City of Toronto

June Public Meeting Feedback Summaries

Coordinated Transit Consultation Meetings

SmartTrack, GO RER, Relief Line, Scarborough Subway Extension

These concise Highlights Reports have been prepared to provide the City of Toronto, TTC and Metrolinx with a snapshot of the feedback captured at the public meetings held between June 13 - 25, 2015.

June 13, 2015 - Highlights Report

On Saturday, June 13, 2015, the City of Toronto, City Planning Division (Transportation Planning), the TTC and Metrolinx, hosted a public meeting on four key transit projects currently being planned. The meeting was held at Burnhamthorpe Collegiate , 500 The East Mall, Toronto.

The purpose of the public meeting varied by project:

  • SmartTrack: Introduce the SmartTrack concept and study process for the Eglinton West Corridor Feasibility Study, and gather feedback on three conceptual alignments being studied in the Feasibility Study
  • GO Regional Express Rail (RER): Introduce the GO RER program in Toronto
  • Relief Line: Collect feedback on the results of potential station area evaluation and potential corridors
  • Scarborough Subway Extension:  Collect feedback on preliminary analysis of potential corridors and potential alignments and station concepts

The meeting featured a series of panels and interactive feedback activities on each project. Participants could freely move between display panels and activities at their own pace, and speak with project staff from the City, TTC and Metrolinx.

At 10:20 a.m, an introductory presentation on coordinated network transit planning, with a focus on SmartTrack – Eglinton West Corridor, was given by Tim Läspä, Director, Transportation Planning, City Planning Division. After the presentation, participants had the opportunity to ask questions of clarification as well as provide feedback.

Approximately 20 people attended the public meeting, including Councillor Stephen Holyday (Ward 3), and MPPs Peter Milczyn (Etobicoke-Lakeshore) and Yvan Baker (Etobicoke Centre).

Highlights of Participant Feedback

Questions of Clarification

The discussion captured during the question and answer period following the overview presentation is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, comments with “C” and answers with “A”. Answers were provided by Tim Läspä, Director, Transportation Planning, City Planning Division.

Q. If SmartTrack is built along Eglinton, what would happen to the future Phase 2 Eglinton Crosstown LRT? Would it be a companion or replacement? There are so few stations on Smart Track it doesn't change the need for LRT on Eglinton.

A. If heavy rail is built along Eglinton there would likely be only 3 stations; this is what was including in the concept that Council asked staff to study. Phase 2 of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT has a total of 16 stations in the same corridor and extending into the airport. You would not be able to build both. If heavy rail is built, it would need to be supplemented with local bus service.

Q. Why was a station chosen for Kipling Ave. instead of Islington Ave.? Why those 3 stations? Or is that just part of the political beginnings of this proposal?

A. The SmartTrack concept that Council has asked us to study included those station locations. Those particular station locations still need to be studied. While we are focusing on the feasibility of some corridor options today, you are very welcome to submit comments about station locations as well.

Q. Is it correct that if the LRT is extended along Eglinton to the airport instead of SmartTrack, there would still be RER service on the Kitchener Line beyond the airport?

A. No matter what is built along Eglinton to reach the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre, there would still be RER service on the Kitchener Line. There is a need to determine how to ensure SmartTrack and Kitchener RER services fit together when they merge around Mt. Dennis Station.

Q. How does central Etobicoke get local transit service if SmartTrack is built along Eglinton?

A. If Council asks us to proceed with one of the SmartTrack options on Eglinton West, there is a need to knit TTC service into that plan. We would need to determine how to provide local transit on Eglinton and in Etobicoke more broadly.

Q. The LRT on Eglinton West already has an approved EA. Is there currently funding for it?

A. No, the LRT on Eglinton West is not funded.

Q. In terms of the Eglinton West LRT, would that also need to be knitted with TTC service?

A. Certainly. The LRT itself would be part of the transit network, and how it would interface with other elements of the network was considered during the Environmental Assessment (EA) study. More work would still be necessary through the design phases of the project to determine the details.

Q. Would it be more difficult to knit in TTC to 16 stops for LRT, than knit it into the 3 for Smart Track?

A. It's actually easier to knit more stations in with the existing system with 16 stops on the LRT. If there are only 3 stations, we may need additional services, consider bus terminals at those fewer stations, etc.

Q. Executive Committee was recently discussing the proposed Woodbine Station. They said something about knocking a wall in a tunnel for access to a possible casino at Woodbine. Do you have any information about that

A. [Richard Beck, Manager, Transportation Planning, Etobicoke-York] We are protecting for a future GO Station on the Kitchener Line at 427 for access to casino lands. They are in conversation for a stop on the UP Express.

Q. Is there technology that can put a light rail wheel onto a heavy rail track?

A. [Sheldon Frankel, HDR Inc.] No, we do not mix light and heavy rail vehicles on the same track.

C. We should consider mixing them, thinking outside the box, and mixing types of vehicles.

C. With respect to the map with Eglinton and RER line and airport centre connection, you should consider connecting them so if there is a service disruption you can have more options than if waiting outside in the cold.

Q. If you are considering SmartTrack on Eglinton as a separate service, what is the point of having SmartTrack on Eglinton at all? Compared to the LRT, it would cut the number of stations from 16 to 3, you would still need to transfer at Mt. Dennis, it would mean heavy rail crossings for cross streets and might cost $1.5B. Why is this something that you are seriously studying?

A. Yes, there are a lot of challenges. What is the benefit of that option? We may find that it is feasible but we would then need to look carefully at its value and benefit. Also, we have no detail at this point how the LRT will extend further west on Eglinton to the Airport Corporate Centre.

Q. We know you are not prepared to make recommendations now, but if value is not there, will you be reporting back that it's not a good idea?

A. We are reporting on feasibility, yes or no. But we will also be providing facts beyond yes or no; things like high-level costs, ridership and land use impacts. Council will decide if we should move forward with any of the options.

Q. Are there any cost estimates?

A. Not yet. As part of the feasibility study we will consider costs. This won't be a detailed study, but results will allow Council to compare the options to each other.

Q. Is it known whether Metrolinx intends to run the Etobicoke portion of the LRT as a request stop, or if every train will stop at all destinations all the time? This will impact speed of service and may influence the comparison of the LRT and SmartTrack options.

A. [Gary Carr, TTC – answer provided after the meeting] The Crosstown will stop at every station in the buried section. Operations in the at-grade sections are still to be finalized.

Q. I assume the length of time to cross Etobicoke by LRT will be part of what we use to evaluate the SmartTrack options?

A. Yes, the benefits and costs of the SmartTrack options will be compared to the LRT as the 'base-case.'

C. Right now we have Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West on the go. The difference is size. This is a smaller Finch west size. We should split all transit up into chunks because we can get more done on smaller chunks.

