Your TTC Fare Will Go Up in Downsview

Metrolinx, the Provincial body in charge of building transit in the GTA, is considering a number of changes on how we pay for transit. This conversation will result in the average trip being more expensive for residents in Downsview.

Metrolinx is doing this, because of budget pressures and because different modes of transit (buses vs. trains) and the distance of each trip (1km vs. 10km) need to be factors in calculating the price of each trip.
Currently, a trip from Downsview to the downtown core, which normally requires a bus and a subway ride, costs the same as a trip from Bay St. and Queen St. to Bay St. and Bloor St. -one bus ride. This means that people in inner suburbs benefit from a system that understands that the distances traveled in the suburbs are greater than they are in the downtown core.

Metrolinx is considering changing this. Their rationale for questioning the current system is that it is not fair to charge the same price for someone that rides a train versus a bus, or takes a short trip versus a long trip. What this misses is that the accountant’s methodology to building transit will create a dysfunctional system.
If we want more people riding transit, we need to figure out a transit system that caters to the needs of riders, not the other way around. Metrolinx seems to be coming to the decision that the riders need to meet the demands of the transit system -they’ve done this before.

Leading up to the PanAm games, Metrolinx built the UP Express from Union Station to Pearson International Airport. Their business model assumed that there would be a wealthy market of transit riders that would pay a premium fee for the convenience of the service they created. What they missed, is that most of the transit trips to the airport were made by the 10,000 employees who are employed by the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA). Since the service was not practical, or affordable for most of the employees, the trains ride mostly empty -even a reduction in fares has not changed ridership.

The UP Express experience should have taught Metrolinx that its focus on market based transit building is not a viable model. For Downsview, this could mean a more expensive transit fare in the next couple of years. Let us not forget where the decision are being made: the Province is not investing in the operating costs of transit, so Metrolinx is trying to come up with the money by raising the price of transit.

New Trustee elected in by-election

A very tight race culminated with a new name being chosen as Trustee to York Centre. The election was held on Monday, July 25th to fill in the opening created after the passing of Howard Kaplan. Alexandra Lulka is the new school trustee. She won by just over 100 votes in a very close election. 10 candidates put in their names for the contest and the top two won 31% and 29 % respectively. Erica Shiner came in a close second. This is the 4th by-election the TDSB has held as a rash of events has led to multiple Trustees needing to be replaced.

York Centre Trustee By-Election is July 25th

The sudden death of former TDSB Trustee Howard Kaplan has prompted a by-election call in York Centre. The election will be held on Monday, July 25th.

To find out where to vote you can go to the following website

At the time of publication 10 candidates signed up for the by-election and The Downsview Advocate contacted them in order to provide a profile on each one to our readers. The following are the profiles for the candidates that responded.

Name: Sue Mathi

I am eager to serve this diverse community. A trustee should be interested in advocating for the needs of the entire community and I will do that with vigor. I do not have a personal agenda, nor am I using the role as a gateway into politics. To show my commitment to service, I have promised that if elected, I will donate my entire first year’s salary directly to the schools in Ward 5 to be used at their discretion. I value education, children, and proper use of tax-payers money. I am eager to give back and help the children in our community get the best out of our education dollars.
Name: Jordan Glass



Twitter: @Glass4YorkCen


I believe I can help make our school system better. As a parent of a child with special needs, I’ve spent years trying to navigate my way through the obscene red-tape in the TDSB. Dealing with our school board should not be this hard. My priority would be to create a parent facilitator to guide parents through a system that was not built with the concerns of them or their children in mind. This individual would assist families by empowering parents to speak for the needs of their children, especially those with special needs.


Name: Erica Shiner



Twitter: @ericashiner


My son’s first experience in kindergarten this year was a real eye-opener to the challenges that children and parents face when navigating the system. Classes are overcrowded and repairs are woefully underfunded. I love being of service by amplifying the voices of others, and I’m passionate about implementing the changes necessary to better our school system. If elected, my priority would be implementing better planning to avoid overcrowding and the short-sighted sale of schools. I’m also committed to creating a more effective system of parent engagement to resolve issues at schools. Whether there are concerns with special needs, bullying, health issues, or anything else, parents need more accessibility to work with their schools.