Noise Wall Committee Websites

For residents along the Georgetown Corridor here is the link to all of the work and comments by Community Committees looking into Metrolinx's proposed 5 metre high noise walls and their design. You will find designs and comments to this point so take a look.There will be public meetings in September where people will be able to give their feedback. The participation in these meetings by community members is not necessarily an endorsement of the walls, the process, or the designs. Nor are Metrolinx's designs the only ones that are being proposed. Nor is there in our area

This is the Main page from where you can click to our area and others....

Bloor to St. Clair

Lansdowne to Bloor.


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Noise Wall Update

Sorry to report this evening that our Goal Line Stand for a greener solution to noise mitigation than massive walls of concrete and plexiglass has been unsuccessful. Cristina Martins has failed to secure a meeting with Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca.
We can speculate endlessly about whether our rookie MPP is either incompetent or unwillingly to work for a better outcome (she does lives in Willowdale). If you are a Liberal and the only thing you stand for is re-election, why get soiled trying to do the right thing?
For Steven Del Duca it is easier to let this play out, blame it on his predecessors and avoid wearing the issue by getting involved.
There are more battles ahead. Metrolinx temporarily shelved plans to elevate the Barrie GO line tracks (that form our Eastern border) from Bloor Street to Davenport when the ruckus over the UP Express go so heated. They will be returning to the issue before long. It just won't be the Junction Triangle Rail Committee waging the battle. Fighting an arms length government agency like Metrolinx has proven to be pointless when they have so clearly got Transportation Ministers under their thumb. There is a new one almost every year and that works totally to he advantage of the political hacks and PR operatives who run the organization.
The Rail Committee is not hanging around to point fingers or say "We told you". We are now officially closed for business. Many thanks to all of the residents who have been vocal about the issue of electrification and noise walls. We never would have tough it out so long without your support!

All the Rail News

The fares for the new UP Diesel Express have been announced ($27 one-way). The Ontario Auditor General has reviewed the operations of Metrolinx (not so good). And residents have been commenting on the role of Davenport MPP Cristina Martins in this mess (even worse).

The Junction Triangle Rail Committee has it all and more. Come and join us!

Kevin Putnam
Junction Triangle Rail Committee @

Noise Wall Construction Begins in the JT

The Villager has published a story today about the start of noise wall construction in the Junction Triangle along the West Toronto Railpath.

Cristina Martins, A go-along Backbencher?

CALL TO ACTION! With noise wall construction just underway in the Junction Triangle, area residents have a choice to either accept this poorly conceived piece of infrastructure or make a goal line stand to improve the situation - we still want a greener solution than concrete and plexiglass that will simply provide a massive canvas for graffiti despite all of the PR spin from Metrolinx.
Since being elected just over five months ago, Davenport MPP Cristina Martins has remained invisible on the issue of electrification and noise walls. E-mails and telephone calls from the Junction Triangle Rail Committee have gone unanswered.
Now with the help of Julie Dzerowicz, a candidate for the federal Liberal nomination in Davenport, we are making another attempt to meet with the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca. As a colleague and member of the government, Cristina Martins is well positioned to help open the Minister's door to a meeting.
If you want to help, please take a minute and call Cristina Martins. Ask her to stand with the residents she represents by arranging a meeting with the Minister ASAP. If you don't get her on the phone, leave a message and ask her to call you back. If you hear nothing, please keep calling. The number is 416-535-3158. This is Cristina's opportunity to show us that she is more than just a go-along backbencher. Many thanks!

More information about noise walls and electrification can be found on our Facebook page @

Resident Writes MPP Cristina Martins

From the Junction Triangle Rail Committee mailbox, local resident Kris Erickson writes to Davenport MPP Cristina Martins:

Dear Cristina,

I’m a resident, and I’ve been waiting since the election to see or hear some activity from you in the community. So far I’ve seen none, and heard less. In this vein, I am writing to offer some advice.

