Transit Politics - Facebook Faceoff

May. 12, 2016

I am not a fan of Rob Ford, but; I do believe we need more subways in this city - See the Facebook exchange copied and pasted below - I have had more interest in my postings and reaction both for and against his ideas after posting his "subway" campaign poster online - It's amazing how much praise and criticism there is for him out there

May. 12, 2016
City-Building Toronto: Urban Planning, Urban Design, and Governance Issues

City-Building Toronto: Urban Planning, Urban Design, and Governance Issues

3,086 Members(6 new)
Adrian C. Howell Oh, can I draw lines on a map too? LOL
Phil Prentice replied · 2 Replies
James MacFarlane Everything feeds into the already overloaded central system. A good plain for the brainless.
Phil Prentice replied · 5 Replies
Scott Dobson Unfunded lines on a map. Cool.
Louiis George replied · 5 Replies
Dale Barbour The great thing is that if you're not building anything and you don't have to pay for anything then you can put subways every where.
Derrick Lovell replied · 11 Replies
Steve Munro Ford was full of crap, and his simplistic network of subways everywhere was only the tip of the iceberg.
Steve Munro replied · 5 Replies
Kevin Richardson Let's draw some lines on a map without thinking of those pesky things like ridership, travel patterns or money and let's have the audacity to call it a plan!!!

