Comments for Hardy Stevenson Insights Engaging people to address issues, build consensus and ensure success. Thu, 21 Jul 2016 16:57:26 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Toronto: A Tale Of Three Cities by John Thu, 21 Jul 2016 16:57:26 +0000 Excellent analysis. Thank you for putting this online.

Comment on Toronto: A Tale Of Three Cities by Carol Thu, 07 Jul 2016 20:37:36 +0000 The tremendous insights in this post are framed brilliantly – the “politics of envy” are not driving our agenda in Scarborough; we simply no longer wish to be treated as a “lesser place” than the “core”. The ideas for building a “complete city” show that it is absolutely possible to spread the wealth.

Comment on Stats Versus Stories: Inspiring Your Audience to Action by Godzilla: King of Charities - Peer Giving Ideas Mon, 26 May 2014 22:27:07 +0000 […] are important, but not nearly as moving or effective as a well told story of an individual. As Bryna Jones puts it, “An explicitly identified individual is easier to feel compassion for than a number, […]

Comment on Toronto’s Chattering Elites and Scarborough’s Transit Victims by Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited Tue, 20 May 2014 17:35:48 +0000 In reply to Malcolm N.

Hi Malcolm. Thanks for your comment. An important point we need to think about is the multiple role that improved transit plays in improving the socio-economic status of residents who live close by. You’ve addressed the potential negative and equity considerations in your response. However, there is an important other side. On the matter of increasing rents (and I’ll add, property values for working poor homeowners), Ontario’s rent control legislation can certainly moderate if not control for rent increases due to increases in transit access. Thus, increased transit (whether BRT, LRT or Subway) would have the effect of allowing the families of working poor homeowners to benefit significantly due to capital gains as property values rise. Due to property value increases, Toronto’s core area wealthy chattering elites have had their family wealth increase exponentially over the last 10 years compared to Scarborough residents. Transit has helped the downtown elites to become home-wealthy in part due to public investment (but, that’s another blog). When do Scarborough residents get the same public investment? And, who makes that decision?

Yes there is one fare for the whole City, but that fare buys many more transit options for the wealthy in Ward 22 than the working poor in Ward 44.

On the matter of property tax increases, after amalgamation Scarborough Councillors correctly noted that Scarborough residents paid proportionally more in property taxes than Toronto’s core area wealthy residents. Councillors worked hard over that period to correct the inequality (again, that’s yet another blog post on how the core area chattering elites are benefitting at the expense of Scarborough’s working poor).

On the matter of social impacts due to subway stations, the more affluent residents of High Park, Rosedale and Forest Hill have seemed to survive the social impacts due to your concern about large shadows. I believe it would be a bit disingenuous to suggest that Scarborough residents couldn’t cope with social impact changes in order to receive better transit.

Finally, the ‘load issue’ is important in terms of Toronto’s ability to pay for new subways, but it overlooks ‘transit oriented urban design (TOUD).’ Through urban renewal, higher density can be designed and approved to make the transit system work (rather than requiring the load to be there in the first place). Look at all of the condo’s along Sheppard Ave in North York as an example of the approach working. It could be a double standard to request that density already exist in order to justify paying for higher order transit in Scarborough (one standard for the suburban poor and one for the middle and upper class). Just look at higher order transit already planned, and public investment occurring in the Portlands (no load), West Donlands and East Bayfront where development is just occurring or has yet to occur. Where is the density for the extension of the subway to Vaughan?

Once again, thank you for your thoughtful response.

Comment on Toronto’s Chattering Elites and Scarborough’s Transit Victims by Malcolm N Fri, 16 May 2014 16:00:05 +0000 One of the outcomes that is not mentioned is that the choice of location and wealth between the Canadian and US cities chosen in opposite. In the case of Canada, to improve service enough in the very outer wards to get close to equal access to downtown would 1-be far to expensive, and 2-would cost the target renting population out of the ward in question.

Price of real estate is at least partially determined by time to most desired location. Ward 22 is close/fast, therefore expensive. Ward 44 is far/slow therefore much less so.

The previous comments with regards to providing LRT and a much wider scope of high order transit will be much more likely to 1-provide those who need it access and 2-provide enough scope to not price them out of a served area. Also a Danforth extension is likely to cause overload at Yonge.

LRT can be made as fast as subway, by 1-reducing stops and 2-forcing high order light priority. Also want to go really fast build a BRT (cheap) in the Gatineau power corridor and down Victoria Park to the station. It would serve the outer most area, and provide very rapid transit, as it would have a minimum of stops and no waits on traffic. An even better alternative push for greatly improved GO on the Stouffville line and a BRT to there. Run 10 minute service on this line and a similar frequency bus, and you would get much more rapid access to the core.

Social justice issues are being addressed in the notion of there is only a single fare for the entire city, where the cost of providing service to the outer areas is much higher, and they are subject to lower property tax due to much lower property values. Improve service, but that does not have to mean, nor should it mean subway, as this is only useful where demand (load) justifies. Also do your priority neighbourhoods want large elevated stations in the middle of their commercial or residential areas, casting large shadows?

