Davenport Diamond Grade Separation

Metrolinx is planning to grade-separate the railway tracks that run along the east side of our neighbourhood (between Campbell Ave. and Lansdowne) and the CN Tracks on the north side of our neighbourhood (between Dupont and Davenport). Here's the Google Map link.

Currently, these tracks cross each other at-grade, meaning that they intersect at ground level. Trains travelling along the north-south tracks must wait for east-west trains to finish passing through before they can proceed, and vice-versa. The grade separation plan proposes to elevate the north-south GO Transit Barrie Line tracks over the Davenport Diamond, eliminating the intersection and train traffic conflicts.

Though no details have been provided yet about exactly how this grade separation will occur, the summary basically goes like this:

  • A bridge will be built to carry GO trains on the Barrie line over the east-west freight line
  • The bridge would start ramping up from just north of Bloor St., proceed over the Davenport Diamond, and return to ground level north of the Diamond (probably between Davenport Rd. and St. Clair Ave.
  • Wallace Ave. would not be closed (as was possible in one of the previous grade separation proposals)
  • Some additional track crossings may be opened up, e.g. Paton Rd. or Antler St. / Lappin Ave.
  • Space under the bridge could potentially be re-purposed by the community (Park? Trail? Other?)

Timelines, construction methods, costs/funding, and other details have not been provided yet, though I expect some of that will be made available soon.

This thread will be updated as we continue to find out more. All comments and discussions related to this project will be consolidated here too.

Note: Grade separation was previously discussed in 2009 with a few options proposed, but this ended up getting rolled into a larger Barrie corridor expansion EA and shelved until recently.

News and Links:

NOTE: I haven't been keeping up with posting about this project (and other things) here on the JT website recently. If you're interested in following this issue closely and working with a group of local residents who are opposed to the bridge being built, please check out Options For Davenport on their website, Facebook group, and Twitter @Opt4Davenport.

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Environment Minister Says NO

The provincial Minister of the Environment Glenn Murray has responded today to requests to delay the environmental assessment for the Davenport Diamond grade separation project with a NO. You can find his letter and a cover note from MPP Cristina Martins by visiting our Facebook page Junction Triangle Rail Committee
https://www.facebook.com/groups/413180405403017/

The Villager article about Options For Davenport

http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/6153652-options-for-davenport-di...

Options for Davenport distributes lawn signs and ask people to sign a petition against Metrolinix’s proposed bridge

Bloor West Villager
By Lisa Rainford

A local group pushing for smart transit growth in Toronto hit the streets over the weekend to distribute more than 100 lawn signs and collect signatures for a petition against a Metrolinx proposed bridge in their neighbourhood.

Options for Davenport has been campaigning to stop the province from rushing through a plan that would see a Gardiner Expressway-like structure built above their community.

Gardiner for Trains

Is there any way to find out what the elevation of the track would be near my house?
I am between Wallace and Bloor. If the elevation starts just north of Bloor, I'm hoping it's not too high by the time it gets to Wallace.
But then, is the intent for Wallace to pass under the bridge?
It seems to me that the ramp up would have to be pretty steep.
I worry for my property values.
The vibration from the 4 trains a day jiggles my house now.
Is there a timeline?
I may need to sell before this becomes a reality and it just breaks my heart.

According to the drawings

According to the drawings provided by Metrolinx, the highest point of the bridge will be at Dupont Street, where it will be at an elevation of 8.5m. At Wallace Street, the underside of the bridge would rise 5.5m above the existing street. The top of the noise walls would rise up to 8.6m above Wallace Street. You can scroll through the Metrolinx proposal here: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/aboutus/inthecommunity/davenportpanel/Davenp...

Davenport Diamond Planning Document

Metrolinx has released the first renderings of the Davenport Diamond Super Bridge. They are contained in a new report that makes the case for the $140-million bridge to eliminate the Barrie GO Line level crossing with the CP freight tracks near Lansdowne and Dupont.
You can find the Davenport Diamond Feasibility Report, more drawings, some news stories about the study and lots of discussion at the Junction Triangle Rail Committee Facebook page. Join us!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/413180405403017/

Minister of Transportation Visits Wednesday

Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca will be part of a Transit Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, July 29 at 6 p.m. at the Davenport Perth Community Centre (1900 Davenport Road). The event is being organized by MPP Cristina Martins. The Minister will make some opening remarks then take questions from residents.

Davenport Diamond bridge

The community should be demanding that a GO stop be built at Bloor. The Kitchener GO train and UP Express both stop at Bloor. Regional transit should not be allowed to cross other major transit lines (in this case, the subway) without stopping, because that denies commuters the flexibility of connecting to the other line. it's bizarre that this was not in Metrolinx's proposal.

