Kennedy Station roads are open to bikes again!

OpenStreetMap image of a route from north to south through Kennedy Station on roads that have been dug up for the last few years
rather dodgy GPS trail of me riding a bike from Gatineau Trail through Kennedy Station

It feels like forever, but it was probably 2018 that the roads through Kennedy Station were closed to dig the huge hole for the Eglinton Crosstown. So for all that time, I’ve been braving the deadly intersection at Kennedy and Eglinton to get back home from my daily bike ride.

But as of late last week, the roads reopened and I’ve been enjoying the wheee! instead of constant fear of dying. There’s still some work needed, so it’s not all sunbeams and cucumbers:

  • there’s still a misplaced Buses Only sign eastbound on North Service Road. Since this is countermanded by bike and taxi signs on South Service Road continuing the same way, it’s clearly a mistake
  • Transway Crescent is in a horrible state, with nearly six years of heavy construction traffic turning the surface into a knobbly mess. This can, and must, be fixed
  • Perhaps most worrying is permanent signs that suggest the sidewalks will be designated shared-use. They’re far too narrow for that, and have none of the necessary safe entry/exit points. As I’m a road user, the road I will use
  • You still (as before) have to mix it with buses. Bus drivers are professionals, though, and part of the solution.

GO Transit, you suck!

I discovered last week that GO don’t have a central announcement system. That means that unstaffed stations like Kennedy and Exhibition always leave their passengers in the dark. Plus, the e-mail announcement system only alerts you if the train is more than 30 minutes late. I think by that time I would have gone home.

No sign of that train yet …

Goodbye, Star Wars Tree

burnt-out mini mall, Kennedy & Eglinton
The mini-mall burned last night. Looks like the centre of the fire was the gift shop in the middle of the block. The rest of the block is pretty badly damaged, though. It looks like the place will have to be rebuilt — or replaced with a condo block, which seems to be the fate of shops in Scarborough.

I hope that noone was hurt.

So, goodbye Yoga’s, with your selection of teas and Sri Lankan groceries. Goodbye Star Milk, the mom, pop and smiley baby store with your VLT in back and dodgy videos over the drinks cooler. Goodbye Poondy Bread, purveyors of that which has paneity. Goodbye Amma, ace Sri Lankan takeout food shop, the place where I developed a taste for really spicy food.

But most of all, goodbye to the gift shop. Even though I never went in there, I’ll miss the sun-yellowed unsold toys in the window; the almost-Transformers and plastic racing cars.

One toy, unsold through two summers, perplexed me most. It was a cardboard tube wrapped in tinsel. Cardboard tags with pictures of Star Wars characters were attached to it with those nylon annoyances you get on new clothes. It resembled more a christmas decoration than a space weapon, which I think it was supposed to be. We called it the Star Wars Tree, and I’m guessing it wasn’t officially licensed from Lucasfilm.

It’s all gone now, washed away by the fire hoses.

queen west

Went to Canzine today after meeting. Can you belive it, an almost full house and it was a silent meeting?

Anyway, Canzine was full. Bought a couple of Spacing TTC buttons to show my commuter tribe affiliation (Kennedy — Union), and also a m@b book. Eveyone’s favourite Bramptonian Friendly Rich was there, being friendly and well-dressed. Jim Munroe looked in his element in his No Media Kings room.

After that, I walked down to the turbine. The warm weather had brought the ladybirds out. They were all over the deck.

crossing sonar

They’ve just installed a new crossing system at Kennedy & Eglinton. The crossing buttons emit a loud ping every second or so. I think this is supposed to help partially-sighted people find the crossing buttons to activate the signal.

This would be a good idea if the things weren’t so loud. I could hear the things a block south of the crossing, over the traffic noise of Kennedy, and the lunchtime playground at the school.

I wonder what Spacing would say? Noise pollution makes a huge dent in the amenity of public space.

lone go

Again, I was the sole passenger to get on at Kennedy Go station. A few folks got off, which makes a change.

Since it’s bike to work week, I felt very subversive taking my Brompton on board. GO Transit doesn’t like bikes on weekday trains, so basically you’re SOL if you have intermodal commuting needs.

Kennedy Go Station works

The second train ever to pull into Kennedy Go Station

It finally opened, with a big free breakfast bash (which I didn’t know about) and much Transport Minister appearances/festive atmosphere. Amidst all of the party, the GO staff at the station were a bit surprised that a) I wanted to get on the train, and b) that I actually had a valid ticket.

So the train arrived a couple of minutes early, and I got on — the only person to do so. We grumbled off down the line (the Stouffville regulars saying hi, in a friendly way) and got into Union with just enough time for me to pick up a coffee and make the Burlington train. There was actually very little time or money saved, but there’s virtually no hassle.

And just to prove I really did get that train:
yep, that is the ticket

strange inscription

A new black granite headstone at the old cemetary at Kennedy & Eglinton has the baffling inscription: Lum Lum & Bulgy.

Kennedy Road, from shore to shore

(yes, there was an enormous storm coming in …)

If you live in Scarborough, Kennedy Road is yet another line of stripmalls and furniture shops. But if you look at its route on a map, you’ll see that it runs from Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe, through some beautiful countryside.

Since we don’t have a car, and I only recently got a licence, we haven’t been out of the city much. We need to drive somewhere west of Hamilton today, so for practice yesterday, I drove all of Kennedy Road.

Since I know quite how horrible the road is south of Steeles (the Toronto boundary), we kept on Birchmount until we hit the city limit, then headed north on Kennedy through Markham. Things remained fairly unimpressive until we got out of Markham, and passed through Whitchurch-Stouffville and up through the Oak Ridges Moraine. This bit’s beautiful.

Kennedy Road ends as an unpaved road at the edge of Lake Simcoe. Its northern section is so green that you can almost forget the horrors that run through Scarborough. We came back down Warden — another road with similar urban delights to Kennedy — and found it to be just as attractive.