John Street Bridge Designs Detailed

‘This bridge will make people want to leave the train at Weston and have a look around.’ Three architects outlined the concepts behind four bridge designs selected by the John Street Pedestrian Bridge Community Advisory Committee on Saturday March 3rd and this seemed to be their common refrain. One architect even simulated the view of his bridge from a train.

The turnout was fair – perhaps 20-30 citizens although each level of government was represented by MP Mike Sullivan, MPP Laura Albanese and Councillor Frances Nunziata along with a number of Metrolinx and Council officials.

In an effort to provide a noise barrier for residents, GO and Airport Link tracks are to be lowered through part of Weston and John Street will be closed to traffic at the railway tracks. This will probably happen late next year and a pedestrian bridge will link the two sides. Metrolinx has budgeted $6m and the citizens’ committee has been hard at work for quite some time. Designs all meet height and electrification upgrade requirements.

The meeting was held so that citizens could examine designs and concepts in detail and question each responsible architect. Bridges range between 4 and 5 metres in deck width and are designed to accommodate pedestrians and (the wider ones) bicycles. Two are truss designs traditionally associated with Ontario railway bridges and two are more ‘out there’ with bicycles as their inspiration. Because the GO tracks are being lowered, the bridge steps and ramps will not need to be as high. Apparently it’s not possible to lower the CP tracks so one bizarre annoyance is that the bridge will not cross all the rail tracks. Hopefully pedestrians and cyclists will not assume that the CP tracks are abandoned – some kind of barrier will be in place to close access when a train is coming.

There was concern that a planned pedestrian bridge which will run alongside the railway bridge across Lawrence should have a matching design. Other residents asked about maintenance, snow removal and vandalism.

Attendees were given an opportunity to submit written comments and there is an online version here.

Regardless of the final choice, with a wise selection, the new bridge will be a further impetus for regeneration in the years to come.

Council wants to hear from you about Weston 2021

Frances Nunziata wants to hear from you about Weston’s future.

Etobicoke York Community Council will be meeting on February 14 to discuss the big changes to Weston discussed in the “Weston 2021 Revitalization Strategy”, which in turn sprang out of the consultations of the past year. Among them,

  • The new creative hub and Farmers’ Market at the John St parking lot
  • The redevelopment of John Street
  • The ‘renewal’ of the troubled buildings at 1765 Jane
  • New street furniture, widened sidewalks, and improved signage
There is a lot of information in the reports (I’ll try to put some of the highlights up over the next few days), and this meeting looks like it will be important.

Community Council will meet in the Council Chambers of the Etobicoke Civic Centre at 399 The West Mall. You should register in advance if you want to make a deputation. contact Rosemary MacKenzie at (416) 394-8101 or at [email protected]. If you can’t make it, you may submit written comments to [email protected].

Frances Nunziata says,

I look forward to hearing your feedback on the Weston 2021 Revitalization Strategy and encourage you to send your comments or attend the Community Council meeting on February 14th!