The Metronauts community wouldn’t be possible without the talents of our community members. If you would like to be a Metronauts blog contributor, please send an email to
The following community members are regular contributors to Metronauts.ca:
Adam grew up on an airplane between Bangladesh and Ontario, and has lived as third-world rickshaw rider, downtown TTC fanatic, 400-series commuter, and VIA Rail commuter. A recent graduate of York University’s Glendon College, he’s back on the fringes of the GTHA in the City of Brantford, where he does marketing & new media design, and is working to get the Ethical Coffee Chain up and running. He’ll be chronicling his adventures at his blog and as a perpetual Twitterist. See all posts by Adam King.
Andrae Griffith was born in Toronto and spent ten years living in north Etobicoke, where some of his fondest memories were riding the TTC, GO Transit and VIA Rail Canada on various summer outings. After moving to the Town of Caledon, Andrae found himself more than a two kilometre walk along a rural highway to the closest transit stop. During the 2003 municipal election, he began advocating for better access to public transit in his neighbourhood and in the Greater Toronto Area.
Andrae has worked in the community for the City of Brampton and the Region of Peel since 2002, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at Ryerson University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning. Since 2005, he has operated Visions for the GTTA, a blog which advocates for fast, frequent and efficient public transit for all residents of the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton. See all posts by Andrae Griffith.
Ed Drass has been covering transportation issues in Toronto since 1998. For many years he wrote “Traffic Guru” in National Post and currently contributes a weekly column called “In Transit” for the commuter daily Metro. He studied planning, urbanism and transport at Waterloo and York Universities and in the mid-1990s helped found the Rocket Riders Transit Users Group. See all posts by Ed Drass.
Periods of living and working elsewhere have interrupted Ellen’s life in Toronto. She remembers the excitement when commuter rail finally began to serve the small settlement where she periodically lived in Sweden. She remembers handing bills from passengers behind her, via many other passengers, up to the driver, and handing tickets and change back the same way, on crowded public transit minivans in Ukraine. She remembers commuting by bus to and from her job in Nuuk, Greenland. And, best of all, she remembers taking one of her granddaughters (who is now no longer a toddler) all over town on the buses in a small city in Indiana. See all posts by Ellen Michelson.
Jason has lived and worked in the Greater Toronto Area almost all of his life and has had a life-long fascination with urban and transit-related issues and politics. He has struggled and succeeded as both a car-less suburbanite and urbanite. While transit issues are not directly related to his career, he does take an active part in Toronto’s urban discussion community as a Moderator of the Urban Toronto Forum and as a Contributor to Spacing.
Jason graduated from York University with a BA in Mass Communications & Political Science, followed by a post graduate diploma from Seneca College in Broadcast Journalism. He is currently the Senior Coordinator at the North American Broadcasters Association and lives with his partner in Toronto’s Grange Park neighbourhood. See all posts by Jason Paris.
Karen Louise Smith
Karen Louise Smith is a PhD student in the Faculty of Information and Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto. Karen is broadly interested in information communication technologies (ICTs), citizenship, social inclusion and policy. Karen has worked in roles ranging from a web design intern with a human rights organization in the Philippines to a research assistant on initiatives concerning technology in Canadian policy contexts. When not writing for the Metronauts blog, Karen can often be found on her red bicycle throughout Toronto’s downtown core. See all posts by Karen Louise Smith.
Karl grew up in Toronto and has been largely dependent on public transit his whole life, always having lived within walking distance of a TTC subway or GO Train station. Since graduation at Sheridan, Karl has worked for four and a half years in Tokyo, Japan, where some of the projects he was working on were transit related, and returned to Toronto in August, 2008. Seeall posts by Karl Junkin.
A suburban adolescence, touring Europe and living in Barcelona opened my eyes to what a city means to its citizens. Upon my return, I saw the potential of our cities to be what each citizen loves, lives in and evolves with. My former TTC commute from North Toronto to downtown is my motivation: there are many opportunities for transit to be a better place. I greatly appreciate and believe that even ‘small’ ideas can be transformative. I am excited and hope to bring a sense of humour, conversation, experiences and openness to the Metronauts community! All posts by Kate Kusiak.
