Thursday evening, Toronto city council approved the one-year King St. Pilot Study, with an amendment to allow an exemption for taxis during the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
There was quite a bit of debate from councillors surrounding this exemption, as well as the $1.5 million price tag of the project. But, after four hours of debate, the plan was approved 35 to 4.
The pilot will cover six kilometres of King St., from Jarvis to Bathurst. The corridor would funnel drivers to parallel east-west routes like Queen St., Richmond, Adelaide, Wellington, or Front, while still allowing local drivers to access the street for short periods of time.
The plan allows local residents to drive on King St., but only between intersections. These vehicles must turn right at the next traffic signal. Physical barriers will be used to prevent vehicles other than the streetcars from passing through the intersection.
There is also going to be designated spaces for short-term loading, deliveries, and taxis, something business owners indicated was a necessity.
courtesy of the city of toronto
Now, with this added amendment, taxis will be able to pass through intersections during the designated time slots. This exemption only applies to licensed cabs and not ride-sharing services like Uber.
City staff argued against the exemption, saying it has the potential to confuse drivers and that traffic is still heavy on King St. in the early hours of the morning. In fact, they said it could undermine the transit-first mentality of the study.
Regardless of the warnings, council choose to adopt the exemption anyway (although they limited the hours to the evening/early morning) to help relieve the nightlife crowding along the corridor.
Toronto Mayor John Tory announced Thursday that federal money is on its way as part of the second phase of the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.
“I’m thrilled that Toronto will receive approximately $4.8 billion of Ontario’s $8.34-billion allocation from the Government of Canada for our transit network expansion plan, which includes the Relief Line, Smart Track, the Eglinton East LRT and Waterfront transit,” Tory said in a statement. “This is a huge victory for Toronto and will lead to better transit for the entire region.”
He also confirmed that the province would be required to contribute 33 per cent of project costs and that Ontario would be encouraged to follow British Columbia’s example and commit to a 40-40-20 cost share arrangement.
The mayor has been a strong advocate for cost sharing when it comes to the Relief Line and Smart Track, and has been battling stubborn provincial politicians along the way. This soon-to-be announced funding is a big win on the part of Toronto and the much-needed Relief Line.
“With all the federal funding program allocations outlined today, including the Green Infrastructure Stream and Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream, we thank Minister Sohi for underscoring the important balance between provincial and municipal priorities, ensuring that funding will flow to where it is needed most.”
Everyone is talking about the foreign buyers tax in Ontario — but no one is talking about the increase in foreign builders.
What do I mean by foreign builders? Large, international companies based in Italy, France, or Japan, with small offices within the GTHA, are being given contracts for large transit projects while smaller Canadian companies are shut out.
If you take a look at the shortlist for the Hurontario LRT, half of the constructors are not from Canada. They may have Canadian offices, but the companies themselves were created and have headquarters in Europe, the United States, and Asia. While each individual “team” that is bidding for the contract does have at least two Canadian companies on board, this is not a guarantee on division of work and/or financial contributions.
And this is a big problem.
By allotting contracts for big developments and transit projects to foreign builders, it severely impacts the Canadian economy. It means less jobs and less money for construction workers, and it means the competition between Canadian companies is steep.
Canada also has a unique climate. There are certain materials that must be used for a development to support extreme cold and hot temperatures. Would a company from Spain or Italy be able to understand how to build something resistant to this temperamental landscape?
An even bigger problem is that these foreign companies are not connected to the community, and therefore do not understand and/or empathize with local concerns over a new development. These companies come in, build, and leave, which means they are not around if any problems arise and they don’t get to see the affect it has on the residents who leave them. There is no real investment to the community they are building.
To be clear, collaborating with international partners is not a bad thing. These types of partnerships can inspire new ideas and provide interesting solutions to municipal problems.
However, when native companies are pushed out of the process in favour of international conglomerates — it’s Canada that loses out.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Toronto city council has unanimously approved a plan that would see the city reduce green house gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. If adopted, this would affectively transform Toronto into a low-carbon city.
