> Small’s Creek Ravine and GO Expansion | Metrolinx Engage

Small’s Creek Ravine and GO Expansion

Update:

Our team is continuing to support our residents, business and communities. During this time, Open Houses have moved to a virtual format and the most recent event can be found below. We received questions that we didn’t get to during the virtual session and have started posting answers at the bottom of this page. We are working to answer the remaining questions and will share them as soon as possible.

Archive - February 3, 2021

On February 3, 2021, Metrolinx hosted a virtual open house including speakers from our senior leadership team with 150 people in attendance. During the one-hour open house, we answered as many questions as possible, responding to 19 questions about the GO Expansion project and the work planned for Small’s Creek ravine. In case you missed the event, you’ll find the answers in the video recording below. We also received additional questions during the virtual session and are committed to answering those as well. We have started posting answers at the bottom of this page.

 

Comment Sort

Comments

Anonymous's avatar

Can you present the actual details of confirmed funded walls and noise barriers being built from pape to Main Street on the lakeshore east and west route?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:14

There is an interactive map available showing the proposed noise wall locations: https://maps.metrolinx.com/arcgis/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=199ded6da5e746c08f4742df9c921f8c In addition, Metrolinx is also introducing measures to reduce sound at the source. Not only is source mitigation most effective, but it reduces sound levels for all properties along Metrolinx rail corridors, not only those identified as impacted in environmental assessments. For example, Metrolinx has committed to installing exhaust noise silencers on existing and future Metrolinx diesel locomotives which will decrease the sound from these trains by 3 dB at all properties along our rail corridors. Where the noise protocol does not trigger mitigation, but the combined nighttime and daytime pre-project noise level exceeds 55 dBA such as in parts of the Lakeshore East corridor, Metrolinx has prescribed additional mitigation (noise walls), as part of a one-time  enhanced/additional mitigation program. These additional noise walls are funded and outlined in the map linked above. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:15

Can your team confirm the actual schedule on the 15 minute service once it’s here? Will it be 24/7? Or only during office hours 6am to 6pm when it’s needed?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:21

GO Expansion consists of many different projects. The largest piece represents all the work that is required to enable service levels identified in the GO Expansion Full Business Case, including new trains, signals, systems, track, as well as the maintenance and operation of the system for years to come. Since the publication of the Full Business Case in November 2018 significant progress has been made on the program and Metrolinx is now in the middle of the procurement process and is engaging with world class operators to ensure the best possible solution is obtained. As this work progresses, service patterns and plans for new infrastructure are evolving to ensure that the benefits outlined in the Business Case are maximized and that value-for-money solutions are found. Service requirements, such as number of passengers to be uplifted, minimum frequencies and maximum journey times are defined by Metrolinx but the actual scheduling and operation of the train service will be undertaken by the successful proponent. The long-term goal and vision of the GO Expansion Program is to provide frequent two-way all-day service on core segments of the rail network, operating at a minimum 15 minute frequencies or better in the current operating window of 6am – 1am.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:16

Why was Mtrlx's email communication including "Ask the speaker" dispatched around 8pm the night prior to the event re Small’s Creek Ravine - February 3, 2021?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:22

That was a reminder for everyone that had registered for the event, and a notification that the question feature was now open. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:17

Not clear on who/why is voting for questions? "Questions will be answered based on popularity (total votes)."
Is popular vote way to go re transit expansion?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:22

This was a way to make sure we got to the questions that the community most wanted answered. The voting was open to all participants. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

One of Covid-19 learning points out to urban nature being of a crucial importance to our mental health. Is Mtrlx aware of how relevant are these findings?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:23

We appreciate this is an extremely difficult time for everyone.  We want to encourage anyone to reach out for mental health support when needed (ConnexOntario 1-866-531-2600). We recognize how important the ravine is to the community, and have worked diligently with the TRCA and the City of Toronto to design a retaining wall and culvert replacement that would  have the least impact to the Small’s Creek area. The ravine will remain an urban nature feature after construction is complete. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:29

What's with that ugly, prison-like wall you are planning to impose on the ravine? Will you reconsider it, based on the community demands for a better solution?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:35

The surface pattern for the retaining wall was selected from a series of options vetted with the City of Toronto stakeholders. This pattern was the preferred choice for City of Toronto stakeholders for public facing retaining walls; however, we had alternates available for community selection and presented those to the community in November. 

