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Toronto’s schism is hurting the city

Instead of talking about the latest Rob Ford scandal (honestly, how is he still mayor?), I’d like to focus on his abilities as a transportation strategist.

Here’s an excerpt from a Toronto Star article published this morning that talks about the urban vs. suburban divide in this city and our inability to depoliticize transit planning. It’s called, “Suburban envy only makes things worse: James.”

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In another committee room, councillors were debating the proposed downtown relief subway line — only, they were afraid to name it such. Downtown is a section of the city that dares not voice its name, for fear that aggrieved suburbanites will rise up and object.

This is not hyperbole. Not long ago, the mayor indicated he is not interested in the relief line until there are subways on Sheppard East and on Finch West. Why? Because downtown “has enough subways.”

Downtown has enough subways? Do you think Ford looked at population density, number of stops, ridership levels, and so on, in order to come up with this position? Or did he just look at where his voter base resides?

We need to get past this downtown vs. suburban schism. We’re all in this together. In fact, the whole Golden Horseshoe region is in this together. And until we start acting as a unified entity, we’re not going to reach our full potential. 

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