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Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
2nd - 490 Hargrave Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 0X7
Phone: (204) 391-0949
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Advocates say city is shortchanging active transportation budget
Residents want more bike lanes: survey
MOST Winnipeggers say there are too few separated bike lanes in the city
and they want more of them, according to a poll released Thursday by the
Angus Reid Institute.
The poll examined a randomized sample of 5,423 people from eight major
Canadian urban centres — Winnipeg, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal,
Halifax, Toronto and Mississauga, Ont. — regarding cyclist-traffic issues,
focusing largely on separated, protected bike lanes.
Two-thirds of Winnipeg respondents said there were too few separated lanes
(compared to 46 per cent of total respondents), while 76 per cent called
the lanes “a good idea” (second only to Montreal’s 80 per cent).
In July 2015, the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies were approved by
Winnipeg city council and the 20-year plan for accessible, convenient
transportation got underway. The city estimated a cost of $334 million for
the plan, in addition to $3.7 million in annual operating costs.
Since then, the city has slowly worked toward establishing an active
transportation network, rolling out painted, buffered and protected bike
lanes; however, many cycling advocates have been critical of the pace.
This year, the city’s capital funding for the pedestrian and cycling
program totalled $5.4 million, not including $12 million earmarked for
projects such as the Empress Street overpass rehabilitation.
The executive director of the city’s active transportation advisory
committee, Bike Winnipeg, said Wednesday the city is spending less than it
should be in order to align with the plan, putting the figure at closer to
$13million to get on track.
“The funding we’re putting in is between one-third and one-half of what we
need annually,” Mark Cohoe said.
Winnipeg’s 2008 budget allocated only $150,000 for recreational walkway and
bike path projects, he said. “The city is making progress, but we’re
starting from far behind.”
Mel Marginet, the workplace program co-ordinator at Green Action Centre, a
sustainable commuting organization, said more money should go toward
protected bike paths to convince more people to take up cycling.
“Right now, it’s only really accessible to people who are brave and willing
to bike with traffic,” she said. “It’s really hard to convince someone
who’s never tried (biking in the city) to try it.”
Manitoba Public Insurance data from 2017 says no cyclists were killed in
the city last year. On average, according to MPI, two cyclists die in the
province each year, while 144 are injured in collisions.
Melanie Ferris, who lives in the Crescentwood neighbourhood, worries when
her 12-year-old son goes cycling.
“There really is no safe place for him to ride,” she said. “I won’t let him
ride on Corydon and Grant, so he tells me he rides on sidewalks there. He
may be on the street though. He wants to go fast and the sidewalk is slow.”
Danielle Moore, who moved to Winnipeg in October, said cycling is her main
method of transportation. She’s lived in Halifax and Toronto, where since
June 2016, nearly 100 pedestrians and cyclists have died in traffic
“I would say Winnipeg is probably the least accessible city for bikes that
I’ve lived in,” she said. “Protected bike lanes could really help ease the
pressure off both drivers and cyclists.”
The report released Thursday also asked respondents about conflict between
drivers and cyclists.
In Winnipeg, nearly two-thirds of respondents said there’s “quite a bit,”
and more than half placed the blame on drivers. Winnipeg was the only city
polled in which a majority blamed drivers, not cyclists.
Winnipeg Trails Association executivedirector Anders Swanson said he
doesn’t believe any party deserves more blame, however, he thinks adding
more protected lanes will benefit anybody on the road.
There are currently about 1.15 kilometres of protected lane along
Assiniboine Avenue, but by the end of this year, the city hopes to have
about 5.5 km of protected lane developed within the downtown grid, in
addition to almost 3.2 km along Chevrier Boulevard and St. Matthews Avenue.
However, Swanson said, more can be done. “One lane means nothing. To do it
properly, you need one on every street.”
Not just cyclists support bike lanes, the poll found — of the 4,226
respondentswho drive cars frequently, 72 per cent said the lanes make a
community a better place to live and 44 per cent said there weren’t enough
Swanson said Winnipeg should budget more money sooner for cycling and
pedestrian infrastructure development, especially on major streets.
