is that we learned that the City Planner had approved high density building along this strip with the widening of the laneways behind these buildings (which would require residential houses to be removed) to accommodate the traffic from these buildings.

More construction.

More traffic chaos.

Has the city planner, or city council ever been to these neighbourhoods?  $700K bungalows, and $1.5 million houses are common place in Cedarvale, much higher south and east of here, and a lot of families reside here who are certainly not going to need the extra sidewalk to walk to a massage parlour, a Whole Foods maybe, but clearly no one asked the residents what they want or need.  To look at the map of the area and declare it ripe for additional density of short-sighted.  This is not the right community for that.

Mayor Ford came to speak to us, and his message was lost, because of the actions of man who ran across the street, through frustrated traffic, so he could take off his shirt, pull out signs from his garbage bag and stop the community from hearing the Mayor’s views on this proposal, or to allow us to ask questions of the Mayor about what he knows about this plan.

The media at the event helped even less, but asking questions of the Mayor with disdain, like “How is it that you don’t know about this vote?  Is it not your job to do so?” when members of the community also knew nothing about this proposal, and then by diverting the attention to the few who took off their shirts for their own 15-minutes of fame.

If you watched any of the footage on TV, you probably heard me, and several others yelling for these 3 protestors to “shut up” and “let the Mayor talk” and while we did get a very short moment of quiet from them, it was when the guy yelling “resign” over and over again elbowed the Mayor’s campaign leader in the head while trying to get right behind the Mayor with his sign.

To his credit, the Mayor’s staffers did not respond or get as annoyed as the members of the community did, although, the police stepped in which this protestor yelled “don’t assault me” to the Mayor’s staff after apparently being kicked (I did not see this – I was recording the events) but the police decided to not charge either person, and the protestor was allowed to return and annoy the mayor and the residents.

The result of his actions were that the message of this proposal got lost.  The community were livid, the Mayor frustrated and the only person who got any attention was the guy with the sign, who proceeded to tell his story to everyone and anyone about how the Mayor lied, and how he works in a flexible position where he can follow the Mayor around and yell at him.

I waited after almost everyone left, and listened to his story evolve and change.  It was not about Eglinton Avenue and the residents or about traffic, but about someone who wanted to talk about how his was kicked, and assaulted, and how much support he has.

“Me Me Me”.

But it’s not about him.

It never was about him.

I looked at my video and saw a different unfolding of events which threw some key details of his story into dispute, and I shared that with the media and with the other Mayoral candidates teams so that they can be aware of the true intent of this individual.  He’s taking a very serious situation of an unwell person struggling with an addiction problem, who took the time to enter rehab and is now back trying to do his job, and he made it about him.

At the end of the day, we all lose.

As for the proposal along Eglinton….  I have no idea.

My message to Toronto City Council, Councillor Joe Mihevc, and the guy with the signs who likes to take off his shirt and disrupt important discussions impacting people their families and their community, is this:  It’s not about you.  It’s not about your legacy or your vision.  Leave Eglinton alone.  Don’t force another St. Clair on us because you want to be on TV.

Toronto City Council, don’t waste your time looking to spend money you do not have.  Clean up the area instead.  Fix the sidewalks, make sure the lighting is working, that dogs are on leash near schools, that the intersections are clearly marked and are safe (Ava and Strathern, for example), step up safety in the area and PLEASE, get rid of the raccoons!

Make the area safe and people will use it.

But Leave Eglinton Avenue alone.

And if you have a problem with the Mayor, address it the way everyone else does… At the ballot box.

Posted in family

Random musings about my kids… Please share yours too…


One day I heard on the radio a song called “Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult.  I liked is so I looked it up on YouTube.  The video was old and cheesy.

I guess I was walking around the house singing part of the song; “Oh no.  There goes Tokyo.  Oh no Godzilla.

After a week my kids insisted I show them the video which I did with a little trepidation knowing it might scare them. 

It didn’t.

They loved the song but my middle child was staring at Godzilla as he shot a flame ball out of his mouth while he was swatting at airplanes.  “Daddy”, he asked.  “What is that?” he said pointing at Godzilla.  “What does it look like?” I responded.  “A man in a dinosaur costume”, he replied.   

So today, as we were singing it together in the car, my middle child – oh, how creative is he, fired out this line; “Oh no / Tokyo / There goes Joe Mihevc.”

Joe Mihevc is our city councillor.

I may have told Stewie during the election in Toronto that we we not going to vote for Joe because he wanted to put a streetcar on Eglinton like he did on St. Clair and if that were to happen they would have to remove hi favourite places on Eglinton, namely, Baskin Robbins, Big Bite Burger and the Thirsty Fox Pub.  He never forgot that and I would catch him passing along this information to anyone and everyone who would listen. 

So cute.

And yes, I corrected him once I found out that was not true about Joe.  He has not asked me in a worried manner about his “favourite” places since.  🙂

Also in this urban daddy’s household comes the latest expression from Linus whenever we catch him doing something to torment his younger brother, and send him to his room.

“You just ruined my best day!” is what he blurts out to us.

Really?!?

maybe he should have thought about that before he;

1) calls his brother a baby
2) pinches his brother
3) pushes his brother from behind
4) tries to tip his brother off his stool
5) yell at the nanny
.
.
.
457) act goofy
458) say “poo” as every third word
459) write the word “boobies” on the shopping list
460) throw food at his brother

Needless to say, he is our first child and sometimes I feel we are making an example of him, but we ruin his best day, a LOT.