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Ontario Line - Ask a Question #2

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Anonymous's avatar
Sep 17, 2020 - 16:02

When will you be releasing the Ontario Line design, route, alignment and station locations. I don't see how we can give you any meaningful feedback on this project without this specific information. Perhaps that is the point?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 21, 2020 - 09:25

More details about the alignment and station positioning are being released over a few weeks starting with the west segment last week. We will provide updates through our e-newsletter as new information is released. You can sign up here.

Anonymous's avatar
Sep 17, 2020 - 20:18

What consideration was added to the noise level when the trains are up and running? The lakeshore line already creates considerable amount of noise in liberty village as many condos back the train line, especially loud for the lower floors. Will a barrier be built? How will you not increase noise levels

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 21, 2020 - 09:27

Metrolinx has a number of measures we can take to reduce and manage impacts to residents and communities, both during and after construction. First, the Ontario Line will use modern, automated technology which you can read more about here. We will take practical steps to reduce noise and vibration by keeping equipment well-maintained and fitted with muffling devices, using equipment and methods that minimize vibration, and coordinating construction schedules so that noisy operations do not occur simultaneously. We will work with communities to ensure a comprehensive array of measures are in place to address any noise or vibration impacts.

The Environmental Conditions Report is the first step in the environmental assessment process for the Ontario Line. The current report looks at the existing conditions, including noise and vibration, to establish a baseline against which anticipated impacts of construction and operation of the Ontario Line will be assessed along with recommendations for mitigations.

Layperson 's avatar

Could someone please advise why its so difficult to track a question I asked....I find it difficult. Please advise.

Also why does one have to log in to ask a question. Why can I ask a question and get an email reply to that question.

Appreciate any guidance on my questions. Please let me know. You have my information to respond to me. Respectfully yours.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 21, 2020 - 09:28

As we have just launched a new round of engagement last week, we have updated our website to allow for comments and questions specific to the most recent information that is being released about the Ontario Line project. All previous submissions have been maintained in an archive. If you would like to contact the Ontario Line team directly, you can email us through the ‘Contact Us’ function at the top of the page.

Anonymous's avatar
Sep 18, 2020 - 19:51

Will the vehicles bear any resemblance to the present day TTC subway cars, for example: rail gauge, platform height, number of doors per side, supply voltage, ability to negotiate the same minimum vertical and horizontal curves, overall length, height and weight, end and vertical load requirements, collision energy management considerations? Is the use of articulated vehicles under consideration? Will ATO be introduced right from the opening of the line?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 22, 2020 - 09:15

Train selection will take place as part of the procurement process. The exact vehicle used for the Ontario Line will be determined by the successful bidder for the Rolling Stock, Systems, Operations and Maintenance (RSSOM) contract, based on Metrolinx’s requirements. Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) were issued for this RSSOM package and the southern segment of the line on June 2, 2020. More information will be shared as procurement advances.

Tristen's avatar
Sep 18, 2020 - 20:18

Since the Ontario Line will use self-driving train, can we have shorter train running in non-peak hour but have the same frequency of service in rush-hour?

For example:
Always 2 mins/train.
6-car train in rush hour.
3-car train in non-rush hour.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 23, 2020 - 13:04

The exact vehicle and configuration used for the Ontario Line will be determined by the successful proponent for the Rolling Stock, Systems, Operations and Maintenance (RSSOM) contract, based on our requirements. We expect up to 40 trains an hour with 90 seconds between train, but exact frequency of service will be determined by ridership demands once the Ontario Line is in operation.

Anonymous's avatar

Can feedback gathered here actually change any of the following: Route, Alignment or Station Locations? If not, then what is point of gathering it, other than you have to appear to consult with the public?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 1, 2020 - 09:28

Feedback received on the proposed alignment and approximate station locations released as part of the July 2019 Ontario Line Initial Business Case, has been incorporated in the latest plans and considered alongside our objectives to increase access to transit, improve the customer experience and achieve travel time savings, ease congestion, and create better access to jobs. Metrolinx has engaged a multi-disciplinary team to review and help bring the Ontario Line from concept to tendered and buildable project. That process, which will continue all the way through the tendering of the contract, will advance the original route selected but will lead to refinements that determine exactly where stations will be built in or off the roadway, as well as eventually, what the system will look like.

At every major milestone along the concept design development,  Metrolinx will share updated plans with the public.  Public input is vital to this project and helps us to uncover insights we might not have anticipated and build infrastructure that fits into the fabric of the neighbourhoods through which the Ontario Line will run. We value and record any feedback we receive, whether it’s online, over the phone, or in person, and we factor it into our project delivery wherever possible.

Anonymous's avatar
Sep 20, 2020 - 09:41

What alternatives has Metrolinks considered if the cost of 6 bridge fortifications and reconstruction (to support additional tracks and train load), sound barrier mitigation, projected maintenance of the overland portion of the Ontario line (Leslieville, DonMills, Liberty Village), the reallocating of parks, community centres, businesses proves too costly to build the Ontario line as proposed?
Will metro links consider burying the overland portions of the Ontario Line in accordance to the affected communities wishes?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 22, 2020 - 09:16

The plan that we are advancing which involves running the Ontario Line on a mix of elevated, at-grade and underground sections means we can deliver a nearly 16km route that will serve more communities with less construction impact and within the budget set out in the Initial Business Case. By using the GO corridor and building bridges across the Don River instead of tunnelling underneath it, a route that is approximately twice the length of the Relief Line South can be built at a similar cost. Above-ground sections will make transferring to and from the Ontario Line even easier, shaving even more time off people’s commutes. Metrolinx will work closely with communities to realize the full benefits of the Ontario Line while managing any impacts during construction and beyond.