Comment on Toronto’s Chattering Elites and Scarborough’s Transit Victims by Eric Thu, 15 May 2014 03:22:02 +0000 In reply to Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited.

Sorry about mixing up Matlow and Colle.

And thanks for this, which I don’t see in your article, even in your reformulated study question:
“I believe we are on the same page in terms of assessing whether several LRT lines might better service the working poor rather than or in addition to one line to the Scarborough Town Centre (whether subway or LRT).”

In this instance, Matlow is arguing that good stewardship of civic resources would preclude wasting billions of dollars on the stubway; I let the other shoe drop by arguing that such capital would be better spent building several LRT lines.

I hope we really are in agreement on this and that it’s not fair to dump on Matlow for criticizing wasteful spending. We also agree that Toronto’s idiot mayor is no metric for transit planning, but how can we ignore the responsibility of him and his enablers (mainly but not only Conservatives, as I said) for this mess? You seem to focus your (eruditely expressed) vitriol for people like Matlow — a straw target in this case.

After all, what evidence is there that Ford, Hudak or Harper have any concern for the poverty-stricken in Scarborough — beyond how they vote?

P.S. While we’re checking accuracy, “looses” is not the same as “loses”.

Comment on Toronto’s Chattering Elites and Scarborough’s Transit Victims by Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited Wed, 14 May 2014 19:03:24 +0000 In reply to Eric.

Hi Eric, thank you for the comments. As an accuracy check the article referred to Matlow and not Colle. Yes cost is important. However, while the money may or may not revert to Forest Hill or Rosedale, it doesn’t take a lot of analysis to observe that Toronto’s core area chattering elites are benefitting significantly from Toronto’s unprecedented growth (look at City $ being spent on MARs, Waterfront development, Liberty Village, entertainment districts, venues such as Kerner Hall and the Wychwood Barns). Those same benefits are not reaching Scarborough residents (62 % increase in poverty) (65,000 new jobs created in the core and a loss of 1,700 jobs in Scarborough). Scarborough’s population is larger than Halifax and larger than the tri-cities of Kitchener/ Waterloo/ Cambridge yet there are no concert halls, art galleries or museums.

I prefer not to use the metric of whether Mayor Ford supports one transit plan over another as a determinant of what constitutes good transit. If we can set aside the vitriol, I believe we are on the same page in terms of assessing whether several LRT lines might better service the working poor rather than or in addition to one line to the Scarborough Town Centre (whether subway or LRT). To me, your terms “sensible” means that someone has actually done the socio-economic impact analysis rather than articulated a political ideology. I haven’t done the analysis. However my blog laid out a methodology that is used successfully around the world (except, it seems, in Toronto) to determine who wins? Who looses? Who benefits? And, who pays for transit choices? Surely, Scarborough’s working poor multi-cultural community deserves better?

Comment on Toronto’s Chattering Elites and Scarborough’s Transit Victims by Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited Wed, 14 May 2014 18:39:59 +0000 In reply to Matt.

Hi Matt, thank you for taking the time to comment. You are technically correct in terms of the comparison of Ward 44 to Cleveland. However the point I am raising is that Scarborough has had a 62% rise in poverty. Ward 44 has areas of significant poverty; Danzig Crescent stands out. And, poverty is increasing in Eastern Scarborough. Access to excellent transit is important, perhaps essential, for people seeking to climb out of poverty. Thus, who makes and decisions and how those decisions are made is a social justice issue. It was for the people in East Cleveland as it is for the people of East Scarborough. That’s the comparison.

Comment on Toronto’s Chattering Elites and Scarborough’s Transit Victims by Matt Thu, 08 May 2014 10:29:32 +0000 I’m not sure why Ward 44 is used as an example of a “poor” area – it isn’t. It’s not comparable to the east side of Cleveland at all!

Click to access Ward%2044%20NHS%20Profile%202011.pdf

Comment on Toronto’s Chattering Elites and Scarborough’s Transit Victims by Eric Thu, 08 May 2014 08:16:45 +0000 The arguments made in this article, which you have been graceful enough to back down on, echo those of Toronto’s idiot mayor — made with more erudition but similarly insufficient thought.
One counter-argument not emphasized so far is cost: the proposed stubway extension, in addition to arriving about four years later than the LRT would, costs about $1.6 billion more. Reverting to the more sensible LRT wouldn’t send that money back to Forest Hill and Rosedale, as you seem to imply. That and more money were to be spent on several LRT lines reaching precisely those low-income areas in Scarborough and Rexdale/North York that you profess to be concerned about.
But the idiot mayor, backed by a Toronto-hating federal government and a provincial government made skittish by a Toronto-hating Official Opposition (likewise Conservative, of course), cajoled his buddies and bullied others on City Council to cancel that Transit City integrated project. So don’t blame Colle and other sensible politicians (including Scarborough resident David Soknacki, running for mayor, and Scarborough Councillor Paul Ainslie) for waiting until the October election to end four wasted years and restart a comprehensive transit plan that serves the whole city.