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3 Quarks Daily
80 Beats (Andrew Moseman, Brett Israel)
A BCer in Toronto (Jeff Jedras)
Acts of Minor Treason (Andrew Barton)
Andart (Anders Sandberg)
Alpha Sources (Claus Vistesen)
Anthropology.net
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Arnold Zwicky's Blog
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Beyond the Beyond (Bruce Sterling)
blogTO
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Bow. James Bow.
Broadside Blog (Caitlin Kelly)
A (Budding) Sociologist's Commonplace Book (Dan Hirschman)
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Castrovalva (Richard R.)
Centauri Dreams (Paul Gilster)
Charlie's Diary (Charlie Stross)
City of Brass (Aziz Poonawalla)
Crooked Timber
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The Dragon's Tales (William Baird)
Dangerous Minds
Everyday Sociology Blog
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Far Outliers (Joel)
The Fifteenth (Steve Roby)
A Fistful of Euros
GeoCurrents (Martin Lewis)
Global Sociology
The Great Grey Bridge, Honourary Canadian (Philip Turner)
Halfway Down the Danube (Douglas Muir et al.)
Hunting Monsters and inuit bikini scarlet carwash
In Media Res (Russell Arben Fox)
Inkless Wells (Paul Wells)
Intuitionistically Uncertain (Michel)
Itching for Eestimaa (Guistino)
Ivor Tossell on the Web
Jim's Occasional Journal of Sorts (Jim Rittenhouse)
Joe.My.God (Joe)
Johnny Pez's blog
Karl Schroeder's blog
Kieran Healy's Weblog
Language Hat
Language Log (Mark Liberman et al.)
Languages of the World (Asya Pereltsvaig)
Lawyers, Guns, and Money
LRB Blog (London Review of Books)
The Map Room (Jonathan Crowe)
Marginal Revolution (Tyler Cowen)
Marginalia (Peteris Cedrins)
Mark Simpson
Maximos' Blog (Russell Darnley)
More Words, Deeper Hole (James Nicoll)
The Naked Anthropologist (Laura Agustín)
New APPS blog (group blog)
No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons (Re-reloaded) (Peter Watts)
The Numerati (Stephen Baker)
NYRB Daily (New York Review of Books)
Open the Future (Jamais Cascio)
Otto's Random Thoughts (J. Otto Pohl)
The Pagan Prattle (Feòrag)
Passing Strangeness (Paul Drye)
patrickcain.ca (Patrick Cain)
Personal Reflections (Jim Belshaw)
Photosapience Daily (Jerrold)
Pollotencheg (Ukrainian demography blog)
The Power and the Money (Noel Maurer)
Progressive Download (John Farrell)
Registan (group blog)
Rev Rachel Rambles (Rachel Kessler)
The Rose and Phoenix Inn (Victoria Goddard)
Russian Demographic Live Journal (Ba-ldei Aga)
A Rusty Little Box (Rebecca)
Savage Minds
The Search (Douglas Todd)
Shadow, Light and Colour (Elizabeth Beattie)
Sharp Blue (Richard Baker)
The Signal
Some Ramblings from Mr. Gueguen
Spacing.ca
Steve Munro
Strange Maps
Sublime Oblivion (Anatoly Karlin)
Supernova Condensate
Tall Penguin
Technosociology (Zeynep Tufekci)
Torontoist
Towleroad (Andy Towle)
Understanding Society (Daniel Little)
Volokh Conspiracy
Wasatch Economics (Scott Peterson)
Wave Without A Shore (C.J. Cherryh)
The Way the Future Blogs (Frederik Pohl)
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Window on Eurasia (Paul Goble)
Wonkman
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Zero Geography (Mark Graham)

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
10:09 am - [PHOTO] Nine photos from the CBC Museum, Toronto (#cbc)
The CBC Museum is a free space inside the CBC headquarters in downtown Toronto on Front Street. The small space is full of artifacts from CBC's technological past and from more recent children's television programs like Mr. Dressup and The Friendly Giant. My attention, naturally, was focused on the latter.

