Recent comments

  • Campbell Park dump cleaned up.....almost   8 years 36 weeks ago

    Those who were so concerned about the health of our area during this short strike can now join the rest of the community in fighting a real environmental issue; the electrification of all Go/APL rail expansion which if not enacted will affect every citizen of our area, of all ages, for the next 30 years.

    Instead of being a small group that wants to be on TV putting our area down at the drop of a hat there is a larger more optimistic group fighting to make real change happen and you can see it all over from Railpath, street murals, gardening clubs, new business, Fuzzy Boundaries, it just keeps growing. These are the same people fighting for green public transit instead of GO's toxic diesel. There is a lot to be excited about in our area and some challenges but I see all sorts of people taking the initiative and making change happen.

    Anybody can get on TV, because as the press saying goes "if it bleeds it leads" but it will be the quiet army of optimists who will change things for the better in our area.

  • 7 Days For Your Voice To Be Heard for Clean Trains!   8 years 37 weeks ago

    Ranajit I would not mind another Liberal or NDP MP, my main request would be that they take an active role in the community. Sadly Tony was Mr. Invisible 20 years ago when he was my MP in Parkdale too. He is the kind of MP that gives the "term limit" people ammunition.

  • 7 Days For Your Voice To Be Heard for Clean Trains!   8 years 37 weeks ago

    The letter pretty much says it all - excellent work Scott!

    As for Tony, no elections on the horizon so hes in hibernation. At least he reuses his election boards which show pictures of him 25 yrs ago. The man should retire, he is not relevant in this day and age. Hes been in the drivers seat for way to long, maybe no capable challengers - who knows. Same ol same ol.


  • 7 Days For Your Voice To Be Heard for Clean Trains!   8 years 37 weeks ago

    Its too bad that Tony cant make a stand considering he uses up a lot of trees creating pamphlets saying how much he cares for the environment. On this issue Tony went to one meeting and claims that he "made a statement" and now says "what's wrong with you people" when citizens ask what he is doing on this issue.. A coward pure and simple.

  • 7 Days For Your Voice To Be Heard for Clean Trains!   8 years 37 weeks ago

    Nice Metrolinx letter Scott! Thanks for making the effort. I hope that you will forward a copy to the Premier, the Minister of Transport and our Missing in Action MPP, Tony 'Invisible' Ruprecht.

  • 7 Days For Your Voice To Be Heard for Clean Trains!   8 years 37 weeks ago

    Seriously, lets hope Metrolinx can find a way to save face and get with the plan.
    Dear Robert Pritchard

    Please include my comments as part of your documentation.

    The Metrolinx EA for the Georgetown/airport link expansion is a fraud as it fails to consider existing technology that is greener, cheaper, and longer lasting.

    Further the continued argument by Metrolinx that diesels trains represent the best that can be offered is a symptom of a moral failure on the part of all those at all levels including consultants.

    The Moral Issue with the EA

    1.Metrolinx and its consultants have waged a PR campaign to discredit immediate electrification of these routes using a changing list of excuses and half truths that even some of its own consultants have told me privately are not true. This is a blatant disregard for the truth and the respect of the communities Metrolinx is supposed to serve. The EA process is a fraud because Metrolinx has not truthfully answered residents questions about why electrification cannot be done now and presented answers that seem vary week by week. In fact I went to 3 open houses and heard 3 completely different stories, and they were stories not facts, about why electric would not work. What a professional embarrassment for the people in charge of this EA.

    2. During the EA process consultants refused to tie all the results together into a complete cumulative picture with residents at open houses. It was impossible to discuss the entire project with anyone as consultants just said ”its not my department”. Given that this is the only opportunity for citizens to talk about the EA it fell short of being a true public consultation process and was an exercise in technical buck passing.

