the ontario line

People living near Ontario Line will have to ask permission to build backyard decks and pools

The ever-contentious Ontario Line is the province's biggest forthcoming transit project, and has been getting pushback nearly every step of the way over the years that it's been in the works.

It was revealed last fall that residents whose homes were along the portion of the 15-stop, 15.5 km-long line that is due to be above ground received what appeared to be expropriation notices from Metrolinx. Now, it seems that the transit agency may indeed be taking liberties when it comes to people's properties on the route in question.

A law passed by the provincial government in 2020 through the Building Transit Faster Act dictates owners of land within 30 metres of a transit corridor — for the Ontario Line or other such routes — who wish to make certain alterations to their own property will need to apply for and be granted permits from Metrolinx to do so.

This includes outdoor excavation and construction projects like backyard pools and decks, additions, or anything that involves building or altering a structure, according to the Star.

A source from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation told the news outlet that the goal of the new permit is simply to "reduce the risk of project delays" and also to prevent citizens from having to make unexpected changes to their renovation plans due to transit work.

The rule applies to thousands of homeowners along the Ontario Line, Eglinton West LRT, Scarborough Subway Extension and Yonge North Subway Extension, some of whom will be receiving letters from Metrolinx on the subject shortly.

The $11 billion Ontario Line is due to be completed in 2027, COVID-19 delays notwithstanding. The LRT, meanwhile, is slated to open to the public sometime next year, while the others will reach completion closer to 2030.

The above-ground segments in particular — cheaper and easier to build than tunnelling — have caused a lot of fuss, with people worrying about the impacts on certain neighbourhoods, including the loss of public parks.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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