Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Letter to Councillor Thompson - Bike Lanes on Brimley Rd.


Councillor Michael Thompson
RE: Impact of Bike Lanes on Brimley Road

Dear Councillor Thompson:

We are truly disappointed that you and Mayor Tory did not pause to think about the impact of taking two lanes away from Brimley Road and handing them over to the bicycle lobby.

If you had paused to think about the impact on just one neighbourhood you would never have supported this disastrous proposal. Please take a look at the impact on just one neighbourhood on the west side of Brimley from Lawrence south to the creek just north of Ferndale Baptist Church.

It’s about 42 hectares [105 acres] in size. Your Planning Staff have all the numbers but I’m going to suggest there are about 400 homes in this neighbourhood.

Brimley Road is their only access out to the rest of the city. There are no streets connecting them to Lawrence nor to Midland. Brimley is it.


With all the best intentions of good city planning in the 1960’s the streets connecting this neighborhood to Brimley were deliberately NOT lined up with streets connecting to Brimley from the neighbourhood on the east side.

There are two traffic lights allowing people from this neighbourhood to get out safely onto Brimley road when it’s busy.

1. Shediac was realigned to line up with Fraserton on the east side a few years back and a signal installed.


2. Deerfield has a signal. But Seminole on the east side was too far south to bring it into the signal. People are encouraged by signs not to block Seminole when they are stopped at thelights.

None of the other streets connecting to Brimley are signalized. If you use Haileybury, Arnprior, Canzone, and Gully Drive you have to wait for a gap or depend on the courtesy of Brimley drivers.

55 homes in this one neighbourhood front onto the west side of Brimley: their driveways cross the sidewalk and connect right into the curb lane…. the lane you want to convert to a bikeway.

Same thing for the Scarborough Centre Alliance Church and the +\-25 recently built townhouses up close to Lawrence.

Your people have the traffic counts. The best one we have is from the Brimley Ellesmere development project. It counted 1,900 vehicles on Brimley in the busiest hour in the morning and another 2,100 vehicles on Brimley in the busiest hour in the afternoon. We know ‘rush hour’ is actually 3 hours long in the afternoon and maybe 2 hours in the morning.

You force all these vehicles into the one remaining lane, and throw away left and right hand turn lanes at intersections and there won’t be many ‘gaps’ for people to get out of their neighbourhood on Haileybury, Arnprior, Canzone, and Gully Drive.

TTC ‘route planner’ tell us they run 150 buses up and down Brimley Road every 24 hours. That’s how transit riders from this neighbourhood connect to Kennedy Subway Station gong south. That’s how they get to all the other bus routes that come together at Scarborough Centre Station. The Brimley bus carried over 9,500 passengers on a typical weekday as of 2014.

If you shut down one lane each direction and force all traffic into the centre lanes, a single vehicle stopped to make a left turn, or even a right hand turn across the bikeway, and a single bus stopped to take on/let off passengers, will block everyone else in the one remaining lane. How ‘courteous’ will they be about letting people get out to Brimley from the church, the townhouses or Haileybury, Arnprior, Canzone, and Gully Drive

You need to tell those 55 homeowners who front onto Brimley just exactly how you expect them to get in/out of their homes. First across the sidewalk, then across your bikeway, then backing into the one lane you have left for them which will be full of frustrated drivers.

Sorry Mike: you’ve been sold a bill of goods by the bicycle lobby.

This has nothing to do with helping people cooped up for the past 6 weeks to get out there and enjoy the sunshine, get some exercise. If there were truly pent up demand by thousands of folks just itching to get their bikes out for some exercise, we’d be seeing crowds on the bikeways we already have. Instead we continue to see practically no-one on the 4 kilometer bike path painted on Brimorton ten years ago.

Lastly just how safe will anybody enjoying this new bikeway be with thousands of disgruntled drivers queued up in the one remaining lane, bus passengers walking across their path and homeowners tying to get in/out of their driveways.