Not bizarre at all. Metrolinx

Not bizarre at all. Metrolinx knew that this monstrosity would be unpopular so they have to pretended there is no station. When enough people complain they "give in" and say we can have a station and of course they get to build a Gardiner Expressway in the sky like they wanted to all along. Remember this plan is about doing building on the cheap regardless of how it impacts the community.

Bridge Benefits

Metrolinx is planning to build a rail bridge through the heart of our community. The current plan offers nothing in the way of benefits for our neighbourhood.
Community representatives from Bloordale, Davenport Village and the Junction Triangle have been meeting over the past couple of weeks to develop a list of community benefits that we can advocate for as a united group. Please join the discussion and add your comments by visiting the Junction Triangle Rail Committee Facebook page. You can find us @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/413180405403017/

If you are opposed to the bridge...

The link above is for the facebook group who's moderator has decided to accept the bridge regardless of what the members want. To join the community in opposing this ill conceived plan, please join this one -> https://www.facebook.com/groups/optionsfordavenport/. There are open meetings and the leaders were even voted in. Decisions are made based on the collaboration of the membership.

Rail Committee on Throwback Thursday

It's Throwback Thursday and the Junction Triangle Rail Committee is reflecting on the man who brought us those massive noise walls former Transportation Minister Glen Murray. We have news about a public meeting regarding the "Not-So-Super Bridge" by the federal NDP candidate for Davenport who is seeking re-election on October 19, MP Andrew Cash. We're looking for a better name than "Super Bridge" because it just doesn't fit something that sucks so bad. There is a discussion happening by residents who are tired of having their bell rung. And we have a follow-up story to the plan last week by the Dutch to make noise walls the final resting place for the dearly departed that could light up our lives. Please come and join us before we run out of hyperbole!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/413180405403017/

All the Rail News!

Is there a local Liberal who will help residents improve the Metrolinx plan to build a Super Bridge through the neighbourhood? Was it necessary to blow the budget to thank our sponsor with some Junction Triangle apparel? Could noise walls become the final resting place for the dearly departed?

We have Dutch news and a lot more on the Junction Triangle Rail Committee Facebook page. Please join us!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/413180405403017/

please allow access to the

please allow access to the facebook page for non-facebook users. I have no account and can't access the page. TY.

Options for Davenport

If you're still interested please consider joining Options for Davenport!
http://optionsfordavenport.ca/
We have a non-Facebook page where you can learn about us, the cause, and get involved if you would like.
Thanks!

Facebook Access

Thanks for your interest in the Rail Committee TY. We have consulted with our tech expert who says only Facebook pages can be opened to non-Facebook members. The Rail Committee is a Facebook group where everyone (on Facebook) can see the postings and any of our 500+ group members can post material and comments. Facebook pages operate differently and would not serve our needs.

All the Rail News!

The UP Express starts service tomorrow (June 6) at 5:30 a.m. Anyone getting up for that? The half built noise walls stretching along the West Toronto Railpath come with a promise from Metrolinx to keep them clean. How's that working out? A group of area residents (and Junction Triangle Rail Committee members) met last night for the first time to discuss how to make the Davenport Diamond Super Bridge better. You can find all the details and pictures too on our Facebook site. Come and check it out!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/413180405403017/

Davenport Super Bridge

What will make the Davenport Diamond Super Bridge project better for area residents? Political leadership on the part of area Liberals.
Past experiences (and a lot of work) by the Clean Train Coalition and the Junction Triangle Rail Committee have shown that Metrolinx only pays lip service to the views of area residents along the rail corridors. If the situation is going to improve, it will only happen when local Liberals like MPP Cristina Martins and federal candidate Julie Dzerowicz start standing up for their residents.
The October 19 federal election will be the first opportunity locals will have to pass judgement on the Liberals' Super Bridge plan. Click the link below and send Julie a message, "We will thank the candidate on election day who helps us."

https://www.facebook.com/voteforjuliedzerowicz

Davenport Super Bridge Meeting

Thanks to everyone who reached out to Julie Dzerowicz! She has requested a meeting with concerned residents on Wednesday, June 24 at 7 p.m. Meeting location and details will follow soon.

Davenport Super Bridge Meeting Confirmed

What will make the Davenport Diamond Super Bridge project better? Political leadership by local Liberals. Only Liberals can fix this plan that offers no benefits to our neighbourhood.
The newly nominated federal Liberal candidate in Davenport has agreed to meet with area residents to discuss the bridge proposal on Wednesday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at the Perth Avenue Housing Co-op (120 Perth just north of Bloor). If you would like to meet Julie and express your concerns, please RSVP by sending an e-mail to rail@junctiontriangle.ca

Super Bridge Meeting Tonight

The best chance for residents to discuss the Davenport Super Bridge plan happens tonight (Wednesday, June 24). There will be no Metrolinx power point presentations or "engineering speak." Just an opportunity for residents to share their concerns and determine if the federal Liberal candidate in Davenport Julie Dzerowicz is willing to help.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Perth Avenue Housing Co-op which is located at 120 Perth Avenue (at Bloor). There is a lot at stake with this proposed bridge project for residents in Bloordale, Davenport Village and the Junction Triangle. Hope you can join us!