Summary of Comments Provided in Interactive Sessions

SmartTrack: Conceptual Alignments

Several people indicated a preference for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT extension to the ACC and Pearson for its better local service.  Some concern was expressed about those impacted most during construction not necessarily being the people who stand to benefit the most from the line.  Other comments suggested alterations to the SmartTrack concept such as changing or adding station locations or extending the line either to Pearson or further west into Mississauga.

Relief Line

A few people asked questions of clarification on the Relief Line Project Assessment regarding the future extensions to the north and west and technology selection. Participants found it important to make connections to communities like Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park with future extensions to the north. Participants discussed the potential to utilize the Bay Street corridor as a rerouting option for commuters. Some people commented that Broadview Station is less than ideal as a connection to the Danforth subway line compared to Pape Station, due to the ability to connect north, development potential, redundancy to the streetcar service from Broadview Station and impacts to the Don Valley. In general, participants were supportive of the results of the station evaluation and the corridor options presented.

Scarborough Subway

Most participants asked questions about the project to better understand it and how it relates to the rest of the transit network, rather than providing specific feedback. Participants asked questions about the corridor evaluation, ridership and how SmartTrack would impact the need to construct the extension. One participant asked about details regarding the closure of the SRT and how various corridors would impact the SRT's operation. Finally, one participant asked about the "SmartTrack spur" idea and if a spur from SmartTrack to Scarborough Centre is being considered and evaluated.

Next Steps

Seven more public meetings are scheduled during this phase of consultations, after which a more detailed report of all consultation activities will be made available. Comments must be submitted by July 3, 2015 to ensure inclusion in this report.

SmartTrack: Feedback received will inform the Eglinton West Corridor Feasibility Study. Draft results of the study will be presented and consulted on in September, 2015.

Relief Line: The project team will use the feedback received to inform the evaluation of potential corridors. The preferred corridor, along with potential alignments and station locations, will be presented and consulted on in September, 2015.

Scarborough Subway Extension: The project team will use the feedback received to help finalize the evaluation of the potential corridors and evaluate the potential alignments and station concepts. The preferred corridor, alignment and station concepts will be presented and consulted on in September, 2015.

June 15, 2015 - Highlights Report

On Monday, June 15, 2015, the City of Toronto, City Planning Division (Transportation Planning), the TTC and Metrolinx, hosted a public meeting on four key transit projects currently being planned. The meeting was held at the Estonian House, 958 Broadview Ave., Toronto.

The purpose of the public meeting varied by project:

  • SmartTrack: Introduce the SmartTrack concept and study process for the Eglinton West Corridor Feasibility Study, and gather feedback on three conceptual alignments being studied in the Feasibility Study
  • GO Regional Express Rail (RER): Introduce the GO RER program in Toronto
  • Relief Line: Collect feedback on the results of potential station area evaluation and potential corridors
  • Scarborough Subway Extension:  Collect feedback on preliminary analysis of potential corridors and potential alignments and station concepts

 

The meeting featured a series of panels and interactive feedback activities on each project. Participants could freely move between display panels and activities at their own pace, and speak with project staff from the City, TTC and Metrolinx.

An introductory presentation on coordinated network transit planning, with a focus on the Relief Line project, was given by Stella Gustavson, Program Manager, Transit Implementation Unit, Transportation Planning, City Planning Division at 7:00 PM.  Following the presentation, participants had the opportunity to ask questions of clarification as well as provide feedback.

Approximately 65 people attended the public meeting, including Councillors Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29), Paula Fletcher (Ward 30) and Janet Davis (Ward 31) and MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth).

Highlights of Participant Feedback

Questions of Clarification

The discussion captured during the question and answer period following the overview presentation is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, comments with “C” and answers with “A”. Answers were provided by Stella Gustavson, Paul Millett (Chief Project Engineer, Engineering, Construction and Expansion Section, TTC) as well as Tim Läspä (Director, Transportation Planning, City of Toronto).

Q. Is the Relief Line going to be built at the same elevation as the existing subways so that the line could be made into a big loop, and there would not be the need for a transfer from the Bloor-Danforth?

A. We looked at the possibility of running every other Bloor-Danforth train straight downtown via the Relief Line. This idea was abandoned because this approach cuts the capacity of the Bloor-Danforth line by half to the west of the diversion, and at half the capacity, it will not support the demand.

Q. With any of the four potential corridors, particularly "A" and "C," what assumptions are you making about the continuation of service on the Dundas and King streetcar routes?

A. The assumption is that the streetcar service will remain and subway service will complement the streetcar network. We have no intent of cancelling existing streetcar routes.

Q. Does Corridor "A" or "C" go through Riverdale Park with a train? Does it run under Broadview, does it come out into the park at some point?

A: We don’t have an alignment yet, we only have corridors. But we are not planning an at-grade or elevated service, so trains would not be going through Riverdale Park.

Q. Why was Union Station dismissed by the community as a connection point? Clearly it is congested, but why are we not building relief there?

A: It was not just from community input that Union Station was dismissed, but also the technical analysis. Two things tell us that the main destination downtown is in fact blocks north of Union Station. First, employment statistics show that the highest concentrations of jobs are in the Bay and King area. Second, data on where people get on and off of the Yonge-University line shows us that most people are getting off before getting to Union Station and very few people stay on past King. This means that for relieving congestion, Union isn't a "bad" option, but it's not as strong as King or Queen.

Q. In 2011, Metrolinx commissioned a study that looked at alleviating congestion at Union Station capacity by 2031, and one method they looked at was a secondary station around Bathurst and Front. If they were to proceed with this secondary station option, wouldn't the Relief Line need to get to Bathurst and Front. Would any of these potential corridors meet this need?

A. We are working closely with Metrolinx on this question. Metrolinx has advised that they have the capacity issue resolved and have another solution for a satellite station.

Q. As for the streetcar service along King and Queen, you might want to look into mining those stations so as to minimize the open-cut and this way reserve the Queen and King alignment and Streetcar service during construction.

A. Once the preferred corridor is selected, the alignment and station options will be studied further to decide upon a preferred alignment. Construction method, which could include mining, will be determined after a preferred alignment has been identified.

Q. There are serious, well-known geo-technical problems downtown, including the crossing of the Don River around King and Queen. Has there been enough time given for the proper evaluation of these problems?

A. There has been considerable work done recently with the West Donlands that adds to the amount of historical geotechnical information. We are planning on drilling bore-holes to fill in some information gaps. We are well-aware of the geo-technical issues.

C. We would like access to that geo-technical information so we can provide better comments.

C. While there has already been a strong preference for a Unilever site station shown, and the Unilever lands are always mentioned, it is never mentioned how important the Portlands development is for the future. We should not focus only on the Unilever lands when we talk about that station, but it is really the station for east Portlands. There are 50 years of development down there.

Q. Given that the Scarborough subway and SmartTrack are going north of Danforth with a lot of capacity for years to come, would it make more sense, rather than extend the Relief Line north of the Danforth, to provide better transfer points to SmartTrack and the Scarborough Subway from the Bloor Danforth Subway?

