GO/Metrolinx Electrification Study meeting

The following meeting announcement comes from GO Transit / Metrolinx. You can download a PDF copy of their announcement here. Please note that you are expected to register for this meeting by May 24th. Details below.

20 Bay Street, Suite 901
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2N8
Phone: 416.874.5900
Fax: 416.874.5901

May 13, 2010

DIGIN Meeting: Kevin Beaulieu

Apologies for the late posting of this meeting information. The meeting is TONIGHT.

The next DIGIN meeting takes place on Tuesday May 11th 2010, 7:00PM in the Ambrico Room of the Wallace-Emerson Community Centre, 1260 Dufferin St. (at Dupont).

DIGIN meetings are a great place to meet other residents and find out more about what is happening in the general Bloor-Lansdowne area. There are often representatives from Councillor Giambrone's office to provide updates about local issues and other news.

Plant and Seeds Sale at Perth Dupont Community Garden

The following announcement come from the Perth-Dupont Community Garden:

We will be having a Seeds and Plant sale on Saturday May 15 at the garden. Please see the link for all the details and a list of the plants and seeds.

There will also be a few garden related fundraising items - the community is raising money for our building project and Accessibility Upgrades.

Even if you're not planning on a garden this year, please come by and say hello and have a tour of our garden.

Then and Now: West Toronto Railpath

Here is the latest in the series of "Then and Now" photos. Do you have any old photos of this neighbourhood? Please feel free to get in touch if you're willing to share them!

These photos compare the view south from the Wallace Ave. footbridge. The first photo was taken in July 1985, when the Old Bruce Service Track (formerly Toronto, Grey & Bruce railway) was still being used by local industries. The building on the left was the old Nacan Products (National Adhesives) factory, and on the top-right you can see GO Transit's Bloor Station platform. The tracks also serviced Solways scrap metals.

In the current view, taken on May 9 2010, the GO train station is still there, but the Old Bruce Service Track has been ripped up and replaced by the West Toronto Railpath. The Nacan factory has been converted into residential loft condos (Wallace Station Lofts), and there are no longer any railway tracks leading into Solways. However, if you walk down the Railpath past Solways, take a close look at the fence betwen Solways and the Brownstones on Bloor: You'll see remnants of that old track poking through the trees. Update: As of 2013, Solways and the track remnant are gone.

Speaking of trees: The massive tree of heaven next to the Wallace Ave. footbridge partially obscures this view now. I'm glad I took the "now" photo early enough in the spring before the leaves completely obscured it.

Much has changed in the last 15 years. For more history about the Toronto Grey & Bruce railway, please visit Old Time Trains (trainweb.org). Many thanks to Gord Billinghurst and Old Time Trains for the historical writeup, and allowing me to use this photo here.

Old Bruce Service Track, from Wallace Bridge: Photo by Gord Billinghurst, July 1985Old Bruce Service Track, from Wallace Bridge: Photo by Gord Billinghurst, July 1985

The Globe: City to complete West Toronto Railpath extension

West Toronto Railpath: The bridge over Bloor Street, Jane's Walk 2010West Toronto Railpath: The bridge over Bloor Street, Jane's Walk 2010

Today's Globe & Mail has an article about the possible future extension of the West Toronto Railpath.

A few quotes from the article:

A completed trail “would be amazing,” said Daniel Egan, manager of the city’s cycling infrastructure and programs. “What’s in place now doesn’t really go anywhere, but you can get a sense of what’s possible. ... You don’t need much imagination to understand how important it could be.”

But the completion of the trail into downtown is likely several years off, and still faces significant design and construction hurdles.

But if it is to become more than just a recreational trail, and open up a new commuting route for cyclists, the southern portion of the trail down to King and Strachan needs to be completed. That depends on whether room can be carved out alongside the rail corridor that is being expanded to provide more frequent GO train service and a rail link to the airport.

Metrolinx, the government agency planning the GO expansion, says it will try to make room for the railpath alongside its tracks. The city is willing to pick up the tab for construction costs, and will accommodate the trail on adjacent land or streets in the sections where it can’t be accommodated on rail land. And the grassroots group Friends of West Toronto Railpath, which pushed for years to get the path under way, is lobbying hard and helping with the design of the extended path.

Junction Triangle Jane's Walk 2010: Recap

Wallace CrossingWallace Crossing

Another fun event from last weekend: The Junction Triangle Jane's Walk. Approximately 30 people came out for this walking tour of our neighbourhood, which was lead by Campbell Ave. resident Bruce Ward.

