Okay Toronto, you’ve done it. You proved it. You’ve been flexing your muscles for many years now and it might possibly be time to stop. Toronto the Good has become Toronto the Terrible.
The final nail for me was just this morning when I noticed, on my way to get a morning coffee, was THE sign. The sign that showed, in beautiful detail I might add, that the only remaining parking lot in the area (and area with sunshine) will be no more. Instead, we will get something new… a condo!
Mind you, this parking lot is not really needed. It is behind a main street (a random street named Yonge) where about ten blocks of stores and restaurants preside. Where a school is a half a block away. Where traffic is horrific between 8-9 and 3-6. Yes, I know about the rush hours but the school and plenty of walking traffic to the subway make it worse. Maybe they just wanted to even it out and make it consistent all day.
Toronto, Leader of Concrete Jungles. Toronto… Land of the giant Condos. Maybe that should be on the sign entering the city on the 401 or QEW. Now is when I curse the fact that I didn’t listen to my Pops and have all that money saved so I could buy (or rent) something… north, west, east (way, way above?) the city.
What happened? Well, Mayors and Premiers for the last long while decided to make a name for themselves. Instead of doing something boring or having foresight like fixing streets, adding more bike lanes (instead of subtracting them) or adding value to the city for visitors, they line their pockets by adding condos (one on every corner – actually two), doing nothing about the roads and structures and waiting twenty years too long to add to the once great subway lines. As I mentioned – foresight.
Toronto used to be a beautiful, vibrant, interesting and friendly city. It is still vibrant but so is almost any major metropolis. There are many things to do if you look. You just can’t get there. And that is a large reason why people are angry here. Traffic, over population, bad streets – these can be said of many top cities. The construction, however, on every frickin’ street in every damn neighborhood, is the topper. The city decided to fix everything at once, I suppose. Foresight:-/?
I used to (and will again) live in a warm weather climate. I drove to work and rode a bike everywhere else. So, I know the deal on both sides. The animosity and stupidity from both drivers and riders in this city is astounding. The riders in the city are used to it. They haven’t experienced the joy of riding in long bike lanes or wide fully paved streets with no potholes – so they ride. Wish I could but I know better and I don’t trust the drivers here (or the riders for that matter.) The extra two seconds they can’t wait for, along with the divots in the road, gives me too much pause. However, for the first time in a long while I rode. I had a rare day-off during an even rarer beautiful day. I went to a huge local cemetery where there were others who, I surmised, would rather avoid the traffic and streets as I did. I rode three blocks to get there and when I arrived, what did I find in there… construction!
BTW – maybe in this amazing technological era there might be a way to fix a potholed street and have it stay fixed even in a four season city like this? Or is it two now – winter and construction… as they say! And yes, I am bitter!
Is your city the same? Have an urge to flee and live in the country?