State of The City Address 2014

HiMY SYeD’s Bold Vision for the City Region of Toronto — How We Pay for It, How We Get There, Why It Needs to Happen.

HiMY SYeD’s State of The City Address 2014 . . .

Toronto City Council Executive Committee, Friday July 29 2011

Before we begin …

… We need to acknowledge we are on the Traditional Territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit

… I am running to succeed the Person with the Power at City Hall.

That person is… Norm Kelly

… If you are running to become TTC Commissioner, you might have a transit plan

However, if you are instead running to become Mayor, you must have a Transit Funding Plan.

My Transit Plan is Simple:

I’ll Fund It.

… The TTC does not have a Funding Problem. The TTC Has an Identifiable Funding Problem.

The Syed Administration will let the TTC KEEP it’s annual structural Operating Surplus

… As Mayor, this is how I will find the $300,000,000 to build the unfunded Streetcar Line from Union Station to Parliament Street

… Like Mississauga, Toronto must ask developers to buy 1 Bus and give it to local public transit for each additional 10 storeys for which they are asking permission to build

Why a bus?

Because a Bus can be deployed at any time, anywhere the TTC needs transit.

A fixed rail line located near the building asking for the additional zoning, does not allow for a city-wide and system-wide transit service delivery option.

A bus, however, does.

If Toronto had this 1 Bus for Every Additional 10 Floors policy already in place during the recent condo building boom, The TTC’s entire new bus fleet purchase would have already been paid for … with ZERO tax dollars

However, IF the TTC joins the Provincial Bus Purchase Program, collectively purchasing buses with fellow Ontario Public Transit Systems at reduced per vehicle costs, and we implement this 1 New Bus for 10 Additional Floors funding policy, based upon cautious estimates of Toronto’s continuing condo boom, we may be able to fund at least 1/3 of the future TTC Bus Fleet using this mechanism

As Mayor, it’s my ongoing job to creatively find the money to fund Toronto’s public transportation system while balancing the needs of the city’s growth

This is one more example of how The Syed Administration will do that

… Forget the Ferris Wheel

We can use the Leslie Barns Maintenance and Storage Facility as the catalyst to create a Streetcar Suburb in The Port Lands

By looking into our past to build our future, The Syed Administration will solve the decades old riddle of how to kick-start Toronto’s 21st Century

… Why is NO ONE talking about an Etobicoke Relief Line ?

The Syed Administration will apply Transit Acupuncture in creating the Etobicoke Relief Line

… Downtown Relief Line

The Syed Administration can create an overall Downtown Relief Strategy, today, in place of an unrealized and unfunded Downtown Relief Line, decades into the future

… Toronto as A Streetcar City can sell technical tours and market our hard earned knowledge to other Cities and Transit Systems which are bringing back The Streetcar as a mode of transit

Bogotá and Medellín do this by selling their Bus Rapid Transit and Metrocable know-how to generate Public Transit Funding

Why not Toronto ?

… My Technical Tour of the Transmilenio BRT North Depot in Bogotá, Colombia

Bogotá sells Bus Rapid Transit know-how

Toronto can do likewise with our Streetcar knowledge

… People keep confusing The St Clair Streetcar with an LRT

By People, I mean Scarborough City Councillors

… Another Scarborough City Councillor being confusing

As Head of Toronto City Council, The Syed Administration will end all such confusion

… Metrocable Line from Broadview Subway Station to Evergreen Brickworks in Don Valley

… Bus Rapid Transit BRT is not ideal for Toronto’s East Side Hydro-Corridor

A Metrocable Line, as part of an overall Downtown Relief Strategy, connecting Flemingdon Park, Don Mills, Malvern, UTSC, Rouge Park, and points in-between, is ideal

… UTSC Students got screwed over by Toronto City Council when the original Transit City line to their campus was abandoned

The Syed Administration can quickly correct that error, within a single term of Council, by installing a Metrocable Line connecting thousands of students to and from Central Scarborough, and within the existing TTC Budget

… The unintended consequences of unintended consequences of cancelling then re-cancelling Transit City’s fully funded Trains across Scarborough on Sheppard Avenue East

… All Four TTC Train Lines need to install, activate, then take advantage of Automatic Train Control

Those savings in time and money using ATC must be re-invested back into TTC’s backlog of Capital Infrastructure projects

… Why are we are arguing over technology ?

Scarborough needs bigger trains, with more frequent service, and more of them

Toronto Island Airport Expansion

Waterfronts were built for people and not Jets.

If we are building a waterfront to serve the airplane, the Island Airport Expansion would be a good place to start.

But if we are building a waterfront to serve people, the Island Airport Expansion is a good place to stop.

