Your32 Campaign Reveals Human Cost of Gridlock


TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - There is a major human cost to traffic chaos in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). That's what GTHA residents are telling the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance by answering its question "What would you do with 32?".

In a quarterly update briefing on its transportation investment campaign today, CivicAction's Chair John Tory and Chief Executive Officer Mitzie Hunter cheered the shift from grumbling about the current chaos to GTHA residents imagining a better life through an improved transportation network. But they warned of the toll congestion is taking.

"When we talk about congestion, we often talk about the economic and environmental costs," Tory said. "But GTHA residents are showing us the human cost of the region's antiquated, inadequate system, and it's only going to get worse."

In October 2012, CivicAction and the 40+ members of its Regional Transportation Champions Council launched a movement to build support for sustainable ways to invest in better transportation. They're inviting people to imagine a better quality of life through a better transportation network by sharing what they would do with 32 extra minutes* in their day.

Through their responses, thousands of people are showing how traffic congestion affects their quality of life. Instead of sitting in traffic or waiting for a bus, train, or subway, they yearn to be with family, friends, and pets, and take better care of themselves by exercising, eating properly, and sleeping more.

"We have to consider the consequences of what people are giving up and decide that the human cost is more than our region can bear," Hunter added.

CivicAction is urging residents and civic leaders to show we're personally invested in a better system by going to and by participating in Metrolinx consultations across the GTHA and in upcoming consultations by the City of Toronto.

Where Ontario Liberal Leadership Candidates Stand: "Political leaders need to brace themselves and get ready to respond to what people are saying, and much sooner than later make the tough choices about how to raise money to build a better system," said Tory. "We're off to a good start with some encouraging responses from the Ontario Liberal leadership candidates."

Go to to see candidates' responses to CivicAction's letter to each candidate. It asks about their commitment to investing in a better system by facilitating the introduction of new and sustainable revenue sources for transportation.

In other highlights from CivicAction's Campaign Update:

Sixteen Regional Co-Captains Mobilize Local Champions - Six Champions Council Members have teamed up with 10 emerging leaders as Regional Co-Captains across Hamilton, Halton, Peel, York, Durham, and Toronto. They are mobilizing local civic leaders to join the growing chorus of calls for investment in better transportation. To become a local champion, go to

Hamilton Rob MacIsaac, President, Mohawk College; Alan Griffiths, Sustainable Environment Specialist, Mohawk College
Halton Jeff Zabudsky, President, Sheridan College; Joe Henry, Associate Dean, Sheridan College
Peel Jim Thomson, CEO & President, Thomson Terminals; Jeff Wilder, Director of Sales & Marketing, Thomson Terminals; Louroz Mercader President, Mississauga Youth Games
York Faye Lyons, Government and Stakeholder Relations, CAA; Caroline Grech, Government Relations Specialist, CAA; Meg Stokes, President, Tall Poppies Strategic Consulting
Toronto Joe Berridge, Founding Partner, Urban Strategies; Habon Ali, Planner, Urban Strategies;
Tinashe Mafukidze, Manager of Settlement Programs and Services, For Youth Initiative; Chris Penrose, Executive Director, Success Beyond Limits
Durham Tim McTiernan, President, University of Ontario Institute of Technology; Tracy Paterson, VP, Development, Rouge Valley Health System Foundation and Chair, Transportation Task Force, Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade

Three more join Champions Council - Three senior leaders have joined CivicAction's Regional Transportation Champions Council since the October launch: Mary Ann Turcke, Executive Vice-President at Bell Canada; Michelle DiEmanuele, President and CEO at The Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Centre; and Anne Golden, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Ryerson University. Read what Champions are doing to advance the conversation in the Campaign Update.

*Thirty-two minutes is the difference between average commute time if The Big Move is funded and built over the next 25 years (77 min), and if no comprehensive system is put in place (109 min). Source: Metrolinx

About CivicAction
The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance convenes civic leaders from across all sectors and the region to catalyze change on the tough issues and big opportunities facing the Toronto region. For more information, visit or @CivicActionGTA.


What would you do with 32 extra minutes a day*?

Numbers: 15,200 visitors to and 2,330 responses from Oct 2012 - Jan 2013

Geography: Answers come from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) with no significant regional differences in answers. The City of Toronto, and York and Peel Regions lead the way in responses overall, with Halton responding well above its proportion of the GTHA's population.

Toronto 42.34%
York 24.01%
Peel 13.10%
Halton 7.92%
Durham 6.95%
Hamilton 5.70%

Categories of Answers:

Family and Friends 42.26%
Pets   6.36%
Sleep 16.52%
Health and Healthy Eating 31.81%
Hobbies and other   3.04%

Thousands of GTHA residents answered CivicAction's question "What would you do with 32 extra minutes a day?" Here is a sampling of what they said.

  • 'Hug my kids.'
  • 'I'd get to meet my son at the bus after school.'
  • 'Sleep!'
  • 'I would eat dinner sitting down.' 
  • 'Cook more of my meals at home.'
  • 'I would eat breakfast instead of skipping it every single day of my life.'
  • 'I would live more. Walk, run, read, cook, exercise, sleep.'
  • 'I would take out a sketch pad and draw. I never get to do this anymore and I miss the creativity.'

Go to to see a word cloud of the answers.

*Thirty-two minutes is the difference between the average commute time if The Big Move is funded and built over the next 25 years (77 min), and if no comprehensive system is put in place (109 min). Source: Metrolinx



Video with caption: "Video: CivicAction's Chair John Tory and CEO Mitzie Hunter update media on the Your32 Campaign, sharing that GTHA residents have revealed the human cost of gridlock in our region.". Video available at:

Image with caption: ""CivicAction CEO Mitzie Hunter and Chair John Tory update media on the Your32 Campaign." (CNW Group/CivicAction)". Image available at:

Image with caption: ""Holding a word cloud with GTHA resident responses to 'What would you do with 32?' are (from left): CivicAction Chair John Tory; Regional Co-Captain Meg Stokes (Tall Poppies Strategic Consulting); Champions Council member Paul Bedford (Toronto's Former Chief Planner); Regional Co-Captain Caroline Grech (Canadian Automobile Association); and CivicAction CEO Mitzie Hunter." (CNW Group/CivicAction)". Image available at:

PDF available at:

SOURCE: CivicAction

For further information:

Marcus Staviss at 416-505-2851 (cell), 416-920-0716 ext. 210 or

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