The Future of Transit: Swan Boats!

Back in the early days of this board, I posted an item co-authored with my good friend Sarah concerning the use of Swan Boats as a solution to transport technology in the Don Valley corridor.

You laughed!  You scoffed!  You doubted our pride and professionalism! From that day forward, only movie reviews and endless arguments for LRT graced these pages.

Until today!

Now all will be revealed!  The future of Toronto’s transit is canals and swan boats!

He’s gone mad, you say!  He must be drunk, or worse, you say!  But, no, it is true!

First the canals:  CNN today reported that Panama citizens will vote on a $5-billion project to widen the Panama Canal, while Nicaragua is thinking of building its own canal at a price of only $18-billion.  Let’s put this in context.  The canal is 51 miles (81.6 km) long, and that translates to a cost/km of a mere $221-million.

That’s for a whacking great canal to handle huge ocean freighters and take them across the continental divide.  Looking at the proposed Spadina extension’s cost, this is a competitive technology!

Now we turn to the vehicles.  Swan  boats are available (On sale now!  Two week delivery!) for a mere $28,997 (US).  Just go to this site if you don’t believe me. [The URL no longer works.]

People are so fond of making comparisons on vehicle cost — let’s look at a swan boat.  It holds 12 people, hence a cost per seat of about $2,400.

The design load of a bus is around 50 and the current products seat around 30.  At a capital cost of roughly $600K, this is $12,000 per passenger or $20,000 per seat.

Subway cars have a design load of about 200 and seat about 75.  They cost roughly $3-million, for a cost per passenger of $15,000 and a cost per seat of $40,000.

It’s no contest!  Toronto must immediately abandon all plans for unproven technologies and start building canals for swan boats.  Only with this visionary plan will the future of Toronto’s transportation system be safe!

A Rose By Any Other Name (Updated)

Profound thanks to the many readers who commented on this item!  Based on all this feedback, not to mention my own preferences, the list of new station names is almost complete.  Here’s what it looks like now:

Bloor-Danforth East:

Scarborough Junction, Massey Creek, Dentonia Park, East Toronto, North Beach, East York, Linsmore, [Donlands], Ελλας, Riverdale, Playter, [Castle Frank, Sherbourne]

Bloor-Danforth West: 

Roy’s Square, Yorkville, Rochdale, Lowther, The Annex, Willowvale, [Ossington], Brockton, [Lansdowne], West Toronto, Parkside, [High Park], Swansea, Baby Point, [Old Mill], Kingsway, Montgomery, Six Points


Finch’s, Willowdale, Lansing, Hogg’s Hollow, Muir Gardens, Rebellion, Belt Line, Avoca, North Toronto, Crescent, Roy’s Square, Rainbow, Carlton, O’Keefe’s Lane, City Hall, Melinda, Royal York


[St. Andrew], Osgoode Hall, [St. Patrick], Taddle Creek, Planetarium, Rochdale, Lowther, Casa Loma, Wells Hill, York, Viewmount, [Lawrence West], Arc en Ciel, Downsview, Wilson Heights.

I am amused that we have two “rainbows” one in each official language.  Moreover, the one formerly known as Wellesley has the most boring decor on the system.  Just imagine what a few inspired decorators could do! 

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Toronto International Film Festival Reviews — Part 5 of 5

And finally, we come to the end of it all.  Apologies for the delay — urgent family business has kept me pre-occupied and I am just starting to deal with the backlog.

This installment includes:

  • L’Intouchable
  • The Island
  • The Silence
  • The Magic Flute
  • When the Levees Broke:  A Requiem in Four Acts
  • Amazing Grace

Days 9 and 10 may look like I was really slowing down, but in fact one of those films (the documentary about New Orleans) is four hours long.  I wouldn’t want you to think that I was shirking.  Mind you, the sleep in on Saturday morning for a late start at the Festival was quite nice.

Another Festival over, but there’s always next year, not to mention the myriad other cinema, music and theatre events around town.  If you have come this far, thanks for reading!

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