The reason there are only a limited selection of wall finish patterns available is due to public sector procurement requirements: the form liner patterns specified must be available from at least three manufacturers or distributers serving the GO Transit service area. Lessons learned from other installations also guided our selection process. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Will Metrolinx save the lives of the trees to be "removed", either by replanting them entirely or by using root ball propagation?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:40

LGL and Hatch  (Metrolinx's consultants) reached out to five different companies in Ontario that complete tree transplantations for input on whether moving large trees from the Small’s Creek area would be feasible, as requested by the community. Feedback received indicated that tree replanting would not be possible because of the steep slope. Tree spades need to function on level or flat ground, a 2:1 slope prevents truck mounted tree spades to operate without the assistance of an excavator or bulldozer to level the area. Trees > 10 cm DBH are typically transplanted using specialized tree spading equipment to safely remove and transport the trees to a new location. Transplanting mature trees tends to damage the roots and cause the tree to die, while also disturbing the new area it has been transplanted to. Regardless of the time of year, it is difficult for mature trees to root properly into the new environment because of their size and age. Additionally, transplanting any of the larger and mature trees in this area may result in further damage to the adjacent habitat in order to facilitate the equipment required for transplantation (i.e. large tree spade trucks). Metrolinx will work with the selected contractor to identify any of the large trees that may be retained. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Given the circumstances of the pandemic, many believe that commuter ridership may diminish long term. What has Metrolinx done to study the changing need?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:40

While we expect COVID to have impacts on commuting habits for the next two years, we are building a transit system for the long term. The region is experiencing incredible growth, with an estimated nine million people calling the region home by 2041. COVID will likely have impacts on workforce patterns for years to come. However, other trends are emerging such as a decrease in car ownership, and new travel patterns. And there is no doubt that transit infrastructure is far behind. Metrolinx is planning for the next 35 years, and to allow customers to move across the region, with two-day, all day service on GO, as well as new LRT, BRT and subway lines. This means more choices not just for commuters travelling downtown, but all transit users, travelling in all directions. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Is there no way to simply utilize the existing tracks more efficiently, such as allowing more trains per hour or using trains with more cars?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:41

We’re experiencing incredible growth, with an estimated nine million people calling our region home by 2041. Growth means opportunities – for careers, for families, for entertainment and everyday life. It must be matched by a transit system that keeps pace with changing realities. Today, we run 1,500 weekly trips on the GO Transit system. Each year we’re adding more, and when we’re done building, we’ll be running over 6,000 weekly trips.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:34

What alternative solutions for retaining walls have been considered and how can this have as little impact on the ravine as possible?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:43

Different alternatives were investigated for the corridor expansion, such as extending the embankment, different types of retaining walls to reduce impacts that take into consideration the design guidelines of different internal and external stakeholders. Metrolinx has worked closely with the City of Toronto and the TRCA to find a solution that is least disruptive to the natural environment. The retaining wall has been reviewed by TRCA staff including a geotechnical engineer and is the least intrusive option. The corridor needs to be widened on the north side, to make room for the future fourth track and electrification equipment. Grading work is required to do this. The retaining wall design meets the safety and regulatory requirements set out by Transport Canada and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA). It is designed to support the weight of passenger and freight trains that will travel the corridor. The retaining wall option selected is the least impactful solution available. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

The rehab of the clear cut is a major concern. How can you assure the community that all measures will be made to rehab as quickly and effectively as possible?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:02

The restoration plan and replanting may be done as soon as this fall, if the construction is completed, or else will take place in the spring of 2022. The restoration plan is part of the contract, and the selected cosntructor will be required to complete the restoration plan, as well as maintain the replanted area for a period of two years. Any trees or plantings that die during the two year warranty period will be replaced by the contractor and are subject to additional warranties. Once the warranty period is complete, the restored areas of the ravine revert to the City of Toronto's stewardship. The Metrolinx right of way portion of the ravine remains Metrolinx's responsibility to maintain. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:47