The Tickle Trunk


Aluminum recording disk


CBC colour symbol


Cine-Kodak Special II film camera, circa 1955


Blocking for Jenny Maple Keys, Mr. Dressup


The Friendly Giant's Wall


Puppets of Mr. Dressup


Puppets of Sesame Park


Microphones

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8:51 am - [PHOTO] Wandering around Vieux-Montréal, late evening
Wandering around Old Montreal in the late evening of a warm winter day is magical.

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IMG_20170115_165705

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
8:52 pm - [LINK] "Canada won’t abandon Mexico in NAFTA talks, Freeland says"
The Globe and Mail's Robert Fife reports on the problems facing North American integration, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland promising not to desert Mexico, at least not on multilateral issues whatever these might be.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland assured Mexico on Tuesday that Canada will not strike a bilateral deal with Washington in negotiations to revamp the 1994 North American free-trade agreement. During a panel discussion with Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Luis Videgaray, Ms. Freeland sought to dampen concerns that the Trump administration would seek bilateral talks with each of its NAFTA partners.

Ms. Freeland stressed that it is too early to even talk about what might be up for renegotiation since the Senate has not yet confirmed commerce secretary nominee Wilbur Ross, who will head the trade negotiations, and Robert Lighthizer, the nominee for U.S. trade representative.

“There is no negotiating process yet initiated. In fact, the United States does not even have a team in place to begin those negotiations. So let’s not put the cart before the horse,” she said when asked if Canada was prepared to throw Mexico under the bus to protect this country’s interest from President Donald Trump’s America-first trade policy.

“But we very much recognize that NAFTA is a three-country agreement, and if there were to be any negotiations, those would be three-way negotiations.”At the same time, Ms. Freeland said there will be bilateral issues that Canada and the United States will want to discuss separately – something Mr. Videgaray conceded would happen when it comes to Mr. Trump’s plans to build a wall to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drug smuggling from Mexico.

“We understand that there are some issues that, by nature, are strictly bilateral to the U.S.-Canadian relationship … just as Canada acknowledges we have a bilateral relationship with the U.S. and I am sure [Ms. Freeland] would prefer to stay away from some of those aspects of that.”

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8:49 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Nobody’s cheering, except real estate agents: The ‘trapped wealth’ of Toronto’s unrele
The National Post hosts Theophilos Argitis' Bloomberg News article looking at the causes of the housing price boom and speculating about ways to end it without wrecking the wider economy.

Prices in Canada’s largest city surged more than 20 per cent over the past year, the fastest pace in three decades, data released last week show. Some of the city’s neighbouring towns are posting even bigger gains.

It’s become a matter of considerable alarm. Stability is one concern: if the market tumbles, so will Canada’s economy. Pricier real estate also drives away less-affluent, younger people and boosts the cost of doing business, eroding competitiveness.

“I don’t think anybody is cheering,” said Doug Porter, the Toronto-based chief economist of Bank of Montreal, who used the dreaded “bubble” word last week to describe the market. “I don’t see who benefits other than real estate agents. It’s trapped wealth.”

So, what’s driving the boom? The housing industry — builders and brokers — claim lack of supply is the main culprit. Others, Porter included, see demand as the problem. Lately, evidence is mounting that speculation is behind the jump.

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6:36 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Ontario’s lack of foreign-buyer data sparks concern about a Toronto housing crisis"
The Globe and Mail's Mike Hager notes how the lack of official statistics on foreign buyers of real estate in Toronto means, among other things, that less reliable data metrics like search engine hits need to be used. This just proves how modern societies need good data to address real problems.

‘Up! Up! Up!”

That’s where Toronto’s real estate market is heading, according to a Chinese-language promotional article posted last month on Fang.com, a Beijing-based web portal that lists thousands of homes for sale in countries around the world.

“You will really cry if you still don’t buy,” the same posting blares.

Toronto has become the “dark horse” of the Canadian real estate market, asserts Haifangbest.com, another site jammed with Canadian home listings. It contrasts Vancouver’s continuing drop in prices with a prediction that Toronto-area homes will rise 8 per cent in value this year.

In the months since British Columbia began taxing international buyers 15-per-cent extra on homes in and around Vancouver, those marketing Canadian real estate overseas have shifted their focus to Toronto. Last year, Toronto overtook Vancouver to become the most sought-after Canadian city for Chinese home buyers searching the property listing service Juwai.com, peaking in August just after British Columbia announced the tax aimed at curbing the public outrage over skyrocketing prices. Searches for properties in Toronto proper now surpass the total inquiries for Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa combined.

