Intelligent Community of the Year

CEO of Waterfront Toronto John Campbell (left) has reason to smile, as he receives the prize for The Intelligent Community of the Year in New York City.  He shared the stage with Cristina Verner, director of Intelligent Communities, which awarded the prize, and IBM executive John Longbottom. The prestigious honour was based on our own neighbourhood and lands extending east to the Port Lands, getting Canada’s most advanced broadband Internet service. Every home and business will have access this super fast one-gigabyte network — for video conferences to film editing and emailing your grandmother. It will open the Waterfront to unparalleled economic opportunities and competitiveness. This is yet another international prize for Waterfront Toronto, and we will all be winners.

Han Dong, Our New MPP

Trinity-Spadina has a new Member of Provincial Government: Han Dong, seen here with his children. He replaces YQNA’s long-time friend, MPP Rosario Marchese, who worked with us on many issues that are specific to our condo environment, such as new legislation to protect condo owners’ rights and ending developers’ reliance on the OMB. We hope Han will take up these causes. Both Han and Rosario are staunchly opposed to jet expansion of the Island Airport.

YQNA thanks Rosario for his many years of friendship and open communications. We welcome Han and look forward to including him in our neighbourhood issues and his help in protecting our beautiful Waterfront.

Queens Quay Rising

Queens Quay is finally rising from the depth of underground construction!  It has been a year of digging, dewatering the ground and installing new and expanded services — electricity, sewers, water supply, natural gas and telecommunication lines for phone, cable and internet connections. That was the biggest and most difficult part of Queens Quay’s revitalization and it’s nearly done. The harshest winter in memory didn’t help construction.

As the last holes on Queens Quay are being filled, crews are laying the 2.5 million red granite pavers on wide sidewalks with beautiful maple leaf patterns:

Around 240 trees are being planted in large silva cells with 30 cubic metres of soil that will nurture a boulevard of tall trees:

Curved wood benches, sleek cedar street lights and the Martin Goodman Trail will soon appear. Streetcar service is promised to resume late this summer. We are seeing fast progress laying the tracks, including the complicated TTC loop at Spadina Avenue.

Waterfront Toronto’s director of design and construction, James Roche spoke at a recent YQNA meeting and showed the brief video about Queens Quay seen above. Everybody can ask to receive emails with the latest construction news at: info@waterfrontoronto.ca.

The current disruptions will likely fade in our memory next summer, when we attend the inauguration of Toronto’s premiere boulevard right in our own neighbourhood!

Photos Estelle Weynman

Councillor Adam Vaughan Leaves

Adam Vaughan enjoys the trust and support of residents in the Trinity-Spadina riding, which gave him the lead at the Liberal Party’s nomination meeting held in Toronto, May 3rd, 2014. He looked relaxed, surrounded by constituents and his two children, Salvador and Mimi before the vote.
Adam Vaughan enjoys the trust and support of residents in the Trinity-Spadina riding, which gave him the lead at the Liberal Party’s nomination meeting held in Toronto, May 3rd, 2014. He looked relaxed, surrounded by constituents and his two children, Salvador and Mimi before the vote.

Adam Vaughan, our high-profile city councillor for the past eight years, will soon leave City Hall. He made the decision after tumultuous sessions in Council under the current mayor.  Adam’s encyclopedic knowledge of city issues and passion for urban planning has now put him on a federal track as the Liberal candidate for the Trinity-Spadina riding.

His departure is a big loss to our Waterfront neighbourhood. No doubt City Council will miss his insight and fiery repartee that often turned debates around 180 degrees. The ongoing fight against the proposed jet expansion of Island Airport showed Adam at his best. He understands the wheels that can turn Toronto into a great city — the urban planning issues, public transit, the arts, heritage and preservation, and he has always been a defender of the most vulnerable citizens. High priorities for him are affordable housing and quality of life for families in this multicultural city.

YQNA thanks Adam for his guidance and willingness to work with us. He has always supported the great Waterfront revitalization that is ongoing under the auspices of Waterfront Toronto. He is advocating new legislation that will give the city’s planning department much needed controls over future developments here. We are not likely to get another councillor with Adam’s unique dedication, intensity and skills. We wish him the very best and expect his positive influence on our lives will continue.

Serious Setback for Jets

Transport Canada oversees all airports in Canada. No airport or airline can override their federal safety regulations. To see what Billy Bishop would look like as a jet airport, Transport Action Ontario superimposed the federal rules for extended runways, jet-blast zones, safety zones and marine exclusion zones. Only exemptions could change that picture.
Transport Canada oversees all airports in Canada. No airport or airline can override their federal safety regulations. To see what Billy Bishop would look like as a jet airport, Transport Action Ontario superimposed the federal rules for extended runways, jet-blast zones, safety zones and marine exclusion zones. Only exemptions could change that picture.

City Council spent all of April 1, 2014 grappling with Porter’s request to include jets on the Island Airport. Would the Waterfront be dominated by a jet airport with extended runways blocking sailing and future developments? Despite a costly advertising campaign by Porter, a privately owned company, the bid for fast approval suffered serious jet lag when Council voted to defer the expansion pending extensive studies until 2015 or later. The grassroots group NoJetsTO had good reason to celebrate.

Councillor Pam McConnell reported: “Council did not approve Island Airport expansion or the introduction of jets… The reports presented to City Council were never an endorsement of airport expansion or the operation of jets on the Island Airport. Rather, the studies highlighted many unresolved problems and contain numerous conditions before City Council should even contemplate amending the Tripartite Agreement.”

YQNA and many other citizens groups have worked tirelessly to educate people about this issue, which comes down to: Save our Waterfront! It belongs to all of Toronto, as NoJetsTO showed with 13,000 city-wide signatures on their petition. It is remarkable that Robert Deluce’s request could get so far before brakes were applied. This jet airport has no master plan, no environmental assessment, no business plan, no infrastructure plans, no certified jets, and no application for this airport has even been received by Transport Canada, which oversees all Canadian airports.

With so little information coming from Mr. Deluce and his landlord, the Toronto Port Authority, an impressive illustrated document from Transport Action Ontario fills a void. Their aeronautical experts applied all of Transport Canada’s safety regulations to the proposed jet airport; only exemptions could change this picture of the inner harbour. It shows extended runways, jet-blast zones, safety zones and marine exclusion zones. [See complete report here.]

As councillor Peter Milczyn said: “A larger airport on the lake is not the City’s or the people of Toronto’s vision for our Waterfront.”