… Split Waste Collection Model of Private and Public Pick-up of Garbage is working

Privatization of Garbage pick-up into Zone 3, east from Yonge Street to Victoria Park, and across Zone 4, east from Victoria Park to the border, would be not just a mistake, but an error

… Toronto Must Create an AODA Compliance Officer

Every idea related to making the City of Toronto an Accessible City for all concerned, before the Deadline of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act comes to pass, is a stop gap measure

Only an arms length from City Council, fully independent Compliance Officer, empowered on the order of an Inspector General, an Auditor General is acceptable

Creating an AODA Compliance Officer is not about Accessibility

It is about Human Dignity and RESPECT For EVERYBODY

… Moneyball for Government

How relocating a bus stop, a few feet away from existing sewer grates, creates additional TTC Bus Driver shifts without raising taxes, saving neighbourhood bus service

The Syed Administration will bring Moneyball to Local Government, first by changing the Frequency of Executive Dashboard from quarterly to weekly, and then acting on those results.

Currently, The Executive Committee simply receives these reports.

This practice has cost the City of Toronto hundreds of Millions of Dollars annually over the past two administrations.

The Syed Administration does not need City Council to implement Moneyball for Government.

Executive Dashboard is already in place. We will take advantage of it, immediately

… More Moneyball for Government

When Life (Other Spheres of Government) gives you lemons (Capital-only Funding)

Make Lemonade (Operating Results)

The Syed Administration will aggressively take advantage of this point of view to eliminate the current backlog of operating budget dependent priorities.

Notably, the affordable housing waiting list, and the State of Good Repair backlog throughout Toronto Community Housing

… New City of Toronto Act review due in 2016

Being prepared to Renew, Reassess, and Regenerate the Corporation of The City of Toronto into a Full Order of Government

… Toronto now needs Four Deputy Mayors

Toronto currently only has one Deputy Mayor. Many World Cities have several.


  1. The constant uncertainty of the current Mayor continuing in Office
  2. The delegating to Former Deputy Mayor Holyday for negotiating Labour Peace with the City’s Unions
  3. The Mayor’s photo-opportunistic leadership during the Ice Storm
  4. City Council taking the extraordinary precedent of transferring Powers of The Mayor to the Deputy Mayor in November 2013…

The urgent need for Toronto having several Deputy Mayors with specialized skills has been confirmed in this 2010-2014 Term of Council.

Furthermore, North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, and The Old City of Toronto, each need their own Deputy Mayor with specific limited powers

… Rotate Sitting Full Toronto City Council to North York, Etobicoke, Scarborough

… Urban Acupuncture in Bogotá

Ideas, Inspirations, and Insights for Toronto’s Identity and Toronto’s Infrastructure

… OpenStreetsTO

The Ciclovia Car-Free Sunday Pilot Project must become permanent

It must be expanded from High Park to Withrow Park, start earlier at 7 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.

TTC Train Service must begin earlier on OpenStreetsTO Sundays

Season must begin on Victoria Day Weekend and last until the Last Sunday in October

… Toronto needs a MinimumGrid of Bike Lanes

The Syed Administration will deliver a MaximumGrid of City-Wide Bike Lanes and Safe Cycling Infrastructure

MaximumGrid is not Cyclists vs Motorists


… Toronto needs Bicycle Parking Stations

The Syed Administration will install 10,000 Free Bicycle Parking Spots inside Bicycle Stations at key TTC Station Access points across Toronto

… Food Security IS Security

Toronto can use Public Libraries to become a Nutrition Oasis

The Syed Administration will create Bibliomarkets to help eliminate Food Deserts

… Library Parks

The Syed Administration will create Library Parks in neighbourhoods all over the City

… Jaime Lerner designed a Park FOR Toronto

In 2010, I visited Jamie Lerner in Curitiba, Brazil.

He showed me designs for a park he did FOR Toronto. He pledged he would give it to Toronto FOR FREE.

Jaime Lerner told me he was only waiting for the Right Mayor to be Elected in Toronto to make that park happen.

The Syed Administration will take Jaime Lerner up on his offer to build this park, sharing his gift with all of Toronto

… Emancipation Park

Honouring both the fact that Upper Canada was the first jurisdiction in The British Empire to abolish Slavery, as well as Toronto being the Destination point for Escaping Slaves from the United States using The Underground Railroad

The Syed Administration will rename Riverdale Park East as Emancipation Park leading into The 2015 PanAm Games

It is anticipated the newly named Emancipation Park’s existing sports facilities make it an ideal venue for Toronto’s Annual Harriet Tubman games

… T.O.Shuks Trail

The Syed Administration will create a sense of discovery and identity by placing InukShuk-like T.O.Shuks across Toronto

… More places to sit

The Syed Administration will create 10,000 new places to sit in public spaces in all neighbourhoods city-wide

RESPECT For EVERYBODY means Torontonians having a place to sit in all public spaces

… More places to walk

The Syed Administration will ensure and enhance Toronto’s global standing as A City of Labyrinths

… Urban Aqua-Puncture

… Funtain Hydraulophones

… From HTO Park to HTO Parks

The Syed Administration will create New HTO Park inspired Urban Beaches in North York, Etobicoke, and Scarborough

… Create the Humber Islands

… More Working Water Fountains

… Deep Water Cooling

I’m not asking for your vote…

… I’m asking you to make history by casting your vote