Archive for the ‘Toronto Transit’ Category
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
Courtesy of adaweb.net
The question shouldn’t be why is there a battle raging over bike helmets in Toronto, the question should be why isn’t there a law mandating bike helmets for adults in Toronto? It doesn’t take a great deal of intelligence to predict the potential for head injury when you fall off a bike. In a bike versus car collision the car always wins and the potential for grave head injuries and death can’t be ignored. Why wouldn’t any sane cyclist want to do everything possible to stack in deck in his favour?
The argument made by Yvonne Bambrick, executive director of the Toronto Cyclists Union representing about 800 cyclists, says that cyclists over the age of 18 shouldn’t be forced to wear helmets because “millions of people ride safely everyday without them”. If you accept that as a valid reason then motorcyclists should not be required to ride with helmets and drivers of cars should no longer be required to wear seatbelts. The reality is that research shows:
- About ¾ of all cycling fatalities involve head injuries.
- A case-control study of the effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that riders with helmets had an 85 % reduction in their risk of head injury and an 88 % reduction in their risk of brain injury.
- Bicycle safety helmets are highly effective in preventing head injury according to HealthyOntario.com.
Since bicycles are a form of transportation and share the roads, they should be subject to the same types of laws that scooters and motorcycles are, including licensing. The bike lobby wants it both ways – they want to make roads safer for bicycles without accepting any responsibility for ensuring the safety of cyclists.
If you are in the market for a bike helmet make sure that it meets safety standards by looking inside the helmet for stickers from:
- Canadian Standard Association: CAN/CSA D113.2-M89
- Snell Memorial Foundation: Snell B90, Snell B90S, or Snell N94
- American National Standard Institute: ANSI Z90.4-1984
- American Society For Testing and Materials: ASTMF1447-94
- British Standards Institute: BS6863:1989
- Standards Association of Australia: AS2063.2-1990
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Courtesy of veg.ca
The 25th Annual Vegetarian Food Fair is on from September 11th – September 13th. Admission is absolutely FREE. Let’s do what ever we can to be as environmentally friendly as possible and please bring your own cutlery and plates in order to reduce waste.
Friday, September 11th from 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday, September 12th from 12:00 PM 9:00 PM
Sunday, September 13th from 12:00 PM 7:00 PM
235 Queens Quay West
The Vegetarian Food Fair is the largest of its kind in North America. Over 100 exhibitors will be on hand displaying new products, conducting workshops, making interesting presentations, and offering cooking demonstrations. This is a fantastic opportunity to explore vegetarian cuisine whether you are a vegetarian, considering the possibilities of transitioning to a vegetarian diet, or are interested in how to add nutritious and ethical foods to your diet. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Brenda Davis - Registered Dietician and Nutritionist
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau - Author and founder of Compassionate Cooks
Gene Baur - President and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary
These exciting keynote speakers and other presenters will be offering valuable information on how we can live healthy, well balanced lifestyles by making some dietary changes.
Reduce your carbon footprint and leave the car at home. Harbourfront Centre is easily accessible by TTC. From Union Station take either the 509 Streetcar or the 510 Streetcar. Both of these streetcars stop in front of Harbourfront Centre. There is also bicycle parking available on site.
Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
Courtesy of Greater Toronto Airports Authority
Many of us can clearly identify what drives us crazy about airports, but rarely do we consider what makes an airport great. Skytrax has taken 39 different elements of a possible airport experience into consideration and surveyed over 8.6 million passengers from over 95 nationalities. This survey took 10 months to complete and involved 196 airports worldwide. In case you’re wondering, our beloved Pearson International did not rate in any category.
Top 10 Airports in the World for 2009
1. Seoul Incheon
2. Hong Kong
3. Singapore Changi
7. Kuala Lumpur
9. Centrair Nagoya
These are the elements on which the airports were rated.
