Other park concerns

Metrolinx’s September 28 meeting about the Eglinton West LRT raised several concerns. Regular readers will know that Metrolinx is planning a raised train through and above Fergy Brown Park. They are also planning a new, longer access road and “extraction shaft and portal” through what appears to be a stand of trees on park land.

Image from Metrolinx

My interpretation. Obvs, I’m not a cartographer.
From Metrolinx

Planning meeting on Eglinton LRT

Metrolinx will be hosting an online meeting to discuss the Eglinton LRT expansion on March 16. Metrolinx is planning to extend the LRT from the new Mount Dennis station to Renforth.

You can ask questions in advance about the project and vote on the questions the members will address.

There are already a number of good questions posted on the site:

• What mitigation strategies will be used to reduce noise and vibration from the elevated section of the along the Eglinton flats section?

• What will the elevated section look like?

• How long do you anticipate construction to take place in the Mount Dennis section?

• What are you doing to protect the green space at the Humber River? Are you going to build on it?

• What are your plans for expanding/improving cycling infrastructure between Mt Dennis and Renforth?

The Mount Dennis Community Association has raised some concerns about the plan to remove many trees; and about noise, visual impact, and parking at parks.

Finally, MDCA expressed concern about the visual appearance of the new Jane overhead station, which will be right in the centre of Eglinton Flats.

The MDCA also said that “Metrolinx is committed to minimizing impacts on both wildlife and water quality, and to making sure the new Humber bridge has minimal impacts on the river and valley.”

City to Mount Dennis: You’re stuck with the gas plant

City staff have reported on their meetings with Metrolinx about the gas plant at the Kodak Lands. While the tone of the report is neutral, it doesn’t look good.

Roughly 18MW
Roughly 18MW, according to the internet

Roughly 18MW
Roughly 18MW, the G says.

Metrolinx wants to build an 18 megawatt, natural-gas power plant on the Kodak site, which will soon be a transit hub and part of the Eglinton LRT. The gas plant will, they say, be used in emergencies—but also when the price of electricity is high. Community groups were not pleased.

City staff met with Metrolinx and their contractor about using ‘alternate’ energy instead of natural gas. The report says, more or less, “never going to work.”

Staff say that the roof of the building could support, at most, 1MW of capacity—far less than required. A back-up battery would be too expensive.

Mount Dennis a major issue in campaigns

Weston–Mount Dennis is becoming a turning point in the mayoral campaign.

Olivia Chow has been  hammering John Tory’s SmartTrack plan for the bungled Mount Dennis section. She’s been saying his plan was drawn on the back of a napkin and has egregious errors—which, indeed, it seems to.

Yesterday, Chow poked fun at Tory’s plan for Mount Dennis in a mayoral debate on the arts.

Roy’s been over the plan already once before, here’s the gist of the problems:

  • The land along Eglinton that Tory needs has already been sold and has houses on it
  • Tory says he has a plan to pay for the train, but it’s not much of a plan at all.
  • The train ends near the airport but not at the airport
  • And there’s already a train going that way. It’s going to cost $25 each way, though.

Mike Mattos from the MDCA told the Sun:

“We finally got the LRT to a stage where the community is pretty happy as far as station placement goes. It has been a lot of work over 10 years and his plan comes along and throws a monkey wrench into the transit hub and the LRT station,” he said. “This is a poorly-thought out plan.”



Not a boring (Jane’s) walk in Mt Dennis

BlogTO has a thoughtful piece on the Mount Dennis Jane’s Walk from last weekend:

The next stop was Building 9, the old Kodak employees building that’s all that remains of the vast American film company’s Canadian plant. Sitting at the end of Photography Drive, it’s become an unofficial symbol of the neighbourhood – a last remnant of the company that made Mount Dennis and a sad example of the neglect with which it’s treated.

A Metrolinx representative gave a presentation on the transit complex that’s going to be built on the old Kodak lands – a combination of maintenance yards and garages for the new fleet of LRT trains and a transit hub joining Mount Dennis station with a new GO station. While struggling to keep the wind from blowing away his poster-sized renderings of the future development, he pointed out that Building 9 is to be retained as part of the complex, with its first floor serving as a concourse.

What no one could say was what would happen to the three floors on top of that, currently open to the elements as a result of years of “demolition by neglect” overseen by the site’s former owners, Metrus Properties. I asked councillor Nunziata what the city would like to see, but all she could say that there were discussions and meetings still on the schedule to determine the best way to repurpose Building 9 for “community uses.”

Residents to get input into Kodak lands after all

Metrolinx, according to the The Star, is backtracking and allowing residents some input into what will happen at the derelict Kodak lands, which are to be turned into a rail yard:

Metrolinx has agreed to open debate on the fate of the former Kodak manufacturing site just months before the provincial agency tenders a multibillion-dollar contract to build a storage facility for the Crosstown LRT there.

It’s a major turnaround for Metrolinx, which has previously resisted requests by community activists to intensify development on the 23-hectare brownfield at Eglinton Ave. W. and Black Creek Dr., and include multi-storey commercial buildings that could lead to local jobs.


Kodak lands up for development

The Toronto Star group has a couple of articles on Mount Dennis and the old Kodak lands that are worth a read:

Fridays when families gathered in the auditorium of the Recreation Building to watch motion pictures or musicals by employees in the Kodak Theatre Company.

Christmas parties where kids who were 10 finally got a camera. The building’s gym with its wood slat floors and painted shuffle board courts; the darkroom for photo buffs, the locker room for athletes.

The building was at the heart of Kodak Heights, the 23-hectare factory that employed thousands of people until it closed in 2005.

Today, the recreation building is the only one still standing.

The tunnel boring machines that will carve out the Crosstown LRT are about to rumble through the earth under Eglinton Ave. W.

And that means the deserted Kodak lands in Weston-Mount Dennis will spring to life in the next couple of years.