Imagine for a moment that you were the mayor of Toronto and could spend as much money as you wanted to improve life in the city. What would you do?
That was the tantalizing question asked of real-life Toronto mayor David Miller (LLB 1984) in mid-January at a public event hosted by the School of Continuing Studies.
Miller talked to Andy Barrie of CBC Radio One’s Metro Morning and an audience of approximately 100 about his dream of an Eglinton Avenue subway line running from Scarborough to Pearson International Airport, which would end the impossibly long journey that people make by bus. There’s a notion that people only travel between the suburbs and downtown Toronto, Miller said, but they are not always headed to the city centre.
London and Chicago are role models for Miller, and he hopes Toronto will adopt certain features of those cities, including more room for pedestrians on city streets. He would also like to see more squares and parks in Toronto, and if this involved the demolition of a building or two, so be it. A harbour that people could swim in features large in the mayor’s dreams for the city, and more trees, flowers and public art would also assist in the transformation of the city, he said. The result would not be London or Chicago transported to Toronto, but a Toronto with a stronger identity of its own.
The event was one of several held at the School of Continuing Studies this year to celebrate its re-opening at 158 St. George Street and to encourage more interaction between the university and city.