Posts Tagged ‘community’

a sense of history in York Region

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

a sense of history in York Region

150 years ago, York Region looked vastly different than it does now. Instead of a Starbucks on every corner, wide expanses of farmland were dotted with small villages. Small settlements defined the “downtown” of each, creating a sense of community.

This sense of community has flourished as the population of these cities and towns has grown. With a population that surpassed a million in York Region; the change in population has also been reflected in the community landscapes. The once quaint small-town streets have evolved and transformed into bustling metropolitan hubs, in and of themselves. Each hub is now being enhanced with transit, connecting people to housing and jobs, and businesses offering services, shopping, dining and entertainment!

These bustling towns and cities are exciting, but if you yearn for a simpler time, a visit to Black Creek Pioneer Village [see map] may be just what you need. Whether learning how to make a candle, or being an apprentice for the day with the blacksmith, Pioneer Village gives you the opportunity to experience how early residents lived in southern Ontario.

Once the new TTC Line 1 extension to Vaughan opens this December, getting to Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto will be even easier! Pioneer Village is one of six new stations being added to Line 1, on Steeles West between Keele and Jane StreetsYou’ll be able to get to TTC subway easily in Vaughan, with the new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre vivastation opening on Highway 7 with direct connections from Viva to the subway station below, and a new SmartCentres Place Bus Terminal opening for YRT customers, just two-minutes’ walk north. Transit agencies in the GTA continue to ‘pioneer’ new transit for our modern age, allowing our ever-expanding communities to stay connected. Unfolding histories – made in York Region.


by Adrianna Damiano

the unique challenge of working around business, residential and other private property

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

When you’re talking about private property, chances are you’re picturing someone’s home or business, or maybe a piece of land with a fence around it. But did you realize that every square inch of York Region, as in every other jurisdiction in Canada, is actually owned by someone?

Typically, for projects like vivaNext, when work will be taking place on or near private property, we work with a range of property owners, whether it’s a private individual’s home or business or a different level of government. Here’s how it works:

During the earliest design phases, we map out the proposed design for the future roadway or facility, working with existing information about property ownership. For the most part, rapidways and facilities are intentionally designed to fit within property that is already owned by the future operators of our projects – for example, the Region of York or one of our local municipalities.

As the design process gets more detailed, we analyze how the proposed alignment will fit with the properties along the roadway. We also identify any impacts the project will have on each.

In some cases, such as where the road is being widened, the recommended design may show that we might need to encroach onto private property. Sometimes we may only need access onto private property during construction, and sometimes it’s permanent.

With the final design established, and depending on the nature and duration of the property impact for each property, we then follow a series of established procedures to come to an agreement with the owner.

The agreement will include clarification of how our work will affect their property, how long we’ll need access if it’s only temporary, and compensation if we’re acquiring some part of their property.

The options and arrangements will vary depending on the kind of property and what impact our project will have on it; for example, installing a rapidway across a bridge over a 400-series provincial highway will involve different issues and potential strategies with the property’s owner or representative. In this case, it’s the Ministry of Transportation on behalf of the Province of Ontario.

In all cases though, the process of working with property owners to work out access is a complex part of the design and pre-construction work, and involves many different team members including York Region Property Services, Legal Services, York Region Transit, our design builders as well as our project team.

But no matter who the owner is, being respectful of the rights of all our property-owning neighbours is a top priority for our project with dedicated staff like the Community Liaisons to help answer questions in the field.


engaging the community – and listening to you

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

engaging the community – and listening to you

One of the best things about springtime is how much more we all get outside – and that especially includes the many events in the communities in York Region. From festivals to farmers markets, home shows and other events, it’s important that we’re out and about, talking and listening to you.

In April, many of you visited us at our booth at the Aurora Home Show, where we were able to chat with several hundred people. People were very interested in making sure the Heritage Area along Yonge Street is properly protected – we were able to reassure you of the plans for Viva to continue to drive in mixed traffic through the Heritage blocks, rather than widening the road as in other areas. We also attended the Newmarket Home Show in March to make ourselves available to the community to answer questions and talk about the Rapidway and the construction along Davis Drive. We had some good conversations – this community remains very engaged in the plans and are looking forward to the end of construction!

In May, we were at the Richmond Hill Home Show talking about the Highway 7 East and Yonge Street rapidways, and we shared in the fun at York Region’s Family Fun Day in East Gwillimbury.

