Subway path chosen – all that’s missing is the $1.5 billion to build it

A route has been chosen for the Spadina subway extension from Downsview station to York University, but there is still no money to design and build it, says Tom Middlebrook, chief engineer at the Toronto Transit Commission, reported the Toronto Star June 22. “If money would start to flow in, we could start design soon and we could get into the ground by 2007,” Middlebrook said Tuesday.

He estimates the Spadina extension would cost $1.5 billion. Last week, the federal government signed a deal giving Toronto $407.2 million in federal gas-tax cash, but Mayor David Miller said it was not enough to build a new subway line.

The favoured route, stretching from Downsview to Keele Street to Steeles Avenue, was chosen from eight possibilities. The report – phase two of the project – was to be presented Wednesday to the TTC by the environmental assessment study team chaired by Middlebrook.

The Spadina extension is one of two subway projects in the TTC’s plans. The other is the Sheppard extension, for which an environmental assessment has already been completed. However, Middlebrook said the Spadina line would probably have priority. “There’s a lot of interest in it, and certainly there’s a compelling need from a transportation perspective,” Middlebrook said.

York offers Etiquette 101

What do you do at a dinner party if you drop your cutlery on the floor or spill a glass of wine? These are a few of the questions posed by students who have embraced a new etiquette program at York University, reported Canadian Press in a story reprinted in The Toronto Sun June 22. “These days, there are more employer-hosted recruitment activities than ever before,” said Farheen Rashid, the career programs co-ordinator for the popular Etiquette Series launched last fall. These include cocktail receptions, luncheons and social networking events, she adds. “The feedback we get from the business community has been that more and more recruiters are looking at the personal interactions and social skills of these potential employees, not just their transcripts and interviews,” Rashid said.

Rebranding Canada gets mixed reviews

Envision an electronic billboard message in New York’s Times Square: “Turn left where you used to turn right. Canada. Keep Exploring.” It’s part of the rebranding of Canada, a new marketing plan designed to inspire travellers to create their own adventures, reported CanWest News Service in a story reprinted in Montreal’s Gazette June 22. “It’s a wonderful, warm, fuzzy feeling – they probably should play it in Quebec instead of the sponsorship stuff to get Canadians to travel around,” said Alan Middleton, a professor of marketing at York University’s Schulich School of Business. “But I’m not sure it’s going to bring hordes of Americans across the borders, or Chinese or Japanese or Brits.”

Prof pleads guilty

A York professor pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing more than 21,000 images of child pornography, reported Canadian Press June 22. David Armborst, 62, a tenured professor of German, will be sentenced in Kitchener in September. The Waterloo man was arrested June 16, 2004, following an investigation by a US task force that identified thousands of people around the world using credit cards to buy access to child pornography Web sites. Armborst has gone on voluntary leave from York while his case is before the court, defence lawyer Tom Brock told Justice Colin Westman. Armborst’s plea made news headlines on Toronto’s CP24-TV and Kitchener-Waterloo’s CKCO-TV.

On air

  • A review by retired judge Edward Saunders has determined that York University acted appropriately when it sold land to a new home builder, reported CBC Radio’s morning news in Toronto and CP24-TV’s “Nightside” news program on June 21.