Richard Silver, a Sotheby’s realtor and past president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, estimates close to 20 per cent of his clients are international buyers – from China, India and the Middle East – interested in the luxury condos and houses he sells in and around the downtown core.

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6:33 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Winter Stations bring whimsical designs to the Beach"
I am definitely going to see Winter Stations this week, described by the Toronto Star's Peter Goffin. The only question is whether I'll be going Thursday or Friday.

A hall of mirrored buoys, an upside-down forest, a giant dog made of recycled materials.

For the third year in a row, the Winter Stations Design Competition has made over eight lifeguard stations in the Beach into fantastical art projects.

Dotting the sandy shore, from the foot of Woodbine Ave. nearly all the way to Balmy Beach Club, the winter stations will add some artistic curiosity to the chilly water front for the next five weeks.

“One of the reasons (Toronto) is a glorious city is because of the arts,” said Mayor John Tory, who was on hand Monday afternoon to help unveil the installations.

“This celebrates artists from here and from abroad and it allows part of the soul of the city to come out. It allows people to each have their own reaction to these creative installations that we’re seeing on the beach in the winter.”

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6:31 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Honouring Hurricane Hazel as a work of art"
The Toronto Star carries May Warren's article for Metro noting an upcoming gallery showing in Mississauga celebrating the life of that city's long-time mayor Hazel McCallion. I may well go to Mississauga for this!

She has inspired paintings, crayon drawings, even a Mississauga version of the Mona Lisa.

Now former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion is getting her very own art exhibit to show off these tributes.

Stuart Keeler, curator and manager of museums for Mississauga, said the city is looking for submissions from the public and doesn’t think they will be hard to find.

“Sometimes monthly, we get phone calls of, ‘I have a painting of Hazel,’ ” he said. “This is a common occurrence.”

They’ve already received 25 works of art for the spring show and there’s no cap on how many they’ll take.

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6:28 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Taxpayer-funded transit report kept secret by city"
What can be said but that this, reported by the Toronto Star's Jennifer Pagliaro, is unacceptable?

A $100,000 consultant’s report meant to help determine whether transit projects worth billions of dollars are cost-effective has been kept secret by the city.

In June, the city paid the firm, Arup, which consults on transportation projects worldwide, to provide business case analyses for several projects planned by the city, including Mayor John Tory’s original “SmartTrack” idea for additional stops along the GO Transit rail line travelling through Toronto, and the controversial one-stop Scarborough subway extension.

The report produced by Arup, however, was never publicly released as part of a city staff report to executive committee in June, which was then debated at a July council meeting.

The missing consultant information adds to a series of questions over future transit plans that include delayed reports and a secret briefing note on the Scarborough subway extension that has been called a “political football,” and still-incomplete analysis of the mayor’s key campaign promise for an additional heavy rail service that is moving ahead, while heavily modified.

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6:24 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "No fixed address: How I became a 32-year-old couch surfer"
CBC News' Shannon Martin reports on how she became a couch surfer, as rent increases outpaced her ability to pay.

I'm 32 years old, work at my dream job and have an amazing circle of family and friends who love me. Life is pretty great.

There's just one thing — and I can't believe I'm about to admit this to you, but here goes.

Right now, I live nowhere in particular.

I'm a couch surfer.

For the record, I did have a nice place. But then my rent went up nearly $1,000 per month.

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6:22 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Sold! How to make $900K on a Toronto house flip"
blogTO's Derek Flack looks at how a house downtown, in the area of Trinity Bellwoods, managed to rise in price by almost a million dollars between its listing in June of last year and its sale now.

Every week in Toronto it seems like a handful of homes sell for so far over asking that you wonder if the world's gone mad or if real estate agents aren't relying on under-listing properties even more frequently than before given the intense seller's market it the city.

This isn't, however, the only way to get a sense for just how high demand is in Toronto right now. In fact, it's better to track a property that's hit the market multiple times in a relatively short time span to get a sense for how hot things have got.

Case in point, this house at 40 Beaconsfield Ave. The Mash has tracked this one for a while, and for good reason. It hit the market last June for $1,490,000, ultimately selling for $1,700,000 just over two weeks later.

