Davenport Diamond Grade Separation, Open House #1

Apr 22 2009 17:30
Apr 22 2009 20:30

WHAT: Public open house for GO Transit's Davenport Diamond grade separation project
WHEN: Wednesday April 22 2009, 5:30 to 8:30pm
WHERE: St. Josephat's School, 55 Pelham Ave. (map)

The following flyer is provided by GO Transit (Click through for a larger version):

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE #1

Davenport Diamond Rail to Rail Grade Separation
City of Toronto

THE STUDY
GO Transit, the Province of Ontario's interregional public transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, is involved in an environmental assessment of the Davenport Diamond. The Study Area extends from Keele and Dufferin Streets to the West and East, and adjacent to Rogers Road and College Street in the North and South (as shown in the map).

GO trains operating on the Newmarket corridor between Union Station and Barrie cross over the CP North Toronto corridor just south of Davenport Road. It is proposed that a grade separation of the Davenport Diamond will improve rail access along the two corridors.

THE PROCESS
The Transit Project Assessment Process (TAP) will be initiated following completion of the Project Planning Phase. This will meet the requirements of the TAP (Ontario Regulation 231/08) under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. Public open houses will be held during this phase to receive comments from the public on the preferred project alternative and assessment process.

An Environmental Project Report (EPR) documenting the process will be filed for public and agency review at the completion of the study. Notices of viewing locations will be published at that time and information on how the public can submit any comments on the EPR to the Minister of the Environment.

Your participation is an important part of the process and we welcome your input. Before issuing the formal Notice of Commencement for the TAP, this public open house will be held. GO Transit staff and the study consultants will be avilable to answer questions and receive comments.

DATE: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
TIME: 5:30p.m. to 8:30p.m.
LOCATION: St. Josaphat School, 55 Pelham Street, Toronto, ON M6N 1A5

For further information, or to be added to the mailing list, please contact:

Mr. Mark Armstrong, M.E.Sc., P.Eng.
Project Manager
2800 Speakman Drive
Mississauga, ON L5K 2R7
Tel.: 905-403-4423
Fax.: 905-855-2607
E-mail: mark.armstrong@hatchmott.com

Mr. Greg Ashbee, P.Eng.
Manager, Infrastructure Expansion Planning
20 Bay Street, Suite 600
Toronto, ON M5J 2W3
Tel.: 416-869-3600, ext. 5211
Fax.: 416-869-1469
E-mail: greg.ashbee@gotransit.com

Persuant to Section 39 (2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, you are hereby notified that any personal information collected is for the sole purpose of meeting the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. The legal authority for this collection is the GO Transit Act, 2001, c23 Schedule A, s.9(1).

Pour plus de renseignements, veuillez composer le (416)869-3200 ou le 1 888 GOT ON GO (438-6646)

GO Transit
20 Bay Street, Suite 600
Toronto, Ontario
M5J 2W3
www.gotransit.com

UPDATE:

The following email was sent on Friday April 17th, 7:10pm from Councillor Adam Giambrone. Please see the attached image (PDF and JPEG formats) of the Snider rail to rail grade separation, which is the type of structure that GO is proposing for our local project.

From: Councillor Giambrone
Date : Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 7:10 PM
Subject: GO Transit Davenport Diamond EA Grade Separation Open House

Dear Resident,

Yesterday I met with GO Transit about their proposal for their Davenport Diamond Rail to Rail Grade Separation Project. They provided me with the attached image of the Snider rail to rail grade separation as an example of the kind of major structure they are proposing to run through our community.

I also was told that they had only advertised their upcoming open house, being held on Wednesday, April 22nd, in local newspapers. They have not sent a single flyer into our community to alert people to the major infrastructure they are proposing to build. This is clearly not good enough, so I have undertaken to have flyers delivered door to door over the next few days to the area bounded by Bloor, Dupont, Symington and Lansdowne to alert people to the upcoming open house. I have attached a copy of the GO Transit flyer for those who do not have it already.

I encourage you to distribute these GO Transit materials to interested residents so that people can either attend their open house, or call them directly, to tell GO Transit what you think about their proposal.

Yours truly,

Adam Giambrone
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 18 Davenport
Chair, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

Toronto City Hall, Suite C42
100 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M5H 2N2

(416) 392-7012
www.adamgiambrone.ca

UPDATE #2:

GO Transit has re-organized their website. Current, but somewhat minimal, information about the Davenport Diamond Grade Separation can be found here:
http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/improve/projects.aspx

UPDATE #3:

This project has resumed in 2015, and all discussions/info can now be found here.