    3. The “compartmentalization” continued in that the larger cumulative effect of additional traffic on the Newmarket line which is in GO’s public documents and part of the south end of this EA was deemed to not be part of the EA and in most cases Metrolinks senior executives like James O’Marra claimed to know nothing about it. Nothing, even though there were other public consultations going on at the same time. How the top part of the rail expansion that is 1802 feet away from lines that come from the same Georgetown expansion cannot be part of the same EA is a great mysteries. There is no reasonable conclusion here except that Metrolinx is hoping by omission to play down an aspect of future expansion and its dirty diesel health effects as seen on Map 24 of their plans. This is dishonest plain and simple. Even a highschool student can see through this deliberate attempt to hide the impact. I would also add that Greg Ashbee of GO suffers from the same professional and moral amnesia but the other way around.

    The Environmental Issue With the EA

    1. Diesel propulsion is an obsolete toxic methodology that is quickly being passed by electrification. The world knows this but for some reason Metrolinx’s designers are stuck in the the 1990’s (the 1890’s actually). Putting in any system that pollutes the air and then the soil in residential areas makes no sense when a clean alternative exists now. Citizens have been given a false choice and that is not a fair EA.

    No private company could add the amount of concentrated pollution into the air that Metrolinx and Lavlin (hiding behind Metrolinx) are. Period. Why is that? Why is that acceptable?

    2.Diesel pollution will remain in our air and soil long after dirty diesel trains stop running. Not a year, BUT years and years. Haunting the community and its soil and water table invisibly with no train or Metrolinx employee to be held accountable. It may be a nice PR move to say one day there will be electric trains but the legacy will live on. Nobody should feel this is acceptable in the year 2009.

    3. The toxicity released by Metrolinx’s trains is worse than the cars it will take off the road. This is an accepted scientific fact backed backed even by our own Board of Health. How is this better for the environment? I did not see one inch of data as part of the EA that reconciled this fact: Metrolinx is taking pollution from cars and spreading a far more serious pollutant into residential areas. I don’t see how concentrating this toxic brew next to homes and schools for the ENTIRE west end of Toronto makes any sense. If the EA is about finding acceptable levels and tradeoffs and mitigation then where is the comparison to cars? And more importantly where is the comparison to electric?

    4.It makes no environmental sense to spend a whack of money on a toxic dirty diesel system and then say that you are going to electrify it down the road. Considering that electric systems are all over the world including here in Canada why waste the money and the carbon footprint building something that you in theory are saying you don’t actually want. Either say you want diesel for 40 years or you want electric now. Any hybrid response is at best a PR move and at worst a giant waste of resources and human capital. Build it once and build it right and then spend all the money that would have been wasted on a down the road conversion on developing more green transit green energy supplies. Or how about on schools or hospitals?This seems like economics 101 to me and every person I have talked to in Toronto about this topic gets it. Why doesn’t Metrolinx get it?


    I could go on and on because this diesel proposal is so dead tech and technically retarded that I find it hard to believe that any organization in 2009 could possibly publicly propose this without being laughed out of town. I would laugh too but it is my lungs and the lungs of my community that will suffer. And they will suffer long after all the consultants and project leaders have retired and in fact will suffer and be impacted until the day I die. Should I even bother planting the backyard vegetable garden? Should I care about this any more when my own government doesn’t care anymore and its agents don’t care enough to present fair and balanced information to me? Is that the plan, to stop people from caring?

    GO used to be something I was quite proud of but I can see that it is becoming the giant corporate entity that citizens fear and loathe just like Hooker Chemical or Dupont. Metrolinx started with the promise of getting transit on track, something we all agree on, but nobody thought they would come to the table with technology worthy of a Dickens novel and then present a diesel PR campaign in place of a true informed EA process. It is very upsetting when institutions that you believed in lose site and become unable to admit their mistakes or to re-evaluate positions: actions that in the end would earn respect and renewed trust.

    How is it possible that you can be in opposition to huge amounts of residents who embrace public transit and railpaths and natural gardens and energy conservation? How can you spend so much money on consultants and yet be on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of informed public opinion? How come the public has the answers that Metrolinx don’t? Why do we feel that it is we who are trying to teach you Metrolinx but you wont listen? Will you ever?