With past experience of Mx projects, contractors are left to their own devices. How will Mx be overseeing this work& will have a 24/7 construction hotline?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:03
  • There will be a 24 hour phone line monitored for this work. We are in the process of finalizing those details and will share them with the community as soon we can.    
  • The constructor will be responsible for installing noise monitors and ensuring that noise omitted from the construction site is within permissible levels.    
  • The Community Relations team posts regular updates on the project website and a new dedicated @GOExpansion Twitter handle. Information is also shared in weekly e-blasts and construction notices, including advance notice for this work, which are delivered directly to all those affected in the community. You can e-mail the Community Relations team at [email protected] which is monitored during standard business hours. 
  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

How will the integrity of the fence that separates Metrolinx property and our city dog park be affected going forward?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:04

There should be no impact to the fence, the portion of the fence that is removed for the access point will be replaced once the construction is complete.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

When will the actual tracks be installed for this project?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:04

Track installation is part of the GO Expansion project and it is currently in procurement, closing late this year. Once the proponent is on board, we will have a project schedule. Construction is not likely to start until late 2022, or 2023 and will be phased across the entire GO network. To learn more about GO Expansion, please visit our website (http://www.metrolinx.com/en/greaterregion/projects/go-expansion.aspx). 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

When will the community see the construction plan and noise mitigation strategy from Mx?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:06

We will have a follow up meeting with the community after the contractor is on board to discuss the scheduling and noise mitigation plan. The contractor will abide by the noise thresholds within the project agreement.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:51

The website for this event mentions 'freight and passenger trains'. Are you going to be running freight trains as well in the Lakeshore East corridor?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:07

CN Rail currently runs on the Lakeshore East corridor twice a week. Passenger service is operated by GO Transit and VIA rail.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:52

Can a lower retaining wall be constructed to create a raised planting bed (1m depth of soil to grow trees) between the retaining wall and the raised boardwalk?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:07

A small retaining wall can be constructed, but this will increase the impacts in the ravine. One of the goals in this project is to reduce the impacts as much as possible.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:53

Under Section 3 of the Metrolinx Act (2006)Mlx is not bound by municipal by-laws. What will Mlx do if the CoT says this is not in our best interest as proposed?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:10

Metrolinx and the City of Toronto are closely aligned on transit expansion and we work closely with the City, through the Transit Expansion Office and Urban Forest Management, and other departments as needed. We also meet regularly with City of Toronto councillors to update them on upcoming projects. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 17:54

Can a temporary bridge be lifted in/placed on helical piles to protect Smalls Cr /mature tree roots during construction, as has been done elsewhere for ESAs?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:10

This idea is not feasible as the temporary bridge will be overlapping in the area where the trees are. In order to withstand the heavy loads of the temporary bridge and the heavy construction equipment very wide piles would be required  increasing the impacts to the ravine. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Will Metrolinx provide a construction plan showing all vehicle movement including overhead clearance, and does it specify the smallest equipment to be used?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:11

Now that a contractor is on board, more details about construction activity, schedule and impacts will be available. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

How will the retaining wall tie in with the existing fence at Merrill Dog Park? Will the wall be extended to protect the integrity of the dog park's fence?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:13

No impacts are anticipated to the existing fencing or boundary of the Merrill Bridge Road Park. The retaining wall planned for Small’s Creek will not extend this far east as there is sufficient room to re-grade the area to allow for the future addition of the 4th track in the area. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Not everyone knows that W's Ravine designation/ESA is based on seepage/main natural heritage feature. How culvert design will affect this ecological function?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:14

The current culvert is in poor condition and the outlet in the south side of the corridor is buried/collapsed. It does not provide proper drainage leading to the potential for flooding in the area during heavy storms or snow melt. The new culvert will restore the function that was once provided by the collapsed culvert and improve drainage and reduce flooding, as well as protect the slope from erosion caused by flooding.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:16

Will Metrolinx provide to the public geotechnical soil borings from the 4th track area adjacent to Small's Creek?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:24

Requests for information relating to the results from the Geotechnical investigative work can be made through the Toronto East Community Relations office [email protected].