1. Getting to & from Airport / Accessibility
2. Public transportation options
3. Taxi availability / prices
4. Availability of luggage trolleys (airside & landside)
5. Terminal comfort, ambience & general design / appearance
6. Terminal cleanliness
7. Seating facilities throughout terminal(s)
8. Immigration - queuing times (departure / arrivals)
9. Immigration - staff attitude (departure / arrivals)
10. Waiting times - at Security
11. Courtesy & Attitude of Security staff
12. Check-In facilities
13. Terminal signage
14. Clarity of Boarding Calls / Airport PA’s
15. Flight Information Screens - clarity / information
16. Friendliness of Airport Staff
17. Language skills for Airport Staff
18. Ease of Transit thru Airport (between flights)
19. Location of Airline Lounges
20. Washroom / Shower facilities
21. Cleanliness of Washroom facilities
22. TV / Entertainment facilities
23. Quiet areas / Day rooms / Rest areas
24. Children’s play area / facilities
25. Choice of Shopping
26. Prices charged in retail outlets
27. Choice of bars / cafes & restaurants
28. Prices charged in bars / cafes & restaurants
29. Internet facilities / WiFi availability
30. Business centre
31. Telephone / fax locations
32. Bureau de change facilities
33. ATM facilities
34. Smoking policy / Smoking lounges
35. Standards of disabled persons access / facilities
36. Baggage Delivery times
37. Priority Baggage Delivery efficiency
38. Baggage Delivery - efficiency / lost luggage
39. Perception of airport security / safety standards
The Top 3 Airports in North America
- Dallas/Forth Worth
- San Francisco
Best Duty Free Shopping
Best International Transit Airport
- Seoul Incheon
Best Airport Dining
- Hong Kong
Best Security Processing
- Seoul Incheon
- Hong Kong
- Centrair Nagoya
Cleanest Airport Washrooms
- Seoul Incheon
Best Terminal Cleanliness
- Seoul Incheon
- Hong Kong
Best Baggage Delivery
- Hong Kong
Best Leisure Amenities
- Amsterdam Schiphol
- Seoul Incheon
Best Immigration Service
- Kuala Lumpur
Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
Courtesy of altiusdirectory.com
It’s hard to believe that it’s already September and that the summer is gone. Considering the weather that we had, most of us are still waiting for summer to arrive and unfortunately that ship has sailed. There is always a lot of confusion about what is open and closed on Labour Day weekend. Saturday, September 5th and Sunday, September 6th are just regular weekend days and regular weekend hours of operation will apply. Monday, September 7th is an entirely different story because Labour Day is a legal statutory holiday and that means lots of closures. The TTC and GO Transit will be running on a holiday schedule.
What will be closed on Labour Day?
- Government offices
- There will be no mail delivery because the post office is closed
- Beer Stores
- Most supermarkets – notable exceptions are Bruno’s and some No Frills stores
- Most businesses
- Malls in Toronto, except for the Eaton Centre
- Most stores
What is open on Labour Day?
- Yonge Street from Richmond Street north to Grosvenor
- The Eaton Centre
- Queen’s Quay
- Yorkville – stores will decide individually to open or close
- Vaughan Mills will be open from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Pacific Mall will be open from 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
What is there to do on Labour Day?
- Visit the CNE.
- Attend the Labour Day Parade. It starts at 9:30 AM at Queen and University and proceeds down Queen to Dufferin and then south to the Dufferin Gate at the CNE.
- Take in Brazilian Day at Yonge-Dundas Square from 2:00 PM – 7:30 PM. It promises to be a great event and it’s FREE.
- Enjoy the Hispanic Fiesta at Mel Lastman Square.
- Learn all about Dogs with Jobs at PawsWay, located at 245 Queens Quay West.
Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
Courtesy of airport.ca
It seems that anything to do with the Toronto Island Airport is contentious, and the proposed pedestrian tunnel is sadly no different. Like it or not the wheels have been set in motion and it looks as though this is one battle that Mayor Miller will lose. Last week the CEO of the port authority requested $19 million from the federal government’s stimulus fund to finance the project. The total amount to build the tunnel is $38 million. The feds have been asked for half. The other half will come from the provincial government - $12 million, and the port authority - $7 million.