I'm gonna draw a picture of a unicorn on top of the Ride-Guide I got today. I'll call it my transportation plan and pretend there's a shot that I'll be riding a real unicorn to work in the morning. Wish me luck!
Phil Prentice replied · 13 Replies
Dimitri Maragos sometimes you have to be like Steve Jobs. The people don't know what they want until you give it to them. I think in general terms Ford was more right than wrong.
Phil Prentice replied · 1 Reply
John Routh Back in 2010, David Miller said prophetically that not one km of new subway would be built under the Ford regime.
Sean Galbraith Thanks for this, it really gave me a good laugh.
Dimitri Maragos That doesn't make Miller a good Mayor, just someone who knows how to hinder progress via bureaucracy. He knew there were opponents and truthfully if Ford were alive he may have ate his words. Again, I am not a Ford supporter. Just calling a spade a spade.
Phil Prentice replied · 5 Replies
Dimitri Maragos I was living overseas during Millers years. What did he do? I see the same stops more or less.
Dimitri Maragos replied · 13 Replies
John MacMillan It's missing a subway through Rosedale.
Like · Reply · 2 · 23 hrs · Edited
Dimitri Maragos We are a cold, icy city. Subways have to play a much larger role. Get commuters off the streets and leave the surface for walking and biking.
Dimitri Maragos replied · 2 Replies
Dimitri Maragos Think like Apple. Simplify.
Dimitri Maragos replied · 2 Replies
Sean Galbraith There is so much wrong about that map it is completely laughable.
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Dale Barbour Eglinton: Attempted to bury, council rebelled and overturned decision.
Sean Galbraith That's why I changed its colour (it isn't a subway). I could have just deleted it.
Phil Prentice Sean Galbraith The map you posted has been bastardized - This was Ford's map
Sean Galbraith Ford's map was a fucking joke. I corrected it.
Sean Galbraith (more or less)
Sean Galbraith Ford was certainly a bastard, though. I'll give you that.
Dale Barbour You have betrayed the sanctity of the holy Ford map!
Sean Galbraith I'm so bad I should be in detention.
Dale Barbour (We're all going to get yelled at. I just know it.)
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Dimitri Maragos Plus we have no mountains, borders or seas to cross. It should be so easy for us compared to many European cities.
Phil Prentice P.S. – Here is the sleazy sales pitch - While we are on the subject; friend me and visit my websites at
to see my plans and proposals and other information on transit in Scarborough and the rest of the GTHA
My Proposed Markham-GTA Beltline Subway and Brampton-GTA-Pickering/Ajax Monorail My Proposed…
Dimitri Maragos The downtown core should be full of subways. The further out of the core the more light rail used. At the end of the light rail, then switch to buses from the suburbs. Buse -> Rail ->Subways
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Sean Galbraith Why "should" it be? The downtown core is not very large and it already very well served by subways (which will increase with the RL)
Sean Galbraith Do you think it should be Paris or something?
Dimitri Maragos I think it should be Paris.
Dimitri Maragos Looks like heaven to me. I believe!
Louiis George Thing about Paris is that the verticality (therefore density growth) is outside the core.
Sean Galbraith All we have to do is bulldoze every building that is under 5 or 6 storeys in height from Bathurst to Parliament, Dupont to the lake and start over. Shouldn't be too controversial.
Dimitri Maragos Love it. Too many cockroaches
Louiis George Nothing Tax increment financing cant pay for.
Dimitri Maragos Maybe we can install ropes from these new tall buildings and people can start swinging to work like Spiderman!
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Dale Barbour See, we're into magic wand planning. Sure, let's turn all the streetcar routes into subways, because money is no object. The upside of streetcars is that they move more people than buses and create a better street life.
Dimitri Maragos Why not horse and buggy. Very quaint.
Dimitri Maragos One should never be more than a 10 min walk from a subway stop. Especially in cold Canadam
Phil Prentice 10 minutes will never be realistic, but; my proposed subway beltline would put every bus route within several kilometres of a subway station
Dimitri Maragos I want a 10 min walk! Toronto would boom and be so much more interesting. I'll take buses over streetcars though smile emoticon
Phil Prentice Dimitri Maragos Good; then you will enjoy walking to and from LRT stations because they are going be 6 to 10 minutes apart
Dimitri Maragos Dammmn. You're gonna make me like the LRT.
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Phil Prentice Hey; where did everybody go? - Okay; it's past my bedtime too! - Nite all!
Morgen Peers A strain on the central lines, Yonge, depicts Toronto today. To avoid the crowding of the core and to return to a more populated poly-centred city, the answer from a placemaking perspective is already set in motion and maturing based on a simple skeleton - Scarborough Centre, Golden Mile, Don Mills, North York Centre, Downsview and Etobicoke. This multi-centred east to west axis of northern toronto is the balance to the gloibalizing core and provides for alternate economy town (centre) areas or larger like Downsview. How public transportation should onnect 'northern Toronto life' and supports it's growing engagement with York Region - is a complex eh and GO's a big part. Things need to be considered from the old York County level. Subway to VMC now. The true old nature of new Toronto gets revealed again in the subway extension. It shows the only thing we were ever planning was York County and how necessary it is that the eastern subway line to reach McNicoll then to Unionville. Link new Vaughan Centre and Markham too as our 21st century transit goals - that's Toronto's link into the much broader hinterland. Build the lines we need to and model off Hong Kong like Gabe Klein said to do tonight at MaRS. Develop all mega-suburban subway stations as public-private corporations, since the enormity of New Wardens could yield major returns. Build LRT where it makes sense like out to Rouge, Malvern, UTSC and West Hill. Keep the SRT, find old new trains and get the link to Cemtennial built. Build the Jane LRT and make it a major priority, and rethink with the communities the design of hubs and station areas. TTC stations are boring, they can't repeat Eglinton station models elsewhere. Each line its own models. LRT routes will serve the majority of corridors in Toronto and should be developed where timely. To compliment this emerging network the existing subway needs to grow significantly and to get both sets of rail built over the next many years and detracting from the work of each other does little for the city. Since the issue of subway vs LRT has grown, one method of resolving debates could be for all participants to put forward their minimal subway plan. If proposals for no line extensions are there, we should openly discuss this in comparison to Moscow's recent 24 stops. Arguments about a system's growth should be first made based on core skeletal links, not additional city-enhancing lines. I submit that Downsview to Yonge, Sheppard line Don Mills to STC or Sheppard/McCowan and there to Kennedy are core links, as well as a line to Unionville. Plus DRL to Cosburn not simply Pape. These lines complete the regional symmetry of the plan and should support an emergent Sheppard to 16th Avenue Transit/Employment/Living space . The extension to VMC shows the strategy of Provincial planners - build a great region. A link to Unionville is the appropriate reply it would seem. As opposed to the central town model of life, life out in the unbordered metropolis means participation in numerous places and centres. Linking STC with Markham for long-term synergy is a sound vision to plan around. Th zero advocacy by most people for an added stop to Brimley/Danforth where the line is going by, seems to show the disconnect between people's preferences and the attention to community welfare beyond these debates. A B/D station isn't optional but intellectualism allows a whole city to go blind to the glaring needs of its priority communities. Never mind more lines just yet we need to make sure all our current lines have all the stops they need, built at the scale and in the style that the communities plan for. For that to happen some new planning processes are needed. We got get moving fa as a city. It's like Asimov's Foundation story. People at the core don't comprehend the atrophy at the edges. Interventions needed and TOD is the answer. That's a Planner's term, people would call it Village Oriented Development. We need stronger and better villages, they require new land management, and subways should serve or catalyze the city's greatest villages or town centre areas.
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Phil Prentice Exactly what I was trying to tell them
Phil Prentice Check out my plans at
My Proposal for Scarborough - Phase X -…
Phil Prentice A subway beltline will fullfill many of the goals you set out above - LRTs could be built in the interim until population densities justify subways (but they should plan the locations and orientation of future routes and stations now)
Morgen Peers Phil maybe not exactly. I disagree with some of your subway proposals. But overall we all under discuss the direct correlation between rail type and node architecture / environment. Discussing that more would get into the nature/role of different corridors and then before you know it we're discussing the ecology of our community types. That just gets into a full picture vision of the city and doesn't serve anyone much good, best to avoid th subject of architecture.
Phil Prentice I don't care for the SRT route - The SRT deadended subway expansion in Scarborough for the last 30 years - It's time to eliminate the transfer at Kennedy and Eglinton and do it right - McCowan Road is the correct route for the subway extension in the end and should be extended to Markham and (as you also suggested) eventually to 16th Avenue - Extending it to 16th Avenue will eliminate the need for excess traffic through Markham
Phil Prentice My plan excludes the Brimley/Danforth subway stop because it seemed like a steep uphill battle, but; I most certainly would have liked to see them include it
Phil Prentice I also hope they include plans for a future subway station at McCowan and Lawrence - There is an added cost to this, therefore a chance that they may not build the tunnel deep enough to accomodate a future station there
Morgen Peers SRT route should be considered based on a strong new station plan. We can re-build unique stations at Lawrence, Ellesmere and Midland an now at Brimley. Keeping SRT is mostly about 4 village areas that can grow great, Lawrence being the educational and cultural hub. Not sure what Ellesmere / Dorset Park is.
Phil Prentice Morgen Peers That's fine as long as it's a subway - As a long time resident of Scarborough I can't agree to any plan that still requires two buses, two subways, three transfers, and 80 to 90 minutes each way to get to and from downtown - I want to see one bus, two subways, two transfers, and 60 to 70 minutes each way - Another SRT or LRT is useless here
Morgen Peers But not when seen as Kennedy as City Centre plus 2 villages smile emoticon
Morgen Peers It's a bouncing train
Phil Prentice Bounce all you want; for many of us it's still two buses, two subways, three transfers, and 80 to 90 minutes each way to get to and from downtown
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Louiis George Question: How does geology affect these various plans? I was just reading this...
Phil Prentice Not sure - I do know that the tunnel will have to be quite deep at McCowan and Lawrence to clear Highland Creek - That is also why a station will be costly there - I am sure that planners have had some major challenges over the years - I am sure they will overcome anything they come across - Just not sure what happens if they hit bedrock - Tunneling could be very slow and costly
Louiis George Off topic but Nameres etc is right there at vaughan ...