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Are temporary noise barriers being considered as part of the noise mitigation plan during construction? When will the community know if this will be happening?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:25

The contractor will be required to limit noise levels during construction as specified in the project agreement.  The contractor may acheive this through temporary noise barriers or through source-based mitigation, such as noise shrouds. A Construction Noise Management Plan will be submitted by the contractor which will include the overall construction schedule along the with a schedule of each major component and associated processes and equipment usage, as well as the appropriate mitigation. Our Community Relations team will provide notices to residents in advance of construction.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

How many trains an hour do you need long-term from 4 tracks? And will 4 tracks be enough given GO swore 17 yrs. ago it would never need more than 3.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:25

Provisions have been made to protect for a fourth track. This is good planning and protects for future service improvements. The Full Business Case has been considered over a long-term horizon and reflects the expected population growth in the GTHA. Future service includes a minimum of four (4) trains per hour on Stouvfille and four (4) trains per hour on Lakeshore with additional trains during the peak hours.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Have you considered connecting all four of the parks that the corridor divides. It could offer a community benefit.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:26

It is outside of our mandate and funding envelope to provide new public amenities other than transit. To address social impact, our focus is transportation and we are working to help the community by building more to improve service.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:19

Are there any plans to build a pedestrian bridge over the tracks?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:26

Currently there are no plans to build a pedestrian bridge over the tracks near Small's Creek.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:20

When will the electrification infrastructure be installed?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:27

Metrolinx is committed to electrifying core segments of its GO network as part of the GO Expansion Program which is currently in procurement phase. 
The contract is in a multi-year procurement process, and currently proponents are completing the bids that will close in 2021. Construction will get underway in 2022/23 - the schedule will be refined once the successful proponent has been selected.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:20

Will the west stairs be in the same place? If not, where will the west stairs be?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:27

During construction, access to the wooden paths on the north side of the corridor may be closed off to maintain safety. Howwever, the wooden walkways and stairs will not be affected. 

The dirt path next to the creek will be impacted during the culvert construction but will be restored back to its original condition following construction. Wooden stairways or walkways will not be removed or impacted by the proposed works, so they are not marked in the restoration plan.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:20

Great project and great work! In order to make and omelet, you have to break a few eggs.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:28

Thank you for your comments, and for participating in the public meeting. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:21

Are you planning to install noise walls. It seems the east end doesn't have much noise mitigation.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:28

GO Expansion consists of many different projects. The largest piece represents all the work that is required to enable service levels identified in the GO Expansion Full Business Case, including new trains, signals, systems, track, as well as the maintenance and operation of the system for years to come. 
The current scope of work is one of the early works projects that will enable the GO Expansion project and two-way all-day service on Metrolinx’s core network. 

The current scope of work includes grading for the eventual fourth track, corridor expansion, construction of new retaining walls, and culvert replacement/expansion.

Future work in this area will include the installation of electrification infrastructure, noise walls, as well as a fourth track. Please visit the following link to use our interactive map showing where proposed noise walls and vibration mitigation will be located across the GO network: https://maps.metrolinx.com/arcgis/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=199ded6da5e746c08f4742df9c921f8c

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:21

Engaging artists early in design process can result in creative solutions. Are there plans to work in Collab w/artists to present public art on retaining wall?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:29

Our intent with the proposed pattern for the retaining walls is for this wall to be a background element that will be concealed over time by the planting of trees and shrubs which will create a vegetative screening. All public facing retaining walls will be treated with an anti-graffiti coating. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

What is the exact amount of time Mtlx will maintain he newly planted trees?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:29

The restoration plan includes a two-year warranty, during which time the contractor will maintain the area and replace any trees or plants as needed. Trees or plants replaced at the end of the two-year warranty period, will be guaranteed for a further 12 months. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Is there any consideration to connect the Smalls Creek & Williamson Park Ravines by a tunnel walkway underneath the tracks?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:30

This is outside of Metrolinx’s mandate and funding. A pedestrian connection would be a separate piece of infrastructure. Metrolinx would be willing to work with the city of Toronto, as a third party request, if this was a priority for the city. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:23

You mentioned that you are moving the culvert a few metres west. How many metres west? How will this impact the total area of the ravine as we are used to?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:30

The new culvert will be 3 m west of the current culvert. Once complete, the new culvert will improve drainage and reduce flooding, as well as protect the slope from erosion caused by flooding. The impact to the total area will be minimal, as the footprint of the new culvert is within that of the existing culvert. The total area that will be impacted, between the proposed retaining wall and the embankment at the culvert location will be approximately 666 square metres, and this area falls inside Metrolinx property. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:23