Throughout the summer, you’ll continue to see us at festivals and events. And throughout the year, we’ll be talking to business owners, property owners and local communities to ensure everyone is aware of ongoing and upcoming construction activities, and to help you plan ways of dealing with temporary road diversions and lane closures. Because we’re building where you live, shop, work and play, you’ll be seeing Community Liaisons and other vivaNext people at different events and festivals to help keep everyone informed.

Want more information on where you’ll find the vivaNext team? Check out our Community Events page.


time for some family fun…

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

time for some family fun...

York Region’s Public Works and Emergency Medical Services [EMS] departments are hosting a Family Fun Day this weekend, and we’ll be there too to help recognize the importance of these services, and to have some fun!

We hope you can drop by our booth while you’re there, and be sure you take part in some of the activities, including:

  • Give transit a try and ride Viva through the bus wash facility in Newmarket [we especially recommend this activity!]
  • Tour the facilities at 80 and 90 Bales Drive, and see interesting equipment and vehicles
  • Watch or take part in the bike rodeo and bike helmet demonstrations
  • Food and refreshments at a charity BBQ [11:30 – 2pm]
  • Free garden mulch with a donation, and contests and prizes
  • Meet Pylon Pete, Barkley the Tree and Parry the Paramedic

So let’s enjoy the nice weather, spend quality time with family, and come see some of York Region’s services. We’ll see you there!

For detailed information about York Region’s Family Fun Day, visit


Why “TOD” is great news for all of us

Monday, August 16th, 2010
A rendering of transit-oriented development in Markham

A rendering of transit-oriented development at the future Markham Centre

Recently, I wrote about transit and the role it has in shaping communities, in particular, the development that tends to spring up along transit routes and around stations. This time, I want to talk more about what we mean by “transit-oriented-development” ( TOD for short), and why this kind of development will be good news for people in York Region—whether or not they are transit users themselves.

Most people get around York Region by car – possibly because they want to – but also because some people find it challenging to do all the things they need to do in a day by transit. That’s not surprising in a region like this one; in communities where development has been shaped by a long-standing car culture, destinations are more likely to be spread out, with greater distances between live-work-play destinations. Even the design of buildings may be shaped by car usage, with large parking lots separating buildings from roads.

The idea behind TOD is that people using transit are also likely to be pedestrians at some point during their journey – either at the beginning, or the end (or both). Studies have shown that people are willing to walk about 5 minutes to or from transit, which is somewhere between 400 and 600 metres. So TOD uses the approach of creating a complete community within walking distance of transit – including workplaces, homes, shopping, recreation and services. The thinking is that if new developments are designed to be conveniently compact and appealing to pedestrians, people are more likely to leave their car at home for at least one of their trips. Obviously, the good news is that more people taking transit means fewer cars on the road, less pollution, and less gridlock.

So York Region planners have linked the plans for the vivaNext rapidways to land use policies that will result in more TOD along Viva routes and near vivastations. These policies will likely mean that much of the new development built around vivastations will be compact and mixed-use, providing housing, employment, retail, dining, services and recreation, all within a walkable distance of transit. Developments will also include more welcoming public spaces, attractive landscaping, and other amenities so that people enjoy being out and about.

How will this affect you? In a pre-TOD scenario, a typical day could start with a drive to work, then a drive to a restaurant for dinner, ending with a drive to a movie or concert before driving back home. With more TOD, you would have the choice of taking transit to work, then walking around the corner from the office to dinner, then strolling across the street for a show before grabbing a coffee and getting home again by transit. Same day, two different ways of getting around.

The point is that transit and TOD don’t have to change the way people live in York Region, but it will give us all more choices – in what we do, where we do it, and how we get there. We think that’s good news for everyone.

Are you ready for some summer fun?

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
The vivaNext team at last year's Aurora Street Festival

The vivaNext team at last year's Aurora Street Festival

The 15th Annual Aurora Chamber Street Festival is taking place this Sunday, June 6, from 11am to 5pm – and the vivaNext team will be there!

A great way to kick off the summer season, the festival features family-friendly fun and entertainment for kids of all ages – and admission is free! With unique street performances, including acrobatics, fire-eating, comedy, juggling and magic, as well as live music, a vintage car show, and delicious food, the Aurora Street Festival offers a great way to spend the day and enjoy the York Region community.

With over 500 vendors along Yonge Street, be sure to look out for the vivaNext booth. Better yet, stop by and grab a free bag of popcorn, ask your questions, and find out more about vivaNext projects.

We’ll be at the festival, rain or shine – so the only question is, are you ready for some summer fun?

15th Aurora Chamber Street Festival

Date & Time: June 6, 11am – 5pm

Location: Yonge Street, Aurora (between Wellington Street (North) and Murray Drive (South)

Admission: Free!