News   Jul 19, 2024
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Street Lighting

Of course,, the Staff Report really did not answer these questions but the committee is clearly aware of the issues and will, I am told, be following up.
Thank god, that's a relief! I'm looking forward to that.
though Hydro refused to tell us what they cost
How bad can they get? This is an agency owned by the city and they should be accountable to the city!
Of course, there will always need to be tall-pole lights and the Acorns (which have been a Toronto standard for decades) ARE being replaced because, apparently, are no longer being made.
We obviously need tall-pole lights. With that being said, I was hoping we could get something a little better than the utilitarian options. It doesn't have to be extremely ornate, just something that looks good as a city-wide standard. Personally, I've always thought that the Cobra lights (invented in New York City) are pretty ugly and I'm sad that most of the modern world has copied this design.
THSL have been working on a new 'palette' of street lighting that meets 2021 (or 2022?) standards, are readily available and cost effective.
Isn't that just the standard LED light that is currently getting rolled out? To be clear, I like LEDs and they have many benefits... but their current LED rollout is basically a utilitarian equivalent to the cobras.
My initial involvement in street lighting was about 10 years ago
Respect
How many styles are 'enough'?
I'm guessing it depends on what lights you're buying. If they're custom-made (many of which are but still aren't very pretty), then it's going to cost a lot of money. If you get off the shelf products, then it's easier. Since procurement and funding are a problem, then we could just have a few styles... albeit ones that are high-quality. On the other hand, European cities like Paris have been able to maintain many different street lights... although I'm not sure how.
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I'm very happy to hear that the committee is still gonna look at new lighting options. In my opinion, the acorn street lights are iconic and have a nice shape to them... but can serve as inspiration for a future design since they're outdated and pretty no-frills. I also like the lights on St. Clair and especially those on the waterfront, but I'm open to anything so long as it makes our city look better and reflects its diverse urban landscape. Thank you for informing me about this - I care about it tremendously.

... The Heritage Lighting Master Plan was an interesting read. I'm surprised that it was Donald Deskey, the one behind the Crest toothpaste design, who invented the modern cobra street light. God I hate modernists.
 
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Thank god, that's a relief! I'm looking forward to that.

How bad can they get? This is an agency owned by the city and they should be accountable to the city!

We obviously need tall-pole lights. With that being said, I was hoping we could get something a little better than the utilitarian options. It doesn't have to be extremely ornate, just something that looks good as a city-wide standard. Personally, I've always thought that the Cobra lights (invented in New York City) are pretty ugly and I'm sad that most of the modern world has copied this design.

Isn't that just the standard LED light that is currently getting rolled out? To be clear, I like LEDs and they have many benefits... but their current LED rollout is basically a utilitarian equivalent to the cobras.

Respect

I'm guessing it depends on what lights you're buying. If they're custom-made (many of which are but still aren't very pretty), then it's going to cost a lot of money. If you get off the shelf products, then it's easier. Since procurement and funding are a problem, then we could just have a few styles... albeit ones that are high-quality. On the other hand, European cities like Paris have been able to maintain many different street lights... although I'm not sure how.
-----
I'm very happy to hear that the committee is still gonna look at new lighting options. In my opinion, the acorn street lights are iconic and have a nice shape to them... but can serve as inspiration for a future design since they're outdated and pretty no-frills. I also like the lights on St. Clair and especially those on the waterfront, but I'm open to anything so long as it makes our city look better and reflects its diverse urban landscape. Thank you for informing me about this - I care about it tremendously.

... The Heritage Lighting Master Plan was an interesting read. I'm surprised that it was Donald Deskey, the one behind the Crest toothpaste design, who invented the modern cobra street light. God I hate modernists.
I may be too jaded and cynical but, if I were you, I would not be too optimistic. The THSL argument is always that their streetlighting side cannot be subsidised by their regulated electricity supply side and has to be self-suporting. The City could have hand-crafted gold lamp standards if the City paid more and the light levels on the streets met provincial safety standards. As we all know , the City is not prepared to spend money on frivolity (except when it means suburbanites can get downtown and home again a bit faster!) More aesthetic streetlights or streetscapes in general are seen as frills by many. Some Councillors are trying to get more details of exactly what the City contract with THSL says and are trying to improve it but .....
 
I may be too jaded and cynical but, if I were you, I would not be too optimistic. The THSL argument is always that their streetlighting side cannot be subsidised by their regulated electricity supply side and has to be self-suporting. The City could have hand-crafted gold lamp standards if the City paid more and the light levels on the streets met provincial safety standards. As we all know , the City is not prepared to spend money on frivolity (except when it means suburbanites can get downtown and home again a bit faster!) More aesthetic streetlights or streetscapes in general are seen as frills by many. Some Councillors are trying to get more details of exactly what the City contract with THSL says and are trying to improve it but .....

@daniel_kryz and others should not be dissuaded from having faith in you! That you can and you will make THSL change whether they want to or not; even if takes another decade! LOL

Go get'em!
 
@daniel_kryz and others should not be dissuaded from having faith in you! That you can and you will make THSL change whether they want to or not; even if takes another decade! LOL

Go get'em!
I am not sure it is THSL that needs to change the most. The City needs to put a higher priority AND MONEY into civic design! We will see if things change and no doubt many of us will keep pushing!
 
@daniel_kryz and @DSC

I found yet another example of street light madness!

As I was wrapping up my walk around Midtown yesterday, heading down Yonge approaching the subway, I saw this:

1641855375484.png


Note that you can see the BIA's standard fixture one pole down and across the street, but somehow this (one of two) poles ended up with a non-conforming Cobra-head.