Shortly thereafter, its neighbour at 38 Beaconsfield sold for $2,096,000. Well, you know what happened next. The thought that #40 could be moved for more cash crossed someone's mind, and it was given interior renovations before being listed at $2,450,000 this month.

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6:19 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "The fascinating history of Toronto's oldest bookstore"
blogTO's Phil Villeneuve shares the story of Toronto's Glad Day Bookshop, the oldest GLBT library in the world still operating.

Very few book stores in the world have been fought off widespread hate, battled censorship at the Supreme Court, and acted as home base for an entire community of people. Toronto's Glad Day bookshop has, which is why it's even more special that it's not only Toronto's oldest bookstore, but the world's oldest LGBT bookstore.

Glad Day took the title after New York's Oscar Wilde bookstore closed in 2009 because of low sales and high rent. That shop opened in 1967.

Glad Day was opened in 1970 by Jearld Moldenhauer out of his home in the Annex. The residential space also doubled as the office for The Body Politic, a gay and lesbian political paper, which eventually morphed into Xtra and then to the now online-only DailyXtra.com.

After folks moved in and out of the home, Moldenhauer and a group men bought a place in Cabbagetown at 138 Seaton Street and operated the shop out of there.

It was a time when a gay and lesbian bookstore could exist out of someone's living room and word spread wide enough for the city's queer population to know exactly where to go — all very much on the down low and in fear of violence.

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2:34 pm - [BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • James Bow offers his prescriptions for a fix to thje issues of guaranteed minimum income.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper suggesting that, from the perspective of long-term habitability of exoplanets, stars slightly more massive than the sun are preferable.

  • Language Hat introduces the toponym of the "triplex confinium", here the point where Serbia meets Romania and Hungary.

  • Language Log considers Trump's particular rhetorical style, in relation to his claim of something terrible happening in Sweden: What is he actually hinting at?

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that talk of a Turkish-style deep state in the United States is a fundamental misreading of the American situation that plays into Trump's hands.

  • The LRB Blog looks at street-level community organization in Baltimore, suggesting that it points the way to the future of anti-Trump resistance.

  • Marginal Revolution reports on Noah Webster's preference for Americans.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw considers the nature of Chinese-Australian trade in agricultural goods.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer argues that North American integration would continue even with the end of NAFTA, given the advantageous nature of American trade with Mexico.

  • Savage Minds talks about teaching in the era of Trump.

  • Supernova Condensate identifies eight important things about uranium that people should know.
  • Torontoist shares a photo from yesterday's drag queen reading to children at Glad Day.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russia's partial recognition of the Donbas republics and the handing out of Russian passports to their citizens, notes the potential for anti-Lukashenka protests in Belarus to trigger a Russian intervention in its sphere of influence and looks at minority languages threatened by Russian.

  • Arnold Zwicky looks at Southern Hemisphere flowers in his California garden and notes horsetails.

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1:16 pm - [PHOTO] 422-424 Wellington Street West, Toronto
422-424 Wellington Street West


The recent sale of the MacLeish and Powell houses, at 422 and 424 Wellington Street West, was a prelude to their transformation into the base of the new Wellington House condo development. The official documents at the website of the City of Toronto go into more detail about the project.

This application proposes the development of a 23-storey mixed-use building that would integrate the existing listed heritage building into the base of the proposed building. The overall height would be approximately 79.7 metres, including the mechanical penthouse. The proposal consists of 12,095 square metres of gross floor area, of which 1,428 square metres would be non-residential uses and 10,667 square metres would be residential uses.

The proposal includes the relocation of the existing listed heritage three-storey semidetached houseform building to the south and east of its current location, resulting in a minimum setback of 0.4 metres from both the south (Wellington Street West) and east lot lines. A four-storey base building (plus mezzanine) with a height of approximately 18.9 metres would connect to the rear of the listed heritage building at the first, mezzanine and second floors of the new building. The new base building would be set back approximately 0.3 metres from both the east and north (rear) lot lines.

Floors five through 17 would cantilever over the listed heritage building by approximately 11 metres, supported by columns that would extend down through the relocated heritage building. This portion of the new building would be set back a minimum of approximately 5.9 metres from the south (Wellington Street West) lot line.

