Weston wins

Metrolinx will be slashing the fares for the UP Express. Westonians, you now have a reliable, all-day, affordable train to downtown and the subway. New fares to downtown will be $5.02 with a Presto card and $5.65 without. A trip to the airport will be $4.71. Kids will still ride free.

In short: Weston won.

 

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Your correspondent believes that today will mark a turning point in Weston.

Weston, of course, used to be a town unto itself, with a distinct character and community. Amalgamation into York and Toronto sucked much out of us, as did the decline of local industry. It’s been undeniably tough.

But rapid, affordable, comfortable connections to downtown change everything. We could again have our own identity—how could we not? We won the real-estate lottery: we are close to the highway, airport, and downtown, but it’s quiet and affordable here, with many joys of suburban and even small-town life.

GO train service has been excellent for 9 to 5 workers, but it serves penumbral workers terribly. Weston has many people on the fringes, so their job prospects just got much better. Before, working as a night guard downtown would have been brutal. Now it remains a tough job, but the commute will be business class.

Of course, the favoured also won. We got an all-day connection to the vibrant city. I look forward to zipping down to Dundas for an over-hopped beer with friends. 

So employment and wages could increase. Rents and real-estate values could go up too—a mixed blessing to be sure in most places in the city, but less so here. If they did, we could see new sparkle on Weston Road—and the beginning, perhaps, of a virtuous cycle.

After many losses, we won. It might be the only first round of many.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

13 thoughts on “Weston wins”

  1. Such wonderful news for Weston and others in the west end. I applaud Metrolinx for finally admitting they made a mistake and Taking the logical step. The fares are actually lower than I would have hoped and this will open up access to downtown like never before. This should serve as a downtown relief line for the west-end as well. Amazing news, we deserve it.

  2. In terms of political and civic leadership, former MP Mike Sullivan deserves much, much credit for how this project has finally evolved to the point that it will now serve Weston as real public transit alternative. Mike was on this issue from the very beginning — about 15 years ago when then Chretien government Transportation Minister David Collenette first called for expressions of interest to provide commuter rail service between Union and Pearson. Remember Blue-22, SNC Lavalin, etc? Mike was at the forefront of community mobilization. Today is a win for Weston and a testament to Mike Sullivan’s tireless work as community leader, volunteer and MP. Thank you, Mike!

  3. Yes, this is wonderful news, finally, and many thanks to Mike Sullivan who has been an advocate for Weston and the clean train coalition from the beginning.
    Now to get some good community use from the old hospital site …

  4. As exciting as this news is we should be aware that the Eglinton Crosstown line at Mt. Dennis will become a much more important station location in 2020 and Weston station only a few kilometers away could be all but abandoned.

  5. @ Westonian: Yes, that is the next big fight we should gird ourselves for. The redevelopment of that site presents a wonderful opportunity to further enhance Weston.

    @ Melo: I am not too concerned about Weston station being “abandoned”. Given the proximity to the 400 and the 401, that station is much easier to access for folks from the broader surrounding area. What I wouldn’t be surprised with, however, is if we eventually lose GO service since the new UPX format pretty much negates the need for GO to stop here. It would make a tonne of sense for GO to stop in Mount Dennis and connect with the Crosstown in the future. So yesterday’s decision could be a boon for both Weston AND Mount Dennis. And don’t forget, we should soon get a Via Rail connection too. I hope the new MP, who is now into his fifth month on the job (!), emerges soon on that file . . .

    1. Sure but the GO train only runs one way in the morning and another way in the evening making it a poor choice for Airport access. Besides, being near the highway wouldn’t attract people who are already in cars to use Weston station to get the the airport, they would just drive there wouldn’t they? I agree GO and UPX would be a redundant stop at Weston but it’s more likely the UPX stop would be moved to the corsstown and Westonions would be left with the same GO train we have now.

  6. This will only truly become a boon for Weston when we have proper fare integration with the UP Express and the TTC whereby people who take the UP Express into Union are permitted to ride the TTC for free or for a significant discount. Paying $5 for a fast ride into Union is more than worth it, but paying an additional $3.25 to get anywhere else is a cost too far:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/02/23/lets-celebrate-a-union-pearson-express-for-everyone-keenan.html

  7. re the Mount Dennis issue, this is a concern but Metrolinx has sunk significant investment into upgrading Weston station such that I do not anticipate the choice to abandon service would be taken lightly.
    At the end of the day it does not matter much because with 15 minute frequency on the UPX, the GO train is redundant. The fare drop makes it inevitable that, barring some dramatic reversal, the UPX will over time become a local commuter train somewhere between regular GO service and a subway. I expect additional stops will be added including at Queen or King Street as well. Metrolinx has been talking for years about something called “Regional Express Rail” which for all intents and purposes is what the UPX is now about to become.
    At that stage all you need are a few immediate transfer points between the local services and the full-on heavy GO trains, for which Weston offers certain advantages compared to Mount Dennis (i.e. more parking), and vise versa. But for that matter, Malton is another natural location.
    While this has all happily worked out to our benefit, it must be said that this whole debacle has been yet another example of the abominably poor transit planning that has beset this city for decades and shows little sign of improving overall. For example, Smartrack.

  8. This is truly a win!
    Is there any chance that the crosstown will connect to the Weston stations (Go /UP)?
    Is there any chance the West Toronto Railpath may connect to Weston?

    1. “Is there any chance the West Toronto Railpath may connect to Weston?”

      THIS is what I would love to see.

      Imagine cycling downtown instead of TTC or UPX.

      As far as I know they only did an environmental assessment for the portion to Liberty village and it looks to be on track to become a reality down there. That’s great news, but let’s think north too.

      1. I would kill a man to get a bike path downtown. Or uptown. I think that Weston is ideally suited to be a bike hub (again). We have one of the few places to slip under the 401 safely and we are *this* close to being the hub of a bunch of paths. But, war on the car and all that. More wasted years.

        I think the only way–and I think it will happen–that the Eglinton LRT will connect to GO and UPX will be at Mount Dennis. They’ll build a UPX stop there, somehow, I think.

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