Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

VivaNext staffers support relief efforts for Haiti.

Monday, January 18th, 2010
Aid workers provide medical attention in Haiti. Photo courtesy of IFRC/Eric Quintero.

Aid workers provide medical attention in Haiti. Photo courtesy of IFRC/Eric Quintero.

Here at vivaNext, we often talk about how our rapid transit projects will help to ensure that York Region residents continue to enjoy the quality of life that attracted them here in the first place. As we watch the devastating news about the recent earthquake in Haiti, we are reminded of just how fortunate we are to call York Region home.

Like so many other Canadians, those of us who work in the vivaNext offices have set a donation goal to help charities aiding relief efforts in Haiti. We were especially encouraged to learn that the federal government of Canada has pledged to match all Canadians’ donations up to $50 million. Although the past year has been a financially challenging one for many, we encourage all York Region residents to do whatever they can to help as well, if in a position to do so.

Did you know that Canada’s current Governor General, Michaelle Jean, is originally from Haiti?

If you are a Canadian with family in Haiti, the following contact information may be helpful to you:

Foreign Affairs Emergency Operations Centre
Ottawa, ON
1-800-387-3124 or 613-943-1055

Key international publication identifies GTA’s transportation challenges

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is one of the world’s largest and most reliable sources of comparable statistical, economic and social data. In a publication launched in November 2009 entitled “OECD Territorial Reviews: Toronto, Canada”, several of the GTA’s transportation challenges are collectively identified as a key policy issue. They include traffic congestion problems (70% of commuters use cars), poorly integrated regional transit services, and relatively underdeveloped public transport infrastructure.

To address this key policy issue, one of the publication’s key recommendations is to “tackle transportation challenges by creating incentives for reducing car use, access to additional revenue sources, [and] longer term funding commitments by federal government for investment”.

Here in York Region, we are doing our part to tackle these transportation challenges with such vivaNext initiatives as the rapidways, subways and proposed LRTs. In addition to making it faster and easier to get in and out of the GTA, they will make it up to 40% faster to travel along our Region’s busiest corridors. We believe that such incentives will significantly reduce car use, lead to economic revitalization, help the environment, and maintain the quality of life our residents have come to enjoy.

Reflecting back on a year of many milestones!

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

With a new year just around the corner, we wanted to celebrate by reflecting back on some significant milestones for vivaNext in 2009.

In early spring, the Province of Ontario committed $1.4 billion for the construction of dedicated rapidways along Davis Drive, Highway 7 and Yonge Street for Viva vehicles.

The following month, the Ministry of the Environment unconditionally approved the Environmental Project Report for the proposed Yonge subway extension.

Around this time, our new website was also launched along with this blog and other social media initiatives to help keep you informed of all the latest vivaNext developments.

By the fall, preliminary rapidway construction activities were underway in Newmarket and Markham, and a contract for conceptual design work regarding the Yonge subway extension was awarded. In addition, preliminary station designs were also unveiled for several of the Spadina subway extension stations at a series of public open houses, and the project took an important step forward with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Wilson Subway Yard.

Then, just before the holiday season, a ceremony was held on the site of the planned rapidway alongside Enterprise Drive in Markham (which is part of the Highway 7 rapidway project) to commemorate the start of construction of the first 37 km of rapidways.

From every side of York Region, this past year has been filled with milestones for the vivaNext projects. We look forward to bringing you many more in 2010.

Happy New Year from vivaNext!

Reminder: All YRT\Viva rides are free on New Year’s Eve after 7 p.m.

Rapidway construction begins in York Region on Enterprise Drive!

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Today, an on-site ceremony was held on Enterprise Drive in Markham to commemorate the start of 70 kilometres of vivaNext rapidway construction in York Region.

VivaNext – York Region’s plan for the next generation of rapid transit – includes a network of several rapidways across the Region. They are the east-west Highway 7 rapidway from Highway 50 in Vaughan to Reesor Road in Markham, the north-south Yonge Street rapidway from the Richmond Hill Centre Terminal in Richmond Hill to Green Lane in Newmarket, and the east-west Davis Drive rapidway from Yonge Street to the Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket.

The rapidways will take Viva vehicles out of mixed traffic and into their own dedicated lanes, where they will safely speed past congestion, no matter what time of day.

The 800 metres of rapidways being built on Enterprise Drive, between Warden Avenue and Birchmount Road, are part of the Highway 7 rapidway project.

“This construction phase is truly significant, as it marks the beginning of a new stage of rapid transit in York Region,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “Together with the Government of Ontario, we are building a modern transit system to ensure we keep pace with the planned growth in York Region and preserve the quality of life our residents have come to expect.”

Rapidway construction on Enterprise Drive, which will be completed by the end of 2010, will involve the installation of concrete platform foundations, curbs, and the placement of station canopies. No road closures will be required; only short-term temporary lane closures.

“This is great news for the people of York Region and the GTA,” said Markham-Unionville MPP Michael Chan. “The project signals the start of a faster, more convenient rapid transit network that will enable people to get around more easily, improve the ability of our businesses to grow and succeed and help improve the environment.”

As construction of the rapidways gets underway, we encourage you to add to your list of favourite websites for quick and easy access to the latest information and construction updates. While there, you can also sign up to receive our quarterly e-newsletter in your Inbox, along with customized email updates about vivaNext projects of particular interest to you.

The Spadina subway extension moves forward!

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
From left: Vaughan Mayor Linda Jackson, Ontario Minister of Transportation Jim Bradley, Toronto Mayor David Miller, Federal Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone begin the work on the Spadina subway extension.

From left: Vaughan Mayor Linda Jackson, Ontario Transportation Jim Bradley, Toronto Mayor David Miller, Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone begin work on the Spadina subway extension Friday.

