Sunday, January 29, 2012

YRT Strike: Where does it Go From Here

Saturday afternoon Ray Doyle, Union Leader of ATU 1587, announced his union membership had accepted the offer from Miller Transit with an 80% approval rating and thus ending the 3 month plus  YRT/VIVA Bus strike of 2011-2012.   Earlier this week Bob Kinnear, Union Leader of ATU 113, announced his union local membership had accepted the offer from Veolia Transit with a 77% approval rating.  Meanwhile, the Region of York had earlier cancelled the YRT Services Contract for the YRT North Service Area with First Student and awarded it to TOK Transit.  Thus, with the Strike ending and promises of resumption of service starting February 4th after a little bit of driver training and some bus maintenance, there a couple of questions to consider. 

1. Why did the strike drag on so long?

The main reason the York Region Transit Strike took so long was the union leadership of both Union Locals 113 (Bob Kinnear) and 1573 (Ray Doyle) seemed more interested in trying to bring in the Region of York into the mix rather than negotiating with the private contractors of Miller, Veolia and First Student.  A great case in point is found in this interview with ATU Union Leader Ray Doyle where he spends most of the interview bashing the Region of York and it's Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch than talking about why he is not negotiating with Miller Transit or First Canada.

Both Bob Kinnear, ATU Local 113 Leader and Mr. Doyle spent more time calling on the Region of York to get involved by requesting binding arbitration from the province so his workers could return to work than they did at the negotiating table.  What's funny is when the Region of York did do something, by cancelling First Canada's contract, Mr. Kinnear files a motion with the Ontario Labour Board saying the Region of York is interfering negotiations by doing this right before a union membership vote on an offer from Veolia. First, Mr. Doyle and Mr. Kinnear wanted the Region of York involved in negotiations, then when the Region does enter by terminating a service contract with a contractor that has had very little negotiations with the unions, Mr. Kinnear cries fowl.

 Speaking of that particular vote, the Ontario Labour Board forced the vote via Veolia's request which took over a week to occur.  Meanwhile, in a similar situation Mr. Doyle's Union vote on a Miller Transit offer dook a mere two to three days to occur.  Why did Mr. Kinnear wait over a week for the vote to occur?  Was he trying to make sure all his membership fell in line to vote against the offer?

The Region of York rightly pointed out throughout the negotiations that it contracted out all transit operations to three service companies: Veolia, Miller and First Transit and that the labour negotiations with the ATU Union Locals was with the companies.  It rightly ended the contract with First Student and asked the other companies to present a plan on how they were going to restore service.  The union leadership meanwhile finally got the message after First Transit was terminated that the only way forward for their membership was to negotiate with the companies.  

Before this past week of negotations that led to agreements between Veolia and ATU Local 113 as well as Miller Transit and ATU Local 1573, the union leadership had periodic less than one day negotiation sessions with the companies.  These meetings, optically, seemed only to show that the ATU Locals were at least attempting to meet with the companies and that it wasn't working.  This basically was orchistrated by the union leadership in order to try to pressure the Region of York to become involved and ask the province to order binding arbitration.   This tactic went on for months and is mainly why the strike dragged on for so long.  

Bob Kinnear, after ATU Local 113 Membership approved Veolia's offer, said the following:

“It is unfortunate (Veolia and York Region) penalized the people of York Region throughout this dispute and had to wait three months to finally come to the table and realize that your worth and the service you provide to the people of York Region is worth substantially more than they were offering up until a week ago,”... “Congratulations, brothers and sisters, you came out on top.” - Yorkregion.com story.

Bob still just does not get it.  The Region of York was not involved in negotiations between Veolia and ATU Local 113 membership.  If they did get involved you can sure bet Mr. Kinnear and his union leadership brethrin would have been at knocking on the doors of the Newmarket court house so fast, York Regional Police could have met their quotas for speeding tickets at the corner of Yonge & Eagle Streets in Newmarket.   Bottom line, this strike dragged on so long not because of the companies and the region, but because the ATU Union Locals dragged their feet in returning to the negotiating table with the contractor companies.  This is how Ray Doyle, Bob Kinnear and the union leadership penalized the people of York Region, by making politicial hay out of the contract dispute instead of faithfully negotiating with the companies over new offers.  If this wasn't political, then why was the three union contracts with 3 different companies representing YRT workers all end at the same time?  Weird timing isn't it?