Why can’t all the options listed in your poll be achieved?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:30

We are working hard to find the right balance between the need for expanded transit in this area, while minimizing the impact to the ravine. We will continue to work with the TRCA and City of Toronto to explore options that meet that balance and this poll will help us to better understand the communities top priorities.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:53

Why not secant method for Smalls Creek section? It would mean ecological preservation.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:59

A secant pile wall would still need to be built in an area on the current slope in order to accomodate the required width of the corridor. For that reason, it cannot be built from the track level as the equipment (augur, concrete trucks), would not be able to reach the required location. A level access road would first need to be built to accomodate the equipment for a secant pile wall - therefore making this the most impactful to the local ecology. In addition, a secant pile wall requires tie backs, which are not permitted under North American railway safety standards as maintenance and monitoring are difficult; failure of the wall would be catastrophic. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:54

Given that many community members did not learn of this until recently, could Metrolinx put up physical signage in affected areas to reach the community?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:01

Yes, Metrolinx will work with the successful contractor, who is responsible for erecting physical signage.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:55

Trees are being removed and replaced with shrubs - what will this do to the acoustic barrier existing now?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:02

Currently, the restoration plan includes the equivalent of 353 trees and shrub and over 4,000 herbaceous plantings that will be restored to the area to support re-naturalization. Metrolinx will work with the community on additional restoration for Small’s Creek in partnership with the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority (TRCA). The restoration plan includes the planting of native species, and stabilization of the disturbed area. Metrolinx and TRCA in partnership with the City of Toronto will be looking for community input into planting locations. With regards to sound walls and vibration mitigation, this work is part of the GO Expansion project that is currently in procurement. For location specifics, please visit the following interactive map: https://maps.metrolinx.com/arcgis/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=199ded...

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:55

Do you have a summary table of the pros and cons of the proposed retaining walls that can be shared.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:03

Metrolinx has worked closely with the City of Toronto and the TRCA to find a solution that is least disruptive to the natural environment. 
The retaining wall has been reviewed by TRCA staff including a geotechnical engineer and is the least intrusive option. The corridor needs to be widened on the north side, to make room for the future fourth track and electrification. Grading work is required to do this.
The retaining wall design meets the safety and regulatory requirements set out by Transport Canada and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA). It is designed to support the weight of passenger and freight trains that will travel the corridor. Different alternatives were investigated for the corridor expansion, such as extending the embankment (geo-engineered slop) and a secant pile wall; both had far greater impacts to the ravine and community as well as constructability and safety considerations. Our community relations team would be pleased to connect with you on the phone to go over the options in detail. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Question asked below says there's NO access to the Ravine during construction.

The whole ravine? Will all three staircases to Williamson ravine be closed?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:03

The wooden pathways in Williamson Ravine on the south side will remain open during construction. North of the tracks, the dirt path immediately next to the slope will be closed through construction. The wooden pathways may also be closed, depending on the construction requirements, and if that is the case, Metrolinx will inform the community in advance. To stay informed, please subscribe to our Toronto East regional e-newsletter. https://metrolinx.us4.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=e3e2dcbefa63d1ca424de38bb&id=d003ab5b57

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:56

So, you are going to take the ravine?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:04

Metrolinx is widening the track bed at the top of the rail embankment on the north side, and installing the retaining wall to keep the slope completely within the current embankment/Metrolinx right of way. In this way, the ravine is preserved for the continued use of the community. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:58

Will there be an animal-specific corridor so the wildlife (fox, etc.) can get from north side to south side and vice versa?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:06

While Ontario design standards dictate the size of the grate over the culvert for safety reasons, it will allow for the terrestrial passage of smaller mammals, amphibians and reptiles improving connectivity in the ravine. The current culvert is in poor condition and the outlet in the south side of the corridor is buried/collapsed.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 18:58

Question to how long was definitely a non answer. 5-6 months you say, but that doesn't include the wall or the culvert - the major part of the work!