"But the fact remains that the hill on Bathurst Street, Avenue Road and Yonge Street, just to the south of what is now St. Clair Avenue, is a very interesting geological relic.... "
Louiis George Phil Prentice Bedrock and watersheds... both significant challenges for underground development... I wonder if these geological qualities were determinants in the SRT decision and budgetary constraints... SRT opened in 1984? Big land sell then? No mone...See More
Phil Prentice I was aware of the formation - I grew up near Christie Pits just south of there, and my house was a couple of doors away from the storm sewers that were once Garrison Creek - See
Garrison Creek got its name because, when Toronto was young, it entered Lake Ontario just…
Phil Prentice Louiis George There was no need for much tunneling for the SRT because most of it was built on existing rail corridors - They actually started building it as a streetcar route until the Ontario Government's UTDC took over and changed it to an RT to sho...See More
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Morgen Peers What about the geology in these areas? What kind of rail system can northeast Toronto grow? How can STC to the Zoo be managed as a sub-city linking into the largest industrial areas and the largest natural areas too? Instead of bringing the LRT in from...See More
Louiis George I agree. It gets complicated with surface rail cuz GO as well... which leads to the unique village station thing I totally dig that approach, but it is counter perspective to what the province requires which is a regional perspective. But the conceptualization is totally intuitively there. It can be seen. The "sum of the parts" is there but the "whole" is not described yet.
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Dimitri Maragos Front to 401, Sherway to Beaches should be underground. Anything less and commute times by car will remain over one hour. My instinct. Then pedestrianize and light rail links with plenty of rental bikes to boot. The car won't die easily. This is war
Helen Melbourne I doubt if Ford himself came up with this idea. More likely someone who had his ear...
Phil Prentice This is true; but the same is true for Tory
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Alex Laney Humber College must be real important to be the terminus of TWO subway lines. Oh wait, it's in northern Etobicoke smile emoticon Seriously, western destinations would be more useful if they were Mississauga and the airport area. Sorry, Humber collegians ... although maybe a line could go thru humber on its way to the airport area.
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Phil Prentice It's not about Humber College; it's about an East-West route and a North-South route for those north and west of Jane and Sheppard; and yes; the intention is to connect to the airport, Mississauga, and Brampton - Humber just happens to be located where the two lines make the make sense
Alex Laney I don't see those lines on the map. Maybe in a drunken haze ...
Phil Prentice Alex Laney My plans are not done yet - As a long time resident, I am more familiar with Scarborough, and Scarborough seems to be the city's focus right now, so I started there
Alex Laney The initial post was about Ford's 'vision'. No criticism implied of your plans. Although, in general, I think spending money on subways in low-density areas is money wasted. Better to put an LRT in first and upgrade later; than pay subway expenses for decades ... Although we might see some sense applied if Metrolinx pushes transit to distance pricing.
Jason Goodburn-Moffitt Subways in low density areas can be a brilliant idea if the TTC or the city controlled the land along the corridor or at certain key transit destinations. This is what Asian cities do, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, etc., where the transit authorities own the lands that are developed into malls, high-density residential hubs, etc. They profit from the rents, as well as the farebox.

