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Jim Kenzie’s unhinged rant masquerading as auto journalism (“Pan Am Games’s HOV lanes are a countrywide virus”) is a stain on the Toronto Star’s reputation. It should be retracted, and all copies used to line birdcages. Since that’s unlikely, a response.

First, his comparison of basic carpooling used around the planet to the scourge of HIV/AIDS demands immediate apology from him and his editor. Have some perspective and human decency, or go back to the internet comment section from whence you crawled.

That aside, the piece is riddled with falsehoods, math errors, and misleading statements, using his pulpit to set back our evolution into a region with an effective, non-gridlocked transportation system.

Kenzie claims only 0.001% could have benefited from the HOV lanes – 65 people, in a region of 6.5 million. But there are over 6,100 athletes competing, and GM provided 1,200 vehicles for athlete, official, and volunteer transportation, so his math seems quite impossible.

He also describes the HOV lanes – just 235 km across the entire GTHA – as being “up to one third of our traffic resources”. Ignoring his comical definition of traffic resources as merely the pavement his car touches, he should be aware that in Toronto alone there are over 5,365 km of roads. Even if every inch of the HOV lanes were inside the City of Toronto, they’d represent just 4% of our road space.

Kenzie claims the HOV lanes “didn’t work,” and that they’ve “never worked anywhere,” but presents no evidence for this. A simple Google search for “carpooling research” will yield some fascinating information, should he someday wish to research his already-published article.

Another pretty basic error Kenzie and his editor missed is that the United Kingdom has had carpool lanes in Leeds for over 17 years. And of course throughout Europe the public transit options are far more advanced than in car-oriented North America, leading to different choices.

To be fair, as one should, one thing Kenzie gets right is that the HOV lanes regularly had illegal users, especially when new. Behavioural change is never instant, and explanation of carpooling facts can help. It’s unfortunate he aligned himself with the fact-free approach to policy of our former mayor, denigrating this well-understood, low-cost tool, widely-used worldwide for managing congestion.

Just because nobody wanted to carpool with him – a race car driver and automotive writer! – doesn’t mean nobody else carpooled, and he shows this in his article: some were so willing to change their behaviour they paid strangers to sit in their car! Clearly HOV lanes can modify behaviour.

“Our highway system IS our transit system,” he declares. “If people want to ride a bus or subway, let them pay for it.” Jim, TTC’s subways carry nearly double what Toronto’s expressways carry, every single day, and the transit riders are paying. Plus their taxes – and those of cyclists and pedestrians – are going toward the massively subsidized highways you adore too.

It’s farcical to imagine that an automotive journalist truly believes the highway is the transit system. Where does he think the over 1.5 million TTC riders per day should go? In the same highway lane with him? One lane of highway maxes out at the equivalent of five subway trains per hour.

“All that pavement going to waste,” he cries, misunderstanding that the entire point is for the pavement to be available when needed. HOV lanes can upgrade the experience for everyone: emergency services, special event athletes, even auto journalists – if they decide to be a grownup and live in harmony with the rest of their region, instead of throwing a tantrum in the Star.

HOV lanes aren't a virus, but rather they're a vaccine which will help our region grow and stay strong.
My humble suggestion for a motion to city council:

  1. That staff cease negotiations for any change to the existing 2012 Master Agreement, retaining the existing agreement between the City of Toronto and Metrolinx to build and fund 100% of construction costs for the following projects:

    • Eglinton Crosstown LRT from Black Creek to Brentcliffe in an exclusive right-of-way tunnel, and from Brentcliffe to Kennedy at the surface in a reserved right-of-way, with underground connection to the subway at Kennedy Station, and with Eglinton widened to maintain four lanes of mixed traffic at all times.

    • Finch West LRT from Humber College to the new Finch West subway station at Finch and Keele in a reserved right-of-way, with underground connection to the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) at Finch West Station, and with Finch widened to maintain four lanes of mixed traffic at all times.