AttachmentSize
Snider Rail Over Rail Grade Seperation_GO.pdf438.99 KB
Snider Rail Over Rail Grade Seperation_GO.jpg98.38 KB

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DD: Followup email from GO

The following email came today from Judy Knight Vice President, Corporate Infrastructure, GO Transit:

Thank you for participating in the April 22 Public Open House at St. Josaphat School.

As you have learned first-hand, the impact of building large-scale transit projects in congested city areas can be very challenging. However, I want to assure you that, as with all projects of this nature, GO is committed to addressing community concerns.

I want to let you know about the next step of this project, which is to take the time to comprehensively review the many comments and ideas received. During this review we also want to have our technical people investigate whether it is possible to separate the two rail lines to best meets the needs of everyone involved.

Once this review is complete, we hope to resume the Environmental Assessment process in the fall and schedule new public consultation sessions to share the information and receive feedback from the community.

Reducing noise and congestion on the tracks in your area is an important part of the Davenport Diamond project. And I know we all share the common goal of getting people out of their cars and onto public transit so we can reduce congestion and car emissions.

Your participation in this process is important to us. Please do not hesitate to contact Greg Ashbee, GO's Manager of Infrastructure Expansion Planning, should you have any questions. Greg can be reached by phone at 416.869.3600 ext. 5211 or via email at greg.ashbee@gotransit.com.

Sincerely,

Judy Knight
Vice President, Corporate Infrastructure
GO Transit
20 Bay St., suite 600
Toronto, ON M5J 2W3

Ph: 416.869.3600 ext. 5195
Fax: 416.869.1755
judy.knight@gotransit.com

Public Neighbourhood Meeting

Hi all,
I'm wondering if anyone thinks it would be a good idea to get the neighbourhood together to talk about what we expect from GO in relation to this project. My own personal view - it shouldn't be allowed to happen for a number of reasons: the fact that the environmental study won't be taking the pollution from the Georgetown line expansion into account, the constant pile-driving noise and subsequent damage to homes in the neighbourhood (on Hook Ave and other streets nearby the Georgetown project, people are reporting that the structure of their homes are being compromised by the vibration), the potential for a number of side streets to be closed to cars and pedestrians, the fact that there will be no benefit to our neighbourhood (no stops, nothing) and the general attitude that we can simply live with about 500 diesel trains in our backyards per day.

GO is not taking these issues into account. They are relying on data that states that our neighbourhood is largely industrial which is simply not true. The perception of our neighbourhood is changing - we're finally becoming a place people want to live, not a place that people want to avoid when searching for a home. I'm all for public transit - it just needs to be done correctly and in this case, it's not a benefit but a blight to our community.

I say we organize and show GO that they can't ram this down the throats and into the backyards of our residents.

Davenport Diamond meeting

Hi Tawnya,

I completely agree with you about having a community meeting. Are you willing to organize it or help organize it? I would volunteer to help.

I'll be at the Fuzzy Boundaries meeting tonight, if anyone wants to chat about this afterwards.

Cheers,
Vic

Community Awareness/Organization

Hi Vic,

I'd be glad to step up and help organize. I wasn't able to make it to the Fuzzy Boundaries meeting (two little kids and a whole lot of other stuff on the go that week) but let's try to touch base soon on this. The environmental study is expected to happen over the summer and fall (and an air quality monitor at Bay and Wellesley is not going to give an accurate reading of the air quality on a hot summer day in our hood). So in order to be prepared for the next round of "public consultation" by GO, we need to be organized.

I don't want to post my email or phone here, but I'm pretty certain you'll be able to pull it from the site data (I assume you have access to the back end of the site). Drop me a line and we'll discuss next steps.

Tawnya - Contact me

Tawnya,

I can't dig up email addresses from the site logs (only IP addresses) but you can send me an email through the contact form on this site, or: vic at gedris dot org

Cheers,
Vic

GO starting to feel heat of common sense

The Star reports on GO's efforts to look like they are as knowledgeable as every other person and transit authourity in the world.

Have they seen the light or is this just a stalling plan while they build a dirty diesel line?

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/640319

I will be announced as having

I will be announced as having info tonight at Fuzzy about the CTC or Newmarket line. Vic I was hoping to just hand out posters so I can send people your way after if anybody comes up to me.

Where is the Air Monitor

One of the questions that came up at the meeting regarding the grade separation (service expansion) was where the air quality monitor that would be used for the EA was located. I was informed by GO that it is in the Bay and Wellsely area. Not exactly in the hood is it?

Davenport Diamond - Notes are posted

GO Transit have finally posted the notes on their website:
http://gotransit.ca/PUBLIC/en/news/davenportdiamond.htm

UPDATE, Feb 25 2010: GO Transit has re-organized their website. Current, but somewhat minimal, information about the Davenport Diamond Grade Separation can be found here:
http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/improve/projects.aspx

when posted ?