The motion itself was for city staff to go forward and create a business-case analysis of the various recommendations presented that day. The idea is to determine a carbon reduction per dollar ratio, decide which projects would be funded municipality or cost-shared with other levels of government, and to examine whether the recommendations would align with federal plans to reduce greenhouse has emissions.
“TransformTO provides a path forward that will allow our city to make decisions that lead to a low-carbon city that is healthy, prosperous, strong, and equitable,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement. “Together, we are going to build more transit including the Relief Line, make sure our social housing is viable for the long-term and that our buildings are energy efficient.”
Having all new buildings produce near zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
Having 100 per cent existing buildings retrofitted to achieve on average 40 per cent energy use
Having 100 per cent of all transportation using low-carbon energy sources
Having people walk or cycle for 75 per cent of trips less than five kilometres
The report also stresses the importance of engaging communities and neighbourhoods. Education campaigns and local support will be critical to the success of TransformTO.
This biggest point of discussion was the price tag of this plan, $6.7 million for 2018. City staff estimated an annual cost of $8 million following 2018. While this doesn’t seem like much considering the other projects council has approved, the number is bound to increase as projects are added. However, as certain councillors said during the debate, there are times where going cheap will hurt the city. This is one of them.
TransformTO is led by a collaborative team made of the city’s Environment and Energy Division and the Atmospheric Fund, an organization that looks for urban solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
“We applaud today’s decision by Mayor Tory and City Council to unanimously approve TransformTO and renew Toronto’s climate leadership role,” said Mary Pickering, TAF’s VP for Programs and Partnerships and project co-chair for TransformTO. “Implementing TransformTO will not only cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 but also boost public health, local jobs, and social equity in our city.”
It is rare that city council votes on anything involving a high price tag unanimously, but hopefully this is a trend that will continue — especially when it comes to the King St. Pilot Study, a transit plan that will ultimately help spearhead a low-carbon corridor.
The King St. Pilot Study will be discussed Thursday morning at city council.
Are your ready to barbecue this summer? At my house, no one ever uses the oven during the months of July and August unless it’s for baking sweets or pastries. It’s all about the BBQ. Who doesn’t love the smell of grilled meats and vegetables? The best thing is, there is almost nothing you can’t cook on the barbecue. Here are a few ideas for those of you looking to try something new:
Kabobs: This one may be a bit obvious, but it’s all about what you put on the kabob. Just grab some chicken, steak, shrimp, or even tofu for those vegetarians out there and put it on a wooden kabob stick. Make sure to alternate between protein source and vegetables. My favourite vegetables are button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and yellow peppers, but feel free to spice it up.
Cheese: To be clear, this does not mean every cheese can be grilled. But, some brilliant person invented cheese that you could grill. It’s great on sandwiches, wraps, or even served on it’s own with tomatoes and basil as an appetizer. It has a texture a bit similar to tofu, but with the squeak of a curd. The taste is incredibly rich, and it takes on the taste of it has a very rich taste. Halloumi is the most well-known of grilling cheeses, but you can get some at any artisan cheese stop or market.
Potatoes: You can cook potatoes on the grill similarly to how you do it in the oven. But, you have to cut them into larger pieces. it’s recommended that you slice them so that they don’t fall through the grill. Top the potatoes with cheese and cooked bacon and serve with sour cream! If you want a healthier option, simply grill the potatoes with oil, salt and pepper.
Pizza: Try to make your own pizza using your barbecue. I would lightly-precook the vegetables and meats, just to ensure they are cooked at the same time as the dough. Don’t cook them completely though or you risk soggy toppings on your pizza. Make a crust and place it on your grill with tomato sauce and your toppings of choice. Close the lid and wait 10-15 minutes. This only really works with thin crusts, depending on the size of your barbecue.
