Two reasons to love the Toronto Star
(Registration may be required to access these features, go to www.thestar.ca.)
1. Urban Design columnist Christopher Hume, who writes really good articles, 3-4 times/week.
"No rest for weary at this bus stop"
2. The Fixer column, where the paper documents public space and other problems, runs a photograph, lists who's responsible, and tracks the response.
Here's the article from today:
"When the transit shelter on the west side of Pape Ave., north of Gamble Ave., was removed after being trashed about a year ago, TTC riders were forced out into the cold and onto a wooden bench on the sidewalk to wait for the southbound No. 72 bus.
With the shelter history, vandals soon turned their attention to the once sturdy wood and iron bench in front of the busy Food Basics grocery store. Over the past year, they've been removing the slats on the seat. Half are now missing. It means sitting on the bench is a real balancing act because two of the slats have been ripped off the left side of the seat and three off the right. Those who dare perch precariously on the very end of the seat. One false move and they could find their bottoms stuck in the gap.
"There's no bus shelter and now there's no bench because you really can't sit on it," local resident Marie Chambers complained. Many seniors, including herself, use the bench to take a breather after walking to the stop from their homes or waiting for the bus laden with grocery bags. They want it fixed.
"Of course, we'd like our bus shelter back. I don't think that will happen, " Chambers said, adding on rainy days, transit users can be heard lamenting its loss. "But the bench definitely needs to be repaired."
STATUS: We contacted Steve Johnston, senior communications co-ordinator at Toronto City Hall. After speaking with the manager of road operations he confirmed staff will be dispatched to Pape Ave. today to take a look at the bench and determine if it belongs to the city or was installed by the local Business Improvement Area. "We don't know if it's ours," Johnston said, promising to report back in a day or two."
3. (Bonus) They have a good daily e-newsletter highlighting the day's coverage in most every section.