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:07

Yes, 5-6 months for the construction of the wall and culvert. The restoration and replanting will happen once construction is complete. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:00

Have you considered an engineering solution that would be similar to constructing a bridge at track level - for this stretch of track running though the ESAs?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:00

Yes, options to have a guideway (bridge) over the Small's creek taking in consideration future electrification and  noise wall installation and reduce the impacts the Smalls Creek, unfortunately this will create more impacts to the creek as the track alignment will need be shift more to the north side of the corridor  away from the existing track to meet the Metrolinx and AREMA  requirements and creating potential impacts  to the the nearby Woodbine Avenue bridge.   

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:08

'One poll option not clear. "access to east and west side of the ravine"

"west" south of the tracks?
"east" north of the tracks?

During or post construction?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:11

This refers to the dirt path on the north side of the tracks. Once the culvert is complete, it will sever the path from east to west. Metrolinx is working with the City of Toronto to determine if a new connection can be built across the creek. Metrolinx will build this connection, but must coordinate with the City of Toronto as it would be on their land. There is also an upper path on the north end of the ravine north of the tracks which will not be affected. The wooden paths on the north side, as well as the wooden pathways on the southside in Williamson Ravine, will not be disturbed or changed. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Has Metrolinx developed any record of existing track/traffic acoustic data in the neighborhoods adjacent to Small's Creek?  

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 22, 2021 - 19:13

In 2017 Metrolinx completed the Don River to Scarborough TPAP for the proposed fourth track through this section of corridor. The 2017 EA modelled existing and future noise levels along the rail right-of-way adjacent to Small’s Creek. 

Since 2017, Metrolinx has developed a more detailed concept for how increased passenger service will be delivered for the GO Expansion program in the future, including a mix of diesel and electric trains. As part of an Addendum to the 2017 GO Rail Network Electrification TPAP Metrolinx completed an update to the 2017 study to evaluate potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures based on the new detailed service plan for the GO Expansion program. The results of the Noise Assessment Update were presented in Fall 2020 during GO Expansion PIC#3 where Metrolinx gathered public feedback. The material and comment responses from the public consultation can be viewed online here

The supporting Noise and Vibration Study for the Lakeshore East Corridor is available here: https://www.metrolinxengage.com/sites/default/files/lakeshore_east_noise_and_vibration_assessment_draft.pdf

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:50

EA requires AVOIDANCE of tree removal in W's ravine/ESA. Design is not consistent with AE, consequently impacts on ESA&ecological function are not known. Mtrlx?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:30

The type and extent of culvert works have been determined through detailed design and the associated impacts reviewed with the City of Toronto and appropriate agencies including TRCA, in keeping with the 2017 Environmental Project Report. To mitigate the impacts to the Williamson Park ESA, disturbance within the ESA will be minimized to the extent possible and the area impacted by construction will be ecologically restored.  

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

'How Mtrlx design, including tree removal from ESA, takes into consideration the current & future ecological functions of the natural feature & adjacent ravine?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:31

Ecological restoration will be completed following the Metrolinx Vegetation Guideline which provides a landscape science-based approach to restoration. The ravine currently has a large number of invasive species, greatly reducing biodiversity, and out competing the native vegetation reducing high quality habitat that wildlife depend on. Of the 268 trees identified for removal 205 are invasive species. The restoration plan will not just restore the area after construction but revitalize the biodiversity by planting native species and provide native habitat for wildlife. 

In addition to the currently available restoration plan (https://metrolinx.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/click-here-to-see-the-deta...), Metrolinx has committed to additional plantings within the ravine in partnership with the TRCA and this will include community engagement and coordination with the City. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:52

'Will Metrolinx provide a shade succession plan to show the shade cast by pioneer species over Smalls Cr ecosystem, while slower growing shade trees mature?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:32

Restoration plantings will include a mixture of native trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and seed mixes. The plantings are designed to provide a healthy ecosystem with some plants growing quickly in the disturbed areas while others will grow slower and provide understory

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:52

Can Metrolinx obtain an engineering firm with ecological restoration expertise to do a peer review, as is commonly done on large infrastructure projects?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:32

Metrolinx submitted the project as well as the restoration plan to the TRCA for a voluntary project review. The TRCA performs a geotechnical and stormwater engineering review as well as a review of the project's impacts on the watershed and local vegetation.  The TRCA also reviews the restoration plan to ensure form and function of the system is maintained.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:53

Will Metrolinx provide a summary of the net biodiversity gain to result following all restoration efforts?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:33

A quantitative summary of net biodiversity gain is not planned; however, when considering the amount of invasive species removed from the ravine and the proposed ecological restoration with native plantings, there is a high potential for a realized net biodiversity gain within the impacted areas. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:54

How will u protect the remaining trees from heavy equipment? It compacts the soil & removes air & water, causing lethal root damage. New trees will struggle.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:33

http://www.metrolinx.com/en/greaterregion/projects/docs/lakeshoreeast//L...