This strike could have been a lot shorter if negotiations if the union leadership was actually interested in negotiating with their employers and not going after their employer's client, the Region of York.

2. Where do the unions go from here?

There really is no definitive answer about where the union leadership and/or membership will go from here.  But there are at least two ways (and probably more) the unions could take things:

a) Remain the same with their workers working for the contractors Miller, Veolia and TOK Transit.

b) Call on the Region to take remove the contractors from YRT Services and let union membership run the operations with Region management oversight.  This would show the union leadership continues it's interests in removing what it calls multinational companies making enormous profits off the backs of union members and have their union members enjoy some benifits of hard work. 

The other option would be once the contracts come up for retendering was to put in their own competitive bid.  The unions, ironically enough as noted before, did not do this when the last YRT service contract came up for the Southwest Division.   Hopefully the union leadership will put their money and efforts into what they are saying about their membership's employers and take action by landing their own contracts with the Region.  Otherwise it is pretty hypocritical of Bob Kinnear and Ray Doyle to say the Region needs to be involved if the ATU Union refuses to become involved when the time comes to talk to the region about transit service agreements. 

3. What will happen when service resumes?

Media reports and YRT press releases have noted February 4th as most likely start date for service to resume following the strike by ATU Union Membership.   This is so bus maintenance can be undertaken and driver retraining can be done to ensure proper safe operating procedures.  Not all bus routes will be up and running on February 4th as TOK Transportation, who was awarded the service contract for YRT's North Division, has until mid April to complete roll out of service to all routes  (Source: page 4 of this Regional Council report).

The Region of York has repeatedly promised 1 month free service to all customers when service resumes.  The question many have asked over at the Region's Facebook page is when this will start with replies from the Region of York stating details will be available this coming week.  But with TOK Transit taking it's time in hiring workers and rolling out buses to the North Division and YRT customers now with February 2012 monthly passes in hand how will the region equitably start the free transit service so all customers can enjoy the benefits? Many YRT/VIVA customers will be interested to see how this will be done. 

Relations between YRT/VIVA customers and drivers have become strained.  Many customers felt like hostages as the drivers refused work.  Many customers walked long distances to get to school and work while the YRT/VIVA drivers walked the picket lines disrupting existing services legally and possibly illegally.  It will be interesting to see how the drivers are treated when they resume service, expect private security, YRT/VIVA Special Constables and York Regional Police presence to stepped up at least the first two weeks of service.  

Overall the Union Leadership is to blame for both the duration of the strike and the return to work conditions their drivers face.  ATU Union Local Leaders Bob Kinnear and Ray Doyle spent more time battling with their employee's employer's client, the Region of York than negotiating with their employers.  This caused the strike to drag on unnecessarily for months instead of a short duration like in 2008 when VIVA drivers under Bob Kinnear negotiated and resolved their contract with Veolia.  As the strike dragged on and the tiresome rhetoric from Bob Kinnear, Ray Doyle and others, customers became frhustrated which has led towards animosity towards both the union leadership and the drivers. Thus, it is really the union leadership who are responsible as they had the power to quickly return to negotations with Miller, Veolia and First Canada and chose not to do so by playing political games while their union membership walked the picket lines loosing out on just over 3 months of pay cheques.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pizza Delight

This evening we rustled up some veggies, a little tomato sauce and other ingredients and dove head first into a little pizza making.  We found a recipe first in the local edition of 24 Hours newspaper and modified it once we had the pizza yeast with yet another recipe.   That recipe is what we chose to  make in the end.  

After just less than hour of making the 30 minute pizza (hey the first attempt is always the longest time you ever make a recipe) we popped the pizza into the oven for a fifteen minute baking.

Pizza before baking.

We waited patiently while the sweet smell of pizza emanated from the oven.  But finally the wait was over and we opened the oven to find our pizza ready for cutting.

Pizza after 15 Minutes of Baking

Overall this recipe tasted just like the pizza from our nearby pizza place, Abruzzo's which we enjoy somewhat.   On our pizza we included mushrooms, chicken, red peppers, spinach and of course mozzarella cheese.    