That’s just one neighbourhood. Identical issues are going to come at you from all along Brimley Road.

As we read the Council decision, it looks like the local Councillor has authority to think again and cancel this plan:

5. City Council direct the General Manager, Transportation Services to, as part of the design, installation, and monitoring process, work in consultation with the local Councillors and stakeholders to identify and implement changes to the ActiveTO cycling projects as may be necessary to address operational and safety issues as they may arise, including modification or removal of the ActiveTO cycling projects if deemed necessary.

We strongly suggest you use this authority to stop this before it gets started.

Lorne Ross

For the Glen Andrew Community Association

Friday, May 29, 2020

Bike Lanes on Brimley Road

Do you travel on Brimley Road?

It is hard to believe but the City is proposing to shut down one lane of Brimley Road in each direction all the way from Lawrence down to Kingston Road and give it to people riding bicycles.

  • The TTC runs the Brimley 21 bus from Kennedy Subway Station east on Eglinton then up Brimley to Scarborough Centre and on up to Steeles. Somewhere around 150 buses travel this part of Brimley every weekday. The latest info we’ve seen from the TTC, dated 6 years ago, but it showed over 9,500 people ride the Brimley bus every weekday.
  • Every major street in Scarborough carries the trucks our businesses depend on.
  • Meals on Wheels, WheelTrans, visiting nurses/health care services all use our major streets.
  • All the parcel delivery trucks we have gotten used to depending on, Amazon, Canada Post, FedEx and more use our major streets.
  • People who don’t own a vehicle/aren’t allowed to drive rely on ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and others or taxis.
  • Not one of my favourites but it looks like a lot of people order prepared meals delivered to their homes via DoorDash, UberEats, SkiptheDishes and others.
  • A lot of us use Brimley to drive family members and friends to the subway at Kennedy Station when the weather’s bad, during the dark days of winter when the sidewalks to the nearest bus stop are bad when it’s late and not necessarily safe to walk/wait for the bus.

If they get their way they’ll also ‘examine’ all the left and right hand turning lanes at an intersection to see which ones, if any, should remain for people making turns. You can bet, when they’re done, there won’t be many turning lanes left.

Sorry folks: we’ve seen some pretty harebrained schemes come out of City Hall in the last several years. This one is just patently absurd.

If you live on Brimley or travel it regularly you know how busy it is.

The last traffic report we have, for Brimley Road at Ellesmere last year, shows 1,900 vehicles on Brimley in the busiest hour in the morning and another 2,100 vehicles on Brimley in the busiest afternoon rush hour. We know ‘rush hour’ is actually 3 hours long in the afternoon and maybe 2 hours in the morning.

Taking away one lane in each direction doesn’t just reduce the road capacity by 50%. The congestion in the one remaining lane, where a single vehicle waiting to turn left or right holds up everybody for miles, actually knocks out way more than 50% of the street’s capacity.

It’s not just personal vehicles using Brimley.

Can you imagine what Brimley would be like if they pack all those trips into just one lane each way, with no left/right turn lanes at intersections?

We have asked our Councillor Michael Thompson to stop this lunacy. He’s not going to do so. He is going to support the cycling lobby and force everybody else using Brimley into just one lane each way. He calls it a ‘temporary’ measure to help people get around the city during the COVID flu crisis.

By the time they’ve spent the money to paint all the lines, put up all the special signs, install the special traffic signals for bicycles, eliminated left and right-hand turn lanes, you can bet the bicycle lobby will fight like mad to keep it.

We asked all candidates for Council in our Ward back in the October election a couple of questions to help our voters decide. One of the questions was:

If elected will you pay attention to and insist that any proposals for new bikeways, street railways express bus lanes, whatever shall maintain the number of traffic lanes we have today?

Michael Thompson’s answer was pretty clear. He said YES.