“There’s really no reason for cycling to be the poor cousin in
transportation,” he said. “Every single mayoral and council candidate
should take a real hard look at those numbers before beginning their (2018
Portage and Main plebiscite pitch premature
IN the Late Middle Ages, when meat was scarce, some consumers found they’d
been scammed when they purchased an unopened bag containing an animal. It
was their understanding that the bag, which was known to them as a poke,
contained a delicious suckling pig. But when they opened the poke, they
found it actually contained a dog or cat, which were very common and much
less desirable as a dinner dish.
The lesson of the pig in a poke could provide guidance, as two city
councillors want Winnipeggers to vote in a plebiscite on whether to reopen
Portage and Main to pedestrian traffic. They want the public to vote before
knowing what’s in the bag.
Setting aside for the moment the bigger issue of plebiscites and
referendums — forms of populism that can cause regrettable decisions when
used rashly — the most immediate problem with asking Winnipeg voters about
Portage and Main is they haven’t been given enough information to make an
Councillors Jeff Browaty and Janice Lukes want to put the non-binding
question on the ballot in the October civic election. City council will
decide at its July meeting whether to let Mr. Browaty and Ms. Lukes have
By October, however, the public won’t know important details of the
project. What is the entirety of the proposed design? What above-ground
work will be necessary to make it pedestrian-friendly? What are the plans
to upgrade the underground concourse? What’s the expected final cost of the
Many of these questions will be answered by consultants chosen by the city
in response to requests for proposals that were issued earlier this month,
but the reports of the consultants who submit thewinning bid won’t be
publicly available before the proposed October plebiscite.
Unless voters have completeinformation to informtheir decision, the
plebiscite sought by Mr. Browaty and Ms. Lukes would be an exercise in
While the principle of letting the public vote on political decisions might
initially seem like an attractive form of power to the people, it is often
misused. An example of a jurisdiction in which direct democracy has run
amok is Switzerland, which has hosted nearly 600 referendums that led to
binding decisions, such as a universal basic income, banning the Islamic
towers atop mosques and the expulsion of foreigners convicted of minor
Fortunately, Manitoba has been more judicious in its use of direct
democracy. One hesitates to think of the consequences if the public had
been allowed to decide in 1962 whether then-premier Duff Roblin should be
allowed to spend the equivalent of $505 million in 2018 dollars to build a
ditch around the city, or whether voters in the late 1980s had been allowed
to block the vision of returning an industrial-ugly rail yard at the
confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers into a lively hub of social
activity which now attracts four million visitors a year.
With rare exceptions, decisions on big issues should be left to leaders who
are elected on the basis of their campaign pledges.
For instance, Mayor Brian Bowman has made reopening the intersection to
pedestrians one of his signature issues, both as a candidate and an elected
official, and he is running for reelection.
One could fairly suggest Mr. Bowman’s pursuit of a second term could serve
as the referendum his council colleagues are seeking.
Citizens who care deeply about the Portage and Main issue can make their
views known on Oct. 24, when they enter the voting booth and choose
Winnipeg’s next mayor.
St. Vital crosswalk upgrades OK’d by councillors
UPGRADES have been approved for the St. Vital pedestrian crossing where an
eight-year-old boy was struck and killed in February.
Councillors on the public works committee Tuesday unanimously approved the
administration plan for the installation of eye-level warning lights and
possibly strobe-like flashing LED lights at the St. Anne’s Road and
Varennes Avenue crossing.
David Patman, the city’s transportation manager, said the lights will be
installed on a longterm basis to determine if they should be installed at
other pedestrian crosswalks across the city.
Surafiel Musse Tesfamariam, a Grade 3 student, was with his mother at the
crosswalk at Varennes Avenue when he was struck by a vehicle. The boy’s
death was the third at that crossing since 1981.
The department had already been studying traffic
safety improvements along St. Anne’s Road when they were asked to include
the crossing following the boy’s death.
“We did the analysis and we’re looking for a solution to be implemented for
the new school year in the fall,” Patman told the committee. “Staff in the
traffic management branch worked very hard to get this report to you in a
Residents had proposed the installation of traffic lights or a lower speed
limit, but those suggestions were not accepted by the public works
Patman said tree branches that might obscure the existing flashing amber
lights at the crossing will be pruned to improve driver vision.
