Councilor sees a monorail in Toronto’s future

Toronto (ON) councilor Doug Ford has a vision for a neglected section of the city’s waterfront and it sounds a little Disneyesque. The mayor’s brother — whom the National Post calls “an idea machine” — sees a monorail connecting visitors to a shopping mall, hotel, and giant Ferris wheel. The monorail, in particular, seems to have generated a lively discussion. As might be expected, Kim Pedersen, founder and president of the Monorail Society praises the technology. “Once you get them built they’re very economical. They are rubber tires running on a perfectly smooth road. They don’t get blow outs,” he said. “With steel rail you’ve got to grind the tracks and wheels. There’s a lot more maintenance.” University of Toronto Cities Centre director Eric Miller had a slightly different view. “I am confident there’s been no technical assessment for this thing at all,” he told the Toronto Star. “The big problem with elevating things is you’ve got this structure looming over you. The only possible advantage monorail has is its narrow profile,” he said but added that monorails are safe and can move about as many people as light rail. And Torontoist provides some historical perspective. But Ford remains upbeat. “People can joke around about the Ferris wheel; I can assure you, you put the Ferris wheel in there, it will be one of the number one attractions in the country,” he told the National Post. “And every single person in Toronto will end up going on it at one time or another.”

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