great research "mapleson" lots of goodies to research, you are clearly well informed
So I guess this is how metrolinx communicates with its local stakeholders, interesting.
we've been pushing this issue for long enough, under liberal leadership (Mcginty), I might add, when the whole ARL (now UP) was in the early planning stages. So what's the detailed "new improved" response from the powers-that-be to explain why this 2013 "better" EA couldn't have been started 6-8yrs ago at the same time as plans to build what you are building now?
I'm more interested in responsible govt, not partisan politics, lip service to delay an EA that everybody already knew is the responsible thing to do, I don't call that appropriately responsive, regardless of which party holds the reigns.
So perhaps mapleson, you can write a few paragraphs detailing why it has taken metrolinx this long to decide on doing a new EA for electrification, and why it couldn't have been done when plans started for the ARL?
This should be easy considering your 30yr history lesson on the politics of regional rail planning.
Built it right the first time? When would that have been? In the 1850s and 1860s when the Grand Trunk Railroad built the first tracks on the Weston subdivision? When they switched to 'standard' gauge tracks in the 1870s and 1880s? Or delaying the ongoing Georgetown South Expansion project that is upgrading the unused service tracks to mainline standards? Metrolinx only was able to purchase the Weston subdivision from CN in 2009.
CalTrain doesn't operate electrified service, so it's not a great example of whatever you are trying to exemplify. AMT in Montreal is a much better choice.
I completely agree that building sooner means saving money and headaches down the road, but we can't change the past political decisions that put transit on the backburner. I've read all your suggested reports, and I think you have the wrong end of the stick. 'The Big Move' has the Union-Pearson Express as item 2 of the 9 'big moves', which is half the reason for the GTS expansion now ongoing.
As for using the rail corridor for local transit, I'd suggest you check out the "Union Station 2031" report that shows just how congested Union Station is and will be. Any increase in peak service will come with an extra $1-2B price tag as all the 'easy' solutions are exhausted.
If they had started from scratch they would have built a better system. In fact thats what people wished was that they would have started from scratch instead of discounting electric BEFORE the EA. I was present at the first Metrolinx meetings with the public and they said that it would cost billions to electrify the corridor even though they had done zero studies. That number is now 440 million. It was clear and reported in the press that people had the impression that electric, the worldwide standard in commuter rail, was not even being considered. That EA, by the way, was part of a new truncated EA process that greatly shortened the timeline. What a coincidence.
I travel a lot and use commuter rail and airport links in many other cities. If you are happy with with things great. I am not.
By the way I do give you points for the Suncor reference, few people remember that.
They could have built it right the first time. Its not like electric trains are a novelty especially with the advances that CalTrain have been working on for the last 20 years. Read the 2012 Auditor Generals report and ask your self if you feel confident that the best choices were made. Read Metrolinx's 2011 electrification study and ask your self if the best choices were made. Read the Big Move and ask yourself if the Georgetown corridor was completely forgotten as part of the mix. I am not going to belabour it but we could have been so far ahead and saved tons of cash by picking a built in Ontario electric solution and seeing the corridor as part of a transit solution for the West End. We got second best.If that.
I was just presenting it. There are some flaws in it for sure and in terms of Railpath it serves no purpose to use up all the space for a green wall at the expense of space to cycle or walk or see the sky. I am glad that different views are being presented and I wish there was more of this kind of effort put into projects.
Metrolinx has complete authority over the corridor and answers to nobody except the government. Sadly thats why we are getting a second rate system with 2 stops. Lately though, it is finally dawning on people that an electric system could help help create an affordable western DRL ---ie seeing the corridor as having transit value for the people who actually live next to it, especially in Weston. I am hopeful that we will see some movement on this as it is becoming painfully obvious.
The Wabash Building Society design is definitely pretty, but it has several fundamental flaws. First, it doesn't incorporate the new tracks on the rail corridor, making it appear that there is more space than there actually is. Second, the gaps in the wall would allow noise through away, so they are effectively useless. Third, the thickness of the landscaping would be a choice between 'urban forest'/'green wall' and the Railpath. Fourth, the latest designs from Metrolinx are much more attractive than in the report, and community input is definitely a big part of what they'll actually do. Fifth, if the noise is more attractive than the noise wall, a petition could be started, because it's communities concerns about noise that got this ball rolling in the first place. Finally, when electrification does come, the overhead portals would be 3m taller than this proposed wall.