Were they finally posted today?

Notes posted

I'm not sure exatcly when they were posted, but I'm guessing today. I checked the GO Transit site occasionally since the meeting and never noticed. It was actually the Urban Toronto thread that tipped me off today.

At the meeting, GO said they would email the noted to everyone who signed in...

no surprise

No surprise there. Mr. Ashbee of GO gave out his email to people and then on holiday until May 4. There seems to be a real internal organization issue with GO.

Davenport Diamond - Notes coming soon

The presentation notes from this meeting are supposed to be circulated by GO Transit soon. I will post them as soon as they are available.

Residents should also be

Residents should also be aware that it has been estimated that 12 000 piles will have to be driven to construct the structure. GO has chosen to use diesel pile driving, which is the cheapest method available to them, to drive in the apprx. 2200 piles at the Junction diamond underpass grade separation that is currently being constructed. The noise and ground vibration has been extreme and driven residents out of their homes during construction hours. As a community, you will NEED to have GO capitulate to use less destructive methods such as silent pile driving used to construct rail projects in urban areas throughout Europe and Japan.

Of course, it is also important that all trains be electric: http://www.cleantrain.ca/

To keep up to date with the West Toronto Diamond grade separation community group: http://piledrivers.easyurl.net

Where is Tony Ruprecht? Hiding.

I have been trying to talk to Tony about this for a week. He is never in his office when they say he will be, he has not returned calls and he is mistaken that "sending somebody to a meeting" on his behalf is the same as being there yourself and having a position; especially when your government will be responsible for polluting our area for the next 25 years. No wonder he is hiding.

Tony only comes out during election time

Thats the last time I ever saw him. He can run, but can he hide?!
I've emailed some of the parties listed on the cleantrain.ca site. I encourage anyone who is concerned about this matter to do the same, as it affects all of us.

Tony did call eventually

In fairness to Tony, who I admit is hardly ever seen, did in fact get back to me after a week of trying and we had a long talk.

I don't feel that I can go into everything we talked about BUT he was clear with me that he is for electric and not for diesel.

Obviously this puts him at odds with his own Liberal leadership and would be a concern for him given that his margin of victory drops every election. He has attended some community meetings and has sent a letter to the Transport Minister with his concerns.

Hopefully he will be able to be part of the green process and stand with the community.

GO Transit Open House Last Night - Davenport Diamond Project

I attended last night's open house and wasn't impressed with the lack of answers to a number of questions the residents of our neighbourhood had for the GO reps.

I was opposed to this project as soon as I read the flyer that Giambrone's office dropped in my mailbiox, and I'm even more so now that I've seen the three proposals put forth by GO. I'm not a NIMBY, I believe in public transit/mass transit as a solution to the environmental issues of having thousands of cars on the road, but is diesel the way to go?

I think our community has to rally on this issue and oppose this build until GO comes to their senses and starts talking electric trains.... or no additional trains at all.

Opposition, but one step at a time

I understand everybody's concern here regarding the environment: diesel trains, construction noise, assessment fast tracking, etc, etc. However, this specific issue is to do with the davenport diamond best alignment, not diesel trains and not construction noise. These issues are another fight for another day in my opinion. The davenport diamond should be built, but let's focus on pushing for the best of the three options presented by GO for our neighbourhood. If we focus too much on the diesel issue, we risk concentrating on the main issue: which option do we want running through our neighbourhood? Do we want wallace closed to traffic? more vehicles using symington? pedestrian crossings ignored? Elevated trains in our backyards? No stop for the neighbourhood planned? The possibility of freight trains using the line (3rd option) for the first time?
If we don't focus on these issues now, we may find ourselves with an alignment we don't want, while fighting another battle.

I agree but

Your point is well taken BUT for those of the many of us that live between the Newmarket and Georgetown line pollution IS an issue. Why should the Triangle be forced to eat everybody elses fumes like it was before? These lines will bring nothing to or area but fumes.

The public demand for green transit has to happen now or we will never see it in our lifetimes. It may not happen right away but politicians need to know that people demand it.

but.

I live a stone's throw from the newmarket tracks on campbell. I feel and hear the trains going by all the time. I knew this would be the case when I bought the house. I also knew the trains were Diesel, I knew what the frequency of the GO trains were; I knew that I would be living in a triangle of three tracks.

However, the speculation of freight trains, closure of Wallace ave, no local service and elevated trains makes these the pressing issue over switching the trains to electric. It is the pressing issue because GO is going to do this NOW, not like the track electrification question which is not being presented now, probably won’t happen until at least 10 years down the line at the earliest; and then only on the lakeshore lines.