A. We are protecting for a northern extension of the Relief Line, but this phase of planning is focused on relieving existing crowding on the Yonge Subway and at Bloor-Yonge Station.

Q. Other cities use express subways. If we are going to tunnel-bore the Relief Line, can we bore for four tracks (an express and the station stop service)? A majority of people will be going straight from the Danforth to the downtown core, additionally, any time there is a delay in one direction, you could also move the trains over onto another track to get around.

A. That work is a little further on in our study when we will be looking at tunnel-boring technologies in more detail and deciding specific alignment and station stops.

Summary of Comments Provided in Interactive Sessions

SmartTrack: Conceptual Alignments

Meeting participants generally expressed support for Eglinton Crosstown LRT Phase 2 to the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre (MACC) and Pearson Airport for its lower cost and better local service and network connectivity.  Some participants expressed a desire for modifications to the ECLRT Phase 2 design to be considered, such as removing stations or putting portions of the line underground in order to shorten the duration of the trip to MACC and Pearson. 

In addition, some participants indicated a desire for a lower cost rapid transit access to Pearson than the Union Pearson Express.

Relief Line

Through a dotmocracy exercise at the meeting, most of the meeting participants generally agreed with the results of the evaluation of potential station locations.

A majority of the meeting participants indicated a preference for Corridor D, as depicted on the meeting dotmocracy exercise in the photo below.

Scarborough Subway Extension

Participants were interested in gaining further information on the project, and requested staff to go over the merits of each of the short listed corridors. When informed about SmartTrack, some questioned the need for two planned transit lines to be within such close proximity to one another. One participant was curious about the evaluation criteria used to shortlist corridors and whether there was any consideration given to natural features and how the subway could traverse watercourses within the study area. Overall, many people preferred the McCowan corridor due to its centrality, straight-line path, and its connection to the Scarborough Hospital, however, many of those same people were concerned about the budgeted cost of constructing a subway.

June 17, 2015 - Highlights Report

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, the City of Toronto, City Planning Division (Transportation Planning), the TTC and Metrolinx, hosted a public meeting on four key transit projects currently being planned. The meeting was held at the Spring Garden Baptist Church, Toronto.

The purpose of the public meeting varied by project:

  • SmartTrack: Introduce the SmartTrack concept and study process for the Eglinton West Corridor Feasibility Study, and gather feedback on three conceptual alignments being studied in the Feasibility Study
  • GO Regional Express Rail (RER): Introduce the GO RER program in Toronto
  • Relief Line: Collect feedback on the results of potential station area evaluation and potential corridors
  • Scarborough Subway Extension:  Collect feedback on preliminary analysis of potential corridors and potential alignments and station concepts

The meeting featured a series of panels and interactive feedback activities on each project. Participants could freely move between display panels and activities at their own pace, and speak with project staff from the City, TTC and Metrolinx.

Following an introductory presentation on Coordinated Network Transit Planning given by Mike Logan (Senior Transportation Planner) and David Cooper (Senior Transportation Planner) at 7:00 PM, participants had the opportunity to ask questions of clarification as well as provide feedback.

Approximately 25 people attended the public meeting, including York Region Councillor Jim Jones (City of Markham).

Highlights of Participant Feedback

Questions of Clarification

The discussion captured during the question and answer period following the overview presentation is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, comments with “C” and answers with “A”. Answers were provided by Mike Logan, David Cooper and Paul Millett (Chief Project Engineer, Engineering, Construction and Expansion Section, TTC).

C.  The Scarborough Subway route should go up Midland to Sheppard, and the Sheppard line should be linked to form a loop.

A. Thank you for your input. We are considering the Scarborough Subway interface with the Sheppard East LRT.

Q. Regarding the Relief Line, when is construction anticipated to begin and finish?

A. After the Project Assessment is complete and the recommendations approved by Council, a Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) takes a further 6 months which is the final approval under the Environmental Assessment Act. The detailed design phase would likely be another 2-3 years and construction could take 8-10 years. The timeline depends on overall political support and funding. If approval and funding is received the project could be operational in 12-15 years.

Q. I am aware that GO lines are mostly on CN tracks. What are the options for signaling in the future to get the headways down as you expand in order to get more people riding on those trains?

A. Representatives from Metrolinx are here tonight and can speak with you about this in more detail, but generally, there are certain levels of rail operation rules based on the type of the train (diesel or electric). There are complexities when passenger and freight services share a corridor. Metrolinx is looking at which corridors can be electrified through their EA process and other assessments.

Q. Why does the Eglinton Crosstown LRT not continue to the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre?

A.  The base case assumption is that the LRT will be continued to the airport employment area – this extension has already been approved but is not funded. City Council has asked the project team to look at the feasibility of a heavy rail corridor instead of the LRT. The study will determine whether or not those are feasible options.

C. SmartTrack should have a spur to Scarborough Centre so that one train could go to Scarborough Centre and the next could go to Markham. The same could be done at the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre (one train going there and the next train going on to Brampton). SmartTrack should be using as much of the existing infrastructure and going many different places rather than being asynchronous.

A. Thank you for your input. That may be an option. The direction from Council was that the Scarborough Subway be an extension from Kennedy Station though Scarborough Centre to Sheppard. RER and SmartTrack currently do not contemplate going into Scarborough Centre. Operating a spur with alternating destination would have implications on the timing of the service schedule and might make it impossible to deliver the 15 minute frequency of service. That is one of the issues that will be carefully considered in the Eglinton West feasibility study. We welcome the opportunity to have a further discussion on this.

Q. Who has the final say on the decision in terms of the final designs?

A. The project team will be completing the studies for the Relief Line and Scarborough Subway Extension.  We will then submit a recommended alignment and station concepts to City Council. At that point we will be asking for authority to undertake the final review using the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) which results in the authority to construct. SmartTrack is at a different stage in the process. Council has asked us to look at feasibility of the various options and it will be up to Council to direct us to do further work based on the results of the feasibility study.

Q. Do you have a cost estimate of routing to the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre?

A. The project team will be looking at the cost of the various alternatives as part of the feasibility study.

C. Markham has to grow by 200,000 people over the next 25 years and we have one stop at Markham Centre.  

A. In the coming months, the project team will be consulting with the Town of Markham, City of Mississauga, York and Peel Regions.

Q. When I’m on the GO train at Oriole station I have to walk through the snow to get to the Sheppard subway. The stations should be connected so you don’t have to walk outside. The GO train stop needs to be moved.

A. The work being done near the Leslie/401 intersection will result in Metrolinx moving Oriole station north to Sheppard and therefore much closer to the TTC's Leslie Station. Metrolinx will be consulting on that in the coming months.