This past Friday, November 27, 2009, a groundbreaking ceremony of a link that will connect the future Spadina subway extension mainline to the existing Wilson Subway Yard and expand yard storage facilities was held.

Government dignitaries in attendance at the Wilson Yard connection site included the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Canada’s Minister of Finance; the Honourable Jim Bradley, Ontario Transportation Minister; His Worship David Miller, Mayor of Toronto; Her Worship Linda Jackson, Mayor of Vaughan; and Toronto Transit Commission chair Adam Giambrone.

“This is another significant step forward that will help meet the Greater Toronto Area’s future network needs,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “As York Region continues to grow and mature, it is imperative to have the proper infrastructure and resources in place for both residents and businesses today and in the future.”

Extending from the Downsview Station in Toronto to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station in Vaughan, the Spadina subway extension will cover a total of 8.6 kilometres and include six stations. Every day, almost as many people travel north to York Region from Toronto as vice versa — including many of the 50,000 students and staff who study and work at York University.

The completion date for the Spadina subway extension is 2015. The $2.6 billion funding required for the project has been secured from all levels of government including $697 million from the Government of Canada, $870 million from the Province of Ontario, $352 million from York Region and $526 million from the City of Toronto.

Get all the latest news about vivaNext in our fall e-newsletter!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Wondering when and where we’ll start to break ground on the vivaNext rapidways? Or how they are already affecting urban transformation in such key destinations as downtown Markham?

In our fall e-newsletter, which has just been posted on our website at, you can find quick and easy answers to these vivaNext-related questions, and many more.

For example, you can learn what people just like you have to say about commuting to and from work in York Region, and whether or not they think our rapid transit projects will make things better or worse.

Perhaps you’re especially looking forward to the proposed Yonge subway extension? If so, then you’ll enjoy our look back to where it all began more than fifty years ago.

We even reveal the lucky Grand Prize winner in our ‘Next Best Thing To Summer’ contest. It’s all there, along with a handy sign-up form so you can conveniently receive future issues of our e-newsletter in your Inbox, along with customized email updates about vivaNext projects of particular interest to you.

Once you’ve had a chance to read our latest e-newsletter, we encourage you to submit topic suggestions for future issues right here on our blog.


Customized vivaNext email updates are just a click away

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

So far, over 4,000 people have signed-up to receive our regular vivaNext email updates. Perhaps you’re one of them. Recently, we made it possible for you to customize the updates you receive.

You can now choose to receive email updates for a specific vivaNext project – or all of them if you want.

To do so, simply click here or visit our “subscribe for updates” page at and select from the following list:

Davis Drive rapidway
Highway 7 rapidway – Markham
Highway 7 rapidway – Vaughan
Yonge Street rapidway
Yonge Subway extension
Spadina Subway extension
Don Mills Road/Leslie Street LRT
Jane Street LRT

It’s as fast to sign-up as it will be to travel in York Region with vivaNext.

Tell us – which vivaNext project interests you the most?

Pop quiz for students

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
All aboard!

All aboard!

If you are a student, you’ll be heading back to school next week so we thought we would get you ready for some of those really hard tests with a little pop quiz. Luckily for you, this is an open book/computer quiz and help can be found on our website and blog.

1) What major university will have two subway stops running by it within the next six years?

2) What College campus in Markham will have a rapidway stop right outside its door within three year?

3) What high school at Warden and Highway 7 will have a rapidway stop outside its doors within three years?

4) What public high school in Newmarket will have a rapidway stop only a short walk away from its doors?

5) What Richmond Hill high school may have a subway stop a few blocks from its doors?

Good work, pencils down.

So as you can see, the rapidways and subway extensions will make it a lot easier for students from many different areas to get to school and travel in to, out of and around York Region.
If you are a student, how will our future projects help you get to school?
Good luck this school year.

Answers: 1) York University 2) Seneca College, Markham Campus 3) Unionville High School 4) Huron Heights Secondary School 5) Langstaff Secondary School

A great way to spare our air in warmer weather is to take transit

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

While warmer weather and patio surfing go hand in hand, unfortunately, so do smog advisories.  Smog, which is most prevalent in summer and can affect our health, is produced when heat and sunlight react with air pollutants such as the ones we emit when we burn gasoline to drive our cars.

While we have been largely spared of smog advisories this summer due to cooler temperatures, this past week we have seen some days where the temperature after humidity reached almost 40 degrees sparking advisories. And last summer eight advisories were issued over a 17-day period in and around the GTA. According to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, one of the best ways to reduce smog advisories is to reduce our car use in warmer weather and take transit.

The vivaNext plan will make transit more convenient and up to 40% faster, providing a viable alternative to driving even when there is no smog advisory. With such speed and convenience, why would anyone choose to sit in congested traffic? We’re focused on moving the vivaNext projects forward and starting construction.

In addition to taking transit, here are some other ways you and your family can help spare our air –

See what kids can do to keep our air clean
Tips from the Ministry of the Environment

Team vivaNext will be at the Woodbridge Italian Festival this weekend

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Soccer teams of every description will be out in full force this Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2 at the annual Woodbridge Italian Festival, taking place at the Ontario Soccer Centre, 7601 Martin Grove Road, just south of Highway 7.

The vivaNext team will also be there from 3 to 11:30 p.m. each day to cheer participants on and talk to residents about vivaNext projects, including the Highway 7 rapidway, which will make it so much faster and easier to take transit to events like this one in the future.

In addition to such soccer highlights such as the “VIP Soccer Challenge” between Vaughan City Council and members of the media, festival attendees of all ages can look forward to two spectacular days filled with food, entertainment, fashion, music, games and much more. Plus, if you are there Saturday evening, you will get to see the Miss Woodbridge Italia Pageant. Best of all, admission for everything is free.

We look forward to seeing you there!