Transit can be an economic catalyst
THE City of Winnipeg is seeking public input on the proposed alignment for
its next bus rapid transit line. The eastern corridor will connect Plessis
Road in Transcona with Harkness Station on Stradbrook Avenue, where the
existing Southwest Transitway terminates. Two routes are being presented,
one running through Point Douglas and one through St. Boniface.
The plans begin by proposing an exciting option to locate the transitway on
the elevated rail line between The Forks and Main Street, using Union
Station as a magnificent transit stop. This creates the potential for the
historic structure to become a multimodal transportation centre for
downtown, operating as a central hub for such things as cycling and
transit, water-bus, taxi, airport shuttles and tourist trolleys.
The spectacular central hall of Union Station once again bustling with
activity represents an opportunity to stimulate growth around south Main
Street, by bringing pedestrian traffic to the sidewalks and drawing the
vibrancy of The Forks and its future railside community into the rest of
Beyond Union Station, the two proposals diverge. The Point Douglas option
either continues up Main Street or passes through the Exchange District to
Higgins Avenue, before crossing the river on a new bridge. The St. Boniface
alignment crosses the river on the existing Provencher Bridge and then runs
down Provencher Boulevard to Archibald Street and Nairn Avenue.
A key justification of BRT investment across North America has been its
ability to influence the patterns of development in cities, through
transit-oriented development (TOD). As ridership increases, commercial and
residential growth is attracted to the pedestrian density generated at
major nodes along the system. Urban planners can use this to target growth
by strategically placing transit lines and stations.
Instinctively, the Higgins Avenue option would seem to be the more logical
choice because it runs through an area that might benefit more from the TOD
economic catalyst. It has been found, however, that TOD is not a silver
bullet solution in urban areas, and wouldn’t typically have the power to
transform an industrial road such as Higgins into a neighbourhood high
street, particularly in a slow-growth city such as Winnipeg.
Increased connectivity can be an economic catalyst, but it is most
effective at generating the next level of growth in neighbourhoods that are
already places where people are.
The traditional build-it-and-they-will-come strategy for TOD has been found
to be less effective than placing transit where development is already
happening, where people already are, and connecting it to other places with
Transit is only successful if it is frequent and accessible to a large
population, and will only be a catalyst for growth if it has ridership
levels sufficiently high to inspire the activity that is attractive to
development. Relying on new projects to create the market for transit is
rarely as successful as connecting to an existing population and using
transit to intensify its density.
Understanding the true capacity of transit as a development tool, the St.
Boniface alignment for the eastern corridor becomes an attractive option.
Provencher Boulevard doesn’t need to be transformed; it only needs an
injection of incremental growth to be prosperous. It has the physical
characteristics of a neighbourhood high street but currently functions as a
six-lane commuter road, serving the outer suburbs and the adjacent
The single-family neighbourhoods surrounding it are not dense enough to
support many neighbourhood services, shops or restaurants, resulting in the
strip that has the potential to be a primary business street being
predominantly destination services or underdeveloped properties.
Coun. Matt Allard is championing a vision for Provencher Boulevard and St.
Boniface that could use investment into a transit corridor to fulfil many
long-standing community goals. He envisions Provencher as a multimodal,
complete street, designed to enable safe access for all users, including
pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and
He is proposing to transform one vehicle lane in each direction into a
transit priority lane for electric buses. The plan would also slow vehicle
traffic and eliminate truck traffic while developing protected bike lanes,
enhanced sidewalks and centre boulevards.
This newly defined corridor could become the catalyst for appropriately
scaled infill development that creates enough residential density and
sidewalk activity to attract the businesses, restaurants and sidewalk cafés
that have long been envisioned as amenities for the neighbourhood but have
not quite had the conditions to support it.
The second-largest francophone community in Winnipeg is Osborne Village,
because it offers the vibrancy, connectivity and affordability that young
people are seeking, but is not available in St. Boniface. With increased
mobility options and a direct rapid transit line between L’Université de
Saint-Boniface and the University of Manitoba, young people would not have
to leave their neighbourhood to find more convenient access to education
New transit-inspired infill development along Provencher could provide the
affordable housing options that are able to keep francophone youth,
immigrants and seniors in the community. Significant new investment to
transform Provencher Boulevard into a transit corridor could restore its
place as a bustling commercial street that is the vibrant centre of a
rejuvenated and stronger francophone community.