First of all, an EA is only valid for five years, so at a minimum an updates would be necessary. Second, environmental law has changed significantly since 1983. Third, public consultation is necessary with the new residents, 30 years is a long time and this neighbourhoods have changed composition drastically since then. Fourth, until recently Metrolinx didn't own any of their tracks, and so any electrification would need the approval of CP and CN. Fifth, the GO network has changed significantly since 1983, including a whole new locomotive fleet, train consists holding ten times the number of passengers, many more trains per hour, completely different ridership patterns, and Union Station being at capacity. Sixth, no electromagnetic interference study was undertaken in 1983 and there are much more concerns about and usage of electromagnetic frequencies in 2013. Seventh, the network studied does not resemble the current network at all, except for the Lakeshore corridor. The Weston subdivision was not included, but CP's Canpa, Galt, and North Toronto subdivisions were. In addition, GO currently is serving 180% to 260% of the 1983 prediction of ultimate 2021 capacity.
Finally, the Progressive Conservatives had a majority until 1985 and then a minority until 1987. Rather than spend money on improving privately-owned rail corridors, Bill Davis wanted to buy a 25% stake in Suncor. When the Liberals took power in 1987 through an accord with the NDP, they were facing deficits and were attempting to balance the budget, which they did in 1989-1990. However, a minor recession turned this into a $2.5B deficit in 1990-1991 under the NDP. By 1995, we had the Mike Harris Progressive Conservatives and more budget tightening. Under none of these governments was electrification even on the table for funding. Whether rightly or wrongly in that decision, it's a past generation of politicians from all stripes that did not fund the project. It received new legs under McGinty, but the underlying fundamentals changed so significantly from 1983 that it required starting from scratch.
This evening Toronto City Council approved a plan to build a new, 10,000 square foot library as part of a condo project at 299 Campbell Avenue. This was the last major hurdle in the approvals process. It's an awesome development made possible by Councillor Ana Bailao. She has delivered something really great for our neighbourhood.
Over the course of the next six months, the developer will finish the final design of the building. When complete, sales of the condo units will begin and once they reached about 70% sold, construction will start. The new library should open in about three years if all goes well.
They had way more than the 5yrs you mentioned to do everything that Scott just mentioned. It's not a matter of planning, it's a matter of executing an already approved plan, the last electrification EA study done on this same line, by GG (metrolinx) was in the early 1980s and it was approved then,
20+ years later and inflated cost we are doing an EA again, for third time (the 1980s study was the second electrification EA that was approved),
Planning isn't the issue...
There will be another round of consultation in February 2014 for the Electrification EA. The Liberals agreed they would roll out electrification as a result of the Georgetown South Expansion project now ongoing. However, electrification still is an unfunded project along with the fourth track on the Weston subdivision. As there will be at least one provincial election between now and the any electrification-related construction, it all depends on who wins. In the meantime, the GTS project will be building soundwalls along most of the rail corridor. There will be separate public consultation for that.
Squeezing new stations into the rail corridor isn't as easy as it sounds, and definately couldn't have been completed for 2015. It easily takes 5 years to go from concept to in the ground. Metrolinx isn't going to stop improving their system where and when they can, unless they don't have funding. We'll have at least one new station on the line before we get electrification built.
Just a note to let everyone know that the Library project was up for another round of approvals yesterday at the Planning and Growth Committee at City Hall. With Councillor Ana Bailao's help the item passed with no problem and it is on to the full City Council for approval on Dec.16-17. Short of some last minute snafu, it looks like clear sailing now for a new library in the Junction Triangle.
I believe that this is more procedural than anything else. The City just had meetings at Planning and Growth that covered the changing of zoning of employment lands. There are still some small sticking points between the city and the developer about the Wallace property. By going to the OMB BEFORE the zoning meetings last week it means that the project can continue and would be dealt with under the zoning codes as they were at the time of the OMB filing. If they had not then it was possible that after last week the City and the developer might have had to go back to square one in the process which would be a major use and waste of time and resources. Basically it froze or grandfathered the zoning in time.
