News   Jul 17, 2024
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John Street Revitalization

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They finally decided to paint lines while we wait for this ‘revitalization’. Literally been years of just lawlessness.

Maybe next year they’ll get to north of Adelaide.
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Montreal seems to push out 1-2 of these street rebuild projects every year, while Toronto has been sitting on the first major street revitalization since 2007. What gives? I can't imagine Montreal having substantially better finances than Toronto (in terms of tax base). Land values are much lower there. Toronto is in budget shortfall while Montreal has many pedestrian-oriented capital projects on the go. Is the city of Toronto just wildly inefficient in spending money compared to Montreal?
 
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Montreal seems to push out 1-2 of these street rebuild projects every year, while Toronto has been sitting on the first major street revitalization since 2007. What gives? I can't imagine Montreal having substantially better finances than Toronto (in terms of tax base). Land values are much lower there. Toronto is in budget shortfall while Montreal has many pedestrian-oriented capital projects on the go. Is the city of Toronto just wildly inefficient in spending money compared to Montreal?

While the pace of work, is, at times frustrating, Toronto actually has done several projects.

Queen's Quay had a huge overhaul, so did Bloor (the all granite sidewalks); Market Street, Wellington (east and west), many eons ago now, but St George Street etc etc.

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A quick look at some of the projects currently approved, but which have not yet gone ahead.......

Yonge - downtown
Yonge - North York
John
Bay - Waterfront to Union
UTSC - Military Trail

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Here's what we can say, I think.

1) Montreal has a public utility commission that controls all the underground stuff; this really simplifies coordination.

2) Montreal has been more aggressive w/pilot projects; Toronto did do a bit of this during Covid, which is what led to the Danforth/Bloor and Yonge midtown bike lanes; but we haven't done it much before Covid or since.

3) Toronto is more dependent on development charges than Montreal for capital improvements, these are often paid at time of issuing the first building permits for a proposal. Think of Jack Layton Ferry terminal which has commitments as part of 'The Hub' and 11 Bay, neither of which are going forward currently. The City is loathe to push a project ahead that it thinks can be paid for by charges, but if it uses the latter must wait for the money to flow.

4) Toronto is simply behind in the cycle vs Montreal on some of this stuff; and therefore faces a bit more public opposition (see Kensington)

5) Finally, I would add there really is a lot of internecine fighting in the Toronto bureaucracy. There are lots of good people, trying to do lots of good things and succeeding sometimes. But there are also a lot of obstructive forces, not just in completely different units (say Transportation, Planning, and Parks) but within those same units.

I think it would be naive to assume some of this doesn't exist in some measure in almost every bureaucracy of size. I can't speak intelligently as to how much of an issue this is in Montreal, but I can say, the issue seems out-sized to me in Toronto.

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Looking at the above by the way.......

Yonge Downtown was supposed to start this year, originally, but was pushed out as various agencies weren't ready

Yonge North York was aiming for 2026, not sure if that's still true, but it has to wait for the ring road projects to finish.

John should happen next year.

Bay is tied to the Waterfront East LRT

UTSC is tied to projects led by the University, who will be covering much of the cost of the work.
 
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Capital Budget:

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Substantially deferred for another year with only 1M flowing in 2024 on the left.

More money in 2025, then real money in each of 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029

What a bizarre way to manage a project and cause it to be more costly than would otherwise be the case if you staged and built in one year only.
 
Capital Budget:

View attachment 532740

Substantially deferred for another year with only 1M flowing in 2024 on the left.

More money in 2025, then real money in each of 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029

What a bizarre way to manage a project and cause it to be more costly than would otherwise be the case if you staged and built in one year only.
Thanks. But I am unclear as to why a repaving and decorative brick/streetlights takes so many years?
 
Because the city doesn’t care and pushes these projects out. They like announcing projects but not implementing. When is the King St proper makeover supposed to happen? Right , never as it’s not funded. So the King Pilot remains as a pilot for almost a decade. Sad.
 
Capital Budget:

View attachment 532740

Substantially deferred for another year with only 1M flowing in 2024 on the left.

More money in 2025, then real money in each of 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029

What a bizarre way to manage a project and cause it to be more costly than would otherwise be the case if you staged and built in one year only.

I have to say the scheduling of this project is embarrassing.

The City has let John Street decay since 2012. Detailed design has been finished since 2016. I realize Toronto Hydro took its sweet time from 2018-2022 to do work, but this project should have been ready to go as of January, 2023.

As it is, John Street is a mess. The roadway is potholed and missing lane markings. The sidewalk, particularly between Adelaide and Queen, is a patchy deathtrap.

I'm also keen to know how it costs ~$58 million over six years to rebuild less than 1km of roadway. I certainly hope there are maintenance or programming costs included in this amount.
 
I think the city is just waiting for John Street to completely crumble apart with a nice big sinkhole before they finally spring into action.

Until then we can sit back and count how many people will sue the city over at lawsuit lane with how horrid the conditions are here. If one wants to make a quick buck, just walk or drive along John and that should do the trick.
 
I'm looking at the way the money is parceled and it suggests doing more or less 1-2 blocks per year. (125M) at an average cost of ~13M per section.

That's over 100M per km.
 
Thank you as this was the sort of answer that I was looking for!

YW, let me add to what I'm saying.........in answer to your originally query.

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This way of managing the project makes no sense to me at all; and there is no reason it should be delivered in this manner that I can think of.
 

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