Mount Dennis Station latest videos

Metrolinx has released two videos, one with some lovely drone footage of the old Kodak building which is being incorporated into the new Mount Dennis Station. The second video is a walk through of the actual station.

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.

Weston / Mount Dennis is gentrifying – in spots

There is an interesting article in the Toronto Star today that discusses gentrification, its effects and where it is happening in our city. The article looks at the change in household income between 2006 and 2015 in neighbourhoods across the city. While neither Weston nor Mount Dennis can be classified as gentrified – or even close (yet), there are significant increases in household income in many of our neighbourhoods.

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Warm colours represent larger increases while blue indicates a decrease in household income.

Interestingly, Weston Village is a rare Toronto enclave where incomes have stagnated or even dropped over that 9-year period. That’s not to say that incomes there are low but they’ve not kept up with the rest of the city in that time. In contrast, neighbourhoods along Weston Road seem to have become more prosperous. There is a particular hot spot (+34%) north and south of Lawrence just west of Weston Road but it’s probably too soon to say if the UP Express has had an effect (btw, my neighbours love taking the 14-minute UP Express trip into Toronto for baseball games at the Skydome Rogers Centre.)

Many parts of Mount Dennis, have also seen an above average increase. Again, the 2021 opening of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT may be a factor in this but time will tell.

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The results across the city showed an 18% average increase in household income. Check the Star’s article to see how your neighbourhood compares.

Kodak Lands Generator – Bottom Line

‘If the community doesn’t want it, it won’t be built’.

The words were spoken at the February 29th Transit meeting regarding the proposed (and contentious) natural gas generator that was so recently sprung on the community. A lot was said at the meeting and my report has a lot of information but this is something the community can and should latch on to.

Metrolinx originally wanted to reduce the chances of a power failure along the Crosstown Line by tapping into the power grid in two different places along its length. That way if a local power failure affected one connection (the vast majority of power disruptions are local) the power could be supplied from the other connection to the power grid.

Enter contractor Crosslinx Transit Solutions. They came up with what they thought was a better idea, namely to be totally independent of the grid during a power failure – especially in the rare event of a Province or even region-wide outage. This has happened exactly twice – in 1965 and again in 2003. Their solution was a gas fired (not diesel as was rumoured) generator. This would come to life to provide power during those extremely rare failures.

As an afterthought, Crosslink Transit Solutions proposed that it would also be fired up during times when the power grid was struggling to cope – routinely on a hot day when air conditioning demand stresses the system. Whether there would be money to be made from this and who would make the money are two very good questions. Nevertheless, when private corporations get involved in such matters it pays to be suspicious.

Image from Huffington Post.
Image – Huffington Post.

During those hot muggy days the last thing residents of Weston and Mount Dennis need is to have even more pollution added to the dirty air that traditionally accompanies such weather. In addition, the generator will occupy valuable space on a precious site.

Conclusion: the system doesn’t need it and the community doesn’t want it.

The words by the way came from Metrolinx’s Jamie Robinson, Director, Community Relations and Communications, Toronto Transit Projects. He said,

‘If the community doesn’t want it, it won’t be built’.

Mr. Robinson, we don’t want it. Please don’t build it.

Planning Studies in the works for Weston and Mount Dennis

At the recent Etobicoke York Community Council, two strikingly similar motions were passed. Both give the go-ahead to Toronto City Council to review the current planning framework for two stretches of Weston Road, receive input from the community and report back with recommendations. Here is an extract from the Parke to Wilby stretch:

That Etobicoke York Community Council:
1. Request the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to:

  1. undertake a review of the current planning framework for the study area including: built-form, density, height, and public realm of the properties on Weston Road between Parke Street and Wilby Crescent/Wright Avenue;
  2. consult with the community, including landowners and other stakeholder groups, together with the Ward Councillor, to understand the community’s concerns and to develop a vision for future development in the study area; and
  3. report back on the findings of the review and to provide recommendations for changes, if necessary, to the planning framework for the study area.

2. Request that the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning prioritize this planning study on the work program for 2017 or earlier.

Pic 1
Weston Road from Parke Street to Wilby Crescent
Weston Road from Ray Avenue to Humber Boulevard.
Weston Road from Ray Avenue to Humber Boulevard.

Both reviews are at the prompting of Councillor Frances Nunziata. Read the letter regarding Weston Village here and the one for Mount Dennis here.

According to the councillor, we need to re-visit the planning frameworks because of transportation changes like the UP Express and the Crosstown Line’s new Mount Dennis station.

Call me a cynic but we had a very nice plan for the northern section of Weston Road corridor keeping building heights to between 3 and 8 storeys but it was easily circumvented when the Weston Hub was approved.

Why bother coming up with a ‘vision’ and planning by-laws when these things are carved in jello and so easily put aside?

Photography Drive bridge coming down this Friday.

The bridge and the iconic Kodak recreation building as they looked in March 2012
The bridge over Eglintaon Avenue and the iconic Kodak recreation building as they looked in March 2012

This weekend the bridge over Eglinton Avenue will be demolished to eventually make way for the new Mount Dennis Crosstown Station. The bridge has been closed for well over a decade.  The demo will necessitate the closing of Eglinton between Black Creek and Weston road between 9pm this Friday (19th February) and 11pm on Sunday (21st). For more information look herehere and at the video below.