Here’s how you can contact Councillor Thompson to tell him what you think:



Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West, Suite B31 Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Telephone: 416-397-9274
Fax: 416-397-9280




Iain McLeod
President
Glen Andrew Community Association

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Litter On Our Streets


Every year in April for decades we have had a Clean-up day to pick up litter which accumulates on our streets, boulevards, parks and in our schoolyards.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are unable to do so as the city has closed our public parks and ruled that we should not gather in groups, nor meet with family and friends in order to lessen the ability of the virus to spread.

Many of us are going for walks around the community on our streets and in our parks, such as Thompson Memorial and the Birkdale Ravine. Why not take a bag with you and pick up what you see. The west side of McCowan Rd. from Ellesmere to Brimorton Dr. needs some special attention as it is currently overloaded with garbage. 

Because of Covid19, please make sure to take extra precautions and practise safe measures like social distancing. I would recommend that you wear disposable gloves or use a long pair of tongs.

If we all do a little, we can accomplish a lot. 

Iain McLeod 
President
Glen Andrew Community Association 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Traffic Lights Win for Glen Andrew

Another win for the Glen Andrew Community 

by Lorne Ross,
For the Glen Andrew Community Association


If you have been out and around during this long period of ‘stay at home’ you may have seen the crews working away from where Grangeway comes down and meets Ellesmere, just east of the Blue Danube seniors’ building.




They are putting up the traffic signals. When they’re turned on we will have a safe way to turn left and head north.

We will have three ways to get back to McCowan via Grangeway-Consilium Place:
1. at Bushby,
2. at Progress,
3. and north of Corporate Drive.

We’ll have a safe way to get to the 401 eastbound. All without getting stuck in the backed-up left turn lane at McCowan-Ellesmere. Our friends in the North Bendale community east of McCowan can safely turn left at night to get back home from their travels.

Below are just some of the ways this street takes the load off McCowan-Ellesmere.




It’s been a long time coming. The city knew McCowan-Ellesmere would be overloaded a long time ago. Bit by bit the developers like Blue Danube, the Freshco-Shoppers plaza and Consilium further north handed over the land and built or paid for their part of the new street. The final section was built in 2002 with land and cash from the developer of the Freshco-Shoppers Drug Mart plaza.

Without traffic signals, it was getting more and more difficult to wait for a gap in the westbound traffic on Ellesmere to make that turn into Grangeway. It was really dangerous for our friends living east of McCowan to make a left turn from southbound Grangeway to eastbound Ellesmere.

We began asking our Councillor Glenn DeBaeremaeker to get the traffic lights approved in 2017. Our professional staff resisted once again. We helped Glen make the case that this street and its signals were important to all sorts of people living south of Ellesmere and the businesses on the north side too. He persuaded City Council to approve the signals.
Our professional staff then moaned and groaned they didn’t have the money to put up the signals.

We worked with Councillor Ainslie who was pretty new representing people east of McCowan. We wrote to him and Councillor Thompson and they pushed through the funding.

Long time coming but another victory for Glen Andrew Community Association.

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Some people wonder why you should ever join a community group like Glen Andrew?

To me, the answer is pretty clear: If you cherish your home and your community and if you want to protect what we have and work to make it better, join your neighbours! 

Help us stay on top of what is happening at City Hall. Listen and read and learn. 

Put forward your ideas about what Glen Andrew wants/needs. Ask questions. 
Volunteer and contribute your time by organizing meetings, writing about issues in our blog, help to hand out flyers to your neighbours. Join your neighbours when we speak to the city staff and our Councillors.

We don’t win everything we set out to get. But we try and we win enough to make a difference in our community to create a better place to live and raise our families.

