YQNA Celebrates at the Radisson

A great lunch was served at the Radisson Admiral Hotel on Queens Quay, where YQNA is very fortunate to hold our by-monthly meetings. Here is the cheerful and well-fed group of YQNA members in the Watermark Restaurant decorated in the holiday spirit. On the far left is Dermot McKeown, general manager of the hotel and generous supporter of YQNA. We would not have succeeded or grown as well as we have without the hospitality of Mr. McKeown and the hotel staff.

Everyone is welcome to our next meeting, January 14, 2014 at 7 pm at the Radisson, with Toronto’s chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat as guest speaker. As usual we will gather for refreshments in the Watermark Lounge after the meeting. It is a great place to socialize and chat about the ideas that were floated at our meeting.

YQNA thanks everyone who worked with us in 2013 to make the Waterfront a better place to live. We have much to look forward to in 2014 — especially the return of streetcars on the newly designed Queens Quay. We wish everyone a great holiday and best wishes for the new year.

David Crombie, David Miller to Talk Jets

Former Mayors David Crombie (left) and David Miller will discuss the jet proposal for Toronto’s Waterfront with other panelists.
Former Mayors David Crombie (left) and David Miller will discuss the jet proposal for Toronto’s Waterfront with other panelists.

Hosted by NoJetsTO

Monday, December 9th

OISE Auditorium, 252 Bloor St. W.
Room G162 – ground floor
(Bedford exit of St. George station)
6:30-7:00 p.m. – registration
7:00-9:00 p.m. – main event

With the City Council vote on the dangerous jet proposal for the Island Airport looming on December 16, it’s time for high-profile Torontonians to discuss this vital issue.

Former Toronto Mayor David Crombie and former Chief Planner Paul Bedford are joined by renowned architect Jack Diamond, former Mayor David Miller, and Jane Fairburn, author of Along the Shore: Rediscovering Toronto’s Waterfront Heritage.

Moderator is journalist John Lorinc of Spacing Magazine.

Join NoJetsTO for this important event on the future of Toronto’s Waterfront. Please RSVP at their website.

Sign Olivia Chow’s Petition to Parliament

This is our Waterfront?

— or that?

Our Member of Parliament, Olivia Chow, represents Trinity Spadina and thereby the Waterfront. At YQNA, we know her passion for the Waterfront and the Islands. Olivia’s timing is perfect for making a petition to the House of Commons to stop the gross jet proposal of the Island Airport. MP Matthew Kellway of Beaches-East York made a similar petition. If you too want to save the Waterfront from jet expansion and pollution, please sign Olivia’s petition. Share this link with friends throughout the GTA who also love the Waterfront.

Here is Olivia’s petition to the House of Commons:


  • The planned expansion of the Toronto Island Airport will ruin the city’s waterfront through increased air pollution and paving a portion of Lake Ontario; and
  • Increased passenger numbers at the Island Airport will cannibalize business from Toronto Pearson and the Union Pearson Express rail link;
  • The Toronto Port Authority is estimated to owe the City of Toronto $40 million in back taxes,

THEREFORE, we call upon the Government of Canada to:

  • Block any changes to the Tri-Partite Agreement that would allow jet airplanes or extensions of the Toronto Island Airport runways;
  • Stop subsidizing Porter Airlines, e.g. through EDC loans and virtually free usage of federal port lands and facilities;
  • Compel the federal Toronto Port Authority to pay millions of back taxes owed to the people of Toronto.

Sign Olivia’s petition here.

16-Year-Olds Protect the Waterfront

In late August, I invited my grandson, Noah (16), to join me with his camera as we went out canvassing in the Beaches area for signatories to our NoJetsTO Petition against the expansion of Billy Bishop Airport. He overheard many comments from people.  A few hours later, we ran out of sunlight (and steam). I was leaving for a five-week trip to Europe, so Noah stepped in and said he would have a go at putting together a film. Until our walkabout, he had not realized how serious the damage of an expanded airport would be for his generation. He presented this film as a gift to NoJetsTO:

Noah lives in Councillor Josh Matlow’s Ward 22 (St. Paul’s), well away from the Waterfront. He invited his friend and classmate, Gideon, who lives in Mary-Margaret McMahon’s Ward 32 (Beaches and East York), to join him. Gideon was already troubled with the noise of the current Q400 turboprops “that even fly over the residential areas.”

I can’t say how proud I am of these boys, as I am sure you will be when you see their video.

Braz Menezes

YQNA member

    Sign this online petition and say no to jet aircraft at the Island Airport.

Aquarium Opens Near Waterfront

One of the spectacular tanks with sturgeons in the Aquarium.
One of the spectacular tanks with sturgeons in the Aquarium.

The great new Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada opened recently to high praise from the public and the Ontario Government, who partly funded the new downtown attraction. More than 13,000 aquatic animals and 450 species are on display in the attractive, low-slung building that extends east of the CN Tower on Bremner Avenue. It took two years to build and cost $130 million.

Mayor Rob Ford said, “This is a beautiful aquarium, and it stimulates our economy.” Around 600 jobs are expected to be created and more than $50 million generated yearly in revenue.  Among the attractions are interactive displays that offer learning for both children and adults as they watch the gorgeous creatures — both small and large — swim close by them in dramatic tank environments.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for youth and $10 for children, so it adds up to a fairly expensive family outing though unique and exciting. It is in line with attending other attractions that are clustered in our neighbourhood — the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, the Toronto Railway Museum and Air Canada Centre. With the Aquarium so close to the Waterfront, which already attracts millions of visitors to hugely popular festivals, boat tours and concerts, there is no doubt that we live in a great cultural and economic hotspot of Toronto.

On opening day, the gleaming white Aquarium stood out against thunder clouds over the Financial District.
On opening day, the gleaming white Aquarium stood out against thunder clouds over the Financial District.