Floors 18 through 23 would be set back a minimum of approximately 16.4 metres from the south lot line. The portion of the building above the fourth storey would be set back approximately 5.4 metres from the north lot line, 5.6 metres from the east lot line and 5.5 metres from the west lot line. The side walls of the building facing east and west would include windows for the residential units.


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12:02 pm - [PHOTO] Hotel Nelligan, 106 rue Saint-Paul Ouest
Hotel Nelligan, 106 rue Saint-Paul ouest


Wandering Vieux-Montréal in the emerging evening light, I wandered past Hotel Nelligan, an establishment named after the great poet Émile Nelligan.

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Sunday, February 19th, 2017
9:23 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Chasing the Canadian dream: The real force driving the housing boom in our big cities"
At the National Post, Garry Marr argues, on the basis of the attractiveness of Canada as a destination and the push for all Canadians to acquire property, that the Canadian real estate boom is actually sustainable.

The mayor of Caledon, a town of about 60,000 northwest of Toronto, says government can try all it wants, but the dream of owning a home will persevere.

Allan Thompson should know. His town, like many others that ring around Ontario’s capital, has become a launching site for new communities as people priced out of the core look to the suburbs (or what was once rural) for slightly cheaper housing.

An average new single-family detached home in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was $1,264,604 in 2016, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association. But housing prices range from an average of $666,220 for a semi-detached home in Durham, northeast of Toronto, to $1.8 million for a detached home just north of the city.

“I remember I had this neighbour who was Portuguese,” said Thompson, who was a Caledon councillor for 11 years before becoming mayor two years ago. “He said to me, ‘For 20 generations back in Portugal, we all lived and rented houses in town. We had our sheep and our goats and our cattle.’ He said to me, ‘I was the first one ever to have a home.'”

That dream of home ownership is central to the escalating prices in Canada’s housing market, especially in larger cities such as Toronto where immigrants tend to settle.

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9:12 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "$10,000 fine for Toronto homeowner who used agencies like Airbnb to find tenants"
The Toronto Star's Betsy Powell notes the imposition of a steep fine on a homeowner who accepted far too many short-term renters.

A justice of the peace has imposed a $10,000 fine on the owner of a Willowdale home who violated city bylaws by accepting short-term renters, often using web sites such as Airbnb to find them.

Justice of the Peace Gerry Altobello rejected a submission from the city prosecutor that the fine be set at $1,000 because that was “not enough” to send a message of deterrence to others doing the same thing.

Altobello said the defendant was “thumbing his nose at the community and the city,” by continuing to rent the home at 5 Glenelia Ave., for periods of less than seven days after being told to stop. The maximum penalty for a conviction is $50,000.

[. . .]

Neighbors complained about the high turnover of occupants and loud parties. Last March during one party nearby residents heard four or five shots ring out inside the home, and saw partygoers fleeing. A young man who received a gunshot wound to his head survived, Toronto police say.

Last November, Yan Pan Zhao pleaded guilty on behalf of 2391324 Ontario Ltd., which owns the two-storey home at the corner of Bayview Ave.

Zhao told the Star on Wednesday that he was acting as “an agent,” for the homeowner. He acknowledged his wife, Dan Wei, is the sole officer and director of the numbered company.

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8:59 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "With urbanity denied in North York, what is Scarborough’s fate?"
In the Toronto Star, Shawn Micallef wonders whether North York and Scarborough will be able to break through and emerge from suburbia into "downtownness", or if politics will prevent this.

The Scarborough Subway comes with a lot of promise.

Though these political promises include economic benefits and increased mobility, there’s also the implicit and explicit promise of the arrival of downtown-style urbanity to Scarborough City Centre, the cluster of office and residential buildings surrounding the Scarborough Town Centre mall and Civic Centre.

Those who arrive in Toronto via Highway 401 from the east pass it all by, and visitors who know little about our city might be forgiven for thinking it’s actually downtown Toronto: it’s an impressive cluster, especially when driving by, just one of the many dense nodes across this city and region.

