Reaction to the return of Transit City in Toronto
So yesterday’s vote to return to an LRT-based transit strategy for Toronto (one that looks a lot like the former phase one Transit City plans) was kind of a big deal — regardless of which of the competing plans you hoped would win the day. Ranging from elation to frustration, there’s been no shortage of reaction to the events at city hall. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s being said in the aftermath of one the most significant city council decisions in recent memory.
IN THE MEDIA
While the reaction on Twitter was mostly positive (see below), perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the folks at the Toronto Sun were positively incensed at what Christina Blizzard called the work of a bunch of “elitist downtown councillors.” Here are a couple of choice quotations from her and colleague Sue-Ann Levy:
Listening to council’s debate Wednesday was like something out of Alice in Wonderland… Councillors opposed to Ford called him a ‘dictator.’ They said what he was doing was ‘undemocratic.’ ¶ Hello? He ran an election on building subways. Voters gave him an overwhelming mandate. So, he pushes for subways — and that’s “undemocratic.” ¶ I don’t think so, Ms. Stintz. ¶ He’s the mayor — elected right across the city. You? You and your breathtakingly massive ego represent only a handful of people in your little corner of the world. — Blizzard
It’s no small coincidence that The Woman Who Would Be Mayor (Stintz) and her ragtag group of assorted Useful Idiots in the Moronic Middle (Josh Colle, Josh Matlow, Ana Bailao, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Chin Lee, James Pasternak and the ever indecisive Jaye Robinson) plus the Miller Leftovers would strike while the iron was hot with their Transit City Lite plan. — Levy (who likes the all-caps thing)
Over at the Post, council’s vote was characterized as an own-goal for Ford:
“For now, however, the vote stands as a win for common sense — or commoner sense, at least. And it’s an own goal for a Mayor who seems to genuinely believe he was elected solely by people who think LRTs are Satan’s chariots. Reality has forced Mr. Ford, like any mayor, into many climb-downs. But his death grip on his transit preferences remains, despite daunting feasibility reports on the Sheppard subway and his inability to gain the necessary support of council for his agreement with Metrolinx to bury the entire Eglinton line. He must regret not seeking that support before councillors grew their collective spine.” — Chris Selley
The Globe, meanwhile, pointed out just how colossal a loss this was for the mayor:
“City hall veterans are struggling to remember a time when a mayor of Toronto suffered such a humiliating and public setback. Mel Lastman eventually lost a bid to ship Toronto garbage to the Adams Mine. David Miller failed in his first try at passing the land transfer tax. But this — this was on a whole other scale of magnitude. — Marcus Gee
And although not a direct reaction to the vote per se, it’s also worth highlighting Peter Kuitenbrouwer’s article on former TTC General Manager Rick Ducharme, who believes that Metrolinx is to blame for the disarray that has defined Toronto transit planning over the last few years.