Pineapple or watermelon: Not all fruits can be put on the grill, but these two are wonderfully refreshing. The grill chars the fruit and keeps the juices in, while also giving it a nice smokey flavour. Grilled watermelon is fantastic in cold salads and grilled pineapple makes an excellent appetizer or a great topping on a meat dish.
Smores: You don’t have to go camping to have this beautiful and sticky dessert. I should warn you though, once you realize you can make smores in your backyard, you will never want to go camping again! Wrap your smore in tin foil to make sure it doesn’t get too messy, and make sure to watch them carefully, as the marshmallow will melt fast.Another rendition is to split open a banana, place bits of chocolate and marshmallow within that split, and wrap it in tin foil. Place on top of the grill until everything is gooey and delicious!
What are your favourite foods to grill? Let us know in the comments below!
The staff at Women’s Post are patriots! We love our nation, full of its weird currency, giant rubber ducks, and, or course, our insanely sweet double doubles.
While this country, at a young age of 150, still has a lot of growing and learning to do, it remains one
Here are some of the things Women’s Post loves about Canada:
Gender equal cabinet: With that mic-dropping reason being “because it’s 2016”, Canada’s Prime Minister announced that he would be creating a cabinet comprising of equal parts men and women. This was a first in Canada and led to a number of provinces following suit. Way to go Canada!
Tim Hortons: As writers, we practically live on coffee. While we may not all be double-double fans in this office, we are a fan of this Canadian brand and we shall eat our dutchie donuts with pride!
Pride month: There is nothing Canadians like better than to celebrate love and acceptance — and what better way to do that than to celebrate Pride for a whole month! Not only that, but almost all of our politicians (at least on the left), actually walk in the parade.
Inclusion of transgendered people in law: As of June, the Canadian Human Rights Act, as well as the Criminal Code, will be amended to include the words “gender identity and gender expression on a list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. This new law, Bill c-16, also protects transgender Canadians from hate propaganda and makes them an identifiable group under law!
Alcohol: Whether it’s craft beer or some wine from a local vineyard, Canadians love to drink! We also love to drink our own alcohol — no fancy European stuff for us! We love our Canadian whiskey and home grown brews. This business is booming, which means in every liquor store there are dozens of choices to try out. Which will you pick?
Landscapes: The beautiful mountains, lakes, and forests of Canada are truly unique. These majestic landscapes provide character and natural beauty to communities across the country. Nothing is more peaceful than a hike through one of these Canadian treasures — don’t forget to bring your plaid shirt and coffee thermos.
Anne of Green Gables: Women’s Post is talking about our beloved Anne (with an ‘e’), from literary character to it’s newest CBC reprisal. It’s one of Canada’s biggest cultural claim to fame, with musicals, plays, and television playoffs being broadcast. Did you know the gables aren’t actually green? Turns out, Canadians don’t really care — we just love this incredibly inspiring, creative, and scrappy female heroine.
Justin Trudeau’s socks: We all know this is a PR stunt, but here at Women’s Post, we don’t really care. There is something satisfying about a politician geeking out with brightly-coloured themed footwear. The most recent spotting of these funky socks was during pride, when Trudeau sported not just rainbow socks, but they also sported the greeting “Eid Mubarak” to mark the end of Ramadan. Because, why not?
Beavertails: This weird invention of friend dough and cinnamon sugar (in its purest form) is unique to Canada — more because of the name than anything else. Sure, skating on the canal in Ottawa is quite the Canadian thing to do, but doing so while holding/balancing beavertail in one hand is another all together.
These are just a few of Women’s Post’s loves about this wonderful country. What do you love about Canada? Let us know in the comments below!
Tomorrow’s the big bash — Canada is turning 150 years old and the entire nation is getting ready to party until the wee hours of the morn’.
Unless you are preparing for a family camping trip or a girls weekend out, planning Canada Day events can turn into a last-minute affair. The event is considered a holiday, but in typical Canadian fashion, most people are too modest to make a big to-do out of it.