Recent successes and ongoing projects include: 

  • Saving the destruction of the Frank Faubert Woodlot from the TTC. A natural green space in our community. 
  • Saving homes on Stanwell Drive and local businesses in the St. Andrew’s Fish ‘n Chip plaza from the TTC.
  • Our annual ‘Clean Up’ day that gets hundreds of people of all ages out collecting litter from our parks each year.
  • Looks like we will get a subway station at our hospital on Lawrence. We worked long and hard against really stubborn people at the TTC and City Planning to get that station.
  • We are helping the people who are trying again to get a Farmers’ Market in our Scarborough Centre. Ideas about parking, signs, local food companies that might want to sell in the new market.
  • We helped the community think about and speak on the question of a new traffic signal where Packard comes up to Ellesmere. Breaking the median so people and cars could cross safely.
  • Looks like we have been successful keeping our major roads open where they cross the GO tracks between Midland and Kennedy Road. We worked with other community associations over the past 4 years against some pretty stubborn experts at GO Transit and City Planning. Metrolinx recently announced they will build either bridges over or tunnels under their tracks at Progress, Huntingwood, McNicoll and Danforth Roads.
Our meetings three times a year in St. Andrew’s Church give you a chance to meet, listen
to and ask questions of all sorts of people:

  • developers who want to build in our area
  • the people who run Scarborough General Hospital
  • City Staff
  • our City Councillor Michael Thompson
  • our MPP Christina Mitas.

Things we haven’t won yet but are committed too: 

  • Our City Planners want to tear down the bridge that carries Progress Avenue up and over McCowan Road. They would give us another traffic signal on McCowan instead.
  • Metrolinx wants to take out the two centre lanes of Ellesmere from McCowan all the way east past Morningside and use it for only express buses.
  • We’re trying to make sure Scarborough gets its fair share of the money the city collects to buy and build new parks and recreation centres, fix up the ones we have.
  • The never-ending battle to repair potholes and keep our roads and sidewalks operating safely.
We think these issues have been worth fighting for. We hope you do too!
But I have to tell you… your Executive is getting on in years. 


We are going to need new people to keep things going. 
To keep Glen Andrew a great place to live and raise a family.

It’s not scary. It’s not full time. Everybody is a volunteer. We do not endorse any politician or political party. There are lots of roles to play. You don’t have to be a brilliant public speaker. You don’t have to be a technical wizard beyond email. 

You just have to care about your community! Please come out to our regular and special meetings. 

Please contact our President, Iain McLeod at

Phone: (416) 431 - 0097
Email: execulife@bell.net

…to see how you can help get involved.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Volunteer Street Rep Needed



We need a street rep to deliver newsletters on Stanwell Dr. to 58 homes three times a year.

That takes just over an hour. 

Newsletters are delivered at approximately mid-month of March, June and October.

Please call or e-mail Mike Ehlers with your
  • name
  • address (for delivery)
  • phone number
  • e-mail address

Mike’s info:  416-438-8932  /  ehlersmike00@gmail.com



Stanwell Drive highlighted in red outline below

Stanwell Drive, Scarborough

Friday, May 15, 2020

Call for new Board Members!

We are looking for new Board Members!


In the last year, two of our long time board members have resigned due to age.
Now two more board members would like to resign for the same reason.

We need a few new volunteers to join our board who are willing to take on one of the following tasks:
  • To help with organizing our yearly Litter Clean-Up Day.
  • Book the hall at St. Andrews Church for our meetings three times a year and set up for the meetings.
  • Find guest speakers for our meetings.
  • Collect membership dues from registered members and business partners and keep the membership list up to date.
  • Become our new newsletter editor and collect the items for the newsletter.

From the request for volunteers in our last couple of newsletters, two neighbours have come forward and are now doing the following tasks. One is having the newsletters printed, bundle them and deliver them to the volunteers who deliver them to the houses in our neighbourhood and one is now keeping the blog updated. We thank them both for joining us.

We need the Glen Andrew Community Association to survive, so we can do our part in being involved in all the changes coming to Scarborough. 

That means we need some of our neighbours to step up and volunteer to replace the ones who have retired and want to retire for whatever reason.

Become a volunteer and be involved in your community! 

