Toronto council committee backs bus-only lanes to York

Toronto council’s planning and transportation committee has approved the creation of dedicated bus lanes to speed the movement of Toronto Transit Commission riders from the subway to York University, reported The Globe and Mail Oct. 5. “This is an interim solution” until the Spadina subway line is extended north from Downsview Station to York University, councillor Bill Saundercook told the committee. He said there could soon be another reason to build the bus-only lanes from Downsview to the University: York may be stepping into the vacuum created by the recent collapse of the plan to build a football stadium at the University of Toronto that would be used by the Toronto Argonauts. If that happens, it “absolutely” makes the bus-only lanes an imperative, strengthening both the long-term case for a subway route to the University and the short-term need for the bus-only lanes.

Both the Globe and the Toronto Star reported that the TTC and the University have not agreed on the route the buses would take through the heart of the campus. Ted Spence, York’s senior policy adviser, told reporters that the university has serious reservations about each of the three routes through York the TTC has proposed. Two of the routes pass too closely to buildings and the third runs adjacent to the University’s wooded area, he said. University traffic consultants, who were to meet with the TTC Oct. 5, have proposed a compromise which would have buses leave York on York Boulevard and travel down Keele Street to the new bus lanes.

Body-checking injuries among children on the rise

While the number of Canadian hockey injuries requiring treatment in an emergency room is falling, serious injuries due to body checking are on the rise, particularly among children, reported The Globe and Mail Oct. 5. “The issue of body checking in youth hockey requires a good hard look,” said Alison Macpherson, a professor in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science. “Playing hockey should be fun, it shouldn’t be sending so many kids to hospital.” Data compiled by the Canadian Institute for Health Information show that 21,708 people were treated for hockey injuries in Ontario in the fiscal year 2003-2004, a 5-per-cent decrease from the previous year. But the number of body-checking injuries rose to 6,748 in the same period, a five-per-cent increase. Macpherson, who is an expert in injury prevention, said more noteworthy than the overall numbers is the concentration of checking-related injuries among children. “You see this real peak in atom and peewee, ages 10 to 14. I find the numbers there quite high,” she said.

The time of the signs

The Bank of Montreal’s BMO logo on top of its downtown Toronto office tower incorporates an old stylized M, even if the reference to Montreal has vanished from the corporate name, reported the Toronto Star Oct. 5. The makeover hasn’t prompted the kind of outcry that arose when the Fairmont chain announced last year it would substitute its scripted international moniker for the venerable Royal York sign that had long sat atop its landmark Toronto property. Public opposition led to a compromise merging both names.

Such signs of the times point to a trend, said Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business. There was a time when the mere name of a flagship building like Chicago’s famous Sears Tower was enough. But companies have recognized the potential their office buildings offer for brand marketing. “There’s two ways to think about the [signs] on buildings: Do you want eyeballs or do you want status?” Middleton said. “If it’s eyeballs you want, you put it close to street level.” Prestige is gained by moving up.

 On air

  • Bob Drummond, political science professor and dean of the Faculty of Arts, commented about the minority federal government being at the mercy of the opposition, on “680 News” (CFTR-AM) in Toronto Oct. 4.
  • Vaughan Mayor Michael Dibiase proposed that the Toronto Argonauts use the facilities of York University, on CKVR-TV’s “VR Land News” in Barrie Oct. 4. The Toronto Sun Canadian Football League writer Perry Lefko also suggested a new stadium could be built at York now that plans to build a new Varsity Stadium downtown have collapsed, on Global TV’s “Sportsline” Oct. 4.