I believe the rather divisive issue of the noise barriers that are going up beside the West Toronto Railpath - after a really problematic consultation process with residents and stakeholders - is one issue where you might begin to connect with your constituents. Greener, more aesthetically engaging options for the barrier are available, but Metrolinx is pushing for what appears to be the lowest cost option. It is also an option that appears to celebrate the local community (through commissioned public art), but risks undermining that bond with a very ambiguous plan to maintain and support the installed art. I am well aware of your commitments to Hon. Michael Chan as his Parliamentary Assistant, but I also believe it’s time for you to listen to local community groups and take action to intervene in this installation process.

Another way of building up what seems to be your rather poor relationship with the community is to follow up on your campaign promise to push for *clean* transit and, accordingly, to renew calls for *immediate electrification of the Georgetown line* as your active and vocal predecessor, Jonah Schein, did so loudly and unambiguously. At the very least, I expect you to hold your government to account for then-Minister Glen Murray’s promise of *electrification by 2017.* (The promise, for your reference, can be seen at

I’m sure you are aware of these issues, and have been in touch with local community organizations like the Junction Triangle Rail Committee and the Clean Train Coalition. In case you haven’t, I have CC-ed them, as well as some of your colleagues at Queens Park. I’m sure they’re eager to see what you will do in defense and support of your constituents.

I look forward to hearing more from you in the very near future - I’m sorry to say that, at the moment, I feel the silence is deafening.

Kris Erickson
Junction Triangle Resident

Timely! I too am wondering

Timely! I too am wondering what's up with her and am emailing an inquiry (far more general than yours) from over in the Brockton corner of Davenport.

MPP Impersonations

Did you know that Davenport MPP Cristina Martins has been caught impersonating a turtle? Or maybe she heard someone yell "air raid" because it has been all duck and cover for the newly elected member of the legislature. The Junction Triangle Rail Committee has been trying to call her out.
You can find details on our Facebook page along with the exact location of those massive noise walls now under construction and more information about our efforts to meet Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca.

I have not heard of such a

I have not heard of such a committee till date to be honest. Anyways thanks a lot for sharing this information through this site. I think more of the media and people should be aware about this. I would like to know more.

Impressive Response To Metrolinx

The Community Advisory Committee looking at designs for Metrolinx's proposed walls finished last week. Unlike what we were led to believe there was no public or open feedback about the need to build all the walls now. Members were given the chance to email their thoughts where basically nobody will see them. One resident Timothy Noronha from West Bend took the time to write a very passionate, thought out, and nuanced response. In an age of tweets his letter is impressive not only for its detail but its analysis of Metrolinx as a culture. I felt his letter raised many points and I encourage you to read it.

My Public Input on Metrolinx Noise Barrier

While Metrolinx may not be willing to share public feedback they have received, I joined the Community Advisory Committee to do exactly that. In the interests of fostering a legitimate and productive discussion, I encourage you all to do the same and to honestly and openly share your opinions. I don’t need Metrolinx to be the editor of my input, so I will start by sharing my thoughts. I've included all contacts assembled during the first CAC meeting and so I will choose interpret anybody's non-response as that they 100% agree with me.

On Full build vs. 2015

I have been outspoken about my desire to not see 5m walls built through our urban neighbourhood ever since Metrolinx quietly decided to build them nearly 3 years ago. This type of urban construction has never been attempted before and I’m not keen to see our neighbourhood used as a guinea pig. The walls are PERMANENT and mostly unnecessary. Civilizations throughout the rest of the modernized world are tearing walls down (or trying to) yet we are looking to build kilometers of new barriers through the mid-west of our vibrant City.

The only beneficial purpose of the proposed 5m walls is reducing noise from the rail corridor and unfortunately such walls are far from the most effective way to do so. The walls are, however, the easiest way for Metrolinx to separate and distance themselves from our neighbourhoods on the other side.

We have absolutely no idea what we are about to have foisted upon us. We have not seen how the walls might look and we cannot because similar walls have never been constructed before. We have little sense of how well the barriers will work for the intended purpose of noise reduction or what other desirable and undesirable impacts they might have on our neighbourhoods. There are too many unknowns for us to be rushing into such a significant and permanent commitment – especially when there is a fair and rational alternative.

