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"Toronto Talks Mobility" : public forum, November 9;
mobility symposium, November 10



In November 2008, the Metrolinx board of directors approved The Big Move, the Government of Ontario’s long-range regional transportation plan.

The Cities Centre, the University of Toronto’s urban research centre, is hosting two free events to help you learn more about this plan. The goal of the events is to “de-politicize”, and build support for, The Big Move, so that the provincial government fully implements and adequately funds it and the plan endures time and successive governments.

The organizers of the events feel that “now is the time for people to take part in a non-partisan, evidence-based, wide-ranging and inclusive discussion of transportation needs and options in the Greater Toronto Area”. They want “an opportunity to engage diverse actors within our community in order to build momentum and support towards creating the efficient, equitable and sustainable transportation system that people need and deserve”.

To kick-start this discussion, the Centre is hosting a two-day forum “Toronto Talks Mobility”, “to present and discuss needs, options and living examples for transportation solutions in the GTA. The goal is to engage a broader group of citizens and stakeholders and put new solutions on the table that Torontonians can support and leaders can champion.”

“Toronto Talks Mobility” will examine “what we do next as a region to build on progress we have made to date, including the Big Move, and how we can make sure we gain long-term success. Ultimately, the event aims to kick-start a campaign to bring a broader civic voice to our transportation future.”

Next Wednesday, November 9 evening, the Toronto Talks Mobility public forum brings the public and the mayors of two Canadian cities together to talk about transportation visions with mobility experts.

The event takes place in the City Hall Council Chamber, 100 Queen Street West from 7 until 9 p.m.

Toronto Star columnist Christopher Hume will moderate the event. Speakers include George Hazel, chairman, MRC McLean Hazel and author of Making Cities Work and Bob Stanley, mobility management, urban planning and transit expert and Naheed Nenshi, the mayor of Calgary (via Skype) and Jeff Lehman, the mayor of Barrie.

The next morning, Thursday, November 10, speakers will present the case for action on the state of mobility in Toronto and the need to implement funding solutions. That afternoon, panelists will share successes that inspire and encourage participants to want to take similar action here in Toronto. The final part of the day lets participants gather in topic areas to develop plans for action and share with the group.

The event takes place at the Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, south of St. Clair Avenue West from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Speakers and moderators for the Thursday events include: Councillor Karen Stintz, Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission; Rob Prichard, Chair of Metrolinx; Eric Miller, director, Cities Centre; Ken Greenberg, principal, Greenberg Consultants; Paul Bedford, associate professor, University of Toronto (and former Chief Planner for the City of Toronto); Carol Wilding, chief executive officer, Toronto Board of Trade; Michael Roschlau, president and chief executive officer, Canadian Urban Transport Association (CUTA); Councillor Joe Mihevc; Bob Paddon, vice-president of customer and public engagement, Translink (the transit agency of the greater Vancouver area) and first vice-chair of CUTA; Neil McKendrick, manager of transit planning, city of Calgary; Gil Penalosa, executive director, 8-80 Cities; Linda Weichel, vice-president of partnerships, CivicAction and leader of Greening Greater Toronto; Cherise Burda, transportation policy director, the Pembina Institute; Jamie Kirkpatrick, TTC Riders; Dave Meslin, community choreographer; Marty Collier, founder, transport futures; Olivia Chow, Federal Member of Parliament for Trinity-Spadina; and Andrea Garcia, director of advocacy and operations, Toronto Cyclist Union.

Both events are free of charge, but you must register before the events — for the November 9 event here and for the November 10 event here.