News   Jan 19, 2021
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Waterfront Transit Reset Phase 1 Study

How should Toronto connect the East and West arms of the planned waterfront transit with downtown?

  • Expand the existing Union loop

    Votes: 145 72.5%
  • Build a Western terminus

    Votes: 8 4.0%
  • Route service along Queen's Quay with pedestrian/cycle/bus connection to Union

    Votes: 23 11.5%
  • Connect using existing Queen's Quay/Union Loop and via King Street

    Votes: 10 5.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 14 7.0%

  • Total voters
    200

steveintoronto

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Steve remember we were discussing ferries from St.Cat/Hamilton to downtown...
You just beat me to bringing that up again!

Yeahhhh....what twigged me on Paul's link was that it's an established operator looking at an extension of present operations, not some starry-eyed upstart.

If this goes well, I'd say it has the basis of doing a cross-lake/along the lake edge operation. One of the things that would ostensibly put the kibosh on this, is that all-day two-way train to Niagara, ain't gonna happen anytime soon, even Hamilton alone is now looking problematic.

This is very interesting...
 
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steveintoronto

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The TTC's non-compete clause should throw coldwater on that plan. Between the 66B, 145 and the planned Park Lawn GO Station; things are, or will soon be as such that living in HBS and getting downtown should be a cakewalk. Other areas have it far worse.
This will be private, not TTC, and further still, marine law is not under Provincial regulation. If there was a clause as you describe, it would have to be challenged in a federal court. I don't think it would get that far.

Plus at this point in time, for the TTC to follow a 'gentleman's agreement' with the Province would be like kissing your henchman.
 

toaster29

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The TTC's non-compete clause should throw coldwater on that plan. Between the 66B, 145 and the planned Park Lawn GO Station; things are, or will soon be as such that living in HBS and getting downtown should be a cakewalk. Other areas have it far worse.

I don't know any areas as dense as this one that don't have direct access to rapid transit. I also don't know of any other areas within the same distance to downtown that take 1h+ to move only 10km. I'd curious to hear about what other areas you are referencing that not only have it worse, but "far worse" as you mention.
 

dowlingm

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This will be private, not TTC, and further still, marine law is not under Provincial regulation. If there was a clause as you describe, it would have to be challenged in a federal court. I don't think it would get that far.

Plus at this point in time, for the TTC to follow a 'gentleman's agreement' with the Province would be like kissing your henchman.
If water taxis can be regulated by the City, a ferry between two points in the City isn't a stretch to fall under s.395(1) of the COTA. That said, I'm having trouble imagining the Commission doing anything other than reach a 395(4) agreement and standing back to watch what happens.
 

steveintoronto

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If water taxis can be regulated by the City, a ferry between two points in the City isn't a stretch to fall under s.395(1) of the COTA. That said, I'm having trouble imagining the Commission doing anything other than reach a 395(4) agreement and standing back to watch what happens.
Licensing and regulation are separate:
Water taxis are licensed like land based taxis, and are also regulated by boating regulations. ... All certifications are issued by Transport Canada, except for Industry Canada who issues the VHF radio license.
Toronto water taxi - Wikipedia
Information for Passengers
What is a passenger vessel?
A passenger vessel is any vessel that carries at least one passenger. A passenger is generally anyone who pays for a trip on a vessel.

Does this include activities like sightseeing, water taxis, ferries, and harbour cruises?
Yes. It includes all vessels receiving payment from passengers.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-small-vessels-faq-inspections-446.htm

The "Otter Guy's" info, if correct, makes City co-operation appear to be a foregone acceptance:
[...]
Naturally for this service to materialize, we will need the support of several groups starting with the residents of Humber Bay. TOGI has been in detailed discussions with the local councillor (Mark Grimes) as well as the City of Toronto Parks department about our desire to provide our water borne transportation service. The response was straight forward in that, if enough support from the community exists and all of the environmental concerns were met, the City would be happy to assist us in establishing the very first Humber Bay/Yonge St. ferry service.
[...]
https://www.facebook.com/groups/HumberBayShores/permalink/2194856300825649/?__tn__=CH-R

That was Paul's link, and what changed my mind completely on what I initially dismissed as wishful thinking.

