Junction Triangle

My neighbourhood in West Toronto

Exploring Tower Automotive

Tower Automotive - Ground FloorTower Automotive - Ground Floor

Taking a short break from posting photos of our vacation in Europe. Here's a more recent one from the vacant Northern Aluminum Company / Algoods / Tower Automotive building on Sterling Rd. in Toronto. It's an absolutely beautiful old industrial building dating back to about 1914, which due to its height is a very prominent feature in our neighbourhood. The owners let a group of us in to explore and take photos on December 7 2009, and I'm hoping to go back again soon.

Although it's currently vacant, a developer has purchased the property and is actively working on cleaning up the soil and has some major development plans for the whole area. Glad to see this building will be preserved and re-used.

I will post more photos of this building soon.

Cyclists Dismount

Cyclists DismountBack in January I noticed that these "Cyclists Dismount" signs were added along the Bloor St. sidewalk by the railway underpasses between Lansdowne Ave. and Dundas St. West.

I don't necessarily have a problem with telling cyclists to dismount while riding on sidewalks. After all, sidewalks are meant for pedestrians, and I have personally had some close encounters with sidewalk cyclists along here. It's especially dangerous to pedestrians stepping out from the Bloor GO train station.

However, these signs may be an indication of a bigger issue. Many cyclists hit the sidewalk when riding through these underpasses because they fear for their safety on the road. I often see cyclists ride on the roads along Bloor St., only to hop up on the curb when they reach the underpasses.

I can understand why cyclists might want to do that.

From the Don Valley to Central Parkway in Mississauga, this is definitely the worst part of Bloor St., for many reasons (Ok, Six Points stinks too). But for cyclists in particular, the problems are:

  • Between Dundas and Lansdowne, Bloor St. opens up into four lanes of fast-moving traffic. The only bit of traffic calming is the traffic light at Symington Ave.
  • The pavement is awful.
  • Motorists seem to speed through here in a race to arrive first at the next pinch point in the road.
  • When you're down in the underpasses, there's no chance to "escape" to a sidewalk in an emergency.
  • It can be difficult and dangerous to make a proper vehicular left turn off of Bloor St.

It's no wonder that cyclists take to the sidewalks here. But instead of hanging up some signs to address the symptoms, maybe something can be done to address the actual problems of the dangerous and scary roadway?

Cross-posted to I Bike T.O.. I have also been doing alot of work on the South Junction Triangle Residents Association website recently.

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