With all of this talk of Rob Ford, cars, suburban/downtown conflict and transportation in Toronto, I thought it would be useful to visualize travel patterns in my old borough/municipality of Etobicoke. Etobicoke is the western-most section of Toronto, bordering Toronto/York/North York, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga. The travel patterns I found were from 2006’s transportation Tomorrow Survey, taken as a typical weekday, by any mode of transportation. While the data is old, it will have to do for now.
Below, I’ve made a few graphs and maps showing the 5 most frequented destinations as planning districts. The yellow is the origin of the trips.
On a macro level, it looks like people are moving out to Mississauga and within Etobicoke more than they are to the rest of the city. The simple reason for this is that people like to locate close to their place of work. Mississauga attracts many Etobicokans because of the large employment centre surrounding Pearson Airport. As well, Sherway Gardens mall and the employment district surrounding the Queensway is likely a big draw. To top it off, north and south are Humber College’s campuses.
The key thing here is that, for the most part, Etobicokans don’t really seem to venture downtown in droves. I wonder if residents would appreciate a rail system that was able to take them north and south in Etobicoke, or if Mississauga’s employment lands were outfitted with an extensive rail system. Based on this, I came up with this imaginary rail system:
I think this would get all the sweet spots. In the south, Sherway Gardens Mall, the Queensway, Humber College’s Lakeshore campus, Mimico. Going north, it could follow the East or West Mall, passing by tower neighbourhoods, Etobicoke Civic Center, a number of schools (elementary, middle and high), Humber College’s north campus, Albion Mall. Bus routes could possibly cut east and west.
While Mississauga has it’s Hurontario Rail, and with the employment lands already filled with freight traffic, it would still be interesting to see a rail system that connected the sprawling space. Kipling and Islington stations could be the hubs, offering express service at rush hour.
This is completely a pipe dream, but someone’s got to dream big and put some ideas out there! If you’d like to see more of these for other parts of Toronto, or have any suggestions or ideas on how these routes would be altered, leave a comment or like the post!