    The immediate electrification of the Georgetown and other rail expansions is doable, is affordable, environmentally sound and a good business decision. There is not one single reason to not do it.

    Metrolinx needs to take time out and engage more with the affected communities and re-evaluate whether dirty diesel is the best that it can do. Overwhelming evidence says there is a better way in which nobody has to lose face but everybody gains. The public will wait while Metrolinx catches up with the times and support that green public transit 100% .

    To let the Metrolinx diesel freighter continue under its own out of date inertia will be an epic failing of professional and moral responsibility.

    Do the right thing.

    Cheers, Scott Dobson

  • 7 Days For Your Voice To Be Heard for Clean Trains!   8 years 38 weeks ago

    "Ontario is moving toward less environmentally damaging sources of electricity."

    This is an interesting thing to say. The Adam Beck generating station went into service in 1922 and for decades Ontario had very clean power. There have been upgrades since then of course, but it is safe to say that all of the power that Niagara Falls could possibly generate was spoken for a long time ago. The Premier has a vested interest in encouraging people to imagine we are making progress in terms of power generation. He also has a vested interest in us not looking at the facts too closely. It is very likely that when he made a promise to decommission all coal power that he did not understand the significance of 'peak capacity' - generating power that can be used for short periods of time on demand. He is likely now looking for an excuse to break that promise. New power demand might make an excellent excuse.
    Outside of Niagara Falls our track record is abysmal. I don't know if you are a fan of nuclear power. I don't mind it. But we've been in the nuclear power business for forty years and do not have a long term storage facility for our waste fuel. That seems to me remarkably irresponsible. Changing that situation will require dealing with a NIMBY situation somewhere.
    I love the idea of increasing our use of wind power. The wind turbine at the ex generates about 1000 MWh per year, while Toronto uses 25000000 MWh. I'll save you the math - as a percentage that's zero. The Ashbridges bay proposal was NIMBIED, the Scarborough proposal is being NIMBIED as we speak. Even if it goes through it would be infinitesimal - a good step, but too small to mean much.
    Biomass is a dreadful idea that through the use of advanced technology can become a merely bad idea. Like garbage incineration, the idea is that if you use really high temperatures and fancy catalysts you can avoid creating the extremely poisonous emissions. (In practice sometimes the temperatures are allowed to drop resulting in terrible emissions.) However you are still destroying biomass - which should be returning to soil so we can stop losing soil and continue to feed ourselves.
    Did you know that we use diesel to generate electricity in Ontario?

    Politicians what to take credit for 'clean power' or whatever seems popular. But they will not stand up to defend an important project.
    If we want to pat ourselves on the back for good decision making, it seems that we should be prepared to make the occasional responsible decision.

  • Campbell Park Opens As Temporary Dump Site   8 years 38 weeks ago

    While the kids can play in other parks, I'm guessing you keep your windows closed more often these days Martin. Thanks for the photos. Let's hope the disruption gets resolved soon.

  • Campbell Park Opens As Temporary Dump Site   8 years 38 weeks ago

    Hi everyone,

    I live on Campbell just below the park ... I also work as an independent photo journalist
    I have been documenting the park and the garbage dump:

    Hopefully NOW magazine will publish these photos when I submit them later this week.

  • 7 Days For Your Voice To Be Heard for Clean Trains!   8 years 38 weeks ago

    [sent to this afternoon]

    To whom it may concern:

    I'm a resident of a neighbourhood adjacent to the railway line proposed to carry a train link between Union Station and Pearson Airport. I'm a great supporter of such a link, but I'm worried to hear that Metrolinx is considering using diesel engines.

    With what we now know about climate change, atmospheric pollution and their health effects, and the repeated calls from all levels of government to stimulate green industry in this city, province and country, it seems rather out-of-date to be considering such an old and dirty technology. Surely, government's role is to rise above nearsighted business timelines, especially during recessions, and "price in" externalities like pollution and climate change gas emissions, thereby providing the conditions for economic development. In this case, that would mean a modern electric train.