Remaining trees will be protected in accordance with the City of Toronto’s stringent tree protection guidelines. The City’s guidelines include requirements for protective hoarding around the Tree Protection Zone (i.e. a physical barrier with a buffer between any equipment and the tree itself), as well as root protection requirements (i.e. surface cover) for any trees near access routes or work areas with heavy vehicle traffic. The Contractor is required to comply with these tree protection requirements to ensure remaining trees are properly protected near work areas.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:54

How did you consider climate c in this plan? What are the CC services now as the Ravine provides shading, biodiv and rainw retainment, how will u improve these?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:33

This is an opportunity for improvements to the flood flow and natural environment. 

The current culvert is failing, and is largely blocked. The new culvert will improve storm water conveyance and protect for large storm events and help prevent flooding. 

Ecological restoration will be completed following the Metrolinx Vegetation Guideline which provides a landscape science-based approach to restoration. The ravine currently has a large number of invasive species, greatly reducing biodiversity, and out competing the native vegetation reducing high quality habitat that wildlife depend on. Of the 268 trees identified for removal 205 are invasive species. The restoration plan will not just restore the area after construction but revitalize the biodiversity by planting native species and provide native habitat for wildlife. 

In addition to the currently available restoration plan (https://metrolinx.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/click-here-to-see-the-deta...), Metrolinx has committed to additional plantings within the ravine in partnership with the TRCA and this will include community engagement and coordination with the City. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:55

Re: excavating/disturbing the hillside. Was there an environmental assessment of toxicity in the soil that will run off into sensitive habitats, salamanders'?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:34

A Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment will be completed for this area once permission to enter is secured from the City. The purpose of the ESA study is to document the site conditions before and after the construction and will inform soil and groundwater management while the contractor is on site. The contractor is required to abide by all applicable law including the Environmental Protection Act that provide for the protection and conservation of the natural environment. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Mtrlx is lacking Environ. Impact Study to provide analysis on how natural heritage features&ecological function of ESA will be impacted by recent work Design

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:34

Metrolinx submitted the project as well as the restoration plan to the TRCA for a voluntary project review. The TRCA performs a geotechnical and stormwater engineering review as well as a review of the project's impacts on the watershed and local vegetation.  The TRCA also reviews the restoration plan to ensure form and function of the system is maintained.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:56

My school has been going here for a long time we love it because it is so much more then a common city park what are you going how will it be different?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:35

We know that Small’s Creek and Williamson Ravine are important natural areas in the community that local schools enjoy.

Ecological restoration will be completed following the Metrolinx Vegetation Guideline which provides a landscape science-based approach to restoration. The ravine currently has a large number of invasive species, greatly reducing biodiversity, and out competing the native vegetation reducing high quality habitat that wildlife depend on. Of the 268 trees identified for removal 205 are invasive species. The restoration plan will not just restore the area after construction but revitalize the biodiversity by planting native species and provide native habitat for wildlife. 

In addition to the currently available restoration plan (https://metrolinx.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/click-here-to-see-the-deta...), Metrolinx has committed to additional plantings within the ravine in partnership with the TRCA and this will include community engagement and coordination with the City. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:57

How can shrubs replace all the beautiful trees we love in the ravine? I am 11 & love playing in the ravine with all the forest growth- that will be taken away.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:35

We know that Small’s Creek and Williamson Ravine are important natural areas in the community.

Ecological restoration will be completed following the Metrolinx Vegetation Guideline which provides a landscape science-based approach to restoration. The ravine currently has a large number of invasive species, greatly reducing biodiversity, and out competing the native vegetation reducing high quality habitat that wildlife depend on. Of the 268 trees identified for removal 205 are invasive species. The restoration plan will not just restore the area after construction but revitalize the biodiversity by planting native species and provide native habitat for wildlife. 