The eastern corridor is an opportunity to think differently about rapid
transit and transit-oriented development in Winnipeg. Instead of looking to
bypass existing communities, the last few kilometres could be treated more
like a streetcar system that is fully integrated into its neighbourhoods.
With strategically located stops along the main streets of St. Boniface and
even extending into the old town centre of Transcona, there is an important
opportunity to become a model for future lines, using transit to inspire
incremental infill growth that helps to densify and reinvigorate Winnipeg’s
*Brent Bellamy is a senior design architect for Number Ten Architectural
*** Friendly reminder about tomorrow afternoon's webinar ***
Please join Green Action Centre and Bike Winnipeg on June 20th for a group
viewing of the monthly APBP webinar in the EcoCentre
followed by discussion for those who wish to stay.
*Webinar: Wed, June 20th, 2-3pm*
*Roundabouts that Work for Cyclists and Pedestrians*
- Alek Pochowski, Kittelson & Associates
- Bastian Schroeder, Kittelson & Associates
Bicycle activity and the use of roundabouts for intersection control within
the United States have both increased dramatically in recent years. Since
its publication in 2010, NCHRP Report 672: Roundabouts, an Informational
Guide, Second Edition, has served as a national guide on the different
aspects of roundabouts, including planning, analysis, design, and
construction. However, since 2010, a significant amount of bicycle-related
design material has been released, including FHWA's Separated Bike Lane
Planning and Design Guide (2015), and NACTO's Urban Bikeway Design Guide
(2012), both of which do not address bicycle facilities at roundabouts.
The first part of this webinar will provide a summary of current and
potential design best practices for bicycles at roundabouts using domestic
and international examples, and provide an overview of the available
guidance available for practitioners designing or reviewing roundabouts for
cyclists. The second half of the webinar will focus on pedestrians at
roundabouts, with a discussion of the most recent research efforts which
led to the development of NCHRP Report 834. NCHRP Project 834 presents
guidance for the application of crossing solutions at roundabouts for
pedestrians with vision disabilities. The guidebook provides an
accessibility assessment framework and a methodology for evaluating
treatment alternatives for a proposed crossing, as well as wayfinding
accommodations. Guidance is provided based on the feasible range of
geometric and traffic operational conditions under which similar treatments
have been demonstrated to enhance accessibility.
*Beth McKechnie* | Workplace Commuter Options
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/>Green Action Centre
3rd floor, 303 Portage Ave | (204) 925-3777 x102 | Find us here
Green Action Centre is your green living hub
Support our work by becoming a member
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/support/become-a-member/>. Donate at
From: Manning, Jeana (MI) <Jeana.Manning(a)gov.mb.ca>
Date: Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 12:18 PM
Subject: Safety for Cyclists and Pedestrians on Manitoba Highways
The Manitoba Infrastructure website provides safety information and a map
to inform safe route planning decisions for pedestrians and cyclists on the
provincial highway network.
Thanks for your help in spreading the word.
A nice summary of the variety of active transportation events taking place in the Exchange this week. Just a reminder to come check out our panel on Wednesday (details below), we will have picnic blankets for you, so just bring your lunch and join us!
Active Transportation in the Exchange District
Jen McDonald June 15, 2018 Blog<https://www.exchangedistrict.org/category/blog/>
Bike Week 2018 starts next week and here in the Exchange District we have lots going on!
With over 100 historic buildings within a 30-block radius the Exchange is one of the most walkable areas in the city. We are filled with unique shops, inspired local restaurants, arts and culture, and it's such a stunning walk through our area to take it all in.
With new bike lanes currently under construction we are excited about the potential to make this area more walkable and bikeable than ever before! Here are some of the things we are doing to help support your active transportation to the Exchange District....
Bike Week Activities
Bike Pit Stop
Our Exchange District Bike Pit Stop will be located in Stephen Juba Park, at Waterfront and Bannatyne, and we are excited to be joined by many of the great local businesses in the neighbourhood.