Kieran was born and raised in the heart of mid-town Toronto, just steps from Davisville Station. A life-long transit afficionado with a weak spot for puzzles, Kieran has always been fascinated with the TTC from an information perspective. He can often be found walking between coffee shops, staring up at the trees.
Kieran (along with Kevin Branigan) is currently a partner at Refactory, a local web application development studio. Together they authored MyTTC.ca, a community-powered project to help make public transit information better and more accessible.
Laurence is graduate of University of Waterloo’s Planning program and now lives and works downtown as a transportation planner. He has lived in three very different transit worlds, from Hong Kong and its extensive transit system, to Edmonton and North America’s first Light Rail system, and has finally to Toronto, where he’s called home since 2004. A self-proclaimed wealth of transit knowledge and know-how, he is the source of transit-geekery in his circles of friends and acquaintances. His professional interests lie in public transportation, the link between transportation and land use, and urban design. Laurence hopes to combine his knowledge and interests in creating interesting and provocative posts here on Metronauts.ca and continue to advocate for improved transportation and urban sustainability for Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Lisa Santonato is a writer and video artist living in Toronto. When resting at her family home in Weston, her route downtown starts at the very end of the Sheppard 84 bus line, proceeds across to Downsview Station, continues south along the University-Spadina line to Spadina Station, and concludes with a trip down the Spadina Avenue streetcar. She is old enough to remember the Spadina bus, and diagonal car parking across the avenue’s potholed pavement. See all posts by Lisa Santonato.
Mark is Chief Steward of the Metronauts community and blog and was one of the organizers of the 2007 Toronto Transit Camp unconference, the original inspiration for Metronauts. This event and the lessons from it were featured in an article, “Sick Transit Gloria“, for Harvard Business Review’s Breakthrough Ideas 2008 issue.
Mark is a freelance consultant whose mission is to enable new conversations and solutions to the critical issues facing 21st century society. When not trying to save the world with his fellow superheroes, Mark dreams of his annual cycling trip from Toronto to Montreal, raising funds for the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation. See all posts by Mark Kuznicki.
Peter Kucirek is studying Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto, with a specialization in transportation. He is currently working for the Region of Peel as a student intern in the Transportation Planning division. He was raised in Mississauga, where he now resides, but spends as much time as he can in Toronto – where getting around without a car is easier. Rumour has it that he’s a transit geek – but it’s so far been unsubstantiated. See all posts by Peter Kucirek.
Good urban design is about maximizing exchange space while minimizing mobility space – George Hazel
Rannie Turingan is a long time blogger and freelance photographer. Growing up in Scarborough and now living in North York, he is well aware that there is life north of Bloor Street. Although an avid driver, he has had his fair share of riding the rocket.
Rannie has his own award winning blog photojunkie.ca, has written for the Torontoist and regularly contributes photography to Spacing Magazine. Rannie also moderates the Metronauts Flickr Group and runs his own photography business at rannieturingan.com. See all posts by Rannie Turingan.
Sameer Vasta is a man of few words. At least, until you get him talking: then you can’t get him to shut up. A lover of all things web, film, spoken word, and Toronto, he chronicles his sometimes-exciting life at http://Eloquation.com. See all posts by Sameer Vasta.
Shawn grew up in Ottawa and has lived in Kingston, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and now Vaughan. A professional engineer, enthusiastic cyclist, transit rider, long-distance runner, photographer, scout leader, husband, father, and kid at heart, he celebrates what is right with the world.
Shawn believes that sustainable transportation improves the quality of life for present and future generations. Surrounded by car culture in the 905, he has too often experienced slow and infrequent buses and unfriendly streets for walking and cycling. He is motivated by what is possible, and is a voice for better transportation and urban design in his community. See all posts by Shawn Smith.
Having been born in Edmonton Alberta and since lived in Calgary, Nairobi, Montreal and New York, Qasim works with global influence on multiple projects including the Indian Electronica record label (founder/Director) and his Web production firm and consultancy called Design Guru.
As a Toronto resident for over 5 years, Qasim is concerned about the city’s rapid urbanization and the cultural implications of our increasingly dense core population.