Posts Tagged ‘York University’

a look forward >> fall and winter

Monday, September 11th, 2017

a look forward >> fall and winter

We’re holding onto summer, but signs of fall are all around us. Kids waiting for buses in new jackets and boots, fall decorations in the stores, and even the geese are starting to head south.

We know many students walk and take our Viva buses to get to and from school, so we hope those who choose to drive remember to stay alert and keep an eye out for kids, especially at intersections and in construction zones.

Rapid transit construction continues this fall and winter in Newmarket, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. This December, students in Vaughan and at York University will have exciting new transit options, with Viva buses on the new Highway 7 rapidway taking riders to the subway extension – in service in December – along with a YRT bus terminal within walking distance.

Did you miss a few things on your back-to-school list? If so, be sure to check out the shops in our construction areas >> Shop 7, Shop Yonge, and Shop Bathurst & Centre!


live, work, play…and study in Markham!

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

live, work, play…and study in Markham!

The City of Markham is growing quickly, and for some time now has been considered a major employment hub, especially in the tech sectors. According to Markham’s website, of the 10,400 companies in Markham, there are more than 400 Canadian head offices located there. This includes IBM, GE Digital Energy, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, Honda – you get the picture. As an article in Computer Dealer News points out, York Region and especially Markham, has the highest concentration of Information, Communication and Technology [ICT] firms in Canada. Given its role as a key employment centre, it’s no surprise Markham has a large population of residents – it’s the GTA’s fourth-largest city, and York Region’s biggest municipality.

GO, all day

So naturally, there are people travelling to and from work in Markham, and they’re going to need more options for getting there. GO trains are a popular choice, so it stands to reason that GO Transit’s Stouffville Line travelling through Markham should be expanded. Last week, MTO announced increased, all-day GO train service on weekdays, starting later this month. 17 new trains trips per weekday will double the number of weekly trips on the Stouffville line from 85 to 170. GO passengers connect to Viva and the Highway 7 rapidway at Unionville Station, and YRT at Centennial, Markham and Mount Joy Stations.

York U

Last Friday, the Province of Ontario announced $127 million in funding to help build the new York University campus in Markham. The campus has been in the plans since 2015, when the Province agreed the new campus should be located in Markham. Set to open in 2021, it will host 4,400 students – both graduate and undergraduate – and partner with Seneca Collage to offer some programs. Seneca’s Markham campus is already nearby, a stone’s throw from Allstate Station on the Highway 7 rapidway.

Markham is growing – with plans and transit in place to support that growth. Having more travel and education choices is a wonderful thing no matter where you are, and we’re excited to see it happening here in Markham!

when urbanism comes to a small city, the impact is big

Friday, November 25th, 2016

when urbanism comes to a small city, the impact is big

When urban projects that bring complete streets happen in a big city, they have an impact. A recent big-city example is Simcoe Street in Toronto, which increased pedestrian space and added bike lanes. But to be honest, these projects don’t create the same splash as they do in small cities. In fact, they can get a bit lost in amongst the city as a whole.

When urbanism comes to small or even medium-sized cities, the effect can be huge – even transformative – creating  a new downtown. And the vivaNext and subway project in Vaughan is doing just that.

A recent article, called “New Urbanism’s impact on small-to-midsize cities”, from the American journal Public Square, lays out several remarkable examples of the effects of complete streets’ on smaller centres.

The article describes the positive impacts urban projects have had on a selection of small U.S. cities:

  • Positive impacts in Birmingham, Michigan. Since urbanism came to Birmingham the city now attracts more shoppers and visitors. In fact, in the wake of the urbanism projects, Birmingham has changed its motto to “a walkable community”.
  • Revitalized Albuquerque, New Mexico. Urban changes to land use in Albuquerque have created “a lively mix of entertainment, shopping, office and houses in place of cheap surface parking and underused buildings.”
  • Formerly forlorn Providence, Rhode Island. Before the urbanism project in Providence, the city had a deserted, empty yet heritage-rich downtown. Urbanism has brought the area back to life “with a vengeance”.