    Yes, electric trains might, for the moment, garner some of their power from fossil-fuel run generation stations, but Ontario is moving toward less environmentally damaging sources of electricity. As the province moves, so will the impact of this laudable new train link improve--if it's electrified. If it's diesel, we know it'll keep burning diesel...until Toronto wakes up in a few years and realizes it has to spend a huge chunk more to convert it!

    Please, let's make the right decision the first time around. Don't let this be a repeat of the Sheppard subway, which to this day dogs Mel Lastman's already dubious reputation and legacy.

  • Photos from the Railpath Opening Parade   8 years 39 weeks ago

    Railpath stage 2 which is supposed to go to basically Strachan Avenue is somewhat tied up with Metrolinx and their planned massive polluting expansion in the Georgetown Corridor. Now everybody wants rail lines again when 10 years ago you couldn't give them away.

    Many are not happy about Metrolinx's plan to use diesel instead of electricity to power trains and there are some threads elsewhere about that but it important to note that RP and increased public transit in the corridor are not exclusive to each other, they compliment each other.

    The Friends o Railpath have met with Metrolinx and they have been willing to work to resolve any issues that might stop stage 2 from being completed. First off the Dufferin jog should not affect RP so there is no worry there. The issue is that as the corridor gets closer to downtown it starts to bunch up and the section in the Strachan area will be very congested. At this time it we may be only able to get RP to Sudbury Avenue near Queen and Dovercourt which is nothing to sneeze at and would be fantastic. There has also been vague talk about a stage 3 heading north but that is far away.

    Look towards this September for the official RP opening and a more detailed plan for stage 2 announcement.

  • Photos from the Railpath Opening Parade   8 years 39 weeks ago

    Can an update be provided with regard to extending the rail path south from Dundas including time frames. It would be good to understand whether the overall plan includes connections to downtown and or the Lakeshore as well if there are milestones to towards it or what ever the plan is

  • Campbell Park Opens As Temporary Dump Site   8 years 39 weeks ago

    There are temporary dumps all over the city. In the more suburban parts there is more land so they can create larger dumps. Downtown where land is scarcer they are using smaller plots. Especially for downtown where many people do not have cars small dumps may be the best option for citizens. I am not sure what affluence has to do with things; I would hardly call Christie Pits a low income area, or even ours judging by recent house sale prices on Perth and McCaully.

    I would have done this a different way but in the long term I don't think this is a big deal. Remember too that mediation generally benefits unions so forcing that means we will have a larger money shortfall and that means cut. Historically those cuts are made to Parks and Rec, Community Centres, and Arts/Culture. Forcing mediation may come back to haunt our public spaces in the long term, such as shutting down Campbell rink. To me protesting at Campbell park is not smart.

    Of course I don't want to live near a dump but the planned 400 diesel trains EVERY DAY on the rail lines that surround us is a million times more dangerous than a pile of garbage left outside and sprayed for a month or two. I wouldn't mind seeing more of the hysterical people on TV talking about "environmental disasters" in Campbell Park out protesting a real environmental issue with the same gusto. Wonder why I never see them.

  • Re - Naming the Junction Triangle ?   8 years 39 weeks ago

    A nice story about the participation of the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp in the Fuzzy Boundaries naming project appears in today's (July 17) Villager newspaper. You can checkout Lisa Rainford's article at

  • Campbell Park Opens As Temporary Dump Site   8 years 39 weeks ago

    Blah blah blah - whatever, Giambrone's to busy worrying about his street cars. I wonder which pamphlet he copied and pasted from to make the newsletter. When are we going to see dump sites open in more affluent areas - thats a question I would liked answered.

    City Halls a joke. Can't wait till we privatize this BS and Oust Miller. To Bad: November 2010 can't come any sooner. Hope the residence of Toronto don't suffer amnesia when the polls open.