    • Sheppard East LRT from Don Mills Station to Consumers Road in an exclusive right-of-way tunnel, and from Consumers Road to Morningside in a reserved right-of-way at the surface, and with Sheppard widened to maintain four lanes of mixed traffic at all times.

    • Scarborough LRT, replacing the existing ICTS system from Kennedy Station to McCowan Station in an exclusive right-of-way combining tunnel, elevated, and surface sections, and extending via Progress Avenue to Centennial Colege and the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, connecting to the Sheppard East LRT at Progress and Sheppard.

  1. That staff rename the Scarborough LRT project the Scarborough Centre - Progress LRT.

  2. That staff work with Metrolinx to accelerate the design, RFP, and SRT closure schedules and tasks for the Scarborough Centre - Progress LRT under the already-completed Environmental Assessment, allowing completion by the current 2019 planned opening.

  3. That staff be directed to negotiate transfer of the federal government's $660 million previously promised to the Scarborough Subway Extension project to another transit expansion capital cost within the City of Toronto, including but not limited to:

    • Completion of AODA-required accessibility upgrades to TTC network, including physical accessibility upgrades to 39 subway stations.

    • ​Purchase of new Bombardier Flexity Outlook streetcars for ridership growth.

    • Extension of the Scarborough Centre - Progress LRT into Malvern (currently an unfunded phase 2 proposal).

    • Construction of a portion of the Scarborough-Malvern LRT in a reserved right-of-way from Kennedy Station east along Eglinton Avenue to Kingston Road (currently an unfunded Transit City proposal, but has a completed Environmental Assessment).

  1. ​That council agrees that the Scarborough Subway Extension to Scarborough Town Centre remains a priority for the residents of and transit riders in Scarborough, and that it be approved and studied immediately following a relief line reducing pressure at Bloor-Yonge Station opening, and constructed immediately following sufficient funding commitments to the project.

LJ for iOS for c9

So I've installed the LJ app for my phone. I wonder whether I'll blog more. Maybe I can use this to vent my multi-tweet-rant urges, with actual spacing and formatting!


Questions & Answers

I was recently asked to provide evidence for transit-related claims I've heard from many people for many years, and that I have also shared in public meetings I've facilitated with the TTC and Metrolinx. Since I like having the facts and sources, and sharing information to make the conversation around transit better, here's the results.

Question 1: "LRT actually encourages retail development more than subways." Evidence?

This is taken as a given by many – it’s been said or confirmed to me, in person, by multiple planners working at TTC, Metrolinx, and Toronto’s Chief Planner’s office. But it’s good to check, so I decided to take a look. First, the base: Transit-Oriented Development, what that means and what it does:So we can safely say transit encourages development around transit stations, and that development usually includes retail. But that’s just transit in general so far.

  • Same report, p39: 30% premium for retail development for LRT, but research was scarce in 2002 and inconsistent results mean we shouldn’t accept that 30%.

  • Same report, multiple spots: many other examples of how TOD means pedestrian-friendly areas, and information about the impact zones of LRT stops (as they are closer together, for example), though the impact zone concept applies to any stop providing reliable, predictable transit service.

So now we know the literature is inconsistent, with more research needed. There are many factors in why a city might have more or fewer retail stores, so we have to be careful not to make assumptions. However: we do know LRT stops are closer together, and that retail in North America is a ground-floor activity. We also know that LRT encourages mid-rise development (because there are more impact zones (stations) for a given area). Therefore there are more buildings, and more retail opportunities, and more pedestrian traffic near them.
More reading:
Can I safely conclude that retail develops more with surface rail than with subways? No! From this I can conclude that it develops more with closer stop-spacing. Therefore I should be more precise in my phrasing, which is oversimplified in the example that was used for the question, I agree.

I’m not a trained and certified planner and I happily defer to their expertise in this area. I would suggest, for those interested, a review of costs for underground versus surface transit, and how that may also play a part in what those experts recommend.