Q. Will the Yonge subway be extended to Highway 7?

A. Through the Yonge Relief Network Study there is a discussion happening on the next steps. The Relief Line study is also underway and will help us understand more about relieving some of the pressures on the existing Yonge subway, and we will better understand the capacity of the Yonge Subway and the potential to extend the line through our modeling that will be wrapping up over the summer.

Q. Is anyone looking at affordability of fares?

A. Part of the work that Council has directed staff to do on SmartTrack is to review fare structures and integration of fares. We will be modeling various fare structure scenarios with a consideration of a hybrid of a GO and TTC fare and the current fare structure. We will be reporting back to Council this Fall. Metrolinx is also undertaking a more detailed fare integration study.

Summary of Comments Provided in Interactive Sessions

Relief Line: Results of Potential Station Area Evaluation

Through a dotmocracy exercise at the meeting, most of the meeting participants generally agreed with the results of the evaluation for the Connections to the Danforth Subway, the results of the evaluation for Key Activity Areas West and East of the Don River and the evaluation of the Downtown connections.

Relief Line: Potential Corridors

Through a dotmocracy exercise at the meeting a majority of the meeting participants indicated a preference for Corridor D by a factor of 2:1 over Corridor B.

June 18, 2015 - Highlights Report

On Thursday, June 18, 2015, the City of Toronto, City Planning Division (Transportation Planning), the TTC and Metrolinx, hosted a public meeting on four key transit projects currently being planned. The meeting was held at Archbishop Romero Catholic School, 99 Humber Blvd South, Toronto.

The purpose of the public meeting varied by project:

  • SmartTrack: Introduce the SmartTrack concept and study process for the Eglinton West Corridor Feasibility Study, and gather feedback on three conceptual alignments being studied in the Feasibility Study
  • GO Regional Express Rail (RER): Introduce the GO RER program in Toronto
  • Relief Line: Collect feedback on the results of potential station area evaluation and potential corridors
  • Scarborough Subway Extension:  Collect feedback on preliminary analysis of potential corridors and potential alignments and station concepts

The meeting featured a series of panels and interactive feedback activities on each project. Participants could freely move between display panels and activities at their own pace, and speak with project staff from the City, TTC and Metrolinx.

At 7:00 p.m, an introductory presentation on coordinated network transit planning, with a focus on SmartTrack – Eglinton West Corridor, was given by Tim Läspä, Director, Transportation Planning, City Planning Division. After the presentation, participants had the opportunity to ask questions of clarification as well as provide feedback.

Approximately 30 people attended the public meeting, including Councillor Frances Nunziata (Ward 11), and MPP Laura Albanese (York South-Weston).

Highlights of Participant Feedback

Questions of Clarification

The discussion captured during the question and answer period following the overview presentation is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, comments with “C” and answers with “A”. Answers were provided by Tim Läspä, Director, Transportation Planning, City Planning Division.

Q. There was a funding announcement made – was that from the City or Province? Are SmartTrack and GO Train the same? Who would be operating the SmartTrack service and will it be affordable?

A. The federal government announced a funding commitment of $2.6 Billion for SmartTrack earlier today. The Province has also previously committed to fund electrification to certain corridors, including the three SmartTrack corridors. The fare system  is to be integrated between the TTC and SmartTrack; fare options and structures are being considered in the work on SmartTrack.

C. I have no interest in the Eglinton corridor. The northern corridor would be cheaper and would not put the community through grief. The 427 route that is being studied for SmartTrack was previously considered in 2006.

Q. If the Eglinton portion of  SmartTrack is a separate service would it be at grade? Will there be tunnels? Are there considerations for bridges?

A. Those questions will be answered through the feasibility study that we are starting now – what extra infrastructure (tunnels, bridges, etc) would be needed for that option.

Q. Who will be the users of the Eglinton line?  The plans propose only 2 stops, each of them being 3 km apart which is quite a distance.

A. There would still be a need for local transit service along Eglinton Avenue.The SmartTrack service would provide a connection to the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre from the existing GO network and downtown. We would need to consider how local transit would serve the community and possibly connect to SmartTrack stations.

Q. Would you consider BRT on Eglinton? This is a cheaper option.

A. For the purposes of the feasibility study City Staff have been directed to consider heavy rail along the Eglinton corridor. BRT is being constructed on the corridor further west in Mississauga. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT Phase 2 is being used as the reference case for this study.

C. Many people in Etobicoke rely on transit, especially in the north. The LRT would better serve this area. There is a preference to keep the LRT if SmartTrack uses the northern route.

C. Best idea is SmartTrack north with LRT on Eglinton. Perhaps with fewer LRT stops.

C.  There is a station proposed at Scarlett, but Jane is a major bus route. There should be a stop at Jane.

Q. The concept of SmartTrack is to serve Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre - to connect people and jobs.  So far, the assumed solution is heavy rail. Are you considering other ways to connect to the Mississauga Airport Corporate Centre?  The heavy rail option will be expensive and disruptive.

A. We have been directed by Council to consider the feasibility of these heavy rail options, using the LRT extension as our base case. The study will consider feasibility from many perspectives and will give Council a full understanding of the issues in the fall. In addition, we are also updating our ridership modeling. This work will be done over the next few months and help us understand how many people are likely to ride SmartTrack, RER, and other proposed routes.

Q.  What is the difference between heavy rail and LRT?

A.  Existing GO trains and subways areconsidered heavy rail – they have larger and faster trains, and can provide longer distance, regional connections. Light rail – LRT -  is more flexible in terms of the configuration of the tracks, train sets and stops. It is more of an urban application.

Q.  Are you looking at regional transit connections - like to the Mississauga Transitway?

A. Yes, regional transit connections are an important consideration. We will be working closely with Metrolinx to ensure an integrated local and regional network.

Q. Has an Environmental Assessment been completed for the western extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT?

A. Yes, the Eglinton West LRT EA was completed in 2010 by Metrolinx. Reports are available online at http://www.thecrosstown.ca/the-project/reports.

Q. Are you looking at LRT through to the Airport?  Is there an opportunity to extend this LRT to Humber College

A. The current study doesn't contemplate any changes to either the Eglinton Crosstown or Finch West LRT. The extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT as approved is the base case that we will use to compare the heavy rail options.

Summary of Comments Provided in Interactive Sessions

SmartTrack: Conceptual Alignments

The options along Eglinton were not supported due to the disruption they would cause and lack of local stops.  The base reference case or a modified version with slightly fewer stops was generally supported.  A few people expressed interest in the options which connect to the airport.

Relief Line

A few people asked questions of clarification on the Relief Line Project Assessment regarding the purpose of the project and technology selection. There were general inquiries about the study process and what stage the study was currently at, and funding status of the proposed transit line. Some people commented that Pape Station is a better connection to the Danforth subway line compared to Broadview Station. In general, participants were supportive of the results of the station evaluation and the corridor options presented.