I strongly believe that Metrolinx should build only the required walls for 2015. They should prove to us they can (and will) properly construct and maintain them. Let us see the walls up close, graffiti them, clean them, climb them, commit crimes by them, and generally learn to live with them. Let us fully understand the proposed solution to a problem that may not even exist before we irreversibly deploy two-storey barriers along our entire stretch of the rail corridor.

On Preferences vs. Process

Productive and democratic community engagement is entirely dependent on following process. There are established and proven processes to solicit input from the public including environmental assessments, advisory committees, public meetings, and ultimately; elections. It is nearly impossible to secure unanimity when it comes to decisions that will affect an entire neighbourhood. It is all too easy to focus only on the viewpoints we may want to hear rather that what is actually best. This is why there are guidelines and protocols and to take guesswork out of the decision making process. The EA process clearly identified walls required in 2015 vs. walls required for an unattainable ‘full build’.

Faced with a contentious decision, the output of the defined and accepted processes should prevail. Decisions must not be changed to accommodate unquantifiable personal and corporate ‘preferences’.

On the role of Provincial Agencies

Metrolinx made a significant error when they made the decision to construct the full build walls for 2015. It was supposedly based on feedback they are still unwilling to share and it was made under the assumption that walls will be a net benefit to all affected neighbourhoods. It is not the role of the transportation agency to postulate what is best for our communities. This entire process has been prejudiced by the fact that Metrolinx has stated that walls are always good. They have absolutely no authority to make that presumption especially since many of us completely disagree.

The role of Metrolinx is to implement and operate a transportation system. They shoud leave non-transportation, neighbourhood impacting decisions to others. Decisions such as whether to build walls that aren’t actually required should be made by politicians and the processes they have created. Metrolinx must not be permitted to make decisions outside of their mandate that they will not and cannot ever be held accountable for.

On the Community Advisory Committees

A lot of people I’ve spoken with were considering a boycott of the CAC on the grounds that the outcome was already predetermined. Regardless, they participated on the predicate that we would have a discussion on the option to defer the full-build. This was clearly emphasized at every single CAC meeting. Metrolinx and the facilitator’s decision to withdraw this option and discussion at the last minute ultimately justified many people’s concerns. We could show hands to gauge opinion on everything but the one issue where the community representatives had an opinion Metrolinx did not want to hear.

Ultimately, it was a complete betrayal of our trust and it threatens the integrity of the entire process. This is further compounded by the charade that Metrolinx will consider our committee members’ feedback (including this feedback) but they have to do so in secret.

Despite this, I do not believe the CAC process was a complete waste of time. We had been told previously that a transparent wall would not even be considered. Perhaps we got more light by taking it from less-engaged neighbourhoods elsewhere along the corridor. Maybe Metrolinx was being too presumptuous with their earlier statements (an emerging theme when Metrolinx is looking for ‘input’). Or maybe the end result will look nothing like what has been shown to us anyway (think of the little black bars). Regardless; we were able to eliminate the threat of an imposing opaque two-storey wall along Dundas and replace it with a slightly less imposing one-storey opaque-one-storey transparent wall. The rail path will receive plenty more light as well.

I personally discovered that resistance to a neighbourhood encircling wall is far more widespread than I initially thought it to be. Many people still do not know what is planned (much less have the context to properly understand). If nothing else, we generated more publicity for the issue – even if Metrolinx tailored interpretation of the resulting public feedback is indefensible.

On noise mitigation and the need for a wall

Cities are already noisy places. There are many different ways to reduce noise levels in urban environments and reducing noise is a good thing. Unfortunately, not all approaches come without their downsides. The single most effective approach is to eliminate noise at the source. Big diesel engines moving heavy trains are by far the biggest sources of noise from the corridor (whistles aside). Freight trains are not an issue through much of the neighbourhood, but anyway Metrolinx will not be helping where they are because that is CP’s problem. It is the big diesel GO engines that generate the significant majority of the rail corridor noise and using lighter electric powered trains is the single most effective way to reduce it. Electrification is how the rest of the world addresses the urban train noise issue, improving vibration and air pollution at the same time. We are supposed to be getting the same upgrade in our neighbourhood in just four years.