Hopefully next weekend we will take this recipe for a whirl, because over an hour later I'm still full!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pizza Pizza on UrbanspoonOn Friday, my coworker and I grabbed some coupons ordered over the phone and headed over to Pizza Pizza (14846 Yonge Street, Aurora) to pick up our order. 

The Order: 1 Extra Large Pizza with Pepperoni, Mushrooms and Sausage, 2 Cokes and 2 Poutines.

But before we could leave our office Pizza Pizza Customer service called to inquire if we actually placed an order for pick-up.  They explained that location had several blank orders come through and which location did we wish to order from. 

So I reordered again, pulled up the location on Google Maps so Pizza Pizza Customer Service could have the exact location to pick-up from (and not the one from across town).  So with the order in twice to Pizza Pizza we finely left hoping to pick up at least something.

When we arrived at the Pizza Pizza store it was crowded with High School students from the nearby Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School. I stood in line while my coworker went to see if he could flag down the guy behind the counter as we had preordered and just wanted to pay, pick up and leave.  There was only one server, as far as I could tell, wandering between the pizza oven, the cash register and ready made slices to serve easily 50 high school students. 

Thank goodness my coworker was successful as otherwise I might still be in line as of this writing waiting for my now cold (frozen?) order.  We escaped virtually unscathed back to our office instead of hanging out with the zoo of high school students. 

The pizza overall was quite good.  The sausage was better than the nearby Regino's Pizza.  Otherwise the pizza was the usual run of the mill Pizza Pizza with tomato sauce and other toppings.  Nothing really to write home about, nothing special just Pizza Pizza taste.  What else would you expect from a chain pizza place?

The poutine was lackluster.  One poutine was drowned in gravy and cheese and was not too bad.  The other had a little gravy and might as well been an order of fries with a sneeze of gravy and barely any cheese.  It was like the fries had been wafted over the cheese and gravy sauce pan.

Overall the pizza was good, the customer service and poutine had much to be desired.  I might retry ordering another time from this Pizza Pizza while ensuring I do not pick-up or order while the high school students are clamouring for some za.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Scrumptious Weekend of Cooking and Baking

This past weekend my wife and myself rolled up our sleeves, dug out the borrowed cook books from the local library and tried some new dishes and a recent faithful recipe.

First up was the Spaghetti with Olive Oil and Garlic.  We even took put our own little spin on the recipe and added some boiled spinach. The dish, as you can see - and we tasted - was quite delicious.

Spaghetti with Olive Oil & Garlic
Next up was an old favourite of both myself and the coniseur of cookies.  The one and only chocolate chip cookie.   This one also turned out fairly well except that we did not buy enough chocolate chips from Bulk Barn for the recipe so there may not have been enough chocolate chips per cookie quotient in the end.    Why Bulk Barn? Because you can purchase just enough ingredients for your new found recipe and if you do not like the results in the end, at least you are not stuck with more of the same ingredient with no use.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Finally the old/new standby recipe, the Artisan Bread which I previously made two weeks ago.  It also turned out fabulous. 

Hopefully there will be more of all of the above recipes in my future.  My stomach already thanks me!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

YRT STRIKE: Important Memo to Drivers

MEMO
TO: York Region Transit Drivers

FROM: A Pragmatic Customer

RE: Your Current Employment or lack thereof.

As you know York Region Transit and VIVA Rapid Transit Contracted Drivers continue to be on strike this week.  Riders have been without service on 60% of the York Region Transit System verging on three months.

The Union Locals representing the drivers (ATU 113 and ATU 1587) have had off and on talks with the their contracted companies Veolia, Miller Transit and First Group with the Union and the Contracted companies walking away from the table. 

The union leaders, Bob Kinnear (ATU 113) and Ray Doyle (ATU 1587) have been spending more time targeting the Region of York and it's Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch saying Bill Fisch is the cause of the strike (perfect example here).  Both Union leaders have targeted the Region of York to encourage negotiations forward and possible binding arbitration in a bid to end the strike.   Both Mr. Doyle and Mr. Kinnear have encouraged the Region of York to come to the table to negotiate.  The drivers themselves are encouraging the Region to negotiate which, under normal circumstances would make sense.  However, these are not normal public transit driver union negotiations because drivers are not, and never have been, employees of the Region of York. 