We started on Wallace Ave., just outside the triangle, where the new Junction Triangle Lofts are under construction, and Ubisoft is preparing their "new" location. We then followed Wallace Ave. across the 'hood over to the West Toronto Railpath, down to Sterling Rd. and Tower Automotive, snaked our way through the Sterling Studio lofts, through the BeBloor and Brownstones on Bloor developments, along Rankin Cres. and through Erwin Krickhahn, and then back up to the starting point on Wallace Ave. Some of us finished off with delicious ice cream at Yasi's Place afterwards!

Although there is still much more to see in the Junction Triangle, our 2-hour tour was full of local history (e.g. Kevin Putnam explained how some of our streets were named), some personal anecdotes, comments on past and future developments, discussions about parks and gardens, and much more.

Fortunately, the weather forecast was wrong: The cloudy skies at the beginning of the walk quickly parted, and I ended up coming home with a sunburn rather than soaking wet clothes.

See also: Photos from last Saturday's Railpath Jane's Walk.

Here are some photos from the Junction Triangle Jane's Walk:

Railpath Jane's Walk 2010: Recap

North end of the Railpath at Cariboo Ave.North end of the Railpath at Cariboo Ave.

Last Saturday's "Railpath Ramble" Jane's Walk was a big success, despite the poor weather forecast and rain showers. A crowd of about 30 people met up at the Cariboo Ave. entrance of the Railpath, and were greeted by our tour guides Roy Mitchell and Hema Vyas.

The walk took us down to the south end of the path at Dundas St. and Sterling Rd., with a break for tasty lemonade at a new cafe / art space called Naco on Dundas St., and then back up to the top of the Railpath. Along the way, there were discussions of the Railpath's history, its future, various notable points of interest along the way, the vegetation, some local history, and much more.

The people who came on this walk were not just local residents, but people from all over Toronto who had heard of this fantastic new park/path and wanted to learn more about it. The Railpath is definitely one of our neighbourhood's most successful additions over the last couple of years. Of course, everyone wants to see it expanded to the south/east. Let's hope this can happen!

Coming soon: Photos and writeup from the Junction Triangle Jane's Walk last Sunday.

Here are some photos from the Railpath Ramble:

Photos: Last week's community cleanup

Edwin Ave. cleanup.: Photo by Craig CharnockEdwin Ave. cleanup.: Photo by Craig Charnock

Last weekend's community cleanup day was a success, thanks to volunteers from all over the neighbourhood. Local cleanup events were held at Carlton Park, Campbell Ave. / Rankin Cres., Symington Ave., Edwin Ave., the West Toronto Railpath, and on South Perth and Sterling Rd. These parts of the Junction Triangle are now looking much better!

Of course, tackling the litter and dumping problems in our neighbourhood is an ongoing struggle, but you don't need to wait until Earth Day to do something about it. If there's any litter in front of your homes or garages, just take two seconds to pick it up and put it in the proper place. You can also report illegal dump sites or excessive litter to the City's 311 phone number, or 311@toronto.ca

Here are some photos from the April 24th 2010 Community Cleanup, submitted by various cleanup organizers around the neighbourhood. Thanks!

Video: Railpath walking tour, with Scott Torrance

Note: This was cross-posted to ibiketo.ca

On Saturday February 21 2010, Scott Torrance, the landscape architect behind the design and implementation of the West Toronto Railpath led a walking tour of this wonderful new public space. The walking tour was hosted by the Lost Rivers Committee, Toronto Field Naturalists and the Toronto Green Community.

During this walking tour, Scott Torrance described various aspects of the history, design, and implementation of the Railpath. He provided a great insight into some of the choices made about how the path was landscaped, the materials used, the plant life, and more. I didn't attend this walk, but fortunately someone brought a video camera!

The first video posted here (above) is the short 3-minute summary. If you want to see the whole thing, it's broken up into 3 parts below.

There's more info about Scott Torrance's work on his website, and you can also watch these video on his Youtube channel.

Interested in another walking tour of the Railpath? This Saturday, May 1, there will be a Jane's Walk on the Railpath. It's not hosted by Scott Torrence, but rather by some knowledgeable locals. Check it out if you want to learn more about the current state of the Railpath, and plans for future south/east expansion.

Wallace Bridge: Looking into the Junction Triangle

Wallace Ave. Bridge: Photo by Vic Gedris, 2010-04-16Wallace Ave. Bridge: Photo by Vic Gedris, 2010-04-16

They say "a picture is worth a thousand words".

I was walking home from the Dundas West subway station on Friday evening and decided to take this photo from the Dundas St. side of the Wallace Ave. pedestrian bridge. I always enjoy the view from here, especially since it contains two of our neighbourhood's most iconic sights: The bridge itself, and the old G.E. Water Tower near Lansdowne Ave.

When I came home and took a closer look at the photo, it struck me that there are many things going on within the frame of this picture. Little bits of history, neighbourhood icons, and changes that are happening rapidly. Here's what I spotted. Maybe there are some things I missed?

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