West Toronto Rail Corridor Visioning Study

This visioning study is the result of another student project incorporating an in-depth review of our neighbourhood. Some of the ideas presented here may actually come in handy for the recently approved Local Area Study for Lands Abutting the Rail Corridor in Ward 18.

WEST TORONTO RAIL CORRIDOR VISIONING STUDY

RYERSON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING
ADVANCED PLANNING STUDIO I
WINTER 2011
DANIEL BORIC, JOHN BURKE, MARCO COLTURI, MASSIMO DICENSO, VINCENT JAVET, WILLIAM KIPPEN, JULIAN HOWATT, LIAM
MCLELLAN, MICHAEL POOS, JUSTIN SHIN, JEREMY WIKE, SIMON YEE

CLIENT: PHILIP SHARE, SOUTH PERTH & STERLING ROAD RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

FINANCIAL SUPPORT GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY THE JANET ROSENBERG STUDIO PROJECT IN LANDSCAPE AND URBANISM AWARD

SPECIAL THANKS TO:
CHRIS PANDOLFI & BRENDAN CORMIER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF UNUSUAL CERTAINTIES
JANET ROSENBERG
KEN GREENBERG
WALKSHOP PARTICIPANTS
&
DR. STEVEN WEBBER (FACULTY ADVISOR)

INTRODUCTION
In recent decades, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has followed a development pattern which subdivides agricultural land in order to build large, detached single-family dwellings. As a result, the GTA has turned into a sprawling megacity region; one that puts itself at risk of being adversely affected by the converging pressures of global energy markets and climate change. This problem may be exacerbated by the projected increase in population the region is expected to experience over the coming decades. Thus, this unsustainable growth pattern must change if Toronto is to become a more resilient, accessible city.

Luckily, the creation of an Air-Rail Link between the Pearson International Airport and downtown Toronto’s Union Station provides an opportunity to tackle this issue. The Government of Ontario hopes to have the Link ready by the time Toronto plays host to the 2015 Pam-Am Games. With the increased capacity and frequency of service, the Link has the potential to provide the impetus for a new direction in urban development for Toronto and the GTA. Currently, Metrolinx – the regional transportation body – plans on using the West Toronto Rail Corridor (“the Corridor”) to provide a direct express line from Union Station to Pearson International Airport. This plan fails to recognise the opportunities for substantial redevelopment along the Corridor and the benefits it could have on a local and regional scale. As well, this current plan does nothing to benefit the numerous communities it intends to by-pass.

This Visioning Study is a conceptualisation of how the Corridor could service more passengers. Instead of ignoring the communities along the Corridor, this Vision Study examines their potential to absorb transit-oriented development. The result is an exercise in combining elements of transportation and land-use planning. While the two types are inexorably linked, conscious efforts to create transit-supportive land-uses have been sorely missed in Toronto. In creating the conditions for proper transit-oriented developments, and by ensuring the density is sufficient to support the level of transit service required, the Corridor can become a new source of strength and resilience for the city of Toronto.

You can download the entire visioning study here. Please note that it is a large 20MB PDF file!

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