Noise wall debate getting loud

Metrolinx will be installing noise walls along the tracks that run through Weston, but residents closer to downtown are getting worked up about the possibilities and asking for an improved design.

The walls will be up to 5m (15′) high, and some of the designs are quite ugly—all concrete and plexiglass.

Others are attractive, but downtown residents worry that they will cast large shadows, attract graffiti, and reduce the green space.

It could be worse. If Metrolinx builds the walls on the cheap, we will be stuck with a monstrosity that cuts through the neighbourhood. Below is a rendering of a street in Mount Dennis, done by the firm Brown + Storey.

Instead, Brown + Storey propose  ‘living walls’, which use vegetation and more natural materials to reduce the noise. They say,

the new rail link does not need to follow in the steps of other transit infrastructure in Toronto – that is, disconnecting neighborhoods further, and treating the new line as a necessary evil that needs to be separated as much as possible in a virtual tunnel. Rather, the rail link should be seen as a positive attribute that can re ‐ invigorate and increase our pedestrian and cycling networks, be a catalyst for the reconnection of historically separated neighbourhoods for Toronto residents, and ultimately become a new international gateway….

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.