The Weston Community Coalition says GO Transit wants to expropriate six homes in Weston to make space for the Georgetown corridor. Metrolinx would beg to differ. Sort of.
According to Manuel Pedrosa, Community Relations Manager, GO Transit is “not planning to raze any homes. [But] we’ve concluded that one of the best options is to purchase the property during the three to four years that we’ll be building the Weston tunnel.” When asked what GO would do if the homeowners didn’t want to sell, Pedrosa said that they would have to cross that bridge when they got to it. Like other large government agencies, Metrolinx does have the right to expropriate, however.
Pedrosa says that the negotiations with homeowners are at an early stage: “We’re looking at a dialogue with the owners to see what their perspective is. Our first step is to contact them. We’ve been going door to door and calling them to explain what the impacts are.”
The impacts could be severe. Some of the properties are only a few feet away from the construction and might be severely affected, he says. “A couple of properties are only two feet away. So there will be potential damage.”
Pedrosa said that he is “not at liberty to reveal how many homes we have contacted. This a private dialogue between the impacted property owner and Metrolinx.” When I pressed him and made the point that telling the community the number of homes without identifying which ones in no way compromises the privacy of the homeowners, he stuck to his guns.
The meeting tomorrow night will not be focused on the property issues, although GO is willing to discuss it. Instead, GO will discuss the tunnel design, its look and feel, and how it integrates into Weston.