Natural Cycle - bike tune ups
Acorn Café at Generation Green - Matcha Lemonade
Bronuts - Bronuts, coffee, water
Anchor Massage - on the spot massages
AVEDA - helmet hair touch ups
Number Ten Architectural Group - watermelon, granola bars, bananas
Exchange District BIZ - cycling maps, map and tour brochures, information about the area
*Music provided by Natural Cycle's bike jam audio system.
When: June 18, 6:30 - 9:00am
For more information about Bike Week Pit Stops click here.<https://www.bikeweekwinnipeg.com/bike-to-work-day/pit-stops/>
Bike Week Transportation Panel:
Getting Around in the Original Downtown
Getting Around in the Original Downtown: Bring your ideas (and your lunch) to our bike week transportation panel!
In celebration of Bike Week (June 18-24), we'd like to take some time to reflect on how transportation networks have evolved in the Exchange District, and discuss ideas and opportunities for active transit and to build a supportive environment for all modes of transportation used in the area.
What: Bring your lunch, and join us for a summer picnic to chat transportation! Our picnic panel will kick-off the discussion, and open the conversation around walking, cycling, and transit in the Exchange. We will explore what is needed in the area to support a culture of sustainable transportation for businesses, residents, and the areas many cultural events. We will also discuss how can the BIZ can continue to support you to move around via whatever mode you choose.
Where: Stephen Juba Park
When: Wednesday, June 20th 12:00pm-1:00pm (Panel) 1:00pm-1:30pm (Ideas Exploration)
Will Belford - Natural Cycle/Bike Jams
Thom Sparling - Creative Manitoba
Phil Mikulec - Peg City Car Co-op
Bob Somers- Scatliff Miller Murray
Lynne Stefanchuk - Jazz Fest Winnipeg
Angela Mathieson - Centure Venture
David Pensato - Exchange District Biz
What to Bring? We'll have picnic blankets for you to sit to eat your lunch, chill out and relax on. All you'll have to do is come on down to Stephen Juba park, bring your lunch and your ideas.
Active Transportation Initiatives
First Fridays Bike-In
Ever thought you'd like to bike into the Exchange District but weren't sure if there was a safe and easy route to get there?
You don't actually have to be a major cycling person to do it!
On the First Friday of July, August, and September, we'll be biking in from three different locations to show you the best route that takes you out of traffic and into the City's most culturally rich monthly event.
In partnership with Natural Cycle, we'll be leading three, low-key rides on the First Friday of July, August, and September to show you how you can get into the Exchange District while almost entirely avoiding motor vehicle traffic- and we'll share the tips and tricks that can make riding your bike into the Exchange District a really enjoyable experience along the way.
With pick up stops along the route, you can meet the group where it is most convenient for you and join the ride!
July 6th: Starting from Assiniboine Park
August 3rd: Starting from Crescent Drive Park
September 7th: Starting from Gateway at Chief Peguis
All rides start at 7pm.
Once in the Exchange you can enjoy First Fridays in the Exchange, grab a bite to eat, explore the shops and galleries, and take in the area. A group will ride back out at 10pm, for those who want some help on their way back home.
First Fridays is one of the most exciting monthly events in the City, with artists and galleries throughout the Exchange District opening their doors into the evening, and even local businesses getting into the act!
The Exchange District is already a remarkably walkable area filled with art galleries, shops, local restaurants, pubs, cocktail bars- not to mention some of the most popular summer events in the City. And with new cycling infrastructure being installed this summer, it's well on its way to becoming the City's most bike-friendly area.
We've hired two new staff that will be here all summer to answer questions and help you navigate the area. Keep an eye out for them on their bikes!
Sustainable Transportation Planner
#201 - 179 McDermot Avenue
While other Canadian cities debate dedicated cycling lanes, Montreal is
planning highways for its many residents who get around on a bike.
Such is the distance that lies between a city like Toronto, which has
suffered nearly 100 cycling and pedestrian deaths two years after adopting
the Vision Zero plan to eliminate fatalities entirely, and Montreal, where
such incidents are extremely rare.
Read full article:
[Interesting article from Jennifer Keesmat, former Chief City Planner in
Toronto on the need to fundamentally redesign our streets and lower speed
We designed Canada's cities for cars, not people – and the people are dying
In the last two years, 93 pedestrians or cyclists have died violently on
the streets of Toronto. Just out running errands. Off to the doctor. On
their way to work. Then without warning, human flesh encountered metal. The
latest example on Wednesday, in which a woman on a bike was killed in front
of the University of Toronto, reflects a state of emergency.
