Hark!–A transit plan that benefits WMD

The front-runner in the Toronto Mayoral race has a transit plan that would make Mount Dennis (and, to a lesser degree, Weston) a transit-rich part of the city. John Tory’s transit plan includes an electrified Georgetown track for LRTs that would connect with the Eglinton LRT.

Tory leads in the polls, though the election is months away, and his transit plan is a centrepiece of his campaign. As far as YHC can see, it is, as yet, unmatched by Olivia Chow (or, needless to say, Rob Ford).

map (1)

Tory’s campaign calls for a line that runs from the northeast of the city, through Union Station, back up to the airport area. It would run on the existing GO lines, except for the section after Mount Dennis, and it would be “express service”—with far fewer stops and trains than a subway. It would, however, run all-day and on 15-minute intervals, unlike today’s GO trains.

John Tory’s campaign says, cleverly, that Toronto has a hidden and underused resource—surface rail corridors. Currently, these are used by diesel trains, but he is calling for “EMUs”—trains that look like subway cars.

EMU copy

The exciting part for us, though, is that the train would run all day, from Mount Dennis, and join with the Eglinton LRT. Local commuters could choose to either go downtown via Union, or crosstown on Eglinton. Either path would connect with the subway.  The Weston—Mount Dennis area would have a GO train, the Eglinton LRT, and the Tory Train.

Tory says that the line could open in 7 years and be paid for by the increased taxes in the communities it benefits.¹

Your correspondent can’t find any answers to some natural questions:

  • Why not build to the airport instead of the industrial areas around it?
  • Why not use this to replace the UP Express?
  • Why not use the UP Express infrastructure for this?
  • Why does the east end get 13 stops while the west end gets only 8?
  • How, precisely, does it relate to the planned electrification of the GO corridors?

The plan has been generally well-received. Royson James says it is a “transformational” and “exhilarating” idea. Steve Munro, however, says that it is an idea that leaves downtowners out.

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¹ Yeah, I know.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

5 thoughts on “Hark!–A transit plan that benefits WMD”

  1. The problems with this plan I see are:

    -the Richview Expressway lands along Eglinton have been sold, so there isn’t any room for the spur.
    -how would the spur connect to the GO tracks at Mt Dennis? It would have to be some sort of tunnel which as we know from here is a massive and expensive project. The residents there got up in arms over a plan to demolish 10 houses for the Crosstown, and this is a much bigger proposition.
    -Scarlett Rd and Jane St are over 1km apart, so what’s with the “Scarlett/Jane” Station? Plus nothing at Islington?
    -why have both this AND the extension of the bloor-danforth line when both lines are 2 km apart? The surface train would drain ridership from the proposed subway making the extra billions spent on it rather than the LRT pointless. If you want rapid surface transit go with the already funded LRT that would cost the city nothing.

    I just don’t get why he’s doesn’t proposed electrifying and making the UP Express into a local service and extending the Crosstown along Eglinton to Renforth where it would meet up with the new Mississauga busway.

  2. Weston Mount Dennis is not an area of concern with the politicians that’s what people don’t get.

  3. Toronto transit guru Steve Munro doesn’t think much of the Tory plan – read his comments in The Torontoist here.

  4. Good questions…..I hope he answers. This whole mayoral race is a circus and I can’t wait for it to be over.

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