The pedestrian tunnel could encourage more traffic, resulting in more daily flights and increased revenues. It would be eight metres wide, four metres high, and have moving sidewalks for passengers. Engineers have estimated that the tunnel would take one year to build. An environmental assessment will probably take about 4 months and it should prove that a tunnel would reduce carbon emissions. Potential contractors will be submitted bids within 3 weeks.
Of course Mayor opposes the tunnel. He opposes anything that makes sense. The good news is that the port authority would not need signoff from the city to build the tunnel because it’s permitted under the existing three-government agreement that governs the airport. In July Pollara Strategic Insights conducted a poll for the port authority. It showed that 62% of respondents supported the construction of an airport island tunnel which I’m sure is much higher than the Mayor’s approval rating – particularly after his bungling of the city workers’ strike.
Monday, August 10th, 2009
Courtesy of tysonwilliams.com
The Canadian National Exhibition is known by several nicknames – the CNE and the EX – but by what ever name you call it, Torontonians come out in record numbers each and every year to attend the Grand Dame of attractions. The Ex has been around for over 130 years. In that time it has become the largest annual fair in Canada and the fourth largest in North America. Last year over 1.3 million attended. Once again the CNE returns to Exhibition Place, located at 100 Princes’ Boulevard, from August 21st – September 7th, marking the end of summer and Labour Day.
This year the Ex is featuring over 500 attractions, a large carnival midway, international entertainment, shopping, great food, and agricultural exhibits. The main attractions are just spectacular:
- Celebrate the Olympic Spirit: A Tribute to the Winter Games
- Movie Magic: Aerial Acrobatics & Ice Skating Show starring Elvis Stojko
- E - Evolution…Emergence…Energy: Nighttime Light Show
- Canadian International Air Show
- FLOWRIDER Mobile Wave
- Daily CNE Mardi Gras Parade
- President’s Choice SuperDogs Show
- The Original Wheel of Thrills
If you buy your tickets by August 21st you can save up to 31%. You can purchase tickets online however you must have access to a printer to print out your barcoded ticket.
Leave the car at home and take the TTC or GO Transit. Take the subway to Union Station and then the #509 steetcar westbound to Exhibition Place. Or, take the subway to Dufferin Station and then the #29 bus south to Dufferin Gates. Or, take the subway to the Dundas West Station and then #193 Exhbition Rocket. Or take the Lakeshore GO Train to Exhibition Station.
Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Courtesy of thevitaminm.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/beer
Celebrate one of the world’s most beloved libations at the Toronto Festival of Beer from Thursday, August 6th– Sunday, August 9th – rain or shine!
Toronto Beer Festival location: Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place located at 200 Princes’ Boulevard.
Festival Hours: Thursday, August 6th from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Friday, August 7th from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Saturday, August 8th from 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, August 9th from 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
It’s all about the beer! The Festival of Beer will give you the opportunity to sample over 250 brands, from lagers and stouts, to wheat beers and pale ales. If you are interested in Ontario beer this festival is for you with over 95% of Ontario brands represented. In addition you can expect great food, live music, and over 100 vendors on site.
Toronto’s Festival of Beer is a great party for adults only. No one under the age of 19 will be admitted. No pets are allowed either, although I can’t imagine why anyone would want to bring their pet. Tickets can be purchased online.
Please don’t drink and drive! Use the TTC instead. There are many options.
- From the Dufferin Subway Station take the #29 bus south to Exhibition Place.
- From the Bathurst Subway Station take the #511 streetcar south to Exhibition Place.
- From Union Station take the #509 streetcar west to Exhibition Place.
- Exhibition Place also has a GO Station located right on our grounds. The station name is EXHIBITION.
Monday, July 27th, 2009
Official VIA Rail logo
The VIA Rail strike is officially over two days after it began. Via Rail Canada Inc. and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference agreed to binding arbitration instead of negotiation, believing that they were too far apart to come to a deal on their own. What does this mean? Michel Piché, an arbitrator with the Canadian Railway Office of Arbitration & Dispute Resolution (CROA), will hear submissions from both sides on all of the issues. He and he alone, will then decide on what concessions the company will give the union and both sides will have to accept that judgment without recourse.