Question 2: "Both Sheppard and Bloor-Danforth subways have developed less than projected." Evidence?

This is another thing that is taken as a given and mentioned a lot, but more facts = better decisions, so let's check:
In year one, on weekdays, the Sheppard subway had ridership ranging from 34,000-40,000 riders per day. https://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Commission_reports_and_information/Commission_meetings/2004/May_12_2004/Other/Post-Implementation_.pdf That's weekday ridership, so to be very conservative (which means generous to the subway), let's multiply that range by 52 weeks and six days per week. (weekend days are generally not "half a weekday"), and let's ignore summer holidays, the extended Hannukkah-Christmas-New Year's period, and other statutory holidays that impact ridership.

34,000 x 6 x 52 = 10.6M
40,000 x 6 x 52 = 12.5M

Ridership in 2014 was 50,000 according to the TTC's presentation to the Board in December 2014: http://coderedto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/20141209_CEO_Presentation_Board_Report.pdf

50,000 x 6 x 52 = 15.6M

So ridership has now, 11 years late, reached the low end of the 2002 projections made during 2001.

But that question is also about condo and employment development, not ridership growth, so let's look at that. A report (which I have not personally read and would love to, hint hint) from a few years ago helps with the numbers: (http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2012/02/15/james_the_ttc_subway_report_mayor_rob_ford_doesnt_want_you_to_read.html )

  • "Planners projected 64,000 added jobs would come to the North York Centre, near Yonge and Sheppard, between 1986 and 2011. In fact, as of 2006, employment had grown by only 800 jobs over the two decades."

  • Note that the forecasts may have assumed the full original design length for the Sheppard subway, not the short version that was funded, so the next line in that same piece should be ignored: "Scarborough Centre, at McCowan and Highway 401, was forecast to grow by 50,000 jobs. Figures for 2006 reveal a net loss of 700 jobs."

  • "The office building market disappeared, taking jobs with it. Condos sprang up where offices were slated. Condos bring people, but they don’t necessarily take the subway to work because they work all over the GTA." Note that some of the most congested intersections in Toronto are along Sheppard where cars try to access Highway 401. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/05/08/toronto_identifies_top_10_most_congested_intersections.html

  • "There are more than 30 per cent fewer jobs than envisioned [city-wide]."

  • "Sheppard, even if built out to the Scarborough City Centre, will top out at 6,000 to 10,000 riders per peak hour," the report says.

A second 2012 report from city planners (http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2012/cc/bgrd/CC20_1_app3_14.pdf ) also provides helpful information in evaluating the situation:

  • Population growth alone will not generate sufficient ridership to justify a [Sheppard] subway [extension]

  • Commercial office development generates 4 to 5 times more transit ridership than an equivalent amount of residential floor area

So we know that ridership is far below projections, and that employment has not increased as projected, and that employment brings more transit riders than condos and other residential development does.

What about Bloor-Danforth? That one is simpler. It's been open almost 50 years, and there are more tall buildings on Sheppard than there are on most of Bloor and Danforth (outside the core of course). I'm comfortable assuming it's below what would have been projected under similar planning approaches. Note that in this case ridership is higher due to the extensive bus feeder system, which is key throughout much of the TTC network.

So, there's some evidence and details and reading for anyone interested in discussing this stuff honestly.

I wholeheartedly support all modes of transit (bus, BRT, streetcar, LRT, subway, commuter rail) in appropriate places at appropriate times. I honestly explain the pros and cons of each when I facilitate public meetings with councillors, or when I meet with legislators in person. The 100% unpaid work I do, and the money I spend to print stuff to help make complicated topics more clear so others can decide for themselves what they prefer, is just because I kinda like this city and think it would be neat if more of it has better transit options. More options, improved transit, for more riders, sooner.

