5 Things To Know Today
GTA under special weather statement ahead of expected snowfall today. Liberals consider lowering the province’s standard speed limit. TDSB report suggest 1 in 5 schools could close. Scarborough subway plans to be released today. Mayor John Tory ‘misspoke,’ Toronto hasn’t won right to host 2016 Grey Cup.
GTA UNDER SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT AHEAD OF EXPECTED SNOWFALL
We’re nearly at the end of January and so far, Toronto has been spared from the snow. The city has had roughly 10cm of snow fall this month; a far cry from last winter when we were hammered over and over by storms. However, Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for all of the GTA and much of southern Ontario. They say an Alberta clipper will sail across Southern and Eastern Ontario today, laying about about 5-10 cm of snow on the GTA. The snowfall should begin after 9am and shouldn’t have much of an impact on the morning commute but the afternoon drive will be affected. The snow isn’t expected to end unttil around 10pm tonight. There is also a possibility of blowing snow in areas exposed to the stiff northwesterly airflow. Blowing snow may also contribute to the poor winter driving conditions.
LIBERALS CONSIDER LOWERING THE PROVINCE’S STANDARD SPEED LIMIT
The Toronto Star is reporting that the province is considering lowering the speed limits in Ontario cities and towns. That means dropping it lower than 50 km/h. Transportation Minister Del Duca would like to see the standard speed limit set at 40 km/h, a move intended to try and improve safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Del Duca is set to begin consultations with municipalities across the province to discuss changes. He says:
“The safety of Ontario’s roads and highways is my utmost priority, and making Ontario’s roads safer is part of my mandate as Minister. Municipalities have expressed the need to reduce their speed limits to enhance road safety for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. The province wants input from the public, municipalities and stakeholders on whether to consider changing the default speed limit for local roads. Any decisions made always take the safety of our roads and road users into consideration.”
The Star says the Liberals are looking at 4 options:
They include keeping the speed limit at the current 50 km/h, lowering the standard to 40 km/h. Allowing municipalities to set a default limit of 50 or 40 km/h but requiring the posting of signs at each entry point of the municipality. Also, municipalities will be permitted to set different default speed limits inside their boundaries or specific neighbourhoods but will be forced to post signs at each entry point.
TDSB REPORT SUGGESTS 1 IN 5 SCHOOLS COULD CLOSE
20% of Toronto’s public schools are red circled as the Toronto District School Board looks at places to close. The TDSB says 1 in 5 schools are now targets for possible closing due to declining enrollment. The country’s largest school board released a list on Wednesday evening that compares the number of students an institution can accommodate to its enrollment numbers. Of the 473 elementary schools, 84 of them are using 65% or less of their capacity this school year. At secondary schools, 46 of 116 fall below the same 65% threshold. For example, Eastern Commerce Collegiate is at less than 7% capacity,with only 62 students in a building that can house more than 900. The school board is under pressure from the Ontario government to sell surplus properties due to their budget shortfall.
SCARBOROUGH SUBWAY PLANS TO BE RELEASED TODAY
One of the lingering projects from the Rob Ford era will be put under the spotlight today. City staff are set to hold a technical briefing, detailing what lies ahead for the controversial Scarborough Subway. Toronto’s Director of Transportation is set to provide information that details potential corridors the line will follow, as well as the potential locations for the three or four stations that may be built. The line was originally approved as a three stop extension of Line 2, however Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker tried to add a fourth stop at a cost of $100 million; a request that was given a cold shoulder to by Mayor John Tory. Information regarding the line comes only a day after a poll of more than 800 residents in the city’s east end that showed possible cold feet towards an underground line. The stats claim that the majority of those asked may be leaning towards the original fully-funded LRT network that would have included 30 stops, covering a much broader region.
TORY “MISSPOKE,” TORONTO HAS NOT WON THE RIGHT TO HOST 2016 GREY CUP
The Grey Cup is coming to Toronto… well, maybe. Mayor John Tory made a minor gaffe yesterday, proclaiming that 2016 will be a big sports year for the city of Toronto, including the NBA All-Star game, the World Cup of Hockey and the Grey Cup. The CFL has not announced yet where the 2016 Grey Cup will be played. Tory’s staff back-pedaled on his comment, saying that the mayor “hopes” the championship game will be played here.
It’s been nearly 11 months since the Malaysian Airlines jet disappeared and finally, official are declaring that there are no survivors. The declaration allows relatives of the MH370 victims to proceed with compensation claims. All 239 passenger and crew on board are presumed to have died when the plane disappeared over the Indian Ocean last march.