June 20, 2015 - Highlights Report

On Saturday, June 20, 2015, the City of Toronto, City Planning Division (Transportation Planning), the TTC and Metrolinx, hosted a public meeting on four key transit projects currently being planned. The meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 370 King Street West, Toronto.

The purpose of the public meeting varied by project:

  • SmartTrack: Introduce the SmartTrack concept and study process for the Eglinton West Corridor Feasibility Study, and gather feedback on three conceptual alignments being studied in the Feasibility Study
  • GO Regional Express Rail (RER): Introduce the GO RER program in Toronto
  • Relief Line: Collect feedback on the results of potential station area evaluation and potential corridors
  • Scarborough Subway Extension:  Collect feedback on preliminary analysis of potential corridors and potential alignments and station concepts

The meeting featured a series of panels and interactive feedback activities on each project. Participants could freely move between display panels and activities at their own pace, and speak with project staff from the City, TTC and Metrolinx.

An introductory presentation on Coordinated Network Transit Planning with a focus on the Relief Line was given by Tim Läspä (Director, Transportation Planning, City of Toronto) and Stella Gustavson (Program Manager, Transportation Planning, City of Toronto) at 10:00 AM. Following the presentation, participants had the opportunity to ask questions of clarification as well as provide feedback.

Approximately 31 people attended the public meeting.

Highlights of Participant Feedback

Questions of Clarification

The discussion captured during the question and answer period following the overview presentation is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, comments with “C” and answers with “A”. Answers were provided by Tim Läspä, Stella Gustavson and Paul Millett (Chief Project Engineer, Engineering, Construction and Expansion Section, TTC).

Q. The trains on the Yonge-University-Spadina line are crowded before they reach Eglinton Station because of the number of people that get on at Finch Station. The proposed Relief Line corridors will help alleviate crowding at the Yonge and Bloor interchange, but not at stations further north such as Eglinton or Lawrence. Shouldn’t this phase of Relief Line planning address crowding on the Yonge line before trains get to the Yonge and Bloor interchange?

A. The feasibility study for the Relief Line (the Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study) found that the most critical section is from downtown to the Danforth east of the Don River. That is why we are planning this phase first. We need direction from City Council to study the northern extension. The first phase of the Relief Line would offer some relief to crowding north of Bloor-Yonge station by reducing the time it takes to load passengers at Bloor-Yonge, therefore speeding up trains travelling along Yonge.

Q. Since SmartTrack was introduced by the Mayor in Fall 2014, there has been a lot of confusion about the concept and how it relates to Metrolinx’s Regional Express Rail (RER) project. What does SmartTrack offer that RER does not? Is it possible to make a recommendation to let RER do the work?

A. It was emphasized earlier that SmartTrack and RER are the same type of trains and tracks. The SmartTrack concept proposes 14 more stations on the RER corridors within the City of Toronto which would provide better connections to the TTC network. The work on SmartTrack is also exploring a TTC fare structure at stops within the City. We will also be reporting on the ridership implications of the SmartTrack proposal and its benefits compared to RER.

Q. During the presentation, you mentioned that the King and Queen streetcar routes would not be impacted by construction activities, but the diagrams depicted potential station areas on both streets. Is it possible to construct a subway under King or Queen Streets without impacting either streetcar route? Can you provide a clear statement that these routes will not be affected?

A. We heard the same comment many times during the consultations we hosted in March. To clarify, the King and Queen streetcar routes will remain operational during construction and there is no intention to remove or cancel service even after the Relief Line is operational. If our technical evaluation determines that it is the right decision to tunnel below either of those streets, there may need to be diversions or short-term impacts but we will identify ways to minimize disruption to streetcar service and coordinate construction activities.We understand the issue and importance of maintaining existing service levels during construction.

Q. There is approved development in the areas south of the proposed Relief Line corridors and it would be prudent to build the Relief Line to serve those developments.

A. We do have projections about population and employment growth, which I invite you to take a look at. It's also important to remember that there has been so little investment in public transit over the past decades that we need to invest in more transit to improve current service levels, not just for future demands.

Q. What is the reporting timeline for SmartTrack, as it would affect preferred options for the Relief Line?

A. We will be seeking feedback from the public about various aspects of the SmartTrack concept including fare integration, Eglinton West feasibility and number of stations, in the fall, prior to reporting to Council. The intent is to present the study results at the October meeting of the Executive Committee, followed by the Council meeting scheduled for November 3 and 4, 2015. We will also be reporting on how SmartTrack functions in a network with the Relief Line, Scarborough Subway Extension and RER.

Q. The SmartTrack and RER projects hinge on the electrification of the rail corridors. What kind of commitment to electrification has been made by our elected representatives? Also, when does Metrolinx plan to purchase the next set of locomotive equipment?

A. There was a commitment in this year’s provincial budget to electrify the Stouffville, Lakeshore East and Kitchener GO corridors, which are in fact the SmartTrack corridors. The transition from diesel to electric locomotives will need to happen in step with electrification. Since electrification will need to be phased in across the network, some corridors will continue to use diesel powered locomotives, as others run electric powered trains. I encourage you to follow-up with representatives from Metrolinx here this morning for more details.

Q. I am involved with the Relief Line Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG). In your presentation you did not mention the feedback provided by SAG members. From my recollection, the preference was for a corridor further south than on King or Queen Streets.

A. You’re right, I did not mention the SAG in particular. The information presented this morning is the exact same information discussed at the last SAG meeting. The input we have received from SAG members has been tremendously helpful and it will be carefully considered in the analysis of the corridors.

Q. Is it correct that among the projects that are being studied, the Scarborough Subway Extension is the only one that Council has committed to?

A. Council has committed to each of these projects in different ways. For SmartTrack, Council has asked us to study the feasibility of the concept, which is really the first stage in the process. Further studies would be needed before the City and Metrolinx would be able to construct it. For the Relief Line, Council first directed staff to undertake an Environmental Assessment (EA) to determine the best alignment in 2010. There is no funding committed to the Relief Line beyond the EA. For the Scarborough Subway Extension, Council directed staff to undertake the EA in 2013 and it has funding commitments from all three levels of government.

Q. I have heard that the Scarborough Subway Extension and SmartTrack are in conflict with each other. Is there still time to truncate the line and make adjustments to the Scarborough Subway Extension?

A. We will be presenting the emerging directions for the Scarborough Subway Extension at the November Council meeting along with the recommendations from the SmartTrack study and the emerging directions on the Relief Line. We will be able to demonstrate how SmartTrack and the Scarborough Subway Extension relate to each other and Council will provide direction on how we will proceed. City Council has a great deal of control on the outcome of these projects.

Q. Does the SmartTrack proposal require additional track capacity beyond what RER has identified?

A. As more stations are added to a corridor, service and scheduling are affected. Requirements for additional track and other infrastructure will become clearer as the various studies proceed.

C. Union Station is at capacity no matter how many plans we have.

A. Capacity at Union Station will be a challenge, but there is commitment from the City and Metrolinx to look at possible solutions in that area.