If you have any links to info or reports on these topics please feel free to point me to them. I really would love to see contradictory evidence, as the math and the facts matter more for rational transit planning than whether we build shiny thing A or shiny thing B.

if you have claims, but no links, you can hang on to those - I have plenty already.
Demands for removal of streetcars from Toronto, usually accompanied by anecdotes and/or falsehoods rather than facts, seem to originate slightly more often on the right. So I thought I'd investigate whether that made sense. Spoiler alert: no.

I wrote the following as an op-ed submission for the National Post, but since they passed on it (which I'm fine with, it's pretty wonky) I'm publishing it here.

Russell Kirk’s principles of conservatism argue for retaining Toronto’s streetcars, rather than the radical option of removal often found in some newspapers.

First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.”

Morals hold no relevance to transit mode, however a strong sense of right and wrong should encourage efficient public services. Streetcars carry as many as three or more buses.

“Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity.”

Radical change brings with it larger risk, and inefficient learning curves. Streetcars have been in Toronto (and around the world) for generations, and we have learned much about what works and what does not. We have not yet put it all into practice, due to our veneration of the car and on-street parking.

“Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription.”

Edmund Burke said the individual is foolish, but the species is wise. Over 250 cities worldwide currently use streetcar or tram systems (in mixed traffic, as opposed to modern LRT in exclusive rights-of-way), and nearly 50 of those streetcar lines began operation in the 21st century. I submit that these cities are neither outliers nor populated exclusively by fools.

“Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence.”

Popularity should give way to probable long-term consequences. Removing streetcars would mean adding more, smaller vehicles to the road; hiring more high-cost drivers and maintenance workers; removing more on-street parking for buses to access the curb lane; but do nothing to improve capacity or speed for the nearly 300,000 daily riders of TTC’s streetcar system.

“Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety.”

Reducing options and forcing square pegs into round holes is seen in conservatism as limiting. Not every purpose can be served by a small-capacity bus or a large-capacity subway, especially given the dramatic budgetary implications. We’ve seen in Toronto the time and cost risks inherent to depending on subway-building alone.

“Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability.”

There is no such thing as utopia. Arguments that streetcars bring only negatives, and removal would bring only positives, are unworthy of consideration. Every transit mode has challenges: anywhere from the TTC’s multi-year early-shutdown projects to replace subway tunnel liners and rails, Vancouver’s recent SkyTrain evacuations, and the hundreds of bus accidents each year involving fixed objects such as streetlights and hydro poles.

“Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked.”

Public transit, much like other public infrastructure, costs rather than lines the public purse, in all but the densest cities. Inefficiency through lower-capacity vehicles should be avoided to reduce required taxation and required property for storage of larger fleets.

“Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism.”

A group should not needlessly or excessively restrain an individual. Since public transit provides freedom of movement, efficient transit rather than no transit is our goal. Subways to every door are neither affordable nor possible, and buses for all would increase our collective costs through labour, capital, and travel time. Those increased costs constitute involuntary collectivism.

“Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions.”

Decisions should be made on data, evidence, and learning from mistakes, not due to angry repetition of magic words such as “subways,” “gridlock,” or “folks.”

“Tenth, the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.”

A conservative should see value in both heritage and in new ideas. Requiring only old, or only new, robs us of potential benefits from the other, and therefore radical change is to be avoided, and overall benefits should be considered. Which is to say, that streetcar in front of you is helping scores or even hundreds of your neighbours, even when it annoys a smaller number of people in personal vehicles nearby.

Cameron MacLeod co-founded CodeRedTO, which advocates for all transit modes in appropriate locations.
Yesterday, a complete stranger offered me some coffee.

I was in an apartment building half-filled with people who don't speak the same language as me, half-filled with non-citizens, and about 98%-filled with people who care way more about the World Cup than why some downtown white boy is knocking on their door.

This complete stranger doesn't speak English. She was pretty old, and I'm betting she's not a Canadian citizen (yet?), and so when I knocked on her door she couldn't help with electing my friend to council, and she couldn't even understand why my friend would make a good councillor. So I said thank you and moved to the next door.