If the electric grid is stretched in Ontario to the point where brown out’s may become common place, gov’ts are asking us to dial back on ac use, etc…I can only imagine the capacity gap to make up for to run a system such as GO. Btw, Ontario only produces 70% of its own electricity; of that, 70% comes from nuclear, coal and natural gas. So even if electric powered go trains were running through our community, the would only be clean as far as nimbys are concerned.

Davenport Diamond thoughts

I agree with your approach to this, Galleriamall.

I totally agree with the push for electric trains too, but I see these as two separate (yet related) issues.

The Davenport Diamond project will have a much more visible, structural, "physical", and longer-lasting impact on our neighbourhood. If it's not done right *now*, we may have to live with it for a hundred years or more.

Electrification can be added at any time. Hopefully sooner than later. :)

Maybe we should have a local meeting of a few people interested in this project, just to discuss the different options and get a feel for what works out best for us? I don't mean a big town-hall type of thing with lots of people yelling at politicians, but something smaller and more community-oriented. GO and the province should also be pressured to hold another properly-publicized public meeting.

Cheers,
Vic

I agree but dont give up

Vic and GM I agree with you and it was one of my points in my email to GO transit that I will post here. So far my complaints are mostly about the poor quality of GO's vision and organizational skills. The Wallace Avenue issue is very big for me and in my letter I asked for 3-D models to help residents better understand what the photos (some of which were not very good) actually mean.

At the same time these changes are part of increased service, something that GO is fuzzy about. When the changes are constructed it may be too late to bring up other issues such as pollution from increased service on TWO corridors that are only 1800 feet apart. GO is pretending that this is just a construction project but their "2020 Strategy" shows there is more too this. It seems to me and to local politicians that I have talked to that GO is not exactly being upfront about this. When the construction is done our area will loose some leverage with GO in terms of service and pollution.

I am personally more concerned about the electrification of the Georgetown route of which there are so many compelling reasons to do that it is rare to find politicians of all levels supporting it.

Life has taught me that it is very dangerous to ever put anything off in hopes that governments will deal with it down the road.

You Should Be Alarmed

You should be alarmed that the GO "environmental person" stated that they will not be integrating their study with the study being done for the Georgetown expansion even though the two lines are 1800 feet apart. Thats bad science in my opinion immoral. So neither study will include the other in its data! Let Tony Ruprecht know how you feel about this.

I had to leave a bit early

I had to leave a bit early and didn't hear that part. Did anyone take notes of what was said last night at the meeting? It might be a good idea to get a round-up of what the officials said so that neighbourhood opposition can be cemented and we can start taking this to the media as a group of concerned citizens.

Davenport Diamond - Giambrone's email

Please see above for an email update from Adam Giambrone.

Davenport Diamond project

I thought I'd start off the comments section with some of my own personal observations and opinions.

Since there are no details available yet, my comments here are based purely on rumours and my own observations. :-) But this is a project that may have huge impact on our neighbourhood, so we should be prepared to speak up on it and demand the best.

In no particular order:

  • The overall purpose of this project seems like a good thing. Grade separation will minimize delays from north-south and east-west trains waiting for each other to clear the tracks, especially as rail service increases.
  • If an underpass is built, then Dupont St. would have to be raised back to being a level crossing. This could make the street between Campbell and Lansdowne much friendlier.
  • If built as an overpass, residents on Antler and Rankin may have trains raised up high in their backyards.
  • Can this project include plans to incorporate a future railway station near Bloor St. to connect to Lansdowne subway?
  • Additional pedestrian crossings should be considered (e.g. Paton, Antler/Lappin)
  • What will be done to minimize noise and vibrations?
  • Will the design include the future electrification of the corridor?
  • Wallace Ave. crossing closure: If this project goes through, there's a possibility that the level crossing at Wallace Ave. will be closed. An underpass or bridge can't be at more than a 2% grade, which takes a significant amount of space to ramp up.
    • If Wallace is closed, that leaves Dupont as the ONLY crossing between Davenport and Bloor.
    • Lansdowne subway station would be completely cut off, except by going down to Bloor St.
    • Businesses in the Wallace/Campbell/Lansdowne area would be harmed
    • More traffic pushed to Symington/Bloor and Dupont (which is planned for narrowing)
  • Putting the tracks in an underpass could possibly make the trains quieter in the northern part of the neighbourhood.

I also heard that this grade separation project was talked about already a few years ago. Does anyone have any details about what was discussed back then? Were any conclusions made? What issues were brought up?

Please leave your own comments here.

There is also some more discussion of this project on the following websites:

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