Categories
Toronto

Building and rebuilding in the GTA

The Toronto Star has two stories on their front page today about development in Toronto and the surrounding area worth noting.

The West Don Lands development is a community being built over derelict industrial buildings east of downtown. And Vaughan’s proposed corporate centre and downtown is an idea that is seeing the light of day because of the recently announced TTC expansion into the city.

These are exciting developments to me for different reasons.

The downtown residential and commercial Don Lands project appeals to me because it’s reclaiming some prime land that has gone unused for too long in a great location, and it’s the first step to truly revitalizing Toronto’s waterfront.

I’m excited about the Vaughan idea because it just means more business in the area, and more business is good for the economy. It remains to be seen, however, if Vaughan is willing or able to make the necessary investments in public infrastructure.

Categories
Toronto

Toronto’s subway a likely terrorist target

A focus group study by the Federal government has highlighted the common belief amongst urban Canadians that Toronto’s subway is the most likely target for terror in this country. And the inventor of pointing out the obvious rests comfortably in his or her grave.

“For many, Toronto’s size, international profile and economic and financial importance to Canada made it the most probable target, especially by participants from this city.”

I think they just forgot to mention Toronto’s cultural influence as well.

Categories
Toronto

Toronto’s building wi-fi network downtown

It was not too long ago that I was writing about Chicago’s plans to blanket the city in wireless internet and wondering when Toronto would follow suit. Well apparently, it won’t be long:

Mayor David Miller will join Toronto Hydro executives on Tuesday to officially announce the initiative, which will be the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Canada and could undermine commercial product offerings from Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility.

It should be available as early as this fall in the downtown core, of which I’m sure High Park isn’t a part. I don’t really need it in this neighborhood, but having it downtown should inevitably prove convenient.

Especially if you go to Ryerson and have frequent problems connecting to their network. I know someone who does!

Categories
Toronto

Chicago to build 600km² Wi-Fi network

Chicago plans to build a huge wi-fi network, following in the path of other US cities like Philadelphia and San Francisco. The purpose is to offer “broad and affordable” access and heighten Chicago’s appeal for businesses and tourists.

It would be great if they put something like this in Toronto because then I could take my laptop everywhere and be assured access. Funding for this type of thing could come from Federal, provincial and municipal sources if the idea were to get off the ground.

Update: In August 2006, BusinessWeek highlighted the Top 10 Municipal Wi-Fi Plans. Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco make the list.

Here’s a ranking of US cities by public wi-fi hotspots as of June 2009. Chicago ranks 3rd after New York and San Francisco.

Microsoft even has a list of the top US cities for wi-fi access, although Chicago is not listed.