But she stayed in her doorway, and asked if we wanted a drink. When's the last time you offered a drink to someone who knocked on your front door?


My friend Idil Burale is running for City Council in Toronto. She's super awesome, well-informed, rational, friendly, smart, and would be a wonderful asset to her neighbours and the city as a whole. If I had to pick just one new person to make a councillor, it would totally be her. (sorry Luke, Peter, Keegan, Lekan, JP, Alejandra, Saeed, Alex, Dan... just if I had to pick only one!)

I went canvassing with Idil and some other volunteers yesterday. It was amazing.


Matt Elliott keeps track of council votes, and calculates who votes with Rob Ford most. That used to be a thing we worried about, even though today our Mayor is more of a media celebrity than a vote winner. But here's the thing: even recently, some important votes have been close.

Here is a list of significant items that passed by just one vote:
2011.CD1.9	Don't condemn fed govt cuts to immigration agencies
2011.EX3.4	Cut $75,000 from the Tenant Defence Fund
2011.MM8.6	Kill the Fort York Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge
2011.MM10.9	Reject two provincially-funded public health nurses
2011.EX10.1	Consider eliminating the Hardship Fund
2011.EX13.2	Start charging charities & churches for waste collection
2013.ST11.1	Keep Adam Vaughan off the Executive Committee
2013.EX36.18	Don't exempt charities from paying waste collection fees
2013.EX37.3	Don't allow council vote separately on a general property tax increase 
		and a Scarborough subway extension levy

I list these because the current councillor for ward 1 supported every item listed above. And those decisions affected residents across the whole city.


I've never canvassed before. I've never done anything for a candidate. Other than vote, and ranting online about bad candidates, I haven't done much else. I've never joined a political party, because I disagree with too many things in every party I encounter (and truth be told I'm not good at toeing a line unless I really believe it already). I was drawn to municipal politics because of the lack of political parties, which meant I could focus on one issue but not have to consider everything else a specific councillor might support. One inch at a time seems to make sense for me.

I always assumed volunteering for a political candidate would be really hard to do. Or maybe boring. Or maybe too political, when I value being (in my mind) independent and non-partisan. Plus I've never known any personally until this year.

I've had a really busy year (sold our house, bought a new house, started the adoption process with my husband, got promoted at work, traveled to Thailand, plus other things I've forgotten already). So it's been easy to be too busy to help out. Oh, I'll retweet things that seem important, but that's not a way to effect change, it's just a way to participate in a very small circle of more-affluent, more-privileged, more-downtown friends. Slacktivism is the term some people use - pretending to have an impact because it makes us feel better.

But finally I realized that if Idil didn't win, and all I did was sit in East York posting encouragement on Twitter, I would be really unimpressed at myself. I can't spend way too much time at work and at home complaining about bad decisions by city council, but really do nothing beyond complain - that's a Rob Ford tactic! He rants and moans and complains but doesn't offer any solutions. I can't let myself do essentially the same thing. I'm lucky in that I have a pretty progressive and rational councillor, but council votes affect everyone.

So yesterday I hopped on the TTC for 90 minutes to get to the top-left-corner of Toronto. I met up with Idil and five other volunteers, and we set off into a few apartment buildings to talk about Idil and her ideas.

It was a revelation, because it was fun!

It was really nice people who care about their community, talking to other really nice residents who never get asked their opinion and love their community too! In just 30 seconds I would mention a few things Idil wants to improve in that area like transit, housing, child care, community centres, fixing potholes, and residents would not slam the door. Not yell. Not ignore. They would smile. They would engage. They would frequently agree to VOTE for her.


It was like being on a different planet.

Canvassing was fun, interesting, and it was a tangible way to have an impact on my community. I can't wait to get back to Etobicoke North to do it again, and you should come with me. The more people the less time it takes (or the greater impact we have!), and the more cool people we all get to meet.