The Region of York contracts out the service of driving the buses to private companies (e.g. Miller Transit, Veolia, First Student, etc.) to provide service while retaining ownership of the bus fleet and the YRT and VIVA names.  Therefore, the Region of York is the private contractor's (i.e. Miller's) client or customer.  The drivers are merely employees of the respective contractor (i.e. employees of Miller) and not the Region of York. Thus, drivers or their representative unions negotiate with the private contractors over wages, benefits and scheduling and not with the Region of York as the Region is not involved in these negotiations. That is the way this relationship has worked for decades with the current York Region Transit and VIVA as well as the predecessor municipal transit agencies. 

There is only one other option, when the time comes for the Region of York to retender the transit contracts after the current contracts expire with the private contractors.  An example of this retendering occurred in 2010 when YRT's southwest division was tendered and awarded to Veolia.  A duly noted omission in the Region's decision to award was the failure of ATU to put forth a bid to provide driver services to for the Southwest division.  Thus, it appears ATU Union, and by extension, their membership did not wish in 2010 to remove the contractors and deal directly with the Region by putting forth a competitive offer on at least the Southwest Division. So drivers, what has changed since 2010 when it appears, you were so happy with your jobs that your Union failed to put forth a bid to provide services to YRT? 

Recently the Region of York has started to replace the usual 40 foot buses with 60 foot VIVA buses along YRT Route 99.  It has been reported by the media that striking drivers have been blocking these VIVA buses longer than 3 minutes which goes against the court injunction.  It has also been noted that striking drivers believe the VIVA buses are being driven non-unionized drivers and thus the court injunction's 3 minute limit does not apply.  Thus a  VIVA bus attempting to leave Finch Station was blocked by ATU Memberslonger than the court imposed 3 minutes.  Drivers should  reread the court injunction and notice nowhere is it mentioned whether the drivers of the YRT vehicles had to be unionzied in any way.  Thus, the reporting by the media would suggest that these particular striking YRT workers would be in comtempt of the court injunction and probably would be charged if a law enforcement official had been present.

To make all of the above simpler, ATU Unionized drivers are employees of their respective contractors and not employees of the Region of York.  Bill Fisch, the Chairman and CEO, of the Region of York is one of the main decision makers in whether the customer -- The Region of York-- wants to renew the contracts with the contractors who just happen to be your employers.  Thus, the picketing, disruptions and other denigrative activities towards the Region is basically calling the customer dumb for contracting your employer and your services in the first place.

Monday, January 02, 2012

York Region Transit's Moneypit: Richmond Hill Centre

Last Summer the Region of York announced it, via it's Summer YorkWorks Newsletter further construction at Richmond Hill Centre which is the main hub for connecting transit in York Region.

The Region has just finished enclosing two passenger waiting areas with glass and automatic sliding doors and relocation of transit bays to accomodate longer VIVA Purple buses.  This will be followed up by implementation of washrooms, as the YorkWorks Newsletter promises, by end of 2013.   

There are a couple of issues here that need to be investigated in terms of how if taxpayers are seeing a proper return on investment at Richmond Hill Centre.  

A. Numerous Construction projects at Richmond Hill Centre since it's September 2005 opening.

B. Promised implementation of construction phases and Region of York's / York Region Transit's  implementation track record on previous projects.

Richmond Hill Centre has had a couple of construction projects since it opened in 2005 to VIVA Service.  These include (Note: all dates below are approximate):

1. Boxing in of the semi-enclosed passenger waiting areas in 2006.  This improvement was required because Richmond Hill Centre at the time, like it is today, is fairly open to the elements and wind.  Thus, passengers were freezing waiting for arriving buses as the wind wipped through the california style waiting areas with wide open entrances, glass partitions with seperation between support pillars and ground.  Add to this the awesome idea of stainless steel metal benches to sit on February, YRT and the Region had a significant issue on its hands.  YRT and York Region decided to add metal pieces to at least remove the voids between the support beams, the ground and the glass.  However, this did not help matters as the large entryways were still left open.

