Look at Mimico Lakeshore where residents are fit to be tied over ever sky-reaching condo clusters that are on the map for their area. Tall buildings aren’t being welcomed at the best of times.
The Sheppard subway dooms neighbouring communities to accept towers in places where they don’t really fit.
Didn’t Karen Stintz launch her political career fighting tall buildings? Now, by backing Rob Ford’s Subway, she plays handmaiden to the very developers who salivate for high density building approvals.
I live on the proposed Sheppard LRT route. From 1985 to 1995 I was the communications lead on the joint municipal lobby to get the Sheppard Subway built. Bob Rae’s NDP government was ready to fork over 75% funding for four new subway lines. At the eleventh hour the province added the sweetener of offering to finance at zero interest the municipal funding share for the first three years of the deal. An ensuing decade of neo-Conservatism in Ontario shuttered the program. Transit system growth in Toronto stalled.
That train has left the station. Here we are today – a provincial offer of $1.4 billion on the table that Stintz, as transit commission chair, says is not enough to build the subway. She fails to appreciate that most people in Scarborough don’t want and won’t be served by the Sheppard Subway plan as drawn.
The influential mayoral ally Denzil Minnan-Wong has the absolute right take on this. As a councillor he, too, was active in North York during the original subway debates. He knows the current Sheppard Subway plan is dastardly. It disadvantages an entire swath of Scarborough commuters whose clean, fast, high-tech, above ground LRT trains would deliver cleaner air and a nicer streetscape at a better cost, not to mention modestly scaled development that is compatible with existing communities.
A Sheppard Subway at this late juncture delivers the least bang for the buck and is fiscally irresponsible.