Solid funding key for York subway

There is no doubt many people would welcome a new subway line extending to York University and beyond to Steeles Avenue, said the Toronto Star in an editorial March 10. The need is great. Anyone who has spent more than an hour travelling from the city’s centre to the University can fully appreciate the benefit of such a subway. So, too, can the thousands of students packing buses that make a total of 1,500 trips to the York campus each day. And so can commuters from Vaughan, and farther north, who fight their way downtown almost every morning. For them, some welcome relief is on the way.

New government money to build this subway line is good, said the Star. Traffic grid-lock is a major issue throughout the 416 and 905 regions and additional rapid transit lines are desperately needed to ease the problem. Existing plans by the Toronto Transit Commission to criss-cross the city with streetcar right-of-ways and dedicated busways are a wise step. But the TTC must not stop there. Also needed is a major subway expansion into Scarborough because the aging light-rail system serving that area is not expected to last beyond a decade. A strong case can be made for pushing the Yonge subway farther to Steeles and beyond. And the province should create a long-promised regional transportation authority to plan and perhaps run all the commuter systems in the Toronto area.

Boosting subway service with a major extension to York only makes financial sense for Toronto transit if that expansion is accompanied by new funding on the operating side, the Star said. Once transit’s financial house has been set on a firm foundation, then the province should launch aggressive expansion of TTC service. Pushing a subway out to York is a worthwhile initiative. But it must not be Queen’s Park’s last word on public transit. Instead, this subway project should mark the start of a necessary journey to fully address the transit needs of Toronto and the booming communities in the surrounding GTA.

Interested in city’s public spaces? Join discussion group for a pint

A group of self-professed "public space geeks" want to have a drink with you and hear your thoughts on what Toronto should do with the places around the city we all share, reported National Post March 10. Three urban planning students from York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies have started Planning Action, an online community of people with a shared interest in the city’s public spaces. Andrea Winkler, Constance Exley and Laurel Atkinson all just met for the first time recently over drinks to talk about their school projects, and quickly came up with idea for the pub night. "The conversation was a good one because we had such different backgrounds and perspectives and had worked with different organizations on various levels around issues of space in the city," Winkler said. "We thought that if this meeting was so informative, imagine it times 30." Show up at Dora Keogh’s Irish Pub on Tuesday to discuss different visions for public space, urban design and civic involvement in their fulfilment. Planning Action has decided to make the meeting a monthly event.

Fine Arts alumna featured in dating story

In a feature story on dating, the Toronto Star March 10 profiled York alumna Suya Lee (BFA ‘91), 42, an ESL instructor, who was born in Korea and came to Canada at 3 with her parents. An only child, she grew up in Ottawa and speaks more French than Korean. Her mother was a nurse, her father worked for the government. She planned to follow his footsteps and become an economist, "but I hated economics." She moved to Toronto in 1983 and studied fine arts at York University, majoring in painting and drawing. She also did photography. Though Suya earns her living teaching ESL, her passion is writing and filmmaking. She’s written screenplays and a novel. She’s shooting her first independent short film on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. "Since I don’t have any dates, I’m taking lots of workshops in directing."

On air

  • Joseph Levy
  • Michael Davey
  • Anne-Marie Ambert
  • David Shugarman

, professor in York’s School of Health Management & Policy, was interviewed about March break "downtime" on CBC Radio’s "Metro Morning" March 9. , professor in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, was interviewed March 9 on CBC Radio’s "Here and Now" program about a collaborative art project with his dog Angus, now on display at Harbourfront. , a professor in York’s Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, spoke about the costs associated with child care for students on March break on CBC-TV’s "Canada Now". , director of York’s Centre for Practical Ethics, spoke on CBC-TV’s "Canada Now" March 9 about Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro’s investigation into Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s invitation to David Emerson to join cabinet.