In 2000, the current ward 1 councillor lost by 97 votes.

In 2003, the current ward 1 councillor lost by 882 votes.

In 2006, the current ward 1 councillor did not run.

In 2010, the current ward 1 councillor won by 509 votes.

Yesterday, I personally knocked on 90 doors.

What I'm saying is you can make a difference.

So come on, let's go.

Seriously, message me - I'll take you along and you'll have a buddy!
I submitted a formal complaint to the City of Toronto CFO and City Manager yesterday regarding their comments to media on the Mayor's inaccurate representation of budget changes:

10:25AM 2014-03-27

Dear Mr Rossini,

It is important that the civil service remain out of partisan political sniping, and that they provide quality advice and then implement council's wishes, regardless of personal opinions. I fear your personal opinions, or perhaps poor judgement, led to involving yourself in Toronto's mayoral election. I request that you please stop.

Mayor Ford uses large numbers, often fictitious or exaggerated, and it is important that everyone (including the Mayor and Council) sees you as an honest arbiter of *facts alone*. Your release yesterday puts that in doubt, and is doubly offensive in an election.

It is absolutely correct that there have been legitimate efficiencies and savings identified by staff this term, just as there were in the previous term - to similar degrees and amounts, as you are I hope aware. Commenting on term, and including misleading information, is really not acceptable. Just two examples:

1. Claiming that eliminating a user fee (the PVT) "saved the taxpayer $50 million" is false. It saved car owners $50 million, and while property taxes did not increase that year, TTC fares did by a significant amount, bringing similar revenue back to the city, and increased the overall cost to taxpayers.

2. Claiming both that TPS wanted even more than the increased budget they received so we saved money, and at the same time that user fees were raised $30 million (which taxpayers have to pay) so we saved money, is irrational and misleading. Both meant higher costs to city taxpayers.

I would request that you simply release detailed separate lists of actual budget changes, requested budget amounts, user fees added, and tax increases and decreases. Then candidates, elected legislators, media and the public can review all the information. I would also request that you refrain from trying to comment on large numbers stated by candidates. Trying to figure out how to comment neutrally is not working for either the CFO nor for the City Manager, and you are (accidentally I hope) misleading voters.

Please accept this complaint in the spirit intended: making the civil service stronger through greater public trust. You and your staff do good work despite honestly pretty insane council decisions at times. But it is dangerous to participate in the election, as you colour how future councillors treat your advice.

Cameron MacLeod
[phone and address removed]

Attached: City of Toronto Complaint Tracking Form

3:48PM 2014-03-27

Hi Mr. McLeod, thank you for your email and for expressing your concerns.

Let me say categorically that I have no intention nor desire to involve myself in the election or partisan political matters. I agree 100% with your statement that the civil service must remain totally unbiased.

Please allow me to clarify a few matters on what transpired yesterday.

First and foremost, the information released yesterday is not new. I just provided information to Councillors which the media have had for quite some time.

The information in the Briefing Note more specifically Appendices 1, 2 and 3 was provided to the media on Budget Launch day back on November 25, 2013. We also referred to the "Budget Savings" component in our 2014 Budget Launch presentation to Budget Committee (please see slide 11 to the link provided below.). You will note the preliminary number in the slide for 2014 has changed since November 25th from $155 million to $147 million (reported yesterday) as adjustments / changes to the budget were made during the City's approval process.


We have released various versions of the Briefing Note Appendices since November 25 most often in response to many media requests. But we had never formally provided it to Councillors. As this matter has already become an election issue, as a courtesy, I felt it was important that Councillors officially had this same information ie the Appendices, as well. So we also had to do a Briefing Note to Councillors to explain the Appendices.

I know the timing of the release of information to Councillors looks bad, but it is and was something that needed to be done. There was no partisan intentions on my part.

I understand that in your complaint you request additional information and details. We are in the process of collecting this information which may take about a week to assemble. I do want to point out that Appendix 2 of the Briefing Note does contain links which provide some source details to the various initiatives.

