The Junction Triangle Rail Committee won a meeting with Transportation Minister Glenn Murray, and they have just released their eminently reasonable demands. The group has been pushing for an improvement to the wall designs released by Metrolinx, which are (in your humble correspondent’s view) community-shattering, graffiti-magnet works of the shadow lord. The JTRC wants to make lemonade out the lemons the UP Express has given us. The train tracks should, they say, “create public amenities for the neighbourhoods adjacent to the rail corridor and city at large” by “reconnecting communities and creating new routes through the city.” They say Metrolinx should cancel the current plan and:
Build only the 3-kilometres of noise walls mandated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
Study green walls that would be an alternative the concrete and plexiglass barriers.
Replace the trees that they have cut down and plant “10,000 trees along the 21-kilometre corridor”
Use the corridor as a bike and walking path to link communities instead of dividing them
Your correspondent despairs that Westonians don’t seem to give a damn about the shadow lord’s walls. Are we that tired of fighting?
A Junction anti-noise wall group has scored a small victory. After ridiculing him for weeks for refusing to meet with them, the group got their wish: the Minister of Transportation, Glen Murray, will meet with the Junction Triangle Rail Committee on October 31.
The JTRC is opposed to Metrolinx’s noise wall plans, and they have enlisted the help of architects to design better walls. The improved walls integrate better into the urban and natural environment.
The organizer of the JTRC have given up hope that Metrolinx will change the designs, and have, instead, been focusing on the political masters since the wall designs were announced.
The noise walls have not received much opposition in Weston, even though they will concrete and 16 feet high in most places.
The proposed noise walls along the rail corridor are generating a lot of opposition further downtown. Some opponents, such as NDP MPP Rosario Marchese, say the noise walls wouldn’t even be necessary if the trains were electric, citing the example of other cities. Others say that ‘green walls’, which would include living plants, would do.
Residents and groups say that Metrolinx is not engaging in real consultation. InsideToronto got a astonishingly tone-deaf comment from one of the architects of the proposed walls:
“There’s no public opposition, we have been on this project for six months and the majority of people really love the designs,” said Kovacevic, a landscape architect, following the meeting.
“You only heard one view tonight.”
The walls Kovacevic has designed will be huge: 5 metres tall in most places. Except in highly trafficked areas, they will be, well, plain old ugly, too: big concrete slabs, as the video says, not unlike the Gaza or Berlin walls.
Awesome photo from the good people at InsideToronto.
The old Beer Store on Weston Road is gone! Huzzah! With a bit of luck, we won’t have a hole in the ground there for the next 10 years. I propose that we plant it with sunflowers and beautiful things if the lot remains unoccupied in the spring. Thanks to A for the tip.
The concrete pour proceeds apace. I would have thought that there was a high tech monster concrete generation machine, but there isn’t. The enormous structure is being built by one cement truck at a time. True to Metrolinx’s word, the construction was quiet this morning.
Finally, the landlords who own the Weston Station should have known that they needed a headshot. Reports are that the bar is back, despite having been two years behind on rent. Thanks to the tipster.
Metrolinx, according to the The Star, is backtracking and allowing residents some input into what will happen at the derelict Kodak lands, which are to be turned into a rail yard:
Metrolinx has agreed to open debate on the fate of the former Kodak manufacturing site just months before the provincial agency tenders a multibillion-dollar contract to build a storage facility for the Crosstown LRT there.
It’s a major turnaround for Metrolinx, which has previously resisted requests by community activists to intensify development on the 23-hectare brownfield at Eglinton Ave. W. and Black Creek Dr., and include multi-storey commercial buildings that could lead to local jobs.