The author of this 100-year history of rapid transit in Toronto developed his interest in the subject over more than 50 years of work in transportation planning, traffic engineering, design consulting, and advising government agencies on transportation policy and infrastructure expansion needs, with an emphasis on public transit.
After graduating from the University of Toronto in 1957 with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Civil Engineering, and working with several major consulting engineering and planning firms in Canada and the United States, he co-founded Barton-Aschman Canada Limited (later BA Consulting Group Limited) in 1973. Mr. Levy served as President and then Chairman of the Board of Directors of BA Consulting for more than 15 years.
In 1980, he was appointed Co-ordinator of the Central Area Traffic Management Study, a joint undertaking of the City of Toronto and Metropolitan Toronto.
In 1983, the Province of Ontario retained Mr. Levy to advise on transportation and parking needs relating to sites for a new major-league stadium for the Toronto area. Subsequently, he became involved in the lengthy approval process relating to the site selected for SkyDome (now the Rogers Centre) in Toronto’s Railway Lands.
In 1989, Mr. Levy was retained as an advisor to the Royal Commission on the Future of the Toronto Waterfront, and in 1991 he was appointed by the Commission as co-director of a major study of options for the Gardiner Expressway-Lake Shore Boulevard waterfront transportation corridor. Later, he was retained by the Waterfront Revitalization Task Force to advise on general transportation matters.
He has directed transportation planning studies for large-scale projects across Canada and the United States, in Paris and Montpellier, France, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and in three cities in Liaoning Province, People’s Republic of China. He has also reported on transportation and parking for a proposed mixed-use project in Prague, Czech Republic.
Mr. Levy formally retired from BA Group in 1999, but continues to work with the firm as a senior consultant and to accept special assignments related to transportation planning.
For example, he was asked by Metrolinx, the Province of Ontario’s Greater Toronto/Hamilton Transportation Authority, to serve on its Advisory Committee during the development of the Regional Transportation Plan, issued in late 2008. He was also asked to serve on a Public Advisory Committee that worked with the Metrolinx board to develop terms of reference for a year-long feasibility analysis of GO Transit electrification, issued at the end of 2010.
His interest in history is expressed in his role as Secretary and Board member of the new Railway Museum and Railway Heritage Centre being developed in cooperation with the City of Toronto over the next few years at the John Street Roundhouse, Roundhouse Park and Union Station. Phase One opened in May 2010.