In Toronto, our quaint idea that cities should not be developers of anything but social housing puts them at a disadvantage.

If you are a pure capitalist, the best example would be Los Angeles in the Pacific Electric era, as this was a privately run transit system that rivaled New York City's. It eventually collapsed because the private operator could no longer subsidize the system once the neighbourhoods it served matured and freeways came online at the same time. The city wouldn't take on the burden of public transit, and the system was abandoned.
Phil Prentice Jason Goodburn-Moffitt I like the idea, but our governments are too stupid to get it right
Phil Prentice They would pay top dollar for the real estate, manage it for a few years, and then sell it off to the private sector at bargain basement prices
Phil Prentice Alex Laney I'm okay with building LRTs in the interim until ridership is developed and proven - It's a good and sound idea, but; I'm against an LRT connecting the Sheppard Subway (Line 4) and Scarborough Centre - The almost $1 billion cost of a subway/...See More
Jason Goodburn-Moffitt Phil Prentice It's not so much stupidity of the government, but the stupidity of the people who elect them and the "optics" they demand. As soon as Govt has control of a package of land, you can imagine the Right (Toronto Sun) trumpeting the fact that...See More
Alex Laney Jason Goodburn-Moffitt As Kevin Spacey would say, we get the governments we deserve.
Jason Goodburn-Moffitt George Orwell would say "at 50, every man has the face he deserves". I'm in trouble.
Alex Laney Phil Prentice I would extend the sheppard to vic park. I would not go further. That is an employment centre. Extending the subway east from there would not make sense for decades, if ever. The residents along Sheppard did not agree with upping the dens...See More
Phil Prentice I disagree - Connecting Sheppard to Scarborough Centre will introduce a whole new dynamic when it comes to new development and how we get around in this city
Joanna Ladowski I'm already happy that Scarborough Town Center will have subway connecting to Kennedy. That's great!
Jason Goodburn-Moffitt Alex Laney I should also mention that in Canada, we get the governments we can afford!
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Kevin Richardson So we have two plans, the Phil plan and the Ford plan, no ridership numbers, no alignment of these maps with planning goals, a half century timeline for completion at an assumed cost of $200,000,000,000.

