Buyers yawn at new electric car models

It’s been a dispiriting sales season so far for those who hoped that electric cars like the GM Volt and Nissan’s Leaf would transform the auto industry. In fact, the two vehicles have had crushingly disappointing sales figures so far. The Volt sold only 281 units and the Nissan just 67 units in February. What’s the problem? Freelance writer Mark Whittington says Consumer Reports suggests reasons. The Volt sells for a price in the mid $40,000s but it does not get very good mileage compared to conventional competitors like the hybrids Toyota Prius and the Ford Fusion. The mileage deteriorates during cold weather because the car’s heater runs on the electric battery. Consumer Reports found similar problems with the Nissan Leaf, though it costs about $10,000 less than the Volt. Recharging may also be an issue. The inconvenience of having to leave the vehicle for five hours as it recharges may be a powerful disincentive.

Smash and grab at street jeweller

There was an overnight smash and grab at Aish Jewellery on South Bayview. This incident raises once again the wisdom of publicly owned surveillance cameras. As many will know, they are widely used in the U-K and frequently result in apprehending those who do such things.

Actually, it’s not that bad

Yes, a little more than was predicted and a definite put-off after the snow free streets of recently, but the weather today is pleasant nonetheless. As seen left, some pretty glimpses, centre, “Should we or shouldn’t we” and right, Rescue!

Bell cell tower on 1220 Bayview Ave

This rainy Saturday saw a huge crane and many cellular wonks (engineers) working on the installation of a Bell Canada cellular tower on top of the apartment building at 1220 Bayview Ave (at Moore Ave.). The address has a special location which engineers figured out. The high tower will be able to peer over the shore of prehistoric Lake Iroquois and pick up or send signals to the lower town. A windfall perhaps for the owner of the rental apartment as that rooftop won’t come free to BCE. Upper left, part of the tower goes up. Upper right, men work on the next lift with Florence Moosengale looking on from the background. Lower left, a close up of the partly finished tower and lower right, messy traffic and weather together.

Island launch May 1 says Air Canada

Air Canada says it will begin flying out of Toronto’s island airport on May 1, a move that will interest many North American travellers. The Wall Street Journal announced the decision, The island plan follows conclusion of a terminal agreement with City Centre Terminal Corp., which is owned by Porter Aviation Holdings Inc. Air Canada is trying to win back the high-margin business travelers it lost to upstart Porter Airlines, the island airport’s main tenant.

Leaside Synergy novice team wins bronze

The Leaside Synergy novice skating team, winners of the bronze medal at the Skate Canada National Synchronized Skating championships in Brampton recently. They’re seen here in a publicity picture taken before the event. Well done, ladies.

April 7 meeting on 1860 Bayview plan

A post on the Byford’s Blog gives notice of a Community Consultation Meeting on April 7 regarding the 1860 Bayview Avenue proposed development. This is the project which would be built on the old Brennan Pontiac site involving Loblaws, the LCBO and others. According to the Broadway Residents Working Group, the purpose of this meeting is for “the community to have input on this project, view the plans and ask questions. It recommends that all parties plan to attend this meeting.

Veritable heat wave of plus 5C

South Bayview and environs will experience a veritable heat wave of plus 5C today and similar conditions Saturday. Yes, it will be a bit damp but really, it’s the promise of Spring. Don’t knock it. The woodpeckers are back in the trees. We heard some knocking yesterday. It’s real.

CFIB campaign targets credit card charges

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has launched its campaign to assist retailers in avoiding higher fees on so-called premium cards. Visa, MasterCard and the banks which issue them, are planning such cards. They would promote “rewards” which were really paid for by the merchants (and ultimately by customers) through higher prices. Presumably there would be a fee to obtain the card too, just like Amex. The CFIB says: “If consumers help us shift even a small number of transactions from credit cards to Interac or cash, we feel the banks and credit card companies may wake up and reconsider their fee structure.” So what would you prefer, a “reward” which you might get cheaper elsewhere if you shopped it, or plain lower prices. We have written about this before.

Columnist Jim Travers dead at 62

Well-known columnist Jim Travers has died in Ottawa. He was 62. Travers died after a long illness and surgery at a hospital in Ottawa. Jim Travers was national affairs columnist for the Toronto Star, a position he had held since 1999. From 1991 to 1996 he was Editor-in-Chief of Southam’s flagship paper, the Ottawa Citizen, remaining there until Conrad Black’s purchase of Southam. Moving to the Toronto Star in 1997, he was first named Ottawa Editor and then Executive Managing Editor, the paper’s top editorial job, based in Toronto

BlogTO solicits interest in a map

BlogTO.com was on South Bayview today soliciting interest in a promotional map. It will apparently cover “Yonge, Eglinton, Mount Pleasant, South Bayviww.”