Things I Want For Toronto in 2018 - Part 1

The entrance to Lawrence East station in Scarborough and the famous East Side mural in the background. (Photo by Jeff The Writer)

“I love America more than any other country in the world, and for exactly this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” -James Baldwin
Toronto is the best city in the world, but if you love it, you’ll see its warts along with its beauty. Its smooth new streetcars and its jam-packed subways and highways. Its bustling downtown neighbourhoods and its increasingly isolated and impoverished suburbs. Its skyscraping condos and its crumbling public housing. Rose-coloured glasses get nothing done in a fast-growing city, and the inactivity that our city’s leaders are known for has left us struggling to catch up. 

Every year feels like a turning point for Toronto, but with city and provincial elections coming up, 2018 really is an important year. Here is the first of three things that the city needs in the one-eight.

Let’s stop fucking up the TTC.

My disappointment in our public transit system and those who manage it can be explained easily by listing all the rapid transit lines that should’ve been completed by now:

  • A new Scarborough LRT line to replace the rickety Scarborough RT, which was supposed to extend to Sheppard via Centennial College by 2014
  • The Sheppard East LRT from Don Mills to U of T Scarborough by 2015 Pan Am Games
  • The Scarborough Malvern LRT east and north from Kennedy Station along Eglinton, Kingston Rd. and Morningside to U of T Scarborough by 2015 Pan Am Games
  • The extension of the Spadina Subway to York University and Vaughan by 2016 (finally opened in 2017)
  • The Don Mills LRT from Pape Station to Steeles by 2016
  • The Jane LRT from Jane Station to Pioneer Village Station at York University by 2017

It’s staggering how much more transit Toronto should already have, not to mention the upcoming Eglinton Crosstown LRT originally from Kennedy Station to Pearson Airport by 2020 (now 2021 and ending at Black Creek) and the Finch West LRT to Humber College by 2021 (now 2022). Instead our leaders concoct schemes to win elections and demonstrate complete ignorance, as in this video of the late, great mayor Rob Ford proving that he's never even seen the Scarborough RT.

Restart all of these projects, many of which were already funded by the Ontario government, and add an extension of the Sheppard Subway westward to connect the two north-south yellow lines. Getting across the top of the city on the TTC is hell. 

I could go on about weekly subway closures, late delivery of streetcars and speeding bus drivers (who are still somehow behind schedule), but I'll stop here, because it’s too late for me either way. I’m done. I’m buying a car.


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