    Reduce and Recycle,

  • Campbell Park Opens As Temporary Dump Site   8 years 39 weeks ago

    Does anyone know what time the protest is on Thursday (July 16) night?!

  • Re - Naming the Junction Triangle ?   8 years 40 weeks ago

    The Junctioneer news blog is featuring the latest Fuzzy Boundaries outreach initiative. On Tuesday, July 14th, the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp (Perth Outreach location) is including the naming project in their program. Campers will be discussing the project, making name suggestions and voting on their favourite idea. You can checkout the Junctioneer post at

  • Dupont St. and Annette St. bicycle lane plan   8 years 40 weeks ago

    I went along the Dupont bike lanes again today and from what I can see it is painted/marked on the road as such. So this still doesn't seem clear to me as to why the lane is there but the signs are covered. The westbound lane is fine. Nothing covered. Is there a plan to widen the lanes or something?

  • Dupont St. and Annette St. bicycle lane plan   8 years 40 weeks ago

    I thought those signs had been covered the whole time. They were covered last week. I just assumed that the bike lane was not finished yet.

  • Dupont St. and Annette St. bicycle lane plan   8 years 40 weeks ago

    I haven't been out for awhile due to sickness so I just noticed this. The bike signs going eastbound on Dupont have been covered and everyone is parking on that side of the street. Do we have a path there or not. Any info will be helpful.

  • West Toronto RailPath   8 years 40 weeks ago

    I'm suspicious that things have been so quiet for awhile in the petty vandalism department, now in the last few weeks there seems to be a sudden spurt. I wonder if it is because school is out for the summer and the youth doing the tagging are bored and unemployed? Don't have any answers other than the more eyes just looking out for one another, and a greater sense of community pride, *not* just reminders that problems exist, may help discover who the people are doing the deeds. It's interesting that the tagging are on places that are beginning to show signs that our 'hood is changing from the "Junction's" poor cousin to something with more self respect. Just say'n...

  • West Toronto RailPath   8 years 40 weeks ago


  • West Toronto RailPath   8 years 41 weeks ago

    Not sure what can be done to prevent it, but the goofs who are spray-painting the everything on the Railpath are out of control. Last night a number of the light standards and the art installations south of Bloor Street were tagged. The place is beginning to look pretty rough before it's even finished.

  • Proposal for Dupont St. Bike Lanes   8 years 42 weeks ago

    "It's pink it has flowers, I'm very excited" gushes a friend of mine last fall in describing her new bike. A couple of weeks ago I ask if she was enjoying it. She has never taken it out! Her driveway is on a busy street. (Outside even the fuzziest definition of our hood, but only a ten minute ride away.) She grew up in the same small town I did, where learning to ride a bike involved the 'danger' of scraping a knee, and you had watch out for the occasional car.
    She is a busy smart person who is fully aware of how morally repugnant it is to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk. There is only a small matter of getting to the nearest side street to get a little practice and get some confidence.

    I think the city needs many more cyclists if they are to control the traffic. That means people need be able to get through the first couple months of riding. I believe the patronizing 'education' about not riding on the sidewalks is unhelpful.

    Stupid and dangerous behavior should be addressed. But pedantic enforcement is likely to have foolish unintended consequences. (I'm not convinced that the folding bikes with tiny wheels really ought to be encouraged by brainless politicians. But they might be a big improvement - what do I know.) Come to think of it last week there was a kid who flew at very high speed along the underpass with a friend standing on little bars that extend from his axle - that bike had pretty small wheels too. I don't even want them on the road. Too stupid - they would get killed. As contemptible as they were I don't wish them death.
    I feel that if somebody is riding in a way that is basically safe we should at least be willing to look the other way until we find a truly better solution. I'd be all for a bike lane on Bloor, but I'm not holding my breath.

  • Proposal for Dupont St. Bike Lanes   8 years 42 weeks ago

    I agree.
    Enforcement and reactions I have seen do not distinguish dangerous behavior.