Metrolinx was eventually forced to use a vibratory pile-driver instead of a diesel hammer when preparing the diamond grade separation several years ago. It’s disappointing that this solution was impossible according to Metrolinx until the community obtained a ruling from the Federal Agency overseeing railway noise. Similarly, now we are being told that solid two storey walls are the only option to address rail corridor noise. We deserve much better than that.

On the effectiveness of a wall

I sincerely hope those who are bothered by the train noise will find relief. I also hope they fully appreciate what a wall will and will not do for them if that’s the relief they are counting on. If the train noise is bothering you in your living room today, keep in mind that the sound has already passed through at least one much more substantial wall of your house.

High frequency noises such as wheel clatter, fans, and metal-on-metal squeals are more readily reflected or absorbed by walls. Engine rumbles and dish rattling vibrations are not.

The proposed walls are clearly stated as intended only for reducing ground level, OUTDOOR noise within ~300m of the corridor. There will be no significant noise reduction on your upper-level decks and little to no improvement within your home. Only controlling the source of the sound will address noise issues in those locations that cannot be masked by towering walls.

Furthermore, there will be noise bounce-back from the wall along Dundas. Its significance is comparable to the effects from the new airport link and the subject of several opinions but no proper study. There will always be more road traffic than rail traffic and there is even less we can do about road vehicle noise.

On public vs. private property

Nearly all the proposed walls in our neighbourhood are adjacent to public property. This is unique compared to many other areas of the corridor. Public property belongs to everybody. There are no defined formulas to weight people’s opinions based on how close they live or how frequently they drive by or how much of an emotional attachment they may feel to a particular space. That land belongs to all of us which all the more reason why already established guidelines and protocols must be applied. It is well outside of Metrolinx’ mandate, authority, and capability to try and invent new policies and to make such determinations especially as they pertain to our public City land.

On Metrolinx’ ability to build and maintain walls

I do not have confidence in the Transportation Agency’s ability or willingness to maintain the walls adequately and effectively. It is not necessarily a problem specific to Metrolinx, but rather an issue of how our Province engages with the residents of our City in general. Just look at the history with Social Services & housing, the Ontario Municipal Board, billion dollar canceled power plants, and so on.

Maintaining this many kilometers of walls is something Metrolinx has absolutely no experience with. In fact, the proposed walls are so new that nobody has any experience with them. Our communities will have absolutely no leverage with Metrolinx should the walls be neglected or fall into disrepair.

On Metrolinx and their Committments

We’ve already been told Metrolinx is trying to offload as much responsibility for the walls as possible to the City. Metrolinx has a track record of only responding to community concerns when they no longer have any other choice. Whether they ultimately respond due to media pressure, an order from elected officials, or a ruling from another authoritative agency; Metrolinx has not exhibited a history of proactive community engagement. Even this CAC process was the result of protracted struggle as Metrolinx already had a plan for what they were going to do.

On listening to the community

More than two years ago my community association expressed concern about the decision to deploy the full build walls. The Metrolinx spokesperson told us “you’re getting the walls whether you like them or not”. The community asked for green walls. Metrolinx invested a lot of effort coming up with reasons (many invalid) as why that couldn’t be done. Community groups even hired an architectural firm to develop far more innovative and inspiring alternate designs. Metrolinx outright dismissed them.

Metrolinx spokespeople have been quoted several times in the media saying there is no opposition to the proposed walls when we all know that is not the case. We’re supposed to believe they were repeatedly mis-quoted – yet there has been no public correction. Metroinx has been cited by the Advertising Standards Council in the past for deliberately misleading the public – but it would appear there are no consequences for doing so.

The unfortunate truth is that Metrolinx does not appear to be listening to the community. Public consultation sessions have been run like public education sessions. There has been little evidence to dispel the belief that Metrolinx already has a plan and that the public consultations are for show.