If this sounds like a war zone, well, it can feel that way on city streets
the world over. Anxiety has begun to permeate everyday urban life: parents
stress about their kids walking home from school; office workers check and
double-check the street before rushing to a nearby cafe; cyclists act
erratically when their truncated bike lanes dump them into fast-moving
traffic. People are on edge everywhere.
So we designed our cities and our streets for them. And the two-hour
commute has become normalized to a public that spends the equivalent of 22
days a year just getting to and from work. Meanwhile, others are seeking a
new way to live. It doesn’t take long to expose the environmental, social
and health costs of sitting in traffic. It is nothing like freedom. But the
power of the idea that cars bring us freedom – despite the mountains of
evidence to the contrary – is so pervasive that active resistance to change
is fierce.Meanwhile, automobile companies brand their vehicles with names
like Explorer, Escape, Liberty and Journey. Cars are designed to look like
birds and rockets, and are sold to us via multi million-dollar ad campaigns
complete with slogans such as “Hand of the free”, “Choose freedom” and
“Adventure is calling”. After 100 years of marketing, we have continued to
believe – and *want* to believe – that the car gives us unfettered personal
Some cities are fighting back, adding density, pursuing revitalisation
through infill buildings, and creating complete, mixed-use communities
where it is possible to live close to work. This may sound like land-use
planning, but it’s really all about how we get around the city – the crux
of our urban quality of life. When we design our cities differently, when
we get the densities and the mix of uses right, then you can choose to
forgo the long commute – you can walk or cycle.
But the tragic rise of cycling and pedestrian deaths in a city such as
Toronto, the biggest city in one of the world’s most progressive countries,
demonstrates that we are caught in the transition. We are adding density
and pedestrians and cyclists without transforming the design of our
streets, and in many cases refusing even to lower speeds limits, which
tends to reduce deaths dramatically
As Richard Florida has noted
Canadians like to criticise Americans’ inability to deal with gun deaths –
but their own unwillingness to do anything about cycling deaths seems based
on a similar myopia, and more Torontonians are killed by cars than guns.
Some will argue that road deaths are inevitable – that even if drivers
follow the rules, humans will make mistakes, wander into traffic and die,
and therefore we need to tolerate it. That is wrong. Humans will make
mistakes – which is precisely why the environment should be designed with
them in mind. If someone wanders into traffic – a child, a senior citizen –
they don’t “deserve” to die. We must design our cities knowing that people
Two fundamentally contradictory visions are bumping up against each other.
In the old model, if driving is the key to freedom, then cyclists and
pedestrians need to get out of the way. They are audacious, misplaced and –
even worse – entitled. Who and what are streets for, anyway? They are
places to get through*, *and fast. Lowering speed limits to ensure
pedestrians are safe makes no sense.
In the new model, however, streets aren’t just for getting through – they
are places in their own right, designed for people, commerce, lingering and
life. It’s the people, the human activity, that should come first. Cycling
<https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/cycling> isn’t just for radicals
and recreation, and lower speed limits make sense: they protect and enhance
quality of city life. In Oslo, for example, where cars move slowly, an easy
sharing of space takes place.
Inspired by the Norwegians, as well as the Dutch and the Danish, some
urbanists on this side of the Atlantic have been trying to introduce the
idea that, as the city gets denser, cycling and walking can become a great
transportation option. But a choice must be made. The two models are based
on competing philosophical assumptions. To straddle the two – as Toronto
and so many other cities do – will continue to lead to tragic outcomes.
The promise of the car is a myth, and we cannot stay stuck between two
worlds. It’s time to reclaim our freedom, our sense of adventure in our
everyday lives by embracing the walkable, cycling city. To do so, we need
to embrace a fundamental redesign of our streets.
Anti-cycling advocates are right about one thing: in walkable cities,
pedestrians don’t follow rules. They can move informally, with ease. That’s
- *Jennifer Keesmaat <http://twitter.com/jen_keesmaat> is CEO of
Creative Housing and former chief planner of Toronto*