At what point is someone going to say this is
unreasonable? Was "Ford had it Right," not a dead giveaway that this was gonna be some nonsense.

Also, Phil, how many times are you going to post the same link from your blog. I know you've posted this "plan" several times this year alone and we've seen it and commented on it. I don't know that posting the same thing every few weeks is all that helpful.
Like · Reply · 4 · 14 hrs
Phil Prentice You are entitled to your opinion, as am I - Ford's plan for subways was just about perfect - I do agree that LRTs also need to play a role, and that LRTs were probably a better option for Eglinton, but; if we continue at the present rate of transit development, this city will grind to a halt

At the current rate of transit development it will be more than half a century before we get where we need to be - My plan and guesstimate of $150 to $160 billion for transit over 40 to 50 years is not that far off the mark

Phase VI of my plan for Scarborough connects all twelve of the destinations identified by the city as key destinations that need to be better serviced by new transit within 25 years

P.S. - My plan appears automatically when I post my web address - I'll try and refrain from posting it if that will make you happy
Kevin Richardson Earlier, didn't you say $3 to 4 billion a year for 40 to 50 years? How does that top out at $160 billion? There is an $80 billion difference between your highest and lowest estimate. That's $80,000,000,000 of uncertainty built into your plan using your numbers. I'm just gonna stop there.
Phil Prentice Kevin Richardson You are entitled to your opinion, as am I - Ford's plan for subways was just about perfect - I do agree that LRTs also need to play a role, and that LRTs were probably a better option for Eglinton, but; if we continue at the present rate of transit development, this city will grind to a halt

At the current rate of transit development it will be more than half a century before we get where we need to be - My plan and guesstimate of $150 to $160 billion for transit over 40 to 50 years is not that far off the mark

Phase VI of my plan for Scarborough connects all 12 of the destinations identified by the city as key destinations that need to be better serviced by new transit within 25 years - The city's latest plan services just 5 of those same 12 destinations - Their timeline is 17 years for those 5 destinations

The Scarborough Transit Proposal Update (January 21’16) services:
- Kennedy-Steeles Corridor
- Golden Mile
- Kennedy Mobility Hub
- University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC)
- Scarborough Centre

My plan services all of the above, plus:
- Malvern Centre
- The Scarborough Hospital Birchmount Campus
- Consumers Business Park
- The Scarborough Hospital General Campus
- Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital
- Centennial College (Progress Road Campus)
- Toronto Zoo

And yes; it will cost much more to bring service to all 12 destinations - My point is; we still need to step it up

P.S. - My plan appears automatically when I post my web address - I'll try and refrain from posting it, if that will make you happy
Phil Prentice LRTs alone now just won't cut it - We should have had the Relief Line and LRTs 15 to 20 years ago
Kevin Richardson You're definitely entitled to your own opinion. I'm just saying you're not entitled to your own math. If you spend three billion dollars a year for forty years, you end up spending one-hundred and twenty billion dollars. If you spend four billion dollars a year for fifty years, you end up spending two hundred billion dollars. That's not opinion, that's just math.
Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs
Phil Prentice I'm through arguing with you because you obviously have a thick skull and enjoy sitting in traffic on the 401 - It's not my math that's off - My guesstimate of the present value for the 10 phase plan posted on my website (based on figures taken from v...See More
Phil Prentice For the record; I am not a Ford supporter and never have been - I am pro-subway and am open to all options - With the exception of Eglinton, every subway line he proposed makes sense and match my ideas and preferences