Q. Could you recommend extending the Eglinton Crosstown westward to overcome technical and financial constraints of the SmartTrack Eglinton Corridor Feasibility Study?

A. It is important to understand that we are currently reviewing the feasibility of the Eglinton West Corridor, not developing the design. The result will include a "yes" or "no" for the feasibility of each option, as well as a high level summary of some of the constraints. Council will need to direct staff to pursue any of the heavy rail options.

Summary of Comments Provided in Interactive Sessions

Relief Line: Results of Potential Station Area Evaluation

Through a dotmocracy exercise at the meeting, the majority of the meeting participants generally agreed with the results of the evaluation for the Connections to the Danforth Subway, the results of the evaluation for Key Activity Areas West and East of the Don River and the evaluation of the Downtown connections.

Relief Line: Potential Corridors

Through a cumulative dotmocracy exercise at the public meetings a majority of the meeting participants indicated a general preference for Corridor D.

Scarborough Subway Extension: Preliminary Corridor Analysis

Participants who attended this event were keen to share some of their proposed hybrid corridors and potential bus routes that could benefit all transit riders in Scarborough. Many of the same topics from previous meetings were discussed, namely, how the subway and the proposed SmartTrack would interact with one another. Some questioned the development potential around each proposed station, and whether the ridership generated from future development would adequately support the levels needed for a subway.  

June 22, 2015 - Highlights Report

On Monday, June 22, 2015, the City of Toronto, City Planning Division (Transportation Planning), the TTC and Metrolinx, hosted a public meeting on four key transit projects currently being planned. The meeting was held at Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute, 2239 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto.

The purpose of the public meeting varied by project:

  • SmartTrack: Introduce the SmartTrack concept and study process for the Eglinton West Corridor Feasibility Study, and gather feedback on three conceptual alignments being studied in the Feasibility Study
  • GO Regional Express Rail (RER): Introduce the GO RER program in Toronto
  • Relief Line: Collect feedback on the results of potential station area evaluation and potential corridors
  • Scarborough Subway Extension:  Collect feedback on preliminary analysis of potential corridors and potential alignments and station concepts

The meeting featured a series of panels and interactive feedback activities on each project. Participants could freely move between display panels and activities at their own pace, and speak with project staff from the City, TTC and Metrolinx.

At 7:00 pm, an introductory presentation on coordinated network transit planning, with a focus on the Scarborough Subway Extension, was given by James Perttula, Program Manager, Transit Implementation Unit. After the presentation, participants had the opportunity to ask questions of clarification as well as provide feedback.

Approximately 35 people attended the public meeting, including Councillor Chin Lee (Ward 41).

Highlights of Participant Feedback

Questions of Clarification

The discussion captured during the question and answer period following the overview presentation is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, and answers with “A”. Answers were provided by James Perttula and Gary Carr, TTC Project Manager for the Scarborough Subway Extension.

Q: Will you be building the subway where people are?

A: Both existing and future projected population and employment densities are key criteria we are using to compare the various options.

Q: Will feedback about corridors that did not make the short list still be considered?

A: Yes, we want you to provide feedback on our corridor evaluation – did we get it right? Did we miss anything? You can provide your feedback tonight at the public meeting or you can provide your feedback online by visiting the website www.scarboroughsubwayextension.ca/provide-feedback. While we have a lot of great conversations with you at the public meetings, it is important for you to write your comments down in the discussion guides or online so that we have a record of it.

Q: Where is the development potential along the three shortlisted corridors?

A: Keep in mind that we consider the development potential that exists within 500-800 meters of a potential station, rather than along the entire corridor. Starting in the north, the area around a future Sheppard Station at Sheppard and McCowan is an employment area. With the combination of a future subway and LRT, there is good development potential. There is already a great deal of development underway in Scarborough Centre and there is more planned for the future – particularly east of McCowan and north of the Scarborough Town Centre. Along Lawrence, there is development potential in the areas surrounding Midland and Bellamy. The potential for development is limited at McCowan and Lawrence, as this area is primarily residential with natural areas. The Scarborough Hospital site is also at this corner. However, there is significant interest in this intersection as it creates access to the hospital which is an employer and sees many visitors per year. Finally, there is a great deal of development potential along Eglinton, in the area of a fourth station for the Bellamy corridor and McCowan corridor. This area has been designated as an Avenue in the Official Plan.

Q: According to Choices for Scarborough, a report created by researchers at the University of Toronto, the approved Sheppard LRT line has the most potential for economic development and created the most benefit. Can you comment on when the Sheppard LRT line will be built?

A: The construction of the Sheppard LRT has been held back until the completion of the Finch LRT in 2021.

Q: If the Midland corridor is so close to SmartTrack, then why are we spending any time and resources studying that area, instead of focusing on corridors further east? As well, why are we studying Bellamy when no one lives there?

A: The short list of corridors represents what the evaluation process has identified as the best corridors in the west, central and eastern parts of the study area. In the western portion, Midland performed the best in the evaluation. We still do not know all the details of how  SmartTrack will be implemented , so it is prudent to carry forward a western subway option at this point. When we finalize the evaluation, particularly looking at the ridership modeling, we may see that this corridor does not make sense because it is close to SmartTrack. In the eastern portion of the study area, Bellamy performed the best in the preliminary evaluation. While Bellamy is not a busy street, ridership is only generated at the stations, not along the corridor. We do see potential ridership from bus routes along Lawrence and transfers at the Eglinton GO station so we are still assessing this option.

Q: Are we learning from our mistakes with the SRT?

A: The information and technology we have available now is much more advanced to help us best plan for and design the new subway.  We should also have a better sense of ridership than we did when we were planning and making assumptions for the SRT.

Q: What is the distance between each station?

A: Generally, each station will be about 2 kilometers apart. The distance between Kennedy and Lawrence along McCowan would be the greatest distance between any two stops in the subway system – around 4 km - which is why it is prudent to consider a 4th stop at Eglinton and Danforth.

Q: Can you consider different (i.e., not just linear) bus routes for the proposed stations?

A: As we move forward with the study, the TTC will consider what changes are need to the  bus network to  connect to the proposed stations.

Q: How did the City of Toronto get involved in heavy rail? I thought that Metrolinx had jurisdiction over that.

A: Heavy rail is the basis of the SmartTrack concept. We have been directed by City Council to study this concept to enhance service to Toronto residents and connect major employment nodes. We are working closely with Metrolinx on this review.    

Summary of Comments Provided in Interactive Sessions

Scarborough Subway Extension: Preliminary Corridor Analysis

The public feedback regarding the preliminary corridor analysis was mainly positive and concurred with the evaluation results thus far.

Overall, the majority of the feedback was in agreement that the SRT (Line 3), Midland to Markham/Progress, Hydro and Brimley and Markham corridors should not be carried forward for further study due to capital costs, low development opportunities, and impact on the SRT.

