People want a Toronto subway station to be built in the middle of a busy street
Preliminary work is already in motion for the Ontario Line, a long-planned 15.6-kilometre, 15-station route from the Ontario Science Centre in the northeast to Exhibition Place in the southwest, expected to relieve overcrowding on both the TTC's Line 1 and Line 2 subways.
Early construction activity may be ongoing, but there are still plenty of minor details to iron out, and a group of heritage and community advocates are trying to get the location of one station building changed before it cuts into green space on an important heritage property.
Toronto City Council considers zoning by-law amendments (which were initiated by the City) on Tuesday to advance several stations on the line, including the planned Osgoode Station.
Though not everyone is pleased with plans for the station's east entrance, which would encroach on a heritage property in its current form.
Osgoode's Ontario Line station entrance for 130 Queen Street West — at the northeast corner of Queen and University — is planned on a patch of green space at the southwest corner of the Osgoode Hall property.
The construction of Toronto’s @OntarioLine subway will put a building on the greenspace at Osgoode Hall, an important historic place. It should be replacing car lanes instead. 1/ pic.twitter.com/Y8G1gVExJn— Alex Bozikovic (@alexbozikovic) May 30, 2022
It's a location facing pushback at council, with a group of advocates lobbying for a narrowing of University Avenue for the creation of a new plaza for the subway station entrance, taking the required space from motorists rather than a green space associated with a heritage property.
Various heritage and community advocates will be speaking tomorrow at Toronto city hall and their concerns are valid. There seems to be an alternative: put the station building in University Avenue and lose some car lanes 2/ https://t.co/aIrBvYrBPO pic.twitter.com/AKTuipwHBI— Alex Bozikovic (@alexbozikovic) May 30, 2022
A letter from the Grange Community Association (GCA) states that "the community has developed an alternative which requires that NO infrastructure be placed within the grounds of Osgoode, and that the street be configured to place the station house outside the grounds and to create plazas on the north and south sides of Queen."
Along with the GCA, advocates and organizations calling for the by-law amendment to be rejected in its current form include the Federation of South Toronto Residents Association, the Sir William Campbell Foundation which operates Campbell House Museum, the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, and the Law Society of Ontario, which operates out of Osgoode Hall.
The loss of green space is a key stumbling block, along with other concerns raised, including the proposed removal of at least ten mature trees and the loss of a section of historic cast-iron fence along University Avenue.
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