Metrolinx building elevated tracks at Eglinton Flats

In June, Metrolinx announced their plans for the Crosstown West branch of the LRT around the Eglinton Flats and Fergy Brown Park: They are planning to build a long elevated track from west of Scarlett to east of Jane.

The ‘elevated guideway’ will be 1.5 km long and about 5m (16′) off the ground. (The remainder of the tracks will be underground out to Renforth.)

It’s sure to be controversial, since the LRT will cut through Mount Dennis’ largest area of parkland.

Metrolinx says that they are concerned with minimizing “the visual impact on the surrounding park land, development and streets” and “overlook, overshadowing, noise and vibration, and physical obstructions”. In the presentation, Elmira Moghani said they considered “how it can nicely fit into the environment and the context of Eglinton Flats.” She says the preferred design is a “smaller structure which has less visual impact in the area [and] less constructibility challenges.”

The Mount Dennis Community Association, however, recently detailed several cases where Metrolinx has removed trees, not replaced trees, and allowed erosion in the neighbourhood.

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.