Stereotype greezee gangster

Posted on March 18th, 2010 5 great comments. Room for one more!

For some reason I always fail to properly explain why I think the name “Don Valley” is so much fun. It’s probably because I have a crap Italian accent, but imagine saying that name with a good one. By that I mean borderline comical. Call him “Don Valli” if it helps the imagination. Add about forty percent stereotype greezee gangster into the mix and you’ve got yourself a one spicy meatball.

“Don Valli don give no favers to no ones, see? Especially not to rat basterds like yous!”

Unfortunately, the Don is not currently in a position to make any demands. As a recent Star article points out, it’s mostly a heap of mud and rocks at the moment:

west don lands, parkway, river city, pan american games, 2015, construction, toronto, city, life

Yup. Not much to look at. But apparently what you’re looking at in the photo will be the tower on the left below:

west don lands, parkway, river city, pan american games, 2015, construction, toronto, city, life

I’m still not sure exactly how this is supposed to work, but this River City project sounds like a mix of for-sale condos, social housing, and rooms for athletes in the 2015 Pan-Am games. Once the games are done, those will presumably go up for sale as well. They’re expecting the whole 4-phase construction to take up to ten years. Which probably means fifteen. The scale of the project seems ginormous; “City” doesn’t seem entirely inappropriate.

They plan to create two parks in the area, one of them under the wide Eastern Avenue overpass. That should be interesting. Better than what`s there now:

west don lands, parkway, train tracks, go transit, toronto, city, life

And these tracks run both regular trains and GO trains. This one happens to go to Markham. The locals seem to put up with it but it’s woefully inadequate if we’re hosting guests from other countries.

west don lands, parkway, stairs, bridge, toronto, city, life

We should be gracious hosts and show them it’s okay to spend their bolivianos / reals / guaranis / nuevo sols / bolivars / colons / quetzals / lempiras / cordobas / krones / pesos / euros / dollars here.

But the project will have corollary benefits besides the interesting currencies that will be floating around for a while. To begin with, it’ll nicen up the neighbourhood.

west don lands, queen street bridge, parkway, stairs, bridge, toronto, city, life

Everything beneath and around what you see in the photo above.

The thing about the West Don Lands is that they’re one of the last few chunks of downtown to remain as chain-linked lots. Maybe because the trains run through there. Just west of them is deep downtown and the beginning of Harbourfront. East over the river is an entirely different place unto itself.

River City is supposed to have these streets called woonerfs. (I know, I won’t be using that term much myself.) Basically these are roads designed to imply that pedestrians come first. The narrow street and sidewalk are level and separated by either colour or a dimple that can also serve as a gutter. No curb. Because there are suddenly no lanes, it compels any driver entering the area to slow down. Like they’re in a parking lot. So cars wouldn’t be banned,  just discouraged.

Seems like a nice area for walkers. :)

west don lands, queen street bridge, parkway, stairs, bridge, toronto, city, life

And the Sun was reporting that this new section of town will be getting a new rail-bound shuttle service to Union Station. I doubt they’ll rip that up after the games so that means a new light-rail service will probably land under the auspices of the TTC / Metrolinx. And it really needs to be here within five years. Hopefully Adam Giambrone won’t be anywhere near either of these two organizations by that time. “A van down by the river!” , as Matt Foley used to say, should be a safe distance.

west don lands, eastern avenue bridge, toronto, city, life

5 Comments on “ Stereotype greezee gangster ”

  • Grace
    March 19th, 2010 9:19 am

    Dats "youse" guys


    Read more from Grace at:
  • Patrick
    March 20th, 2010 5:20 am

    I stand corrected, Grace :)


  • Kato
    March 21st, 2010 2:56 pm

    As a sufferer of so much construction, I can say that anyone who lives near it, I feel sorry for them. Ten years?? Jeez!

    I thought it was bad on Roncesvalles. It was supposed to be done this Summer, but as you can possibly guess, next Christmas is the new project finish date.

    The day I do not have to hear giant machines, breathe in dust, and watch 26 guys dig a hole will be the day I am utterly happy.


    Read more from Kato at: http://www.pandorahsbox.blogspot.com
  • Patrick
    March 23rd, 2010 6:27 am

    Roncesvales — they're doing road work there, aren't they, Kato? Wow … no thank you very much.


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    May 24th, 2010 2:13 pm

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    Read more from Toronto City Life » Sugary sleepy fishes and other image problems at: http://www.torontocitylife.com/2010/05/24/sugary-sleepy-fishes-and-other-image-problems/

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