Saturday, January 03, 2009

Not in my Backyard...after you move in!

I hate idiots with a passion like anyone else. The people that seem so stupid you wonder how they ever made it to live past a certain age or were able to graduate from university in the first place. Everything from how people drive, how they take up the full width of an aisle in a grocery store to running a simple chain restaurant. One has to learn about living with idiots everyday. Solutions include preplanning alternate routes in traffic in case an idiot causes an accident; simply leaving when a Country Style doesn't accept a coupon that their own parent company published in that days paper; to just simply having patience for idiotic people.

In today's Toronto Star there is an article about the development around the Redpath Sugar Refinery on Toronto's harbourfront. Redpath Sugar, a nearby condo developement and the local waterfront development management has come together to develop neighbouring pieces of land to the sugar refinery. The developers of the condos thought that their residents would love to overlook Lake Ontario and watch the large ocean liners come into Redpath to unload their goods and head back out again. The developers, though, did their homework by working with Redpath over possible issues. As the article notes, one of the major issues is that the ocean liners can come in at any time of day or night. The boats tend to be noisy. So the condo developers worked with the Redpath Sugar Refinery to buffer the noise as much as possible. There are other issues but the Toronto Star article, and accompanying video, provide lots of problems and solutions as is.

The only thing not mentioned by the condo developers was if a clause in the each condo's sales agreements that there is currently an large sugar refinery industrial operation next door that does create noise. Hopefully this would prevent the idiots that purchase the condos from complaining about the industrial noise emanating from the sugar refinery next door. But then again, the fact that their is a fully functioning sugar refinery and the clause in the contract might still be missed by a few people who will inevitably complain five to ten years down the road about the said noise.

In Aurora there are similar idiots like those who would complain about the condo next to the sugar refinery in Toronto. In Aurora there is a rail line that originates in Toronto and winds its way up through Vaughan, King Township, Aurora, Newmarket, Bradford and onwards to Barrie. This line, in its heyday used to go all the way up to North Bay or Sudbury and connect into western Canada. Eventually the line was cut back by CN Rail to Barrie.

As a child growing up relatively close to the rail line in the south end of Aurora, I could hear the nightly freight trains blowing their horns as they travelled through the town. The same thing occurred in the mornings with the commuter trains destined for Union Station in Toronto. I was able to tell, by the frequency and length of the train whistles, as to where the trains were in Aurora and how much further they had to go until I couldn't hear them anymore.

Today Aurora has grown quite significantly since then growing to a population, according to the 2006 census, to over 47,629 people. Quite a few people have moved into Aurora which also increases the number of idiots moving into town (that is if you believe there is an idiot to regular population quotient). Newcomers to Aurora (read: newly moved in idiots) are now complaining about the train whistles interupting their slumber in the middle of the night and early morning from the odd freight train and GO Trains. The town council has now spent over ten thousand dollars in completing a study and obtaining the necessary approvals from York Region, Transport Canada, and GO Transit. All except Transport Canada has given their approval. Transport Canada is requesting an updated study as the report has languished since 2006.

The town and its taxpayers are not done yet. After Transport Canada approves the report the Town and others levels of government (read: more taxpayers money being spent) are going to have to pay for new horns and other sounding devices for the four level crossings which will probably cost over one hundred thousand in the end.

Over one hundred thousand will be spent because recent home buyers seemed to have missed a railway through town. Is this a new railway put through and the property owners are complaining about the noise? No the rail line has been coming to Aurora since the 1850s and even had a decent rail yard near current day middle of town (for more on Aurora's rail history see here). So the railway, like the Redpath Sugar plant in Toronto, was there first before the majority of the houses that the people are living in are complaining. I would also dare to say the railway was there before every single person who lives in town currently was even born!

But nonetheless, the people moving to Aurora couldn't be bothered to either do at least Google satellite map search of the town to see what is around or venture around Aurora before they made one of their biggest purchases in their lives, a new home. If they had done so they would have noticed the rail line, railway station and others. They could have inquired with the Town, GO Transit or CN Rail as to the activity on this line in the present and the recent past. If these idiots had done their homework they would have realized freight trains do come through Aurora overnight the odd time and the GO Transit commuter trains are currently eight times a day and are likely to increase to all day service within the next five to ten years. And, big note here to those not yet doing the math: NEWSFLASH TRAINS BLOW THEIR HORNS AT THE CROSSINGS!

But then again, we have to realize idiots will never understand that trains blow their horns and boats unloading a sugar refineries make noise as this would require too much common sense. As we all know idiots don't have common sense. Because of this lack of common sense, a condo developer and sugar refinery have to work on noise and other issues and the Town of Aurora must spend at least a hundred thousand dollars in order to pacifiy idiots who refused to do their homework before moving into the area. Thanks to the idiots, it is the rest of us that have to suffer.

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