It was a bit of a quiet weekend for queer news in Toronto.
The Star’s Jack Lakey complains about overflowing trash bins at Cherry Beach
cruising grounds Park.
And transport minister John Baird caused a minor international incident when news of his cat’s death caught wind. He also uses way too many exclamation points for a man his age, but I guess that’s just part of the grieving process.
But the big news this weekend was all TTC-related. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that today city council votes on a set of TTC fare changes. Some are long overdue, like extending the student discount to cover university and college students — although the monthly pass for students remains a major rip-off and the price is set to rise substatially. But mostly, it’s a set of hikes, including an extra $0.25 for cash and token fares, and a proposed hike to the Metropass plan that makes the passes less worthwhile. While some hike is inevitable to pay for service that — despite what critics say — has vastly improved over the last years and is scheduled to improve further over the next two years, I hope council comes to its sense about keeping the Metropass competitive.
Also in transit news, the TTC has turned down a proposal to rename Dupont Station “Casa Loma Station" to draw attention to the major city-owned tourist attraction in its backyard, because, according to them, it goes against TTC policy that stations must be named after cross-streets in order to orient passengers. This is just baffling, since south of Dupont on the same line, there’s Museum, Queen’s Park, Osgoode, and St. Patrick and St. Andrew, which aside from not being cross streets, are named after such minor buildings that most people don’t even know what they are. Elsewhere in the system, there’s Yorkdale, Rosedale, and Union. Soon, we’ll be opening York University Station. Bay Station is subtitled “Yorkville” on the station walls.
Naming stations after places rather than streets does orient people — especially those looking for the sites the station is named for. And while the TTC says that only a small fraction of the station’s users are going to Casa Loma, I’d bet a majority of them are going to George Brown College’s nearby Casa Loma campus. So why not rename it “George Brown–Casa Loma"? Put Dupont in brackets ala Yorkville. Do it all in time for the next major map upgrade (believe it or not, TTC updates all its system maps annually, to reflect accessibility and route changes) and it won’t cost anything near the $500,000 the TTC quotes (Meanwhile, rename the rest of the university line south of Dupont to Annex, U of T, Museum, Queen’s Park, Art Gallery-OCAD, Opera, Orchestra).
Why does this matter to us? Well, as long as we’re thinking of renaming stations, why not rename Wellesley to “Wellesley–Village” or even “Gay Village"? Certainly that’s where the majority of Wellesley users are going or coming from. And the village is a major tourist draw in its own right, so help visitors find it.