To the young man who stopped

To the young man who stopped to explain the purpose of the meeting - Thank you!

Davenport Super Bridge Made Better

Is the Metrolinx Super Bridge going to help the residents of Bloordale, Davenport Village and the Junction Triangle? Is it going to elevate the neighbourhood or just the trains?
The Junction Triangle Rail Committee has a list of five ideas to make the plan better and we have started a discussion about the entire project that Metrolinx is attempting to avoid. Please join us.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/413180405403017/

residents reference panel

Seems like they are inviting select households to be part of the residents panel. I don't think it is fair to allow metrolinx to decide who can be on this panel. Has anyone received an invite who lives close to the tracks? I somehow doubt it. I would like to sign up on this panel, but require a 6 digit code. I think this is terrible, will bring down property values, add more pollution to the neighbourhood including sound, vibration, air, etc... Elevating a diesel train makes the pollution worse. This should be underground, end of story.

GO TRANSIT

The Barrie corridor and the Georgetown corridor should meet at Weston and from Weston to Union station should be a double track, in another words both track join to run parallel each other, so from York University instead going strait to Union station, go to join the Georgetown at Weston and run parallel to Union station. If a bridge is needed, is much easier to serve both at the same time.

March 11th Meeting...how did it go?

I may have missed it somewhere on this site but how did the discussions on March 11th go, between DIGIN and Metrolinx?

DigIN Meeting Notes

These are notes from the meeting taken by Liz Sutherland of Cycle Toronto. She has made them available for those who were not able to attend.

Metrolinx community meeting on the “Davenport Community Rail Overpass”
a.k.a. the “Davenport Diamond superbridge”
March 11, 2015

Donna Cowan of DIGIN organized a meeting for local residents with Metrolinx to hear about the plans for grade separation of the Barrie GO line at the Davenport Diamond (where the GO tracks cross the CN/CP line just north-west of the Dupont-Lansdowne intersection).
The grade separation is planned as part of Metrolinx’s Regional Express Rail (GO train service expansion), and more specifically to support 15-minute all-day service to Barrie.
Meeting participants included representatives from:
• DIGIN Community Group
• Davenport Neighbourhood Association
• Cycle Toronto Ward 18
• Clean Train Coalition
• Councillor Ana Bailão’s staff
• MPP Cristina Martins’ staff
• MP Andrew Cash’s staff
• 15- 20 residents (DIGIN kept a list).

The project (highlights):
• Metrolinx staff (Manuel Pedrosa and two others) presented the plans for the rail bridge.
• The north-south GO track would start to rise just north of Bloor, reaching its apex just north of Dupont, and descending to ground level before St. Clair.
• Construction will take 2 years.
• Metrolinx has already investigated, and rejected, a tunnel option that would mean 4-5 years of construction, much higher costs, and lengthy road closures (Bloor, Dupont, Davenport, St. Clair).
• The purpose of this meeting is to solicit community input on the elements they would like to see included in improvements to the land under and around the elevated rail line.
• There is no set budget for community improvements as they are still seeking input on what the project would look like.
• Metrolinx noted that they now have a “Design Excellence Committee,” including actual designers (as opposed to engineers), who will have a say in how infrastructure is built.
• It is not known yet which body (City, Metrolinx, a potential “Friends of the Railbridge” organization, etc.) will maintain the land under the bridge.

Residents’ reactions (highlights):
• Metrolinx has already decided on the “over” (bridge) option and discarded too soon the “under” (tunnel) option. Earlier consultations in 2009 (before the project was postponed) showed that residents clearly preferred a tunnel. Why is this consultation not about the two options?
• The bridge will be a large eyesore and no one was told about it in advance. The people who have bought homes in the new condo building at Dupont & Lansdowne will be staring at a bridge straight out of their bedroom windows.
• The tracks will be 8.5 metres above ground. The likely addition of noise-walls means the structure will tower 13.5 metres, or 4 storeys, over the ground. What will be the aesthetic impact on our neighbourhood?
• This plan is not consistent with the City’s secondary plan for Davenport Village.
• This plan will disrupt the Junction Triangle Traffic Management Planning project.
• Residents are still feeling burned about the noise wall consultations and the lack of a timeline to convert diesel trains to electric. All that RER means to local residents is more pollution.
• Residents have noted in the Star article that Metrolinx has no funding for the community benefit projects they are proposing for the area. They want Metrolinx to put up some money early as a gesture of good faith.
• If a bridge has to be built, residents want to see Metrolinx make this project “great.” Let’s design a beautiful bridge and useful spaces for communities underneath it.
• Residents want to see renderings of what the bridge will look like at different points, e.g., at Wallace, Dupont, etc.