The union rightly believed that a prolonged strike would cost workers their jobs as was evidenced by the speed at which VIA laid off 2,500 employees almost as soon as the strike was announced. Canadians have no patience for strikes right now and VIA was bombarded with negative publicity as Porter Airlines, Greyhound, Coach Canada, and Air Canada were offering sweet deals in the hopes of luring VIA customers.
Now that the strike is over VIA has recalled the 2,500 employees that it laid off and is offering significant discounts on bookings over the next three
days to try and placate angry customers. Beginning today, Monday, July 27th all customers making reservations for trips that will take place between July 26, 2009 and December 14, 2009 will receive a 60% discount on adult regular fares in Economy Class (all routes) and in Business Class (Windsor-Quebec City corridor). In order to qualify for this discount, tickets must be purchased no later than 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, July 29, 2009.
For more information or to book tickets, please visit VIA’s website or call 1-888-842-7245 or 1-800-268-9503 if you are hearing impaired.
Friday, July 24th, 2009
As of noon today, Friday, July 24th, VIA Rail has ground to a halt. The only trains still operating are the ones on the Sudbury-White River and Victoria-Courtenay routes which are operated by third parties on VIA Rail’s behalf. Yet another strike, this time Canada-wide, threatens an already crippled tourism industry, particularly in Toronto which has become extremely adversely effected by the civic workers’ strike. Each day it is estimated that 12,000 passengers use VIA Rail across Canada, which operates 503 intercity, transcontinental, and regional trains each week along its 12,500 km long route network.
This time it is 340 locomotive engineers that are on strike. The issues are wages, benefits, and scheduling changes. The strike, clearly meant to be as disruptive as possible, has come at one of the busiest travel times of the year. The last thing that the public wants is another strike. When people are losing their jobs in a challenging economy, the prospect of a strike for wages, benefits, and scheduling is not going to garner any sympathy. When are the unions going to wake up and join reality?
In anticipation of the strike VIA Rail started canceling long distance passenger routes earlier in the week so that passengers wouldn’t have the misfortune of being stranded. Unfortunately no alternative transportation will be provided during the strike. However, Greyhound has offered to add buses to its scheduled if needed. Passengers can get a refund for any unused VIA Rail tickets.
For the latest information check the VIA Rail website, or call 888 VIA-RAIL (888- 842-7245) or 800- 268-9503 if you are hearing impaired.
Sunday, July 19th, 2009
In an effort to entice car buyers into going green the Ontario government is going to be offering rebates of up to $10,000 for people who buy plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles. The size of the rebate will depend on the vehicle’s battery capacity. There is as yet no word on how long the rebate program will last. The goal of the McGuinty government is to have one out of every 20 vehicles driven in Ontario electrically powered by 2020.
There has been a lot of controversy about this move to encourage people to buy green cars, but is the rebate program really altruistic? Toyota claims that they weren’t made aware of the rebate program. The provincial government didn’t even attempt to retain an air of neutrality by making the announcement at a Chevrolet dealership. Could this have been an accidental oversight? Considering that our provincial and federal governments now own 12% of General Motors as a result of bail-outs, what do you think? Is the provincial government just subsidizing itself with the rebate program? Go ahead and call me cynical, but making the announcement at a Chevrolet dealership sealed the deal for me.
The other interesting fact is that we do not currently have any electric cars ready for market except for the Canadian made, Toronto-based Zenn Motor Co., which builds electric vehicles for use in low-speed areas, but was excluded from Ontario’s rebate program because its cars are too slow for highway use. These are the vehicles that you can expect to see on the road in 2 – 3 years time.
- Chevrolet’s Volt is scheduled for sale in the second quarter of 2011 and expected to cost roughly $40,000 US.
- Toyota is working on a plug-in version of the Prius.
- Mini has an electric version capable of approximately 200 kilometres between charges, but it is not yet available to the general public.
- Mitsubishi is working on a small electric car called the i-MiEV with a 130 km/h top speed that can travel 120 km on a single charge and is expected to cost close to $50,000.
In anticipation of electric cars, Vancouver is now requiring mandatory chargers for electric vehicles in new residential buildings. Do you think that the general public will embrace electric cars or do you believe that the high price tag will be a deterrent?