First off: Kudos to TOGI for being astute and entrepreneurial. It appears that he's taking all the risk, is already established, knows how to do this...and I not only wish him well, I wish to see his business flourish, and frankly, I think he deserves a contract from the City to do it to reduce unknown or unforeseen risks. Obviously the City sees the advantage in this. In lieu of building the planned streetcar extensions, this could be a bargain, and again, I normally would have thought "this is going to be too slow" but as pointed out by another poster, it's an hour+ on TTC!

This really is a GO failing, but there could/should be a book written on that. And will be...

Edit: And a further note on the latter point: Just as Metrolinx believes (albeit they might be in for a shock with ridership diving again) that UPX riders are willing to pay a premium for commuter service virtually direct to downtown above the GO rate, so same will apply to this. If the City does enter into an agreement with TOGI, the template of 'premiership' has already been set by QP.

And further to the City's issuing of a licence, and the Feds regulating operation under various Acts...ha ha! QP is left out to drift, up a creek with no clue how to anchor, let alone row. Such a pity...

The legislation doesn't exactly align to Toronto, but QP being out of the picture makes it a lot closer than it might otherwise be:
London River Services Limited is a division of Transport for London (TfL), which manages passenger transport—leisure-oriented tourist services and commuter services—on the River Thames in London.

It does not own or operate any boats but licenses the services of operators.[1]

[...]

The decision to revive London's river service network moved forward in 1997 with the launch of “Thames 2000”, a £21-million project (£38 million today) to regenerate the River Thames in time for the Millennium Celebrations and create new passenger transport services on the Thames. While the service is not as extensive as those of Hong Kong or Sydney, it has been growing: in 2007, more than 0.7 million commuters travelled by river on the Thames Clippers service, one of the numerous operators on the system;[2] in 2013 the Thames Clippers service had grown to 3.3 million, as it had become more integrated into the tube and bus ticketing network;[3] in 2014 their figure was 3.8 million;[3] in 2015 it was forecasted that their ridership would increase to 4.3 million by 2016, supported by the addition of new Clipper boats.[3] By 2018, there were 21 different operators carrying daily commuter, leisure, charter, or sightseeing passengers to various combinations of the 33 piers on the system.
[...]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_River_Services

And one has to wonder: (Not a great reference, but suffice to make the point)
TTC wants to take control of the Toronto Island ferries - blogTO
 
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thettctransitfanatic

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What's wrong with a proposal of a ferry from HBS to Yonge Street? It could get people downtown in half the time, that is, if the TTC doesn't find a way (assuming this ferry idea actually happens and TTC owns it not the City), to short turn. No that just sound so ridiculous
 

crs1026

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What's wrong with a proposal of a ferry from HBS to Yonge Street? It could get people downtown in half the time, that is, if the TTC doesn't find a way (assuming this ferry idea actually happens and TTC owns it not the City), to short turn. No that just sound so ridiculous

Nothing is wrong with it. It’s an excellent idea, albeit with pitfalls. What remains to be seen is whether demand will sustain it as a transit service.

Personally, I can’t imagine the City standing in its way, and even if TTC felt their interests were being harmed I suspect Council would overrule. The local councillor will bend heaven and earth to make this happen, as he is the most culpable figure when people ask how Humber Bay got so dense without having proper services built..... anything he can point to that he can take credit for as mitigation for that is very valuable. He may have just had the Park Lawn GO cancelled, and he has too many owies to Ford Nation to be able to protest loudly over that. And sorry, 66B/145 are just not proper transit for such a dense development.

The practical concerns I would have are a) winter b) last mile, especially at the Humber Bay end....the dock may be an unmarketable distance from the doorstep for many residents who drive or take TTC today. Will there be transfer privileges with TTC ? and c) will demand sustain a fairly hefty operating budget - the safety aspects of water transit are not cheap, and this will attract inspection. Are TPS/TFS on board with potential lifesaving scenarios outside the inner harbour? (And are insurers content if the city’s only fireboat is stationed downtown?)

Note that the service is being proposed as rush hour weekdays and weekends only. A waterfront ride to Humber Bay on weekends is a sure fire winner for walkers and cyclists. The boat will be available evenings for the charter trade. My theory is that the ferry propsal is just a tool to help Mr Otter finance the new boat that he has already purchased.... it doesn’t have to be sustainable on its own, it just has to provide incremental revenue for a boat that would otherwise be moored at commuting hours.

