Weston won’t get transit hub, will get station

An article in InsideToronto seems to have sparked concern about the future of the GO station in Weston. Despite rumours to the contrary, it appears that the GO station will be built. It will not be a ‘mobility hub’, however.

The InsideToronto article implied that GO might not be committed to building the new Weston GO station because the agency estimates low ridership. One quote in particular was troubling, though (or perhaps because) it was expressed in bureaucratese: ” ‘Metrolinx will review its current ridership estimates to determine if further analysis and refinements are required to support delivery of the project,’ said Metrolinx spokesperson Ian McConachie.”

Mike Sullivan, longtime Clean Train Coalition Chair and now the federal NDP candidate in YSW said in a recent email,

Metrolinx has now hinted that the future of the station will depend on increased ridership.  Metrolinx points out that only 5% of the Georgetown passengers currently use GO to and from Weston

Laura Albanese questioned Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne in the House about the possibility that Weston might lose its station. Wynne denied that the station is threatened:

Laura Albanese: It has come to my attention… that word is spreading in the community questioning GO’s commitment to this station. Can the minister please assure my constituents that the planned new Weston GO station will go ahead?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I want to thank the member for the question about the Weston GO station, for which she advocated, and I want to assure her and her constituents that we are proceeding with the construction of the new Weston GO station. That is on track. It’s because, as I say, of her advocacy that the consultation took place in the community…

That construction of the GO station is going to be phased. The first phase will be to shift the existing station platform from the north of Lawrence Avenue to just south of Lawrence Avenue. Then, as we proceed with the station building and additional parking, Metrolinx will be speaking with local stakeholders and updating them regularly.

Kathleen Wynne minced words under further questioning, though. She said,  “Metrolinx will also be adopting the mobility hub guidelines to inform the station development.” Mobility hubs are a kind of ‘super station’ and, according to Metrolinx, “the hubs will be centres of activity, attracting opportunities for live, work, and play, all connected to the greater region through reliable, rapid transit.”

A mobility hub would be a great benefit to Weston, drawing commuters and business to the area. Jane and Eglinton was a candidate for one, though that plan is likely dead now that the Eglinton LRT line will not be coming to our neighbourhood. Sites are selected, in part, because they are at the intersection of two or more one major transit lines.

Wynne did not mean that Metrolinx will actually build a mobility hub, only that the guidelines would ‘inform development’; Ian McConachie, a Media Relations Specialist for Metrolinx, said in an email

“The Weston GO Station and Air Rail Link (ARL) stop in Weston would not fit into the category of a mobility hub for several reasons. Most importantly, the ARL station in Weston will not be a connection between two or more rapid transit commuter systems, which is required to be characterized as a mobility hub.”

Mike Sullivan said,

“I asked Leslie Woo why a place with NO people (Jane/Eglinton) is a hub and a place with lots of people and jobs (Weston), and 11 bus routes, and 2 GO routes, and 1 ARL route would not be a hub.  She said that the defining criteria was now ‘two or more higher order’ ‘intersecting’ at Jane Eglinton (Jane LRT and Eglinton LRT)…. I   She was nice about it, but refused to change her mind that Weston doesn’t qualify and Jane/Eglinton does.”

 

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

2 thoughts on “Weston won’t get transit hub, will get station”

  1. i’ve always been a bit concerned about moving weston GO station to south of lawrence. the current GO station location is parallel to the geographic centre of weston’s downtown. to the west, you have the high density of downtown weston, to the east you have weston’s residential street grid. the future GO station location is further south of all the action and in a geographically constricted area. to the east, you have commercial lands & to the west you have the southern most section of weston’s downtown. the people who live in the residential grid neighbourhood will have to walk further to the station which i think might hurt ridership. increasing the walking distance a few hundred meters sometimes destroys the convenience. it may be only a distance of around 300M from the centre platform of the current station to the centre platform of the new station, but for some, it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. lets also not forget that the folks who live along weston rd. in the dense midrise area between st phillips rd. & church st. will have an even longer walk.

    as for the low ridership, is it really a surprise? the GO line is a single track which provides rush hour service. it’s primarily used for westonites to go to work in the morning downtown and return to weston at night. the current frequency of trains is not practical for alot of people. had the line been double tracked with all day service in both directions with good train frequencies like 1/2 hour in both directions, ridership would be much higher. but to my understanding, even with the future track expansion, frequencies of GO trains actually stopping in weston will still be limited to rush hour service. it’s almost like they want the station to fail.

    i honestly don’t know why there is such obsession with black creek drive & eglinton. our city councillor has had a hard-on with turning this area into a downtown since the 90’s. instead of providing great transit infrastructure to an empty area which might be a dense node “someday”, why not provide great transit for a dense node which already exists? the heart of weston is far more deserving than the uninhabited pedestrian unfriendly intersection which is black creek & eglinton.

    there is so much to say on what could have been had the rail corridor been used to its full potential but it seems pointless since the future is already decided. it seems like talk has shifted from how we could increase the prosperity of weston and the west end of toronto to how to save it from sliding further into depression.

    inconvenience is the new convenience of the future.

  2. Given this week’s announcement about the LRT along Eglinton, Leslie Woo will have to revisit her insistence that Jane and Eglinton will receive the Hub because of the ‘higher order’ nature of the intersection. Since the LRT won’t be ending at Jane, as it should, but at Black Creek, why build a Hub if it is not the terminus for the line? And since it will take more than our lifetimes to build out to the airport (given how long it has already taken), I doubt that a Hub at Jane will ever be built. They should look at Weston for their Hub since we are the intersection for GO, TTC, the ARL and just below two major highways and near the airport.

    Fools on the hill….

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