People want to turn a Toronto transit track into an elevated park
If you've ever taken a stroll down New York City's High Line, you'll agree that an elevated public green space is a pretty darn cool use of an old train route — and now Toronto may be getting one of our own.
Various groups are asking the City to consider the option of a trail and park for Scarborough's aging RT when it is decommissioned in a few years' time, rather than demolishing the raised structures that help carry passengers five stops along 6.4 km from the Line 2 subway's terminus at Kennedy Station to McCowan.
A representative from the Scarborough Business Association told the TTC board last week that destroying the line would be "a waste," and compared a new project along it to the recent revitalization of the unused space under the Gardiner Expressway, which is now the popular public space The Bentway.
Walking and biking trails alongside farmer's markets and other types of community spaces in old stations are among the suggestions on the table from various local groups.
It's an idea that has been floated in years past, but with the end of the RT's life quickly approaching, it has come to the forefront once again.
Re this story on turning Scarborough RT into elevated park/cycling track. Looks like the city voted to have staff look at this back in 2013 (found a @GraphicMatt screen-grab of this vote—thx Matt!). Wonder if this report ever materialized? https://t.co/BBo1eio1PR pic.twitter.com/tF4Icz2WMQ— Jake Tobin Garrett (@jaketobin) February 18, 2021
Given the community support, a motion has now been moved to consult with the public and reassess uses for the RT properties, which Metrolinx confirmed to the Star will not be impacted by the Scarborough Subway Extension that is coming to replace the RT by 2030.
A Metrolinx spokesperson told the news outlet that the transit agency is actually open to "innovative ideas" for the 36-year-old line, giving hope that it may indeed end up being revived as something useful rather than getting razed and going to waste.
Hopefully that new use will be something as cool as a mixed-use green space with a killer view that turns a corridor once used to get residents to where they're going into a destination in and of itself.
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