City Council will consider whether Metrolinx should be allowed to close a huge amount of the paths and roads around Eglinton Avenue this week. And it sounds like Mayor Tory might not be rushing approval if Metrolinx doesn’t start playing ball with City Hall.
There are two issues: fair wages and putting the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension through the Eglinton Flats in Mount Dennis. City Council would like to know why the line can’t go underground, or beside the road instead of inside the park. It seems like Metrolinx hasn’t been forthcoming with the answers.
Tory told his executive committee Wednesday he strongly supports transit expansion, but if Metrolinx officials don’t like being “left with a degree of uncertainty,” as deadlines loom to sign construction contracts, they should “speed up the work” answering questions and concerns from residents and city council…. Metrolinx is “certainly not up to, and accustomed to, the standards we set for public consultation in anything we do, whether it’s transit or not,” the mayor said.
Metrolinx is asking council to close a huge number of routes, including:
The multi-use trail on Eglinton between Jane and Glenvalley
The multi-use trail on Eglinton between Weston Road and the tracks
The westbound curb lane on Eglinton Avenue West east of Jane Street and Weston Road
The westbound curb lane on Eglinton Avenue West, between Weston Road and the tracks
The north sidewalk on Eglinton Avenue West, between Weston Road and the tracks
The north sidewalk on Eglinton Avenue West west of Pearen Street and the park
All of the “temporary” closures will be for eight years.
The Mount Dennis Community Association pointed out another important issue in a letter to the Executive Committee: the proposed closures will interfere with access to the brand-new Mount Dennis Station. They say “there has been a total failure in community consultation about plans for pedestrian access to the station’s main entrance” and that pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders will be affected.
Metrolinx is also facing “adamant and unreserved opposition” from the International Union of Operating Engineers for their refusal to follow Toronto’s Fair Wage Policy.
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:
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”.
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
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