However, once the car is parked, this city centre doesn’t feel so downtown; instead, there are large swaths of paved parking lot and open space in between the buildings. Some structures are quite fantastic, like the 1973 Raymond Moriyama-designed Civic Centre and the new branch of the Toronto Public Library.

The promise of the Scarborough Subway, should a plan ever be finalized, is to create a more beautiful and humane public realm here, a “downtown neighbourhood” kind of feel that would connect and transform all these buildings and spaces. Much of our fast-growing city was created this way, and it would not be the first Toronto neighbourhood to go from farmers’ field or village to a dense urban core in just half a century or so.

Downtown North York, or North York City Centre (or maybe we can just call it “Uptown” now), is one of these places. Sometimes called the downtown that Mel Lastman built, just a generation or two ago the strip of Yonge St. between Sheppard and Finch Aves. was a low-rise, mid-century streetscape. It still bears those mid-century traces, and even those of the original villages that were here before, like Willowdale and Newtonbrook, but they are fleeting.

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2:42 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "$80M TTC budget hike not quite at ‘record’ level "
The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr takes issue with John Tory's contention that this budget's 80 million dollar increase in the TTC budget is the largest in the organization's history.

Mayor John Tory has hailed this year’s TTC budget as a “record investment” in the public transit system.

But does the 2017 spending plan really represent a historic achievement for the TTC?

In a speech to council midway through Wednesday’s marathon meeting to finalize the 2017 city budget, Tory noted that the operating subsidy that the city gives to the transit agency was set to increase by $80 million this year. It will rise to about $690 million, compared to the $610 million budgeted for in 2016.

“Eighty million dollars is maybe not the all-time record increase, but it’s maybe the second biggest in all the recent years, and maybe ever,” he said.

However, it appears that despite Tory’s statement, this year’s funding increase may not even be the largest of his term.

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2:38 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "The Metrolinx Fetish For Fare By Distance"
Steve Munro quite dislikes Metrolinx's willing to consider the idea of a fare-by-distance toll system.

On Friday, February 17, the Metrolinx Board will consider yet another update in the long-running saga of its attempt to develop an integrated regional fare policy.

It is no secret that for a very long time, Metrolinx staff have preferred a fare-by-distance system in which riders pay based on the distance travelled, possibly at different rates depending on the class of service with fast GO trains at the top of the pile. The latest update tells us almost nothing about the progress their studies, but does reveal that a fourth option has been added to the mix.

Option 1, modifying the existing structure, simply adds discounts to smooth the rough edges off of the existing zones between service providers. This has already been implemented for GO Transit “co-fares” with systems in the 905, but it is notably absent for trips to and from the TTC. Riders face a full new fare to transfer between a TTC route and GO or any of the local 905 services.

Option 2, a more finely grained zone structure than exists today, would provide a rough version of fare-by-distance, but would still have step increments in fares at boundaries. Note that this scheme also contemplates a different tariff for “rapid transit”.

Option 3 is a “Hybrid” mix of flat fares for local services and fare-by-distance for “rapid transit” and “regional” services for trips beyond a certain length. The intent is to charge a premium for faster and longer trips on services that are considered “premium”.

Option 4 is new, and it eliminates the “flat” section of the Hybrid scheme so that the charge for a trip begins to rise from its origin and there is no such thing as a “short” trip at a flat rate. The rate of increase would vary depending on the class of service.

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2:36 pm - [URBAN NOTE] "Toronto area in housing bubble, say BMO Capital Markets economists"
CBC News notes BMO Capital Market's argument that Toronto is in a housing bubble.

Housing prices in Toronto and surrounding cities are rising at a "fiery" rate not seen since the late 1980s, according to the chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

"Let's drop the pretence," Douglas Porter wrote in a commentary. "The Toronto market — and the many cities surrounding it — are in a housing bubble."

"Everyone may have a slightly different definition of what a bubble is, but most can agree it's when prices become dangerously detached from economic fundamentals and start rising strongly simply because people believe they will keep rising strongly, encouraging more buying," he said.

[. . .]

Porter downplays industry suggestions that a lack of new housing is the reason behind the big appreciation in prices in the GTA, pointing to strength in housing starts.

"The massive price gains are being driven first and foremost by sizzling hot demand, whether from ultra-low interest rates (negative in real terms), robust population growth, or non-resident investor demand," he wrote

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