Also note that Mr Otter has his toe in the island ferry business. I seem to recall that the city ferries are in need of replacement. Maybe this guy sees a business opportunity if he can transition from small boat/taxi level haulage to big boat/big haul traffic to the islands. It’s a lot easier/cheaper to park at Humber Bay on weekends than to drive downtown to take the city ferry. So maybe there is a win-win here that could lead all the way to privatising the island ferry service to the existing taxi operators, with service to Humber Bay and maybe east to Scarborough. And think about how water service to a redeveloped Ontario Place might factor into that.

I’m a five minute bike ride from Humber Bay, and a ferry to downtown and the Island would be wonderful for recreational uses. I could see coming home from evening events too. So I’m all for it. But as an alternative to 66B? I still wonder about winter.

- Paul
 
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steveintoronto

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Up at CITY News website:
Ferry service proposed between Humber Bay Shores and Yonge Street
BY NEWS STAFFPOSTED MAY 20, 2019 11:11 AM EDT LAST UPDATED MAY 20, 2019 AT 11:30 AM EDT
LOCAL
186649


The proposed ferry route between Humber Bay Shores and the Yonge Street taxi terminal. FACEBOOK/Humber Bay Shores Discussion

A private water taxi company is floating the idea of bringing a ferry service to Humber Bay Shores that would take commuters from the area to downtown Toronto during rush hour.

The Otter Guy Inc. is holding a public meeting in order to judge public interest in the new route.

The ferry would run six trips per day between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday from Humber Bay Shores to the Yonge Street taxi terminal. There would also be ferries on the weekend to provide service to the Toronto Islands.

The company said they have purchased an electric, 200-passenger high-speed catamaran that intends to address global warming, pollution and the transit issues in Humber Bay Shores.

President Alex Nosal said the boat will take four months to build, but they are waiting until they have full support from the city as the company would need a lease for the dock at Humber Bay.

Nosal adds they have been in contact with Councillor Mark Grimes and the Parks department and were told if sufficient support from the community exists, the city would be happy to assist in setting up the proposed service.

The town hall meeting is being held at the Polish Alliance hall at 2282 Lake Shore Blvd W. at 7 p.m. on May 30.

Toronto has worked in the past in an attempt to provide better transit service to rapidly growing area of Humber Bay Shores, including introducing a shuttle to the Mimico GO station last summer.

Story has a history:

Humber Bay Shores residents embrace water taxi proposal to downtown
Condo residents eager for options amid traffic gridlock
NEWS AUG 30, 2018 BY TAMARA SHEPHARD TORONTO.COM
[...]
https://www.toronto.com/news-story/...ents-embrace-water-taxi-proposal-to-downtown/

And:
A who’s who of Toronto water taxis (Toronto Life)
BY CHRIS DART | AUGUST 26, 2016
[...]
The pickup: Queen’s Quay, just east of the ferry terminal
Cost: $10 per person
Operator: Alex Nosal

The sales pitch: “I grew up on the island, so I’ve always been around boats and the water. Each boat is named after an Otter. We have Otter Nonsense, Otter Space, Otter Limits, Otter Motive. We’re the only water taxi company that’s unionized. All our boats have deckhands. They can help people on and off the boat, and it’s an extra set of eyes. We want to establish a ferry service to Humber Bay, so that people can avoid driving or TTC.”
[...]
https://torontolife.com/city/life/toronto-water-taxi-guide/

That $10 figure might apply each direction, just to get a rough idea of how much this would cost.

Comments?
 
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crs1026

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^Don’t know whether that map is official - but a docking point west of the breakwaters would have little marketability to all but the most westerly condo buildings.

- Paul
 

steveintoronto

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^
Edit: Been staring at the Google satellite map https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Hu...2b64bd1f80113f!8m2!3d43.6187648!4d-79.4811711

for some time, and I'm struck by how a dock needs to be on the east side of the Creek and the park, and a prime spot (all aesthetic considerations besides) is at the foot of Palace Pier Cr, and a floating dock extended into the Lake. Oh boy, that'll get hackles up, but it will have to be served by a shuttle bus service that does a loop around the Humber Shores, and the now wasted Christie's site used for at least temporary parking, with the shuttle calling there too.

The proposed site is too far west, wastes transit time and will be more of a challenge to navigate.
 