Thanks again for bringing your concerns to my attention.


4:07PM 2014-03-27

Dear Mr Rossini,

Thank you for your quick, detailed, and quite encouraging response.

My intent with my request was to suggest a better approach to releasing data, rather than to create a new project for your team - my apologies for any headache this may have caused. I completely understand that this would take time, and it's not my intent to create a five-alarm fire, but rather improve future documentation created by your team.

I hope that any future discussions on this can be presented in a more clear way, since by way of example, that $155M on slide 11 appears in no other location in your entire presentation. This is confusing to someone trying to learn the facts.

Would you be comfortable with this correspondence being posted online, or with portions being quoted? As I have posted online that I sent my letter, I would like to post your the full email chain if you don't mind.

Best regards,
Cameron MacLeod

4:13PM 2014-03-27

Hi Mr. McLeod, yes you can publish my response to your email. Don't worry about the extra work, others have requested similar info, so we will do it regardless.

Thx again and have a nice weekend


3:00PM 2014-03-31

Thank you for your note and submission, Mr. MacLeod.

This is to advise that upon consideration of your submission with the City Manager's Office, this complaint will be tabled as a Request for Information.

Formal complaints received on the template/form that you had filled out are treated with a different process and is reserved for customers who are dissatisfied with the service they received.

Nevertheless, we thank you for your comments and trust that the response from Mr. Rossini is satisfactory.

We will work on providing the information you requested.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Alex Mozo
Program and Strategic Support Manager
Office of the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer
City of Toronto
Groups of animals have various names - we all know herds and packs, but there are other fun ones too. A murder of crows, a colony of beavers, an intrigue of kittens, a cloud of grasshoppers. (more)

The other day, Astrid mentioned a goal that triggered something in my head.


And then we were off. First, a few obvious ones, with what may have been too layered an attempt for @gordperks. Click and drag to see my explanations in case you don't know what the hell I'm on about. That's right I said H E DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS.

  • An expensing of Perks (as in "perqs" or "perquisites" are work things that you might expense, they might be expensive, plus Gord Perks is on the side of government spending to achieve rational goals)

  • A showcase of Vaughans (as in his past on TV, and/or loving the limelight)

  • A pipe of Fords (as in you can figure this one out)

  • A ledger of Carrolls (she was budget chief under Miller, and has a very strong grasp of the numbers)

  • A contradiction of Nunziatas (she calls for decorum as Speaker but then hypocritically reacts in biased ways)

  • A fence of Matlows (popularly called a fence-sitter, but in fact he does always end up deciding and voting)

  • A reversing of Parkers (reversed the Jarvis bike lane installation sneakily without consulting with KWT, said another bike item had merit recently and then immediately voted against it, etc)

  • A rage of Mammolitis (he's not on the cool end of the behaviour spectrum)

  • A cycle of Mihevcs (cyclist - this is where we start to get weaker)

  • A silence of Grimes (I think he's the one who never talks)

  • A routing of Stintzes (just a poor TTC Chair pun)

  • A sail of de Baeremaekers (flaps in the wind as public opinion changes? maybe? this was a stretch and needs improvement)

  • An apoplexy of Minnan-Wongs (the original one from Astrid)



  • @MonicaRooney: a conspiracy of Mammolitis

  • @sharkdancing: The embarrassment of Fords

  • @dd_toronto: A klaxon of Nunziatas

  • @dmrider: A bellow of Perruzzas

  • @accozzaglia: A filibuster of Perruzzas

  • @SylvanWalks: A bluster of Perruzzas

  • @christ: A bucket of Grimes

I started to meander as well. Not just #TOcouncil.

