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Shabby Public Realm

Northern Light

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I'm not quite certain that this belongs here or a different thread but IMO it certainly falls under the category of "shabby repair." Who to contact about the increasingly common practice of replacing the hydro poles with fresh ones, but then putting these new poles in WORSE positioning than the previous one? The sidewalks already seem too narrow/not a modern width and now it's even more hostile to walk here than usual. Who does this job and thinks "Yeah, this'll do!"

This is on west sidewalk of Dundas on the curve that's north of Bloor and happened sometime in the last week. I'd say it's less than a metre wide now.

- People are getting bigger
- Strollers are getting wider
- Winter snow shovelling is poorly done
- And of course...an accessibility nightmare

View attachment 442773

The Irony, if that's the word here, is that if Hydro, a City agency had to get permits from Toronto Buildings, for pole placement, they would be refused.

Buildings lets somethings go that it should not.

But they are quite rightly officious about where one places things in the ROW.

So a developer that submitted plans showing a pole placed like this would get a hard no; but Toronto Hydro slips by, because they don't run their work plan by Buildings.
 
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Admiral Beez

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I’ve just returned from a week in/on Manhattan, where we saw two musicals (Hadestown and Six) and stayed at the Hotel Edison, just off Times Square. It’s been about eight years since I was last in Manhattan and I have to say, compared to downtown Toronto, Manhattan’s public realm is nicely improved. There’s apparently a big problem with rats, but I didn’t see any. For starters, traveling across Manhattan on foot and subways, I saw almost no visibly homeless and zero panhandlers and no encampments in any parks. Next, I saw staff in most subway stations mopping up and cleaning, plus there were NYPD officers everywhere on transit and around the city. Unlike in Toronto where we almost never see a police officer out of their car or off their bike unless they’re on paid duty, in Manhattan I saw police on foot everywhere. I came across three mentally ill guys over the week, one lying on the floor in a drugstore, another harmlessly muttering to himself on a subway platform, and another staring into a store window scratching at the glass - none of this trio presented anything worrying. When we left the two musicals we were surprised by the lack of panhandlers that always appear when a Toronto theatrical production lets out. The city felt safe.

How does Manhattan do it? Why are there no homeless encampments in Central Park, or homeless shanties and squats in abandoned storefronts and laneways, or panhandlers outside of subway stations or theatres like we have in downtown Toronto? Has Manhattan just pushed all the homeless, mentally ill, addicted and panhandlers off the island into Queens or Brooklyn? What does Manhattan do that downtown Toronto could do? When I walk through Allan Gardens with tents and mess everywhere I think to myself, I want nice parks too. How does Manhattan do it?
 

JasonParis

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I was in Chicago for a week in November and it was much the same. Now, I say this with a pretty massive caveat that there are parts of Chicago that few would ever go (and which are far worse than NYC or Toronto), but at least in The Loop, River North, etc. it was exceptionally clean and with comparatively fewer examples of obviously mentally ill people roaming the streets. The CTA was definitely dirtier than the TTC though, although with fewer vagrants, but still some.

As cities, we allocate our resources differently, and for good or bad, American cities often focus more on tourist-heavy and business-type districts, but it's not by any means a suggestion that Toronto can't do better either. The amount of garbage blowing around Dundas Square and caked into the tiles is one such example. I literally never see anyone cleaning it, whereas in Time's Square there is a dedicated crew consistently cleaning the square.
 
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Northern Light

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I’ve just returned from a week in/on Manhattan, where we saw two musicals (Hadestown and Six) and stayed at the Hotel Edison, just off Times Square. It’s been about eight years since I was last in Manhattan and I have to say, compared to downtown Toronto, Manhattan’s public realm is nicely improved. There’s apparently a big problem with rats, but I didn’t see any. For starters, traveling across Manhattan on foot and subways, I saw almost no visibly homeless and zero panhandlers and no encampments in any parks. Next, I saw staff in most subway stations mopping up and cleaning, plus there were NYPD officers everywhere on transit and around the city. Unlike in Toronto where we almost never see a police officer out of their car or off their bike unless they’re on paid duty, in Manhattan I saw police on foot everywhere. I came across three mentally ill guys over the week, one lying on the floor in a drugstore, another harmlessly muttering to himself on a subway platform, and another staring into a store window scratching at the glass - none of this trio presented anything worrying. When we left the two musicals we were surprised by the lack of panhandlers that always appear when a Toronto theatrical production lets out. The city felt safe.

How does Manhattan do it? Why are there no homeless encampments in Central Park, or homeless shanties and squats in abandoned storefronts and laneways, or panhandlers outside of subway stations or theatres like we have in downtown Toronto? Has Manhattan just pushed all the homeless, mentally ill, addicted and panhandlers off the island into Queens or Brooklyn? What does Manhattan do that downtown Toronto could do? When I walk through Allan Gardens with tents and mess everywhere I think to myself, I want nice parks too. How does Manhattan do it?

Your answer isn't hard to find:

 
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Admiral Beez

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I’m beginning to feel paranoid, thinking that there are random crazies among us complacent “normies“, waiting to violently strike at random. I worry most for children, smaller females and the elderly. Insane or not, the violent EDP seemingly target those who they hold physical power over.
 
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yrt+viva=1system

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So this is an honest question. What is causing this uptick in attacks, harassment, the mentally unstable and homeless to flood the TTC system? I definitely have noticed an uptick in the number of unstable and homeless in the system since October. It has significantly gotten much worse December and now. Is the shelter system at full capacity? Where were they staying before?

Something of peculiar I have noticed are Sundays seems to have far great disruptions on the TTC by unruly people. But why? Do homeless shelters lock the doors and dump people? Finch station is a good example, Sundays there are at least a dozen homeless people sleeping in the station which I gather is due to being unable to get to the giant Willowdale homeless centre.
 

PinkLucy

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So this is an honest question. What is causing this uptick in attacks, harassment, the mentally unstable and homeless to flood the TTC system? I definitely have noticed an uptick in the number of unstable and homeless in the system since October. It has significantly gotten much worse December and now. Is the shelter system at full capacity? Where were they staying before?

Something of peculiar I have noticed are Sundays seems to have far great disruptions on the TTC by unruly people. But why? Do homeless shelters lock the doors and dump people? Finch station is a good example, Sundays there are at least a dozen homeless people sleeping in the station which I gather is due to being unable to get to the giant Willowdale homeless centre.
I don't know, but there was a stabbing on a streetcar today
 

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