44 North

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Nothing is wrong with it. It’s an excellent idea, albeit with pitfalls. What remains to be seen is whether demand will sustain it as a transit service.

Personally, I can’t imagine the City standing in its way, and even if TTC felt their interests were being harmed I suspect Council would overrule. The local councillor will bend heaven and earth to make this happen, as he is the most culpable figure when people ask how Humber Bay got so dense without having proper services built..... anything he can point to that he can take credit for as mitigation for that is very valuable. He may have just had the Park Lawn GO cancelled, and he has too many owies to Ford Nation to be able to protest loudly over that. And sorry, 66B/145 are just not proper transit for such a dense development.

The practical concerns I would have are a) winter b) last mile, especially at the Humber Bay end....the dock may be an unmarketable distance from the doorstep for many residents who drive or take TTC today. Will there be transfer privileges with TTC ? and c) will demand sustain a fairly hefty operating budget - the safety aspects of water transit are not cheap, and this will attract inspection. Are TPS/TFS on board with potential lifesaving scenarios outside the inner harbour? (And are insurers content if the city’s only fireboat is stationed downtown?)

Note that the service is being proposed as rush hour weekdays and weekends only. A waterfront ride to Humber Bay on weekends is a sure fire winner for walkers and cyclists. The boat will be available evenings for the charter trade. My theory is that the ferry propsal is just a tool to help Mr Otter finance the new boat that he has already purchased.... it doesn’t have to be sustainable on its own, it just has to provide incremental revenue for a boat that would otherwise be moored at commuting hours.

Also note that Mr Otter has his toe in the island ferry business. I seem to recall that the city ferries are in need of replacement. Maybe this guy sees a business opportunity if he can transition from small boat/taxi level haulage to big boat/big haul traffic to the islands. It’s a lot easier/cheaper to park at Humber Bay on weekends than to drive downtown to take the city ferry. So maybe there is a win-win here that could lead all the way to privatising the island ferry service to the existing taxi operators, with service to Humber Bay and maybe east to Scarborough. And think about how water service to a redeveloped Ontario Place might factor into that.

I’m a five minute bike ride from Humber Bay, and a ferry to downtown and the Island would be wonderful for recreational uses. I could see coming home from evening events too. So I’m all for it. But as an alternative to 66B? I still wonder about winter.

- Paul

Yeah the last mile issue seems to be a problem. I love the concept of a transit ferry service, but in terms of public transit this wouldn't put a dent in anything. I'm guessing if it is successful it'd be like the equivalent of a bus every hour in terms of ridership. That seems best case. And then the desirability. Dumping people at the Ferry Terminal, requiring a walk to Ferry Docks station, then a short ride to Union Loop to get to Union Station. Or just a walk downtown from the ferry terminal, which isn't too much but then hacks away at the supposed time savings this is to offer. All seems fairly niche.
 

Hank

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Would have been possible if Toronto Island was setup like Jean Drapeau park in Montreal.

But no, instead some privileged boaters and rich people get to have homes on what should be a public space.

The islanders aren't some sort of vanderbilt-style millionaires twirling their moustaches as they drink mint juleps and laugh at the downtrodden mainlanders. They're generally low-to-medium income people that have been living there for 30 years or more (and who can only pass on their houses to spouses or children, so no ability to make a bundle by selling to third parties). There's a lot of artists and other such types. Also, the area on the islands dedicated to housing is minuscule compared to the total size of the islands (it's a total of about 2/3 of Algonquin island and 1/3 of Ward's island...maybe 1/10th or 1/15th of the total area of the islands).

The housing on the islands is, in my opinion, a net positive to the islands (and the city) as a whole. It's charming and quaint. There's already plenty of park space there and there's of course Centreville...would it be worth displacing hundreds of people from their homes for the city to get a very small amount of extra public realm? I don't think so. I'm not trying to be antagonistic, but you come across as one of those "bread not circuses" people that's mad if every square inch of potentially public property isn't being used 100% as efficiently as possible.
 

Bureaucromancer

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To clarify for anyone not aware of the general structure, it IS possible for owners of island houses to sell, but this has to be done through a trust which handles all the properties. The price is fixed to prevent windfalls, amounts essentially to what they were worth decades ago and makes the island houses among the cheapest in the city. Purchase options are given by a lottery, which one has to win ANOTHER lottery to be entered in.
 

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