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City gets an extreme makeover

Kyp Perikleous is standing in a transit shelter on the southwest corner of King and York Streets, the kind of place that has, after a fashion, become his natural habitat.

Kyp Perikleous is standing in a transit shelter on the southwest corner of King and York Streets, the kind of place that has, after a fashion, become his natural habitat.

“It’s a little bit taller,” says the man overseeing the city’s new street furniture program. “There’s blue banding so it highlights (the name of) the cross-street.”

Glass-walled save for one side reserved for advertising, the new shelter’s interior features a little two-seater bench along with a map of the TTC system.

On the outside, there’s a small, black rubber board, where locals can post notices about neighbourhood events or, more commonly elsewhere, yard sales, lost dogs and the like.

Perikleous, formally the city’s manager of traffic planning and right-of-way management, is now overseeing the installation of a lot of shelters — a scheduled 400 per year through 2018, the pace slowing thereafter.

In all, the 20-year program will see nearly 26,000 new pieces of street furniture spread across the city, from shelters and benches to newspaper stands and recycling bins. But, given some design and manufacturing delays in 2008, the rollout will only start hitting its stride this year.

Within the next couple of weeks, for instance, all of the current benches will disappear from city streets to be replaced by a new, standard model.

Which also means that any complaints about the furniture’s design or where it is and isn’t tends to end up “on our lap,” says Perikleous. “You can never satisfy everyone.”

 
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