First LRT arrives at Crosstown Storage Facility

As 2021 draws near, the components of the Eglinton Crosstown Line are falling into place. CBC has a video of the train actually on a track (in Kingston last year).

The train will no doubt be a feature of the storage facility’s upcoming open house (part of the Doors Open event) on Saturday May 25.

From the Doors Open Site:

Building Description

For the first time ever, public are invited to take a peek behind the doors of the Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility (EMSF). It houses the Crosstown Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) where they are inspected, cleaned and maintained. Construction on the facility began in 2016, and was completed in October 2018. Light rail vehicles began to arrive in January 2019. The facility will initially be home to 76 light rail vehicles, with capacity to store 135 as service levels increase to meet future demand. The main building is built to LEED Silver certification, and includes high energy and water efficiency, green roofs, solar reflective paving, and vehicle charging stations for electric vehicles.

 

Visitor Experience

Join Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility on Saturday, May 25th for Doors Open, presented by Metrolinx and Crosslinx Transit Solutions. Come by for a tour of this world class facility, step into a brand new light rail vehicle and check out the evolution of the Crosstown project through an interactive display! UrbanArts has partnered with Crosslinx Transit Solutions to provide interactive programming and entertainment in the main parking lot of the facility. There will be free children’s activities, live music and refreshments for purchase.

 

Photography / Filming

Interior photography permitted, without tripod
Interior filming permitted, without tripod

 

Accessibility Notes

Some uneven ground due to rails.

 

Date: Saturday May 25. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Address: 85 Industry St., Toronto ON, M6M 4L5

Subways, Subways, Subways!

Here in Greater Weston™, a whole other set of politicians cater to our needs. Our MPP on this side of the river (Etobicoke Centre) is Kinga Surma . In her latest flyer, she announces, ‘The government is tunnelling the Eglinton Crosstown’.

She continues,

“Since I have been the MPP for Etobicoke Centre, I made a commitment to all of you that I would fight to tunnel the Eglinton Crosstown to the airport. Since last June, I met with the Premier, the Minister of Transportation and Metrolinx to emphasize the importance of providing Etobicoke residents with fast, reliable public transit; one that did not add to the congestion on Eglinton. We worked together for months to plan and budget a regional transportation system; something the residents of Etobicoke, Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area have been waiting for.

We are tunnelling the Eglinton Crosstown and we are building subways!

I will always fight for the people of Etobicoke Centre.

I want to thank you for your support throughout this process.”

Although Premier Ford has made it clear that tunnelling the westward extension of the Eglinton Crosstown is his preferred option, I can’t recall a government announcement that such a decision has been made.

If this is a done deal, there’s going to be a whole lot of money and time needed – plus some razzle dazzle from the Premier himself. Oh and perhaps the slight formality of an updated environmental assessment, further community consultation and finding the ‘efficiencies’ that will finance this endeavour.

Lastly, if Doug Ford doesn’t win the next Ontario general election in 2022, will appeasing Tory voters along the Eglinton corridor be on the next government’s priority list? It’s doubtful, so let’s not get too excited.

Sadly, transit decisions in this city and province are still made through election campaign napkin planning.

Ford drives the gravy train

Doug Ford’s government has announced plans to mess with transit in Toronto. Again.

This time, instead of as well as messing up the Scarborough subway, they’re going to mess up the Eglinton West LRT in Mount Dennis.

In a letter to the city, the province said they would like to bury the Eglinton West Extension, which will go from Mount Dennis to the airport. They also say that this had never been considered before.

This, of course, is nonsense. It’s astonishing nonsense. It’s mental. It boggles my mind to think that:

  1. The province thinks they have a great idea—bury the trains—that nobody has thought of before.
  2. They couldn’t be bothered to google to see that it’s a terrible idea—and had already been considered.

In a subsequent letter, the province said so. (They did not explain, however, how a part-time blogger knew more about transit planning than the Ministry of Transportation.)

Where this leaves us with respect to transit planning is anyone’s guess. But the Globe has a few choice things to say about the letters:

They reveal a provincial blueprint that will result in less new transit, built more slowly and more expensively.

What’s more, they suggest a provincial scheme so ill-considered it could have been developed between courses of a boozy lunch, and so thin it could fit on the back of a cocktail napkin.

What does the province want? Basically, to rip up years of Toronto Transit Commission planning and restart at zero.

 

Metrolinx Update

Here’s a couple of new videos from Metrolinx regarding the Crosstown Line that will speed up public transit along Eglinton and connect to GO and the UP Express lines at Mount Dennis. The first shows some nice drone footage of the new maintenance buildings as well as the Kodak #9 building that will serve as the station entrance.


The second video shows a station mock-up that apparently is a full-size example of a typical station on the Crosstown Line. I asked Metrolinx’s community relations people about the station, if visits could be arranged, where it is and so on. I began my inquiries last Friday but as yet, have yet to get an answer. I had to send their CR people a link to the video as they hadn’t heard of the station’s existence.

Look for an update once details are provided.

Update, Monday June 25: I received an answer from Suniya Kukaswadia, Metrolinx’s Senior Advisor, Media Relations & Issues Management answering my questions:

1)     Where is the replica?

The purpose of the mock up station is to test materials and building methods prior to the actual build of the stations. The mock up is located at the Crosslinx warehouse and staging facility at Caledonia and Lawrence.

2)     Will you we be offering media tours of it?

Currently the mock up build is still a work in progress, and is not available for media visits. We would like to start media visits in the near future when the mock up is complete.

3)     Will members of the public be able to see it?
We are not currently in a position to provide public access but hope to be in the coming months.

Two artworks for Mount Dennis Station

Metrolinx has announced that 6 stations along the Eglinton Crosstown line will be decorated with artworks chosen from 187 new and established artists’ submissions. Mount Dennis Station will be the only station to have two. The first is a collage of found images and objects by Sara Cwynar and the second, a video installation from Canadian artists based in Berlin; Hadley + Maxwell depicting the history of Mount Dennis, including the Kodak building move.

Sara Cwynar’s collage will be placed on a pedestrian corridor in the station. Click to enlarge.

An impression of the video installation, ‘Up To This Moment’. Click to enlarge.

Read more in this Inside Toronto article here and in the Crosstown announcement here.