When you ready to get involved, please contact 

Iain McLeod
Phone: (416) 431 - 0097
Email: execulife@bell.net

When the social distancing has ended we can meet to talk about the tasks and answer your questions.

Monday, March 16, 2020

COVID19


By Iain McLeod
March 16, 2020

"From a young researcher who had been transferred from Shenzhen to Wuhan to collaborate with the task force that is fighting the coronavirus epidemic, we receive and willingly transmit to all of this clear, simple and accessible information, which describe exactly what it is.  the virus, how it transfers from one person to another and how it can be neutralized in everyday life.
Corona virus infection does not cause a cold with a dripping nose or catarrhal cough, but a dry throat and dry cough: this is the easiest thing to know.
 The virus does not resist heat and dies if exposed to temperatures of 26-27 degrees: therefore often consume hot drinks such as tea, herbal tea and broth during the day, or simply hot water: hot liquids neutralize the virus and it is not difficult to drink them.  Avoid drinking ice water or eating ice cubes or snow for those in the mountains (children)!
 For those who can do it, expose yourself to the sun!
 1. The virus crown is quite large (diameter about 400-500 nanometers), therefore any type of mask can stop it: in normal life, special masks are not needed.
 On the other hand, the situation is different for doctors and health professionals who are exposed to heavy virus loads and have to use special equipment.
 If an infected person sneezes in front of you, three meters away they will drop the virus on the ground and prevent it from landing on you.
 2. When the virus is found on metal surfaces, it survives for about 12 hours.  So when you touch metal surfaces such as handles, doors, appliances, supports on trams, etc., wash your hands well and disinfect them carefully.
 3. The virus can live nested in clothes and fabrics for about 6/12 hours: normal detergents can kill it.  For clothes that cannot be washed every day, if you can expose them to the sun and the virus will die.
 How it manifests itself:
 1. The virus first installs itself in the throat, causing inflammation and a dry throat sensation: this symptom can last for 3/4 days.
 2. the virus travels through the humidity present in the airways, descends into the trachea and installs in the lung, causing pneumonia.  This step takes about 5/6 days.
 3. Pneumonia occurs with high fever and difficulty breathing, it is not accompanied by the classic cold.  But you may have the feeling of drowning.  In this case, contact your doctor immediately.
 How can you avoid it:
 1. Virus transmission occurs mostly by direct contact, touching tissues or materials on which the virus is present: washing hands frequently is essential.
 The virus only survives on your hands for about ten minutes, but in ten minutes many things can happen: rub your eyes or scratch your nose for example, and allow the virus to enter your throat ...
 So, for your own good and for the good of others, wash your hands very often and disinfect them!
 2. You can gargle with a disinfectant solution that eliminates or minimizes the amount of virus that could enter your throat: in doing so, you eliminate it before it goes down into the trachea and then into the lungs.
 3. disinfect the PC keyboard and mobile phones
 The new coronavirus NCP * may not show signs of infection for many days, * before which it cannot be known if a person is infected.  But by the time you have a fever and / or cough and go to the hospital, your lungs are usually already in 50% fibrosis and it's too late!
 Taiwanese experts suggest doing a simple check that we can do on our own every morning:
 Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds.  If you successfully complete it without coughing, without discomfort, a sense of oppression, etc., this shows that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, indicating essentially no infection.
 In such critical times, do this check every morning in a clean air environment!
 These are serious and excellent advice from Japanese doctors who treat COVID-19 cases.  Everyone should make sure that their mouth and throat are moist, never DRY.  Drink a few sips of water at least every 15 minutes.  WHY?  Even if the virus gets into your mouth ... water or other liquids will sweep it away through the esophagus and into the stomach.  Once in the belly ... Gastric acid in the stomach will kill all the virus.  If you don't drink enough water more regularly ... the virus can get into your trumpets and lungs.  It is very dangerous.
 Share this information with your family, friends and acquaintances, for * solidarity and civic sense * !!!!