Cycling/active transportation considerations:
• Metrolinx is aware of the opportunities to connect any new active transportation corridors with the West Toronto Railpath and the Green Line.
• Cycle Toronto Ward 18 representatives noted that a north-south rail trail along the CN tracks was promised in the 2001 Toronto Bike Plan. The Davenport Diamond project should include a north-south cycling route that would help to kick-start this rail trail and connect central Toronto to the Finch Hydro Corridor and York University.
• Residents were supportive of suggestions to improve active transportation corridors (east-west and north-south).
• Metrolinx responded that there was certainly an opportunity to look at both east-west local connections and a north-south cycling corridor under the new bridge.

The consultation process:
• Metrolinx plans to set up a 36-person community panel that will meet for four Saturdays plus one evening between April and June to discuss how to use the repurposed land under the proposed bridge.
• Author, broadcaster, and Jane’s Walk co-founder Jane Farrow, now with public consultation firm MASS LBP, has been hired by Metrolinx to help facilitate the community process.
• Next Metrolinx community meeting is April 1 with BIG on Bloor/Bloordale BIA: http://www.junctiontriangle.ca/node/2450
• May 13 will be the date for a major public consultation meeting (Details TBA).

Cycle Toronto Ward 18 will be monitoring this process closely and intervening whenever possible to promote high-quality active transportation infrastructure as part of the project. If you would like to get involved, please email us at ward18@cycleto.ca.

Further reading
Recent background:
http://www.junctiontriangle.ca/DavenportDiamond (includes more deep background via links)
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/transportation/2015/03/07/metrolinx-conv...

Older (from 2009-10):
http://transit.toronto.on.ca/archives/weblog/2009/05/02-davenport_.shtml
http://railroadedbymetrolinx.blogspot.ca/2010/02/we-need-heroes-in-daven...

thank you for the summary!

thank you for the summary!

Metrolinx Plan to Twin the Gardiner

A story from today's Globe and Mail about plans to elevate the Barrie Go line through the Junction Triangle.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/metrolinx-hopes-go-train-bri...

It bugs me that lines like

It bugs me that lines like this are promoted as being environmentally good but in fact they subsidize urban sprawl allowing people to lead low density lives in Georgetown and Newmarket while higher density areas like ours are stuck with eyesores, noise, no direct benefits and we are left begging for local transit.

This will be a huge eyesore

This will be a huge eyesore for our neighbourhood....raised tracks right through residential areas.

This is what I imagine it would look like:

https://acdn.architizer.com/thumbnails-PRODUCTION/23/0c/230c32ca45946710...

....and Metrolinx will get away with it...shame.

Antler-Lappin Connection

The possibility of a Lappin-Antler connection on the north side of Campbell Park is one of the bigger potential benefits of this. Several years back, there were discussions about making a pedestrian bridge here.

However, in 2012 during one of the City's big property selloffs, they sold the empty lot at 90 Ward St. (basically the stub of Lappin Ave.) to the owners of 80 Ward St., which I think will just continue to be used as parking.

Some detail here:
http://www1.toronto.ca/City%20Of%20Toronto/Real%20Estate%20Services/Divi...

This may make it difficult (impossible?) to get a connection through there. There's still supposed to be a 3m wide easement for Hydro, plus some other unspecified size easements for Bell and Enbridge.....so maybe a path could be squeezed through?

-Vic

Antler-Lappin Connection

I agree a crossing here would be great.

Cycling on Wallace Avenue is challenging due to a narrow right of way, along with all day street parking. The city could extend the Lappin Avenue bike path past Lansdowne, under the rail overpass, along antler, through Perth park, and connect with the West Toronto Railpath after a bit of a jog.

This will be a challenge that Metrolinx, the City, and the Private Property owner will need to discuss together.

The Davenport Diamond

Is the residents association planning to get involved in protesting this proposal. This will have an impact on residents well beyond the impact of the Go line parallel to Dundas Street. Do people know construction is planned to begin within two years. That there is no funding in place for any of the promised amenities.

Davenport Diamond

Hi Joan,

There's no actual Residents' Association. I know various community groups around the area will be following this closely though. E.g. DIGIN.

If any organized effort will be made on this issue, probably best to start sooner than later.

I'm personally reserving judgement on it until I hear some more detail over the next couple of weeks.

-Vic

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