In addition to the currently available restoration plan (https://metrolinx.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/click-here-to-see-the-deta...), Metrolinx has committed to additional plantings within the ravine in partnership with the TRCA and this will include community engagement and coordination with the City. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:57

Why won't you stop this, so we can get the environmental conservation/TRCA/ESA issue addressed properly first? Your study was inadequate. Start again.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:36

Metrolinx has submitted the project as well as the restoration plan to the TRCA for a voluntary project review. The TRCA performs a geo-technical and stormwater engineering review, as well as reviews the project's impacts on the watershed and local vegetation, and reviews the restoration plan to make sure form and function of the system is maintained.

Ecological restoration will be completed following the Metrolinx Vegetation Guideline which provides a landscape science-based approach to restoration. 

In addition to the currently available restoration plan (https://metrolinx.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/click-here-to-see-the-deta...), Metrolinx has committed to additional plantings within the ravine in partnership with the TRCA and this will include community engagement and coordination with the City. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 13:58

How is it going to effect all the animals who live in the ravine?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:36

We will be avoiding vegetation removals during the breeding/roosting season (e.g. breeding bird, bat maternity windows), which also coincides with denning season for foxes and coyotes. 

Ecological restoration will be completed following the Metrolinx Vegetation Guideline which provides a landscape science-based approach to restoration. The ravine currently has a large number of invasive species, greatly reducing biodiversity, and out competing the native vegetation reducing high quality habitat that wildlife depend on. Of the 268 trees identified for removal 205 are invasive species. The restoration plan will not just restore the area after construction but revitalize the biodiversity by planting native species and provide native habitat for wildlife. 

In addition to the currently available restoration plan (https://metrolinx.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/click-here-to-see-the-deta...), Metrolinx has committed to additional plantings within the ravine in partnership with the TRCA and this will include community engagement and coordination with the City. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 14:47

Metrolinx promised Jane Finch land for a Community Hub and then reneged. How can we take your word on the plans for our wonderful ravine?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 15:28

With regards to the 32-metre parcel of land on the street frontage at the Finch West Maintenance and Storage Facility site, Metrolinx has always envisioned a community hub on that land and remains 100% committed to ensuring that remains the case going forward. We continue to work with the Community Action Planning Group (CAPG), JFHCA (Jane-Finch Community Hub and Centre of the Arts Organizing Committee), the City of Toronto, and others to help make the hub a reality. The restoration plan for the Small's Creek Ravine has been drawn up and submitted to the city of Toronto and the TRCA for review and approval. The restoration plan is available here.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 15:22

With the wall, what's the maintenance obligation re: graffiti and vandalism?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 15:25

All public facing retaining walls will be treated with an anti-graffiti coating. Metrolinx will be responsible for inspecting and maintaining its infrastructure. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar

Looking at the drawings, it appears that the ravine will lose area on the west end. How much area will be removed from the ravine on the west end?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 15:25

The total area that will be impacted between the proposed retaining wall and the embankment at the culvert location will be approximately 666 square metres and is within the Metrolinx Right-of-Way. 

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Anonymous's avatar
Feb 26, 2021 - 15:24

During construction your Noise Standards from 2020 recommend continuous monitoring of noise levels. Please confirm this will be happening and by whom?

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0
Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Feb 26, 2021 - 15:25

The successful contractor, once on board (Comms to provide status/early works construction update), will be responsible for developing construction plans and a detailed schedule. The contractor will be required to follow Metrolinx’s rules-based approach to construction noise and vibration management, which includes comprehensive requirements to effectively manage construction impacts, including:

•    Strict noise and vibration exposure limits and monitoring requirements
•    Strict adherence to industry best practices
•    Requirement for comprehensive pre-project noise and vibration management plans
•    Requirement to deploy equipment that meets noise and vibration emission standards
•    Requirement to notify affected public, in advance, of potentially impactful construction activities.

Prior to start of construction a Communications and Complaints Protocol will be developed. This Protocol will consider the ongoing efforts by Metrolinx Community Relations in this sensitive location.  (add text for any ucpoming meetings/outreach)
Residents can sign up to receive regular project updates or contact [email protected] for any immediate questions and a member from the community relations team will respond.

  • Vote for this question0
  • Downvote this question0