2. Bridge from Richmond Hill Centre to Langstaff GO Station opened in 2008. The Region of York constructed a pedestrian bridge to connect the Langstaff GO Station together.  The concept of a bridge connecting two transit stations together was a great idea.  However, like many other YRT concepts, things did not turn out so well as several issues with the finished product emerged (and many are still evident today):

a) The first issue was for disabled passengers looking to traverse the bridge (note all doors have handicap access buttons). First lets enter the new bridge from Richmond Hill Terminal via an exterior door. Next turn left to open the door to the waiting area of the elevator (yes there is a door to the elevator waiting area!).  Then push the button to open the elevator carriage door and board the elevator. Next, after the elevator door opens on the 2nd floor, open that elevator waiting area door and traverse the bridge.  Repeat elevator door waiting area door opening, descend the elevator, and repeat again the next door and the exterior door and turns into quite the trip.  Whose idea was it to include exterior elevator door waiting areas with their own doors?  The whole structure is covered in glass and has exterior doors.  It is not that drafty all to require full enclosure of elevator waiting areas.  The only reason to necessitate this issue is a fire code requirement, but I doubt it. 

b) The Second issue is both the distance to the Langstaff GO Transit station and nearby retail shops from the Region of York constructed bridge from Richmond Hill Centre. The Region, in their infinite wisdom, decided to construct the bridge to exit near the railway tracks and provide a 200 metre passenger walkway to the Langstaff GO Station guarded by a chainlink fence, which later they would add a further extension on top to prevent people from climbing the fence.  The main problem with this chainlink fence is, after a pedestrian exits the bridge on the Langstaff side, pedestrians are located within 50 metres of the entrance to Home Depot.  So lets say someone was going to Home Depot for a hammer, you traverse the bridge and then are forced to walk 200 metres down to the Langstaff GO Station, and back again (i.e. another 200 metres) in order to go about 5 metres from where you started.  Thus, it is pretty inconvienient to visit the Home Depot which would be a major possible trip generator for YRT and GO Transit. 

3. Electric Heaters were added to passenger waiting areas in 2009. This improvement again attempted to address the issues with passenger discomfort during the winter months. But again the Region of York and YRT left the entrance openings void still allowing for a wicked wind to whip through.  The only improvement of YRT infrastructure layout was the no longer using stainless steel benches at new transit stop implementation.  Yet passengers at Richmond Hill Centre and other stops are not so lucky as the stainless steel benches remain. 

4. Creation of new fully enclosed of the Passenger waiting areas with automatic glass doors in 2011.  This project, noted above, created new passenger waiting areas that are heated, enclosed and fairly comfortable for passengers.  This project was completed in two phases for the passenger waiting areas that seemed to take about 3 months each. The length of time to construct and complete the project at 3 months apeice seems a little lengthy considering both of the structures appear exactly the same, yes, the same layout, almost the same the measurements, etc.  At times there was little to know activity at the construction site while passengers filed by on reduced platform widths etc.  As well, the old passenger waiting areas remained untouched.

Now there are two prospective construction projects for the future.  1. The Washrooms installation promised by to be completed by 2013 in writing by the Region of York in their YorkWorks newsletter.  2. The integration of Richmond Hill Centre area into the possible Yonge Street Subway extension which may or may not see the integration of the current Richmond Hill Centre Bus Terminal into a new subway station.  This latter project will be one to see whether the Region of York has wasted millions of dollars just to see the existing terminal demolished and a new one built.  The first future project will also be interesting to watch as the YRT is not really great a finishing promised projects on time or, as the above noted issues with Richmond Hill Centre note, without further remedial work. 

York Region and York Region Transit do not have a great track record when it comes to promising improvements for the transit system.  My blog post from last year noted several delayed or not implemented projects.  Perhaps the best known YRT implementation fiasco was their implementaiton of the PRESTO payment system which saw implementation delays and constant issues with the PRESTO technology that caused passenger headaches.  Even today, York Region Transit has yet to fully implement the PRESTO system into all of it's ticket vendor locations. With YRT's track record on PRESTO and other issues, it will be interesting to see if the new Richmond Hill Centre washrooms are completed on time and if they will need further refinement. 

Overall YRT has proven itself not to be able to finish transit projects on time or as even start the ones as promised.  Further the implementation of certain supposedly transit rider friendly items seems to be lacking.  The use of stainless steel benches and open concept bus shelter in the original VIVA Stations upon initial system construction raises an eyebrow, especially to a Canadian in January waiting for a bus.   These delays and misssteps  leaves YRT in the eyes of transit riders and taxpayers overpromised, poorly implemented, not well served and costly to remediate.  Hopefully the Richmond Hill Centre will not need any further construction for the forseable future, as all the above noted construction projects between opening in late 2005 to today (2012) adds up to almost one construction project per year.  And that equals a taxpayer and transit rider money pit.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Whole Grain Artisan Loaf

My wife and I recently tried for the first time to make bread in our very own kitchen. 