The unfortunate part is that by now, most of the “Canada 150 gear” is sold out or overly priced. That doesn’t mean you can’t get decked out in traditional Canadian fashion this July 1, it just may take a little bit of creativity. Women’s Post is here to help! Here are some ideas for a kick-ass Canada Day outfit:
Colours: Really, if you own anything red, you are fine. Pair a red t-shirt with a pair of white shorts and it will look like you planned for this holiday months ago! Add a red bandana or hat, or even some luscious red lipstick for extra effect. White shirts work as well, but try to find some sort of red accessory to balance it out. Why not try to get some face paint at the dollar store so you can pain on our favourite maple emblem on your cheek?
Plaid: It’s supposed to be rainy and cloudy all weekend (sigh) so why not just wear the traditional Canadian plaid shirt? It has the added benefit of being warm, but also contains our nation’s colours
Dollar store: Time to be a bit creative. Even the dollar store may be out of their traditional t-shirts and temporary tattoos, but they almost always have beaded necklaces, boas, tutus, and other weird things you can slap together to make an outfit. The key is to go overboard. If you are going with the mashed up outfit full of different textures and goofy headbands, then you might as well go all out!
Non-traditional: If you are like me and red just doesn’t match your skin tone, try a different approach. Canada Day is a great opportunity to celebrate Canadian things — sports teams, bands, and even our individual cities (‘Toronto vs. everybody’). Wear that Justin Trudeau unicorn shirt you bought on e-bay that one time! That blue jays cap is good for more than just keeping the sun out of your eyes at the game. Maybe you have a “drizzy drake” tee you can grab?
Just remember to stay away from indigenous or cultural garb that isn’t your own please! Those are the only things out of bounds this Canada Day.
Want to make a statement? Buy a cheap white t-shirt and write something on the back with a marker or with paint. With all those cameras, this is the perfect time to express concern over an issue that is important to you. Whether it’s the environment, election reform, or disdain for a particular bill being discussed in the house right now — use this opportunity to get your point across. Just avoid offensive language, as no camera will focus on your shirt if it contains profanity.
And of course, you can always use this statement to share messages of love!! Not everything has to be about activism.
What will you be wearing this Canada Day? Let us know in the comments below!
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Pushing for gender equality in Canada could add $150 billion in incremental GDP in 2026, or at least that is what a new report released by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) is saying.
The report, entitled The Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in Canada, was released earlier this June and outlines a number of things Canada has to do in order to take advantage of this $150 billion opportunity. This includes being more than just a vocal supporter of gender parity.
Too often, companies outline goals for gender diversity on boards or make promises to consider more women in the hiring process — but there is no follow up or accountability. Seventy-five per cent of companies do not track female recruitment or reward leaders for fostering gender diversity. This means there is less accountability and goals of gender parity may actually never be achieved.
The report also indicates only 14 per cent of businesses have “clearly articulated a business case for change” when it comes to considering gender diversity.
Canada is ranked in the top 10 countries of 95 when it comes to women’s equality, but as the report says, “progress towards gender parity has stalled over the past 20 years, and Canada must find anew ways to keep pace.”
More importantly, women should be hired in “high-productivity sectors” such as mining and STEM-related industries. Currently, women only hold 29 per cent of political seats and hold 65 per cent of unpaid care work.
Canada’s GDP growth has slowed to approximately 2 per cent a year, according to the Canadian government. The report shows that unless Canadian businesses make a significant investment in women and continue to grow this rate will remain stagnate.
“A significant part of the solution is for Canada to tap into the vast unrealized potential of women. Accelerating progress toward gender equality is not only a moral and social imperative; it would also deliver a growth dividend.”
In order to see this GDP growth, businesses will not only have to hire more women (create 650,000 more jobs), but they also will need to raise the number of hours worked by female employees and raise productivity levels. The analysis found that the structure of each province’s economy had little factor into the state of gender inequality. Rather, it was formal policies that mandate quotas for women on boards of Crown corporation and universal child-care programs that determined economic gender inequality.
