Metrolinx to make plans clear on guided walk May 9

The Mount Dennis Community Association and Metrolinx will be meeting for a walk through Eglinton Flats, to discuss Metrolinx’s controversial proposal to build an elevated train through the parks.

The meeting will be Monday, May 9 at 6 p.m. and will start where Pearen Park reaches Eglinton Avenue:

Here, I believe.

The MDCA says they believe the LRT will run “entirely WITHIN Fergie Brown Park from the point we wil meet until it is almost at Jane Street.”(Emphasis theirs.) They are also concerned Metrolinx’s images make the tracks seem lower than they will be.

Putting the train through the park would be disruptive to people, but it would also destroy woodlands, the MDCA says. “We expect that most of the woodland area west of Jane… will be clear-cut to accommodate the LRT, likely with serious damage to the wetlands that separate the woods from the playing fields”.


 

Upcoming events

The Mount Dennis Community Association will be hosting a Jane’s Walk this Saturday, May 7 at 2 pm. They

are hoping to explore the next stage of the LRT this year with a walk from the Mount Dennis station west towards Jane Street.  The elevated guideway was nobody’s first choice, and the current plan in our opinion destroys too much of our parks.  The walk starts at 2pm

Upcoming events

Metrolinx will be hosting an open house to discuss their plans for the “elevated stations” at Scarlett and Jane this Wednesday, April 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m..

I confess, I didn’t know the Jane Station will be elevated, but Metrolinx says:

An elevated station structure would be wider than the guideway to accommodate the needed passenger space and would also have a larger at-grade footprint to function as station entrances.

Metrolinx will also share the results of their survey about the elevated section of track that will cut through the parks at Eglinton Flats.


The city will be hosting a community meeting for the “Picture Mount Dennis Planning Framework Study” on Thursday, April 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m..

The study will shape the development of Mount Dennis for years to come. It is

a comprehensive vision for the future based on the input of current residents, businesses, local services and non-profit organizations and Indigenous partners. It seeks to protect what the community values about their neighborhood in Mount Dennis today, establish the parameters for new growth to fit into this context and capitalize on new investment to benefit the current and future population

Community benefits restored

The provincial government reversed its decision to remove community benefits agreements for major infrastructure projects, including the Eglinton West extension.

CBAs benefit provide avenues to work for people typically left out of the hiring process for construction jobs. They were pioneered in York South–Weston.

Eglinton Flats LRT drawings released

Metrolinx has released some drawings of the controversial Eglinton Flats LRT overpass. They are seeking community feedback on the design.

Metrolinx will be building an elevated bridge through Pearen Park, Fergy Brown Park, and the Eglinton Flats to carry trains across the Humber River valley. The rest of the Eglinton West LRT extension will be built underground, but going under the river would have been too expensive, Metrolinx says.

The survey asks how the space under the bridge should used, how much vegetation there should be, and what the lights and walls should look like.

The Mount Dennis Community Association is not pleased. They say:

  • There are no drawings to show exactly where the LRT will be in the Flats
  • Metrolinx has not done a good job of consulting
  • Recreation space will be lost
  • A construction road and staging area are not shown
  • It’s not clear if the bike path will be rerouted

CBAs under threat

Metrolinx and the province are rolling back their commitment to community benefits agreements, according to the Toronto Star.

CBAs aim to develop talent and hire locally for large infrastructure projects. They “provide benefits to disadvantaged communities through equitable hiring practices, training, apprenticeships, local suppliers, and social procurement opportunities, where possible”, according to our MP, Ahmed Hussen. They’ve were pioneered in York South–Weston because the Eglinton Crosstown was the first large project to use one.

The Toronto Community Benefits Network says, though, that “the Province and Metrolinx are attempting to leave local communities and Community Benefits Agreements behind” on the Eglinton West extension and other projects. 

According to the TCBN, Metrolinx would like to not have minimum employment equity thresholds or commitments “to social procurement and supply chain diversity.

Rick Ciccarelli of the Mount Dennis ecoNeighbourhood Initiative wrote a long letter to Metrolinx outlining their successes—and many failures. He wrote

“The importance to creating construction workforce connections for Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, Women and Youth from low income families cannot be understated. We expect Metrolinx to ensure minimum employment thresholds for equity deserving groups are in you tender calls and project agreements. This includes at least a 10% equity hiring provisions for Apprenticeships and Journeypersons positions in construction projects as well as including employment pathways to Professional, Administrative and Technical positions.”

Kodak Building Featured in Urban Toronto Article.

Kodak Building 9 in March 2012 (file).

In 2017, A company by the name of Entuitive Engineering got the contract to move the Kodak 9 building several hundred metres. This was to allow a new basement to be fitted in readiness for the building’s new role as part of the Mount Dennis Station on the Crosstown Line. The details of the move and other interesting tidbits are in this Urban Toronto posting. Weston Web has more here and here. The Urban Toronto article is here.