My wife has never really baked in her life and I haven't baked since I was a little person dreaming of licking the chocolate chip cookie batter off the mixer beaters while my mother was baking. 

We have both being trying out easy recipes for a while with our general cooking for dinners and weekend meals. 

This time we are going to go all out and try baking. Yes baking more than peanut butter cookie recipes that a three year old could do (just with way more mess).  We were going to try our own bread. 

My wife found an easy recipe online with simple instructions and a how to video to go along with it.


We started the whole process yesterday (or is that last year?) with the preparation of purchasing the ingredients both food and utensil wise at Winners, Bulk Barn and No Frills

The only thing we didn't by was the seed topping seen in the recipe and the video above.  We decided to see how the bread tasted before going to the expense of gussying up the bread with frills.

Fast forward to today and the above photo is what resulted.  This evening for dinner we are going to enjoy a fine loaf of healthy Whole Grain Artisan Loaf.

Comfortable at Country Style

Country Style on UrbanspoonSometimes I enjoy being a good husband and letting my wife sleep in the mornings.  I wander off to a coffee shop early in the morning in search of breakfast, coffee and a newspaper.  I enjoy a nice quiet morning walk with little to no traffic to collect my thoughts for the day, wake up and get a little excercise in. 

My main destination targets tend to be McDonald's and Tim Horton's due to the better quality coffee and ease to walk to and from their nearby establishments. 

However, there are a couple of other coffee shops nearby that I do not frequent as often including Second Cup and Country Style.  These two chains lack certain items that I look for in a simple fast food breakfast locale. Second Cup has a wide selection of baked goods and interesting tasting cofees.  What it lacks is ready made foods similar to a McDonald's Egg McMuffin Sandwich.  Country Style's main issue is it's coffee.  Tim Horton's, McDonald's and Second Cup are way ahead in the coffee department.

This morning, New Years Day 2012, I headed off for a morning coffee and bagel.  I stopped off at Tim Horton's only to find it was closed until 8:00 A.M. this morning. I continued forth to Country Style (9218 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill)

I entered the location, recognizing a few familiar faces who hang out at the local Tim Horton's and was second in line to order.

The Order: Poppy Seed Bagel with Cream Cheese and a Medium Black Coffee.

The server took my order and then left the till to fill my order for coffee.  The other attendent came over and inquired what my order was and then punched it into the machine.  My only real gripe about this place is always inquiring about the customer's order.  At Tim Horton's, you order once and the computer screens tell the sandwich maker what to make, the coffee pourer what size and how you like your coffee.  At this Country Style I get asked "is that a bagel with butter on it? is that for here or to go?"  Meanwhile I have already told their employee who took my order exactly what I want and whether I was hanging out the restaurant or needing to dissappear out the door. 

But overall once the staff has all the information they need the service is pretty quick.  That is mainly because this location does not see the volume as the nearby McDonald's or Tim Horton's does.  But still it seems to hold it's own.

The food overall is quite good.  The bagels taste to be freshly made or at least on location unlike Tim Horton's or McDonald's which has product shipped in the local restaurant merely reheats it and/or just dumps it on the shelf. The cream cheese on the bagel is merely average to Tim Horton's. 

The coffee is where Country Style sets itself apart.  The coffee really is not that special and where the chain is handicapped.  McDonald's new coffee and Tim Horton's old standby recipe is where coffee drinkers go.  Country Style meanwhile has tried other ways to attract customers including adding frozen yogourt and "Bistro Deli" offerings.  As far as I can see based on my visits to the Richmond Hill location and the Aurora locations, this is not working.  It seems based on McDonald's experience that having a good brew of coffee is how a coffee shop can increase customer volume and sales. 

But all is not lost at Country Style, the chain has teamed up with the Toronto Sun to provide free newspapers in the Toronto area.  Sure the newspaper may not be the greatest, but at least at free it is the right price.  

Overall this Country Style location is mediocre at best, good bagels but subpar to mediocre coffee and service that needs a little improvement.  But for a quiet fast food breakfast place this location is not bad at all.

Popular Posts

Google