Closer to home, the Highway 7 East vivaNext project in Markham has transformed the street from being a highway with gravel shoulders, to being an attractive place to walk, cycle, drive and shop with convenient rapid transit Viva buses along the route. The project has helped set the stage for new development in Markham, such as York University’s new campus.

In Vaughan, people are starting to flock to the new urbanized area known as Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, which is seeing new urban development in Vaughan and includes design elements such as pedestrian-friendly boulevards, wider sidewalks, attractive landscaping, bicycle lanes, upcoming bus rapid transit and the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension [TYSSE]. New developments are coming to this new mobility hub, transforming the area.

Urbanism in York Region is part of the exciting movement for smaller cities to grow right, serving the Region’s communities for generations to come.

For more information on the vivaNext projects, be sure to sign up for email updates and follow us on Twitter. Questions or comments? Comment below or email us at


vivaNext goes to school

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Recent stories in our local media have described the exciting proposal put forward to York University and Seneca College to locate a satellite campus in York Region. Newmarket/Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Markham all had strong submissions that each would offer all manner of benefits to York Region.  On Friday, April 24 they short listed the possible sites to include: Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Markham.

The fact that these proposals advanced is proof of the increasing urbanization of York Region, especially in its emerging centres in Newmarket, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.  This increasing urbanization is good news in so many ways, including for young people who would like the option to attend post-secondary school closer to home.

VivaNext is a key part of bringing that urbanization to life.  By extending rapid transit routes into these key areas, a potential new university or college campus would more easily be able to attract faculty and staff as well as new students.  Having rapid transit on its doorstep is just one of the many reasons why these campus bids are so strong.

The long-term vision for York Region is to give people more choices, whether it’s where they live, work, shop or dine out – or go to school.  We’re seeing that vision come to life, block by block, with new developments taking shape all along the rapid transit routes and in the new centres.  And each new development, whether it’s residential, employment or retail, attracts even more economic growth. The new centres are already becoming increasingly important destinations, just as York Region had planned.

VivaNext is proud to be a key part of these plans. We’ll look forward to hearing the news later this spring where the future home of a college or university campus will be located.  And then, it will be our great pleasure to get those students and their teachers to class on time!

Launch of a connected region

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Photo of Holey, the tunnel boring machine for the Spadina subway extension

Friday was a momentous day for anyone who dreams of when it will be easier to get around the GTA. On Friday, we took the first concrete step towards a true regional transit system. This was the day when “Holey”, the massive tunnel boring machine, was officially launched to build a subway connection between Toronto and York Region. On Friday the clock started ticking to the day in 2015, when, without needing to transfer, we’ll be able to buy one ticket, sit in comfort, and travel in and around the GTA to anywhere the subway goes. A momentous day, indeed.

I’m talking of course about the official start of tunnelling for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension. This new service, when it’s finished in late 2015, will extend the Spadina Subway by 8.5 kilometres from Downsview Station, via six new stations, to a new terminus at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre development area on Highway 7. Vaughan’s new subway station will also link to the Viva rapidways along Highway 7, up Yonge Street and across Davis Drive in Newmarket.

It’s impossible to overstate the important role subway extensions play in connecting GTA regions, and how this first of two north-south subway extensions will change the way people take transit in the GTA. Until now, each municipality or Region has had its own separate rapid transit system, divided by geographic boundaries. In an area like the GTA, where so many people live in one municipality and work in another, having one connected rapid transit system will make life more convenient, more predictable, and much, much easier.

So Friday’s launch was a very big deal.

The subway, which is going to cost about $2.6 billion, is being paid for by the federal government, the provincial government through Metrolinx, The Regional Municipality of York, and the City of Toronto. A joint Toronto-York project team is collaborating to complete the project, and the engineering logistics of how the subway will actually connect to the Viva rapidways in Vaughan is a whole story unto itself, which I’ll write about soon.

