Metrolinx' Georgetown South Service Expansion project

World Cup of Rail

What do the World Cup and a modern, world class electric train system have in common? Canada doesn’t play at that level. Canada is 63rd in the FIFA World rankings and its massive diesel train plan in Ontario makes it a bottom-feeder among nations.

Algeria (FIFA World Ranking # 30)

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

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?

Jane's Walk: Clean Train Coalition - Walk the Line

Started in 2007, Jane's Walk is an annual event honouring the late urban thinker, activist, and writer Jane Jacobs. On May 1 and 2 2010, free walking tours will take place in cities all over Canada, the USA, and other countries around the world.

The Clean Train Coalition has organized a walk along the Georgetown rail corridor on Saturday May 1, 2010, at 2:00pm, starting in Sorauren Park and heading north through the Junction Triangle along the West Toronto Railpath. All Jane's Walks are free, and this one does not require registration, but you can sign up for an email reminder on the Jane's Walk website.

Join the Clean Train Coalition, a grassroots group demanding the province "Go Electric!" Walk with us on a tour along part of the corridor, join us in conversation about the proposed walls, the effect of diesel pollution on children’s health, and the impact diesel trains will have on local parks and neighbourhoods near the rail line and to the city as a whole. Hear why electric rail is the right way to go and find out how you can help us to make that solution a reality.

We will start from Sorauren Park, a well-loved neighbourhood recreation area, head west and then north to explore the newly opened section of the West Toronto Railpath.

Metrolinx drops West Diamond appeal

The Toronto Star is reporting:

In a major victory for Toronto’s Junction community, Metrolinx has agreed to drop its appeal of a decision that limits the amount of noise it can make in the west-end neighbourhood.

The decision not to appeal ends months of tension around the nerve-jangling noise and vibration of pile-driving on the rail crossing known as the Toronto West Diamond near Dundas St. W. and Dupont.

In December, the CTA ordered GO to limit work hours and use quieter methods at the rail crossing. GO had already implemented quieter technology and shrouds over the pile drivers to try to reduce the noise.

Although this will delay the West Toronto Diamond grade separation project a little, it will provide the residents of the area around the diamond with some much-needed peace and quiet after the many months of pile-driving they have had to put up with.

Read the complete article over at The Star's website.

Clean Train Student Coalition calls for student action

The following press release was sent by the Clean Train Student Coalition.

Clean Train Student Coalition
3199 Lakeshore Blvd. W.
Toronto, Ontario
M8V 1K8

Attention: News Editor

Caterina Ventrella
Media Relations Officer

April 9, 2010


TORONTO – The Clean Train Student Coalition is seeking support from students and student groups in the Greater Toronto Area to electrify the proposed diesel train expansion in Toronto. The CTSC is asking people to sign the petition at to protest the use of diesel-powered locomotives in the project.

Get on board with the Junction Triangle Rail Committee

A new residents’ group has formed in the neighbourhood. The Junction Triangle Rail Committee will focus on the merits of electrification - what increased diesel traffic means for our community - and the construction of the Davenport Diamond overpass/separation on the Eastern side of the neighbourhood. As a group, we are all for more trains – but we strongly feel electrification is long overdue and Metrolinx must consider the impact of their expansion plans on residents in this neighbourhood. GO Transit and the Government of Ontario have been talking about electrifying the lines since the 1960s, but each decade the plan gets dismissed for being too costly. And each decade, the costs increase. But what about the long-term costs of diesel exhaust? Surrounded by rails, the Junction Triangle stands right at the centre of this controversy and deserves a voice. If you’re interested in joining the push for electrification right here in your own neighbourhood and want Metrolinx to practise responsible construction methods that won't drive people from their homes, please contact us by emailing or through the online contact form.

Irmina Ayuyao
Bruce Gavin Ward
Scott Dobson
Vic Gedris
Kristen den Hartog
Kevin Putnam
Jeff Winch

The Junction Triangle Rail Committee is on the web at:

Public Forum: Diesel vs. Electric Rail Expansion

Please take note of this upcoming meeting at City Hall regarding the expansion of diesel train traffic in the Georgetown rail corridor on the western side of our neighbourhood.

Public Forum

All Aboard? Diesel, electric and clean air: Which way forward?

This forum is an opportunity for public discussion of the proposed Metrolinx expansion of the Georgetown South transit line and the rail link from Union Station to Pearson.

The Board of Health supports expanded public transit as a way to reduce vehicle traffic, but remains concerned about health risks and air quality impacts predicted with the proposed diesel rail expansion.

Forum Date: Monday, March 22, 2010
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Place: Council Chambers, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street W.
Public Transit: Subway to either Queen (Yonge line) or Osgoode (University line) and walk over to Bay St. Alternatively, take the Bay bus #6 or #6A northbound from Union Station or southbound from the Bay subway station (transfer required). Disembark at Albert Street.

There will be a panel discussion, followed by a question period. Everyone is welcome to attend. Registration is not required.

Flyer for Public Forum on Metrolinx Expansion (PDF)

Background information on the proposed expansion.

Clean Train Coalition Party

Rail BenderRail Bender

CTC Railbender
Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 7 pm. Cash Bar.

Music by Kitgut Stringband, Rob Joy, Michael Johnston & The Gentlemen Collars
Remarks by Mayor David Miller at 8 pm

Come celebrate the first anniversary of the Clean Train Coalition and find out
how you can help bend the rails to electrify the Georgetown Rail Corridor!

Gladstone Hotel Melody Bar
1214 Queen Street West, Toronto 416 531 4635

Clean Train Coalition
Transit for a healthy city

Fiorito: Metrolinx diesels are dirty, ugly and NOISY

Toronto Star Columnist Joe Fiorito chimes in on the diesel debate. Of note, and not well understood by residents, is that "mitigation" of the diesel pollution and noise will mean large walls along the tracks. As usual, after looking at the details, this columnist comes to the conclusion that electric trains from day one would be the best option on every level.

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