I don't quite understand what's happening at the OMB.
Somerset Wallace Developments Limited has appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board
under subsection 34(11) of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P. 13, as amended, from
Council’s neglect to enact a proposed amendment to Zoning By-law 438-86 of the City
of Toronto to rezone lands respecting 362 Wallace Avenue to permit the mixed use
development comprised with residential and light industrial uses
O.M.B. File No. PL130563
Somerset Wallace Developments Limited has appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board
under subsection 22(7) of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P. 13, as amended, from
Council’s neglect to enact a proposed amendment to the Official Plan for the City of
Toronto to redesignate lands respecting 362 Wallace Avenue to permit the mixed use
development comprised with residential and light industrial uses
Approval Authority File No. 11 286663 STE 18 OZ
O.M.B. File No. PL130562
Does this mean that the City has just been to slow to make changes to zoning / OP? That's what it sounds like "neglect to enact a proposed amendment" means. Or does it mean that the City denied the zoning/OP changes, and the developer is trying to overturn that?
Application: New Building
Status: Permit Issued
Location: 362 WALLACE AVE, TORONTO ON
Ward 18: Davenport
Application#:13 215602 BLD 00 NB
Issued Date: Nov 21, 2013
Project: Industrial, New Building
Description: Proposal to construct a new 1 sty industrial building with 1 level of below grade parking. 362-364 Wallace Ave.
They are looking for somebody to run it. Although it is from the developer it is just a structure with no operating budget or staff. The United Way would be a the kind of service organization they would look for.
Hi everyone, this post could be of our interest.
"The City is seeking one or more community organizations for occupancy in a Below-Market Rent City Space in Ward 18 at 362 Wallace Avenue."
It looks to me, that City of Toronto is renting out the JT community center promised by 362 Wallace developers.
Any thoughts on this? Tnx
Hope to see a lot of our neighbours at the 3rd Annual Junction Triangle Home Style Craft and Gift Show tomorrow. The show runs from 11-4 and there's lots of great stuff to be had! 25 different vendors selling everything from Leather bound memory books to Home made caramels to face and body care products to...the list goes on..and on...!! Join us for lunch at the café sponsored by our wonderful friends at Urban Acorn and make sure to stop by the raffle table to try and win some wonderful gift items! The big man himself will be there too! Pictures with Santa for $5...all proceeds from café, raffle tickets and Santa pictures will support arts programming at Perth Avenue Public School.
Please come and support your wonderful. local school!
Thank you Ana and the 299 Campbell developer, and thx to the library expansion committee,
This is a major step in the right direction for our community
The library expansion project passed another hurdle in the approval process today. The Planning and Growth Management Committee approved a motion brought by Councillor Ana Bailao this afternoon to permit a zoning amendment that would allow a mixed use development at 299 Campbell Avenue including a fabulous, new 10,000 square foot library.
It's an important step that goes on to the full Council for a vote on December 4th.
Today's effort was aided greatly by Library Board member and City Councillor for Ward 13, Parkdale-High Park, Sarah Doucette who spoke in support of the plan. Many thanks to both Councillors! We're moving forward because of their efforts today.
In following up with Ana Bailao a request has been put in for an additional crossing guard at Wallace and Perth. Hard to believe there wasn't one before. Ernest and Perth needs to keep its guard as there will be construction and increased traffic in the near future.
I grew up literally in The Lansdowne. My old man was best friends with Berti from the age of around seven. Anyone who frequented the gym back in them days will figure out who he was. Berti, Joe and Johnny Dee, Teddy,Joey Bagnato,Patsy Fern, Jerry Bates the list goes on for miles you're all dearly missed. That gym holds a place in my heart that brings so many great memories that will always be treasured. P.S, god bless you Davey Scani, you were my heart and soul, the one who steered me away from trouble and made me the man I am today, you were my father.
After reading this article and all the comments, I'm wondering what the conclusion is and why the current status is? I see the final post says that Addy asked the landlord about it and was told the proper measures were taken, but has that been researched further? Does anyone know if its actually considered safe for children?