During the public consultation session last month, a mention of deferring the full-build walls was one of very few statements that was welcomed with applause from an increasingly frustrated crowd. Metrolinx has unfairly characterized all opposition to their plans as coming from a “vocal minority”. This is inconsistent with what I have observed in our CAC and in the public sessions and it is propaganda that cannot be justified or permitted from public agency that is supposed to be seeking public input. The fact is that we just don’t know exactly what the public feedback has been. We are told that Metrolinx cannot share input received from the public despite the fact that all feedback forms explicitly grant them authority to do so. We don’t need to see people’s names -- just the statements that are forming the entire basis for Metrolinx’ decision making. Do you really believe that only the data that contradicts Metrolinx’ position is subject to privacy concerns?

Even the appearance that Metrolinx could be manipulating the data to support their predetermined intentions is absolutely unacceptable from a public agency and should be cause for great concern. All feedback gathered from the public belongs to all of us and must be shared in its entirety by the terms under which it was collected. Transparency is fundamental tenet of democracy.

On what is “best” for our neighbourhood

If I thought a gigantic wall really would be good for this neighbourhood, I would not continue to oppose it. Unfortunately, I truly believe this wall is only best for Metrolinx. We build walls around prisons, between enemies, and opposed to things we generally don’t want to deal with. In this case, Metrolinx is building a wall against Toronto’s neighbourhoods. It won’t fix all issues with noise and it certainly won’t so anything about air pollution from the diesel trains. What it will do is give Metrolinx all the protection they need from the residents they impact. They need not be bothered by Toronto’s neighbourhoods and communities ever again as they will have done ‘all they can do’.

I have discussed the noise barrier issue with several people that support the plans for a full-build and I would like to continue the conversation with many more. I understand peoples concerns about train noise and I share many of the same concerns. Many folks are worried about what is to come in future and a few are even bothered by the train noise right now. I do not believe that two-storey barriers are the best way to address these concerns and I welcome an intelligent discussion with anybody who disagrees. I would love to be convinced otherwise as it would be far easier for me to simply accept these noise barriers rather than stand up for the better solution I know we deserve.

We do not need to gamble with the future of our neighbourhoods. There is a sensible alternative that remains the only proper, official, and right way to go. Metrolinx should build only the walls required in 2015 using the best technology and materials available today. They should prove to community the value and effectiveness of these walls and allow us all to improve on and learn from any mistakes (and there WILL be mistakes). They should continue to monitor the rail corridor and manage its impact on our neighbourhoods. We can all work lessen the negative impact of the rail corridor on our community through collaborative and comprehensive solutions while building upon the many substantial benefits the transportation corridor can provide us.

Prematurely erecting massive walls throughout our City is an undesirable, shortsighted and unjustifiable decision made by bureaucrats who are supposed to be running trains but have no experience building communities. This wall is being forced upon us without adequate consideration for the negative impacts and like all other bureaucratic bungles it will not otherwise be apparent until it is too late.

We should all stand up for what we believe is appropriate, reasonable and right. This is our neighbourhood. Not only do we deserve to be listened to, but it is our right to be equipped to make informed decisions rather than being told what we think. Metrolinx should build only the walls they are required to build for 2015 and give our communities the opportunity to make sensible and informed decisions about the rest (until they too are required – if ever). If you feel that your expectations from the CAC have been fulfilled and that your input has been valued; then you have it easy – you need not do anything more.

Nobody wants to be bothered by diesel train noise, but I think we all deserve better than this feeble attempt to hide it behind walls.

Timothy Noronha

The West Bend (Bloor to St. Clair CAC committee)

"Metrolinx’s Berlin Wall"

Continuing coverage of the wall debate.

Metrolinx’s Berlin Wall
Transit agency pushes noise barrier that won’t be needed after electrification of Georgetown line

Alternative Greener Corridor

The Junction Triangle Rail committee working with the Wabash Building Society has commissioned their own design study for this corridor using the firm Brown and Storey who were the designers of Railpath. Their vision is greener, and a stark contrast to what the Metrolinx designers have come up with and a worthy thoughtful addition to the process. Their concept really animates the communities along the corridor rather than separating communities.

Here is is....


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.

Just Presenting

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.