We know from research that people love the idea of being able to commute by public transit, if they’re offered a fast, convenient and reliable alternative to driving. So extending subway lines will make a lot of people very happy.

“Holey” will soon be joined by her tunnel boring machine partner “Moley” to tunnel northwest from the Sheppard West launch site toward the Finch West site at Keele. Their twin cousins “Yorkie” and “Torkie”, will soon begin tunnelling southeast from their Steeles West launch site toward York University. We’ll be cheering them on, and judging by the excitement of the onlookers and circling helicopters at Friday’s launch, we know people all across the GTA will be cheering too.

Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension project: 
Subways in York Region: 
The Missing Link – business case describing why a Yonge Subway extension should be considered a top priority:

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.

There is light at the end of the Steeles West subway tunnel!

Friday, November 20th, 2009
An artist rendering of the Steeles West subway station.

An artist rendering of the Steeles West subway station.

Each of the six subway stations that will be built along the Spadina subway extension – a key part of the vivaNext plan – will have a unique design.

Above ground, the most striking feature of the Steeles West Station conceptual design is its very distinctive and futuristic profile. It looks like something right out of ‘The Jetsons’. Below ground, a central light cone will bring daylight all the way down to the platform levels – a solution that’s both illuminating and eco-friendly.

The Steeles West subway station will also feature a commuter parking lot with 1,900 parking spaces plus two bus terminals, including one for YRT and Viva.

Planned service frequency from Downsview Station to Steeles West Station is every two minutes, and from Steeles West Station to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station, every five minutes.

York University students get an A+ for enthusiasm!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Team vivaNext member, Donald, shows students where the new Spadina subway extension will run on a map during the Annual Clubs BBQ last Wednesday.

Team vivaNext member, Donald, shows students where the new Spadina subway extension will run on a map during the Annual Clubs BBQ last Wednesday.

VivaNext teams had such a great time talking to York University students on campus last week about how our new rapidways and subway extensions will make it faster and easier to get to school in the future. Over a two-day period, we had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of students who use rapid transit to commute to class from all over York Region. Boy, did they get excited when they learned that rapidway stops will be near their campus within the next four years, and subway stops right on their campus within the next six years.

On Wednesday, our first day on campus, we were at the Annual Clubs BBQ at Vanier Field. While the line-up for burgers was incredibly long, the one at our vivaNext booth was pretty impressive as well. Then the next day, Thursday, we took part in the Transportation Fair at York Lanes along with other transit organizations, car share companies and cycling networks. It gave York University students a chance to explore a wide range of present and future commuting options – including Viva – all in one convenient location.

Perhaps you were there? If so, we’d love to hear what you think about the vivaNext plan and what impressed you the most.

Back to school with vivaNext

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Drop by our booth at York University to learn how our plans will improve your quality of life.

Viva vehicles on the York University campus.

Viva vehicles on the York University campus.

The rapidways and subway extensions will make it faster and easier for people living and working in York Region to get around. This is especially true for current and future students, faculty and staff at York University. Within the next four years, new rapidway stops in dedicated lanes will be near the campus and within the next six years, two subway stops will be right on the campus. Construction will begin on both of these fully-funded projects within the year.

When complete, not only will you save time getting there, but you’ll save on parking. If you’ve already graduated, then these projects will make it faster and easier for you to get to work and connect with other places.

We will be on campus Sept. 16 for the Annual Clubs BBQ. On Sept. 17, we will be there, joined by all of the other public transit providers in the area plus cycling networks and car share companies, for the Transportation Fair.

Here is some more information about the events we’ll be at.

Annual Clubs BBQ

Date: Wednesday September 16 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: Vanier Field

Transportation Fair

Date: Thursday September 17 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: York Lanes Mall

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