USABLEMAKEOVER.COM .............. .....Has The Entire Downtown Waterfront Been Privatized?

TORONTO'S PUBLIC REALM - DOES IT EXIST?

PRIVATIZATION OF OUR WATERFRONT

Has the entire Toronto downtown waterfront been privatized? Recently I have been documenting the unabated illegal parking by hundreds of charter/tour buses along Queens Quay West. The multi-millionaire bus company owners do not want to pay for bus parking (or are the bus drivers pocketing the money that is supposed to be used to pay for parking?) At the same time that the official neighborhood bus parking lot on Bremner Blvd is empty - the Toronto Police are not ticketing the illegally parked buses anywhere near the waterfront neighborhood. Recently I was videotaping the dozens and dozens of illegally parked buses involved in various ways with the downtown waterfront.

As you can hear on this video - a Harbourfront Centre's security guard tells me that I can't video tape illegally parked buses on Queens Quay West - while standing on Harboutfront Centre's property. My heel(s) was on "their" property. I then moved onto the public sidewalk and continued videotaping. A few minutes later, I went into Harbourfront Centre to find out if in fact it was illegal to videotape on "their" property - I always thought that the entire waterfront site was public open space. I talked to the three staff people at the reception desk in the lobby - as well as the staff person on the security desk in the lobby - as well as the head of security for Harbourfront Centre (who said he didn't know it was illegal to park buses on Queens Quay West in front of Harbourfront Centre!). I never was shown a document that banned videotaping on "their" property. Does Harbourfront Centre confiscate all still and video cameras that are brought onto "their" property? Or ask people to stop using their cameras while on "their" property?

I then went outside to continue to videotape the "Bus Station" on Queens Quay West. While I was standing in front of my condo on Queens Quay West - videotaping the "Bus Station" (a line of about 20 buses) - a Toronto Police constable approached me - and told me that a complaint had been phoned in about me videotaping children - that he had spoken to Harbourfront Centre staff and they had no idea - about why I was video taping on the streets in front of Harboutfront Centre. The constable then stood for at least 30 minutes and witnessed the line up of buses parked in front of the No Parking signs.

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