  • A fit of Dougs (since Doug Ford has a low-level fit when challenged on literally anything)

  • A deep sigh of Byfords (I can only imagine this is his most-frequent reaction to this city)

  • A repetition of Toronto Council clerks (I was remembering the repetitive calls for votes in the chamber)

  • A stroll of Micallefs (Shawn Micallef wrote a book called Stroll)

  • A patience of BradTTCs (since any TTC job requires intense patience, especially the "explaining things to the public" role)

  • A bridging of Millers (because he cancelled the bridge to YTZ, didn't build bridges much with his political enemies, but he did build bridges with other governments and organizations)

  • A token of Robinsons - oh, that’s out of date now (formerly 1/13th of the Executive Committee)

  • A hedging of Holydays (as deputy mayor, stuck trying to reconcile reality and the Mayor)

  • A banning of Filions (source of our short-lived and surprising plastic bag ban)

Next, I was asked how I would name a group of Astrids, and that led to me to think about specific #TOpoli people. Astrid didn't agree with my first draft ("a disruption of Astrids"), and upon reflection I found a better one.

  • A study of Astrids (always educational and from whom I learned intersectional)

  • A correction of Nevilles (who won't put up with your shitty marginalization or unawareness of privilege)

  • A snark of Heathers (of course for LadySnarksALot)

  • A beard of Brads (Brad has a beard, and tweeted something about it the other day. I was getting tired.)

  • A hat of Darens (CitySlikr wore a hat last time I saw him)

  • A cigar of Paikins (Oh Rosedale Club. sigh)

  • A pun of Proskows (Jackson has been known to pun his way through the day)

My second wind found (Astrid: "A recovery of Camerons!"), I thought up a few more.

  • A transit of Munros (SteveMunro.ca is the definitive data source for Toronto transit issues)

  • A soundbite of Milczyns (I feel like he's in front of the cameras instead of in the meetings maybe a bit often)

  • A peeping of Dales (sorry Daniel - I know you were not peeping in the mayor's backyard)

  • A hinting of Goldsbies (Jon loves his blind items)

From others:

  • @jm_mcgrath: A flight of McGraths?

  • @accozzaglia: An analysis of McGraths

  • @christ: A graph of Elliotts

Then a new one came to mind that I knew was the end of my road.


A letter I sent today to Councillors Lindsay Luby, Lee, Pasternak, and Robinson of Toronto City Council.


I am a homeowner and resident of Ward 29, and I walk, bike, drive, and take transit at various times depending on where I'm going.

I bike the Jarvis bike lanes regularly (more than twice a week), and they have made the street safer for me. Not just opinion: actual stats show this. http://cycleto.ca/news/2012/09/17/fate-jarvis-street-bike-lanes-hands-city-council

I also drive Jarvis regularly (more than once a month), and I find it behaves better with four standard-size lanes rather than five unsafe lanes that suddenly end and cause congestion partway down the street.

Finally, I am concerned about wasteful spending. As you are likely aware, removing the Jarvis bike lanes and restoring the unsafe middle lane will cost over $250,000. There is no need to spend that money on making the street more dangerous.

If you are asked to reconsider the issue of Jarvis bike lanes, I'd ask that you please do so. You're on Council to make Toronto better. Removing bike lanes, making a road more dangerous, and spending a quarter-million dollars unnecessarily... these are not making our city better.

If you disagree, I would appreciate a response as to why. I have reviewed the facts and history, and to me it is clear that the council made a mistake, and should reconsider.

Cameron MacLeod
Note: this is just being posted for me in case I need it and for those poor long-suffering google searchers who can't find this solution easily as it's pretty well-hidden!

The problem: make an event in Outlook (single event or recurring), and invite people to it. Later, your synchronization app like Google Calendar Sync syncs everything up like it always does. However, the next time you want to modify that meeting (like add another person, or cancel it) you can't, because Outlook no longer believes you're the owner!

Note: THE FIXES BELOW ARE NOT MY CODE. DON'T ASK ME HOW TO CHANGE IT PLEASE. I don't know VBA. This is just to help you get a head start if you need it, and for my own reference.

The fix!Collapse )