ontario line toronto

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Lead photo by

Paula Fletcher

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