Subway is key to building a community

In 25 years, York could be a university surrounded by a community, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 2.

The playing fields and parking lots that now form the campus perimeter at Steeles Avenue and Keele Street could be replaced by office towers, a research park and 9,000 homes in a high-density residential development, including 1,100 units of affordable housing. Almost 25,000 people could be living in the area and another 20,000 working there. The existing campus, including bike lanes and 7.5 hectares of parkland, would be preserved.

This is the vision set out in the city’s new plan for the University, approved in December after four years of consultation with the institution and surrounding communities, wrote the Star. It provides a framework for possible future development by setting standards for density, parklands, schools and transit.

With those guidelines in place, the school can now work on its own business plan, said Bud Purves, president of the York University Development Corporation.

At the heart of future growth is the extension of the Spadina line through the campus. When complete in 2015, the subway will be the spine for a high-density corridor.

When the city adopted its official plan in 2002, it simply carried forward the 1991 blueprint for the University, with no provision for a subway extension. Purves said a concerned York filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board saying a subway line was likely, causing the city to agree to update its plan.

Purves says York may sell, lease or develop surplus land itself with research partners.

York track athletes strike gold

York student Heather Hamilton set a personal best of 4.25 metres in the pole vault at the UCS National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada, on Saturday, wrote The Mississauga News Feb. 1.

The vault by the the St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School grad, now in her fourth year at York University majoring in business, gave her the win in the college section of the competition.

Earlier,Jan. 18 to 20, at the 29th annual Can Am Classic at the University of Windsor, the reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) champion finished first with a vault of 3.92 metres.

At the same meet, fellow York student Tyrone Halstead took first place in the 60-metre dash and joined teammates Dontae Richards-Kwok, Dwayne Norman and David Mayer in capturing gold for the Lions in the 4-by-200-metre relay.

On Jan. 24, at the Don Wright Team Challenge at the University of Western Ontario, the foursome teamed together to set a seasonal best of 3:26:37 in the 4-by-400-metre race, once again romping home in first place.

Jazz for lovers for lovers of jazz

Live Jazz at Top Flyte Lounge in Southampton continues to be a popular jazz club for audiences to hear some of the best jazz musicians in the country, wrote the Shoreline Beacon Feb. 2 in a story that mentioned numerous members of York’s Faculty of Music. Feb. 11 features “Jazz for Lovers”, with Canadian jazz vocalist Lisa Martinelli and jazz trumpeter/flugelhornist Kevin Turcotte, who the Toronto Star called “one of the nation’s leading men on the horn…full of fresh ideas…a canny artist who can adopt with aplomb more disguises than Zorro.”

Martinelli is a dynamic and engaging freelance artist who has been singing and leading her own quintet in the Toronto area and has appeared at venues around the country including the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival. Her performances have been lauded in Canada’s national jazz magazine, The Jazz Report. Since moving to Toronto from Sault Ste. Marie in 1984, Martinelli has been an active singer and educator. She is looking forward to releasing her debut CD in the near future and is currently working on her master in composition & jazz studies at York’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Toronto-based trumpeter Turcotte, an instructor in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, has played on more than 100 recordings over the last 25 years with musicians from all across the country. Eighteen of these recordings have garnered Juno Nominations while four were Juno Winners. Turcotte has been a longtime member of many Canadian jazz groups including…the Barry Elmes Quintet featuring Ed Bickert, Time Warp, Barry Romberg’s Random Access, the Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra, [featuring Paul Neufeld (BFA Spec. Hons. ‘92) and Michael Occhipinti (BFA Spec. Hons. ’92)], and the Dave Young Quintet.

Kiss my purple martin

Songbirds share the same enthusiasm as humans when heading back to Canada after a vacation, wrote author Bruno Wiskel in the Town & Country section of Alberta’s Great West Newspapers Partnership Feb. 1.

Using miniature geolocating devices strapped to the backs of various songbirds, scientists from York University’s Faculty of Science & Engineering were able to precisely track the avian migration routes from their equatorial wintering grounds to their northern nesting grounds.

The quickest birds were the purple martins who were able to hightail it from the Amazon Rainforest all the way back to their breeding grounds, a distance of more than 7,500 kilometres, in as little as 13 days, clocking in a whopping 577 kilometres per day, more than three times faster than expected.

On air

  • Paul Delaney, astronomy & physics professor in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, spoke about possible cutbacks in NASA’s plan to send humans to the moon, on CTV News Feb. 1.
  • Bernie Wolf, economics professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about the impact of a major recall on Toyota, on CTV News Jan. 28.