These were re-done, because the streetscape was rebuilt in front of a condo development.

The plan, in theory, had to be compliant with the BIA design for the area; and from shovels in the ground, to the finishing work Hydro/the developer had well over 2 years to order the correct fixtures......
 
The plan, in theory, had to be compliant with the BIA design for the area; and from shovels in the ground, to the finishing work Hydro/the developer had well over 2 years to order the correct fixtures......
Do you know what development this is? It'd be interesting to ask the planner responsible for this application why the Landscape and Lighting Plans weren't followed.
Note that you can see the BIA's standard fixture one pole down and across the street, but somehow this (one of two) poles ended up with a non-conforming Cobra-head.
Thanks for sharing this. It's so frustrating that many streets have a messy collection of different lighting styles without any coordination. We need a comprehensive lighting & public realm approach to this city but it isn't being discussed as part of the Official Plan Update. We also need real enforcement by the Toronto Building department, which approves building permits but often allows changes to site plans after planning approval, and we need to deal with Toronto Hydro.
 
Do you know what development this is? It'd be interesting to ask the planner responsible for this application why the Landscape and Lighting Plans weren't followed.

1641856393090.png


That's Whitehaus:


I can't speak to whether the landscape plan properly identified the lighting type, as the supporting documents are no longer available in the AIC.

I'll add, to my understanding, the planner who worked on this file is now studying for her MBA at Yale. (left the City in Sept '21)

Assuming I have my names right, maybe talk to Alex Teixeira, he's the Community Planning Manager for that area, last I heard. I believe his current contact info is: 392-0459 Alex.Teixeira@toronto.ca

Thanks for sharing this. It's so frustrating that many streets have a messy collection of different lighting styles without any coordination. We need a comprehensive lighting & public realm approach to this city but it isn't being discussed as part of the Official Plan Update. We also need real enforcement by the Toronto Building department, which approves building permits but often allows changes to site plans after planning approval, and we need to deal with Toronto Hydro.

You're Welcome.

and I agree.
 
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@daniel_kryz and @DSC

I found yet another example of street light madness!

As I was wrapping up my walk around Midtown yesterday, heading down Yonge approaching the subway, I saw this:

View attachment 374157

Note that you can see the BIA's standard fixture one pole down and across the street, but somehow this (one of two) poles ended up with a non-conforming Cobra-head.

These were re-done, because the streetscape was rebuilt in front of a condo development.

The plan, in theory, had to be compliant with the BIA design for the area; and from shovels in the ground, to the finishing work Hydro/the developer had well over 2 years to order the correct fixtures......
Not to throw cold water on anything/one, the problem is that the developer could have ordered any fixture they wanted but THSL would probably have refused to put them up (or allow them to be put up) without a lifetime guarantee that they would be maintained/replaced and supported. As noted in other posts, THSL says that, under their contract with the City, they are only paid to light streets and sidewalks to Provincial standards and will do so with their standard lights/poles and luminaires as they cannot maintain non-approved fixtures nor maintain an inventory of the 60+ styles that the City has installed over the years. Talking to Alex Teixeira (nice guy though he is) will not help as I bet there was nothing in the site plan about lighting types (there VERY seldom is) and as Planners move around with amazing frequency the idea of a Planner seeing something through from Day 1 to completion is very seldom realised. Of course, this is NOT how things should be done and Urban Design (part of City Planning) should be involved in street-lighting design and standards but ....
 
Not to throw cold water on anything/one, the problem is that the developer could have ordered any fixture they wanted but THSL would probably have refused to put them up (or allow them to be put up) without a lifetime guarantee that they would be maintained/replaced and supported. As noted in other posts, THSL says that, under their contract with the City, they are only paid to light streets and sidewalks to Provincial standards and will do so with their standard lights/poles and luminaires as they cannot maintain non-approved fixtures nor maintain an inventory of the 60+ styles that the City has installed over the years. Talking to Alex Teixeira (nice guy though he is) will not help as I bet there was nothing in the site plan about lighting types (there VERY seldom is) and as Planners move around with amazing frequency the idea of a Planner seeing something through from Day 1 to completion is very seldom realised. Of course, this is NOT how things should be done and Urban Design (part of City Planning) should be involved in street-lighting design and standards but ....

You got me thinking.......................

What was there before the construction?

Well, Streetview has archival photos................hmmm

1641860107123.png


The year of the image above, is 2015...........they already had the light fixtures and brackets.

All they had to do was take them down and store them, then put them back up!!

****

To the balance of your commentary I would only offer this; you've been a champion of streetlighting in St. Lawrence, to your credit.

KWT has been responsive.

Your results, thus far, don't suggest that talking to Alex is a bad idea; only that one might add the local Councillor to the list; Councillor Collee may be of value.

Its quite right that nagging for local change is not the ideal way to go about this; but its an interim step to the proper solution.
 
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@DSC would appear to have had a material effect on the Transportation budget ; A tip o' the hat!

Under 'New and Enhanced services'


1642170389633.png
 
@DSC would appear to have had a material effect on the Transportation budget ; A tip o' the hat!

Under 'New and Enhanced services'


View attachment 374747

To follow up the new pedestrian-lighting operating budget.......

There is also a capital budget line for pedestrian-scale streetlighting.

Though, oddly, only in 2023 - $800,000

1642523509301.png


The first blank spot is 2022, the others are all the remaining years through 2031.

I think I'm encouraged that they plan to spend some money addressing the issue; and amused that they have opted not to put future years in yet.

My guess is that they are waiting for the formal assessment from their new staff as to what needs to be spent before displacing/deferring anything else to make room.
 
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