Public meetings about the Ontario Line subway leave Toronto with more questions than answers
Metrolinx has been hosting a series of information sessions to help Toronto residents learn more about its contentious Ontario subway line, due to run through 15 downtown stops from Exhibition Place to the Ontario Science Centre by 2027.
But, the public still hasn't been able to get some of the answers it's looking for.
Though many are supportive of any transit expansion that will help ease TTC's notorious crowding and keep up with Toronto's growing population, some have concerns over the new line, especially about the segments of it that are due to be above ground.
These sections will be in Leslieville/Riverside between Gerrard and Eastern Avenue, as well as near Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Parks, partially through existing GO Transit corridors.
This is why it is critical that members of the public attend the upcoming Ontario Line information sessions being held by Metrolinx. The future of transit in our city is up in the air, and we must continue to push for an open and transparent process: https://t.co/P92h6mMf4e— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) January 17, 2020
Apparently, the packed info sessions have been a little hectic and unorganized, with no speaker or formal presentation by Metrolinx.
"Information sessions are fantastic, but the information does not go deep enough for us to best understand how it is going to impact the community," one community member and advocate told CTV News.
Concerns residents have raised tonight include the Ontarion Line’s impact on local parks and community centres, the noise of trains, and a lack of bike lanes included in the current plan. (That last one is a new one to me!)— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) January 29, 2020
Community advocacy groups like the East End Transit Alliance have a number of pressing questions on topics that they say Metrolinx hasn't been transparent about.
Among these are concerns about environmental impact, the fate of parks and community spaces along the line, the effect on local businesses and housing, the cost-benefit of things like bridge reconstruction and the number of trains and amount of disruption that locals can expect per hour.
Metrolinx has defended its plans to put portions of the line above ground, largely because it will provide easier connections and cost less money.
4. The indirect and wastefully longer-than-necessary route through the downtown and the steep gradients had some technically knowledgeable people I spoke with last night puzzled and unsatisfied. #OntarioLine— Stephen Wickens (@StephenWickens1) January 28, 2020
The new $11 billion subway route, the capital costs of which will be funded by the provincial government, will be in lieu of the downtown relief line that the city scrapped last year after Doug Ford began pushing his idea of the Ontario Line, which will ultimately serve the same purpose.
The province has agreed to cover the already-sunk costs of the relief line project, as well as billions in other transit initiatives like the Scarborough subway extension and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
We will be at January 23rd meeting to ask about impacts of the "Above-Ground" Terminus-Station for the #OntarioLine proposed for #DonMillsCrossing at SCIENCE CENTRE & how it could Scuttle/Delay 800+ #HousingNow units of new #AffordableHousing in #TOPoli?— HousingNowTO (@HousingNowTO) January 20, 2020
Needs to be Underground. pic.twitter.com/oBYPSjYwme
The final of four open houses for public input on the Ontario Line takes place this evening at the Exhibition Place's Beanfield Centre from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
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