Women, the report says, are willing to work. Unfortunately, there are a number of barriers that either prevent them from doing so, or prevent them from growing in their role.
“This research highlights best practices in Canadian companies that others can emulate. But initiatives need to be implemented holistically and effectively, and measures to tackle gender imbalance in companies only work if they are considered to be a true business imperative. Changing attitudes takes time, and persistence is vital,” says Sandrine Devillard, a Senior Partner in McKinsey’s Montreal office, in a statement.
Hopefully, it doesn’t take too much time to change. Gender parity within the workplace is vital to both the social and economic success of this country — and yet, there are still gender gaps when it comes to positions of power, both in the private and public sector. How many reports like this are necessary before those with the power to do something actually change?
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Sure, you can celebrate by having friends over for a barbecue, or hitting Parliament Hill to watch the fireworks. But, why not go the extra mile by enjoying some of these totally weird things only a Canadian could invent:
Retractable beer carton handle: It used to be difficult to lug a 12-pack over to a friend’s house, that is until Steve Pasjack invented a retractable handle! The invention was dubbed the “Scarborough Suitcase” and is still used by Steam Whistle Brewery.
Caesars: This deliciously red drink made of vodka, tomato juice, clam juice, and Worcestershire sauce sounds disgusting, but it’s actually full of wonderful summer goodness. It was invented in Calgary and is usually served with a salt-rimmed cup, lime, and a stick of celery.
Milk bags: Seriously, the next time you meet someone who isn’t from Canada (or even Ontario), mention milk bags. It will totally freak them out. In most other countries, you get milk in a bottle or a box — that’s it!
Butter tarts: You are welcome world! Within a beautiful pastry shell is a gooey, maple-sugary center, topped with pecans, raisins, or other fun flavours. These delectable treats have a special place in the hearts of all Canadians, so much so that Ontario even has a festival dedicated to the dessert.
Nanaimo bars: Continuing on the sweets trend — did you know Nanaimo bars were named after the city in British Columbia? There is literally nothing like this beautiful melding of chocolate, butter icing, and coconut/wafer. Just don’t eat too many or the sugar rush may cause nausea.
Poutine: Ok, this one is obvious, but it had to be included in this list. Many countries have tried to replicate this great French invention, but any real poutine lover knows there is only one place to get it — Quebec!
Walkie Talkie: This wonderfully fun piece of technology was invented during the Second World War by a Canadian inventor named Donald Hings. It was originally called a “packset” and designed for bush air pilots to help them communicate in remote areas of the country.
Egg carton: A journalist from British Columbia named Joseph Coyle after he became frustrated that all his eggs were breaking in transport. It was patented in both the U.S. and Canada in 1918-19.
Basketball: This is another favourite claim of Canadians, so much so that it is one of the more popular heritage moments advertised on television. The game was invented by a physical education teacher who was working in the U.S. at the time. Dr. James Naismith was challenged to create a game that could be played indoors during the winter — and with the two-week deadline, basketball was what he came up with!
Wonderbra: Invented by a Canadian corset company, the Wonderbra was first released in 1939. The company expanded their brand, creating the first strapless bra in the 1940s and Canada’s first push-up bra in the 1960s. Canadian women really were ahead of their time.
Peanut Butter: A Montrealer was the first person to invent our favourite spreadable snack. It was originally created as a centre for candy, but luckily Mr. Marcellus Gilmore Edson patented the process of milling roasted peanuts, making him the official inventor of this delicious product.
Trivial Pursuit: To all those who love trivia night — be thankful that photo editor Chris Haney and sports journalist Scott Abbott got bored of playing Scrabble. It only took a few hours to come up with the concept, but it took a few years for them to hammer out all the details and find business partners willing to invest in this wonderful game. So brush up on your trivia knowledge Canada, as this is the perfect game to play come July 1st.
Did we miss anything? List your favourite Canadian inventions in the comments below!