Regarding the three short listed corridors that are proposed to be carried forward for further study (Midland to McCowan, McCowan and Bellamy), McCowan appeared to be the most preferred and Bellamy was the least preferred. Many disagreed with carrying forward the Bellamy corridor due to the added capital costs and lower population within the area. There were mixed reviews regarding the Midland to McCowan corridor. Some felt it would be too close to the proposed SmartTrack corridor and felt very strongly against the SRT closing for three years, whereas others felt the corridor was a good option as the capital costs would be low in comparison to other options, the corridor would hit the target market and connect well to Kennedy Station and the Scarborough Town Centre.  Most people favoured McCowan because of the opportunity for a fourth station with additional development potential, the proximity to the hospital, there would be no need to shut down the SRT, and because this option would minimize travel time between Kennedy Station and Scarborough Centre.

Scarborough Subway Extension: Potential Alignments and Station Concepts

There were few comments received during the meeting about the preliminary alignments within each of the short listed corridors and the alternative station concepts. Generally people questioned the use of existing elevated structures instead of incurring costs on tunneling and suggested choosing the option that would ensure proper shelter in inclement weather and connectivity to the Scarborough Town Centre.

June 24, 2015 - Highlights Report

On Wednesday, June 24, 2015, the City of Toronto, City Planning Division (Transportation Planning), the TTC and Metrolinx, hosted a public meeting on four key transit projects currently being planned. The meeting was held at the Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Drive, Toronto.

The purpose of the public meeting varied by project:

  • SmartTrack: Introduce the SmartTrack concept and study process for the Eglinton West Corridor Feasibility Study, and gather feedback on three conceptual alignments being studied in the Feasibility Study
  • GO Regional Express Rail (RER): Introduce the GO RER program in Toronto
  • Relief Line: Collect feedback on the results of potential station area evaluation and potential corridors
  • Scarborough Subway Extension:  Collect feedback on preliminary analysis of potential corridors and potential alignments and station concepts

The meeting featured a series of panels and interactive feedback activities on each project. Participants could freely move between display panels and activities at their own pace, and speak with project staff from the City, TTC and Metrolinx.

At 7:00 pm, an introductory presentation on coordinated network transit planning, with a focus on the Scarborough Subway Extension was given by Tim Laspa, Director of Transportation Planning for the City. After the presentation, participants had the opportunity to ask questions of clarification as well as provide feedback.

Approximately 70 people attended the public meeting, including Deputy Mayor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38) and Councillor Chin Lee (Ward 41).

Highlights of Participant Feedback

Questions of Clarification

The discussion captured during the question and answer period following the overview presentation is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, comments with “C” and answers with “A”. Answers were provided by Tim Laspa, Director of Transportation Planning and Gary Carr, TTC Project Manager for the Scarborough Subway Extension.

Q: The SRT is in need of repair. How long can we continue to use it?

A: The SRT is nearing the end of its life, which is part of the reason that it is being replaced with a subway. The budget for the subway construction includes money for refurbishing the SRT vehicles. Assuming that we will not need to shut down the SRT, this money will be used to complete the extensive amount of work required to keep it going until 2023.

Q: When will we know the ridership levels for the different corridors? These will be important when choosing a corridor.

A: The ridership modeling is currently underway for all transit projects including SmartTrack and GO RER. Ridership numbers for the three short listed Scarborough corridors will help us to finalize the corridor evaluation and will be presented in the fall. 

Q: Many of the Scarborough residents travel east-west and north, rather than downtown. Will there be any improvements or enhancements to the entire Scarborough transit network, particularly the bus system in addition to the Scarborough Subway Extension?

A: Yes – these are not the only projects. We have been reviewing the Official Plan’s Transportation Policies including a prioritization of 24 recognized rapid transit projects across the city that City – a number of which are found in the Scarborough area (information about these projects can be found at www.feelingcongested.ca). We will also be working closely with the TTC to consider the surface transit connectivity to stations and how the local transit service (and other transit services along our borders) will connect in to the subway extension.

C: The only time we should be using the term ‘rapid transit’ is to refer to busses. Busses tend to travel faster than any other form of transit. All we simply need is more vehicles.

C: Many of the Scarborough Centre Station Alternatives do not include an exit on the side facing the Scarborough Civic Centre. This seems like an important destination and a station should have an exit facing the Civic Centre.

C: Just because the Sheppard LRT will be built, it should not mean that we will never have a subway running west along Sheppard.  The station concept at McCowan and Sheppard should account for a possible future east-west alignment at Sheppard.

Q: Will the TTC and GO fares be integrated with SmartTrack?

A: We will be looking at fare integration as part of the ridership forecast – including the fare structure as it is today, the possibility of TTC fare on Go Transit, and possibly other options such as a co-fare or hybrid.

Q: Do we really need to have all three projects – Scarborough Subway Extension, Relief Line and SmartTrack – when perhaps they can be combined into one? For example, the subway storage yard for the Bloor-Danforth line has a close connection to the existing GO Corridor. Perhaps you could build a track from that storage yard to the GO corridor, which would take care of the needs of the Relief Line. And in terms of the Scarborough Subway, perhaps you could have a spur line from SmartTrack over to the Scarborough Civic Centre, and use the money saved to extend it to the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.

A: Our ongoing work will help us to understand how all three of these projects fit together and how the network could operate in the future. The updated transportation model will also help us understand the need for each. The projects are being studied in a coordinated way and will allow us to present aligned recommendations to City Council.

C: In order to maximize the benefits of the Scarborough Subway Extension, perhaps we should move the GO station that is currently under renovation at Bellamy, over to Brimley, and have the subway line run from Kennedy, through Brimley (with a 4th station here) and over/up McCowan. That way you connect to GO, connect to the hospital and Scarborough Centre, all while reducing the extra costs that would be incurred with the Bellamy corridor.

Q. How many kilometres of track have been approved under the current budget for the Scarborough Subway Extension?

A. The budget that was approved in 2013 was based on an assumption of 7.7 kilometres of track and three stations.

Q. Is the ridership modelling taking into account ridership from Durham Region as well, or is it just limited to ridership within Toronto?

A. We are including the entire Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area in the modeling, including York and Durham Regions.

Q: Where would we find information about the Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs)?

A: A map of the NIAs is available on the website – scarboroughsubwayextension.ca/neighbourhood-improvement-areas.html.           

Summary of Comments Provided in Interactive Sessions

Scarborough Subway Extension: Preliminary Corridor Analysis

The public feedback regarding the preliminary corridor analysis was mainly positive and concurred with the evaluation results thus far.

Overall, the majority of the feedback was in agreement that the SRT (Line 3) and Markham corridors should not be carried forward for further study due to capital costs and low development opportunities. No comments were made regarding Midland to Markham/Progress or Hydro and Brimley corridors.

