Saturday, March 17, 2007

Transit City

Today's announcement of the TTC's Transit City plans was a complete and happy surprise to me.

After years of seeing little good news and little inspiration on the transit front, this concept was remarkably right. Unlike the recent Vaughan subway announcement, this plan uses funds efficiently and brings transit to the areas where we need to be driving growth.

I recommend reading Steve Munro's comment today to get a feel for how surprisingly good this plan is.

I have to wonder how this came about and to what degree the new City of Toronto Act, the new leadership at the TTC, and the influence of bloggers (led by Spacing) played roles. (On that last point, note the Spacing-style buttons that decorate the Transit City website.)

If there was anything I'd like to add to the design, it would be connecting the Jane and (especially) Don Mills routes to downtown or Union Station.

Anyway, $6-billion over 14 years is not a crazy expense. We can do this if we put our minds to it. And our city needs it so that we can grow, and so that we can face our current transportation challenges.

(Sorry for the lack of links in this post. I couldn't get to work today and had to post by email.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Census 2006: Toronto City Slow Growth

The 2006 Canadian census results are coming out, and there is lots of interesting data to look at.

One thing I've noticed is this:

  • Toronto CMA growth (2001-2006): 430,252
  • Toronto City growth (2001-2006): 21,787
Over the years, I've spent a lot of time arguing on this blog that, for Toronto's economic and environmental health, it should be a city policy to compete for and win the lion's share of new growth coming to the region.

Well, in the past 5 years the city proper has received only 5% of Greater Toronto's net population growth.

I don't have access to (or don't know how to find) the data that will tell me more specifically where the changes have been. But, given the condo developments in the core, I imagine that downtown has actually grown by more than 20k and we've seen decreasing populations in Scarborough and the other inner suburbs.

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