Regarding the three short listed corridors that are proposed to be carried forward for further study (Midland to McCowan, McCowan and Bellamy), McCowan appeared to be the most preferred and Midland to McCowan and Bellamy received mixed reviews.  Many disagreed with carrying forward the Bellamy corridor due to the added capital costs and lower population within the area but some liked the connection to the Eglinton GO station and that it would support both the Scarborough Town Centre and Cedarbrae Mall. There were mixed reviews regarding the Midland to McCowan corridor.  Some felt it would be too close to the proposed SmartTrack corridor and would not serve the hospital or local businesses whereas others felt the corridor was a good option as the capital costs would be low in comparison to other options. Most people favoured McCowan corridor because of the additional development potential, the proximity to the hospital and the Scarborough Town Centre and the potential increase in ridership.

Many were concerned about serving the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and Centennial College and questioned how any of the options would improve access to the schools.

Scarborough Subway Extension: Potential Alignments and Station Concepts

Regarding alternative station concepts, Sheppard East station concept #4 (SE4) and Scarborough Centre Station Concept #7 (SC7) seemed to be the most preferred due to redevelopment opportunities in the nearby parking lot spaces and the distance from residential areas.

June 25, 2015 - Highlights Report

On Thursday, June 25, 2015, the City of Toronto, City Planning Division (Transportation Planning), the TTC and Metrolinx, hosted a public meeting on four key transit projects currently being planned. The meeting was held at Riverdale Collegiate, Toronto.

The purpose of the public meeting varied by project:

  • SmartTrack: Introduce the SmartTrack concept and study process for the Eglinton West Corridor Feasibility Study, and gather feedback on three conceptual alignments being studied in the Feasibility Study
  • GO Regional Express Rail (RER): Introduce the GO RER program in Toronto
  • Relief Line: Collect feedback on the results of potential station area evaluation and potential corridors
  • Scarborough Subway Extension:  Collect feedback on preliminary analysis of potential corridors and potential alignments and station concepts

The meeting featured a series of panels and interactive feedback activities on each project. Participants could freely move between display panels and activities at their own pace, and speak with project staff from the City, TTC and Metrolinx.

Following an introductory presentation on Coordinated Network Transit Planning with a focus on the Relief Line Project Assessment given by Tim Läspä (Director, Transportation Planning, City of Toronto) and Stella Gustavson (Program Manager, Transportation Planning, City of Toronto) at 7:00 PM, participants had the opportunity to ask questions of clarification as well as provide feedback.

Approximately 60 people attended the public meeting, including City Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 30).

Highlights of Participant Feedback

Questions of Clarification

The discussion captured during the question and answer period following the overview presentation is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, comments with “C” and answers with “A”. Answers were provided by Tim Läspä, Stella Gustavson and Paul Millett (Chief Project Engineer, Engineering, Construction and Expansion Section, TTC).

Q. With regard to the Eglington feasibility study for SmartTrack, nothing was mentioned about the Phase 2 Eglinton Crosstown LRT plan. Is that work being considered as the base case?

A. Yes, it is the base case. We will compare  the heavy rail options to it to give context for the feasibility of those options, and will report our findings to Council.

Q. You mentioned that Queen and Degrassi have been taken out of the study as a potential station location for the Relief Line. Why does it remain in the SmartTrack study? What would be the difference between the elevated SmartTrack system in terms of the reaction you already got from the community?

A. We are working closely with Metrolinx in terms of station options for SmartTrack. Metrolinx is currently evaluating new station options and will be reporting on the results of that evaluation in the fall.  The community input received as part of the Relief Line process will also be taken into account as part of SmartTrack.  The City is starting to help Metrolinx sift through some of the options now.

Q. How would the corridors actually connect with the existing Yonge-University subway line?

A. The PATH system connects with the subway in the downtown core. We will either plan the new station to be directly below an existing station, or use the PATH to create a good connection to an existing station. All stations will be barrier-free.

Q. An RFP to work on a redevelopment policy in the Carlaw and Dundas area has been issued by City Planning, but it seems like you are not looking seriously at that intersection as a station option. Why did that area score so low? Can you expand on the evaluation criteria that was used?

A. The project team would be happy to walk you through the details of the evaluation criteria after the presentation.

Q. What infrastructure is going to be required above ground for the stations? How do you deal with existing underground infrastructure downtown such as underground parking lots, etc.?

A. Downtown stations will not necessarily have much impact on the surface – it will be restricted to small entrance buildings, electrical substations and possibly venting. Emergency exit structures may also be required along the route, depending on station spacing.

 In the downtown area, we are cognizant of existing structures and opportunities for integration with future development and the PATH system. You are right that there are significant constraints downtown because of foundations. We are in the process of identifying where the structures are , which will determine where the subway structures could be placed.

Q. Will there be any holistic planning in terms of cycling connections at the stations? Will you be considering prioritization of cycling corridors as you determine station locations?

A. In the detailed evaluation criteria you will see that ensuring cycling and pedestrian access is a key consideration in our evaluation for a preferred alignment and stations. Once we identify station locations, we will be doing some more preliminary planning around station areas. Pedestrian and cyclist access will also be key considerations in the design process that will follow the Project Assessment.

Q. Pape is a very residential area with low density and very few commercial or industrial uses. How will a station at Pape affect the quality of life for residents during and after construction in terms of vibration, noise, ventilation, emergency exits, etc.?

A. As part of the Environmental Assessment process we must develop mitigation plans for issues like noise and vibration for the construction period and after the line is operational. We'll be developing those strategies once a preferred alignment and station locations are identified. Keep in mind that with respect to noise and vibration, track design has advanced significantly since the Bloor Danforth line was built. Emergency exits are required around every 750 metres. There is a lot of flexibility with respect to where the exits could be located. Once we have a preferred alignment and station locations, we will provide examples of possible designs and will work with community to determine locations.

Q. Of the four transit projects presented tonight, the Relief Line is the only project that is not yet funded. When is this project expected to break ground and become operational?

A. We want to proceed with planning for the Relief Line so that when funding becomes available the project can move forward. Everyone understands that the crowding conditions on the Yonge subway exist today and we have to find solutions.

Summary of Comments Provided in Interactive Sessions

SmartTrack: Conceptual Alignments

Several people indicated a strong preference for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT extension to the ACC and Pearson for its better local service.  The routes by way of the 427 corridor were questioned for the additional travel time required.

Relief Line: Results of Potential Station Area Evaluation

Through a dotmocracy exercise at the meeting, the majority of the meeting participants indicated that they agreed with the results of the evaluation for the Connections to the Danforth Subway, the results of the evaluation for Key Activity Areas West and East of the Don River and the evaluation of the Downtown connections.

Relief Line: Potential Corridors

Through a cumulative dotmocracy exercise at the public meetings a majority of the meeting participants indicated a preference for Corridor B and D, with Corridor D being generally preferred by as indicated in the photo below.


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