Anonymous's avatar

First of all, thank you for the opportunity to ask questions regarding this exciting new chapter in Toronto's transit history, which Ontario line most definitely is.

As it is well known, among the most rapidly growing areas in Toronto - South Etobicoke and South Swansea are transit deserts. Easy connections of these communities to Ontario line would make all the difference in every day lives, cut transit time, bring down traffic congestion, connect Western Waterfront to the rest of Toronto and increase ridership on the new Ontario line.

Was any consideration given to how these communities can be easily connected to the future Exhibition station of the Ontario line?

Maybe adding new bus/streetcar line with easy transfer to the new subway, or extension of Ontario line along the Western Waterfront?

With existing means of transportation, commuters would have to take streetcar 501/ walk to and then take streetcar 504 / walk more than 10 minutes to the new Exhibition station. Unfortunately, with this alignment, most commuters will still choose their car, which would be a shame, as with a single new bus line, Ontario line could bring a so much needed relief to Western Waterfront communities.

Thank you

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 23, 2020 - 13:06

The Ontario Line plan that we are advancing means we can serve more communities and residents, reduce overcrowding on existing TTC lines and stations and offer 17 connections to other transit options, with the least construction impact and within the budget set out in the Initial Business Case (IBC). The new transit hub station at Exhibition will create a convenient transfer point for commuters, offering seamless and direct connections between GO trains and Ontario Line subway service, as well as offering transfers to TTC streetcars. Current plans protect for the possibility of future expansions that may be considered to improve access and meet demand.

Anonymous's avatar
Sep 22, 2020 - 13:30

Is Metrolinx in the practice of naming its overpasses and bridges? Can we have a "Flemingdon Park Bridge" and a "Thorncliffe Park Bridge?"

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 28, 2020 - 09:17

In some cases, Metrolinx does name new infrastructure. While we are still in the early stages of the project and many decisions are still pending, we appreciate your suggestion and will share it with our project team.

Anonymous's avatar

Based on the latest realignment of the Exhibition to Queen/Spadina segment, the Ontario Line will pass directly underneath residential houses located on Tecumseh St, Mitchell Ave, Richmond St W, Portgual Square, Adelaide St W, Portland St, etc, instead of the uninhabited commercial buildings along Bathurst St and Queen St W. This seems like a short-sighted decision that will negatively impact the people who live in those houses.

I live in a basement directly above the realigned route so there will be trains passing right underneath my bed and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Your website says the nighttime noise is 73 dBa and according to the internet that's the sound of a vacuum cleaner. I don't think I could sleep if a vacuum cleaner were on in my bedroom.

Will we have to move out or be stuck living with constant train noise and vibration at night? I know straightening the curve will reduce noise and vibration, but I know I would sleep better if there were no noise or vibration at all under my basement bedroom.

How far under me will the trains go (my basement bedroom is about 90 meters above sea level)?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 30, 2020 - 12:22

We are committed to minimizing and managing the effects of noise and vibration of the Ontario Line on its neighbours – during both construction and operations. While we do not have precise details about tunneling depth through specific areas at this stage in the project, we expect any impacts will be comparable to the previous plan and that the depths of the tunnel will vary along the alignment based on the depth of the new station locations and varying ground conditions. The recently released Environmental Conditions Report documents existing conditions along the Ontario Line and outlines subsequent studies, including a noise and vibration impact assessment study, that will consider anticipated impact of construction and operations of the line and recommended mitigation measures. While the exact vehicle used for the Ontario Line will be determined as part of the ongoing procurement process, once up and running the light and electric-powered Ontario Line trains are anticipated to operate more quietly and generate less vibration than the heavier trains used in most subway systems.

Property owners will be contacted if there are any impacts anticipated to their property, including sub-surface.

Anonymous's avatar
Sep 24, 2020 - 13:36

Will the upcoming update on the North section of the line include further details on the MSF as well ?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 29, 2020 - 14:05

The proposed site for the MSF is still being studied and we will release more details once we have them. The evaluation process examines an array of key considerations for where to locate the facility, including ease of access to the main line, the potential to accommodate future expansion, and the ability to minimize broader community impacts.

Anonymous's avatar

Thanks for sharing the updates on samples and drilling work that's been happening for the west segment. A couple questions:

1) I live near King and Bathurst and was wondering if the sites where samples are being taken are intended to be indicative of where the line is currently proposed to run through. Also, if there are any detailed plans being proposed for where the line will run in the neighbourhood, would you be able to point us to those?

2) What criteria are used to decide where the route will run underground? Curious if there's consideration for number of residents impacted (e.g. would it be seen as more favourable to build the route under houses rather than multi-unit buildings like offices or condos?

Thank you!

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 29, 2020 - 09:26

The proposed alignment and approximate station locations, which were released as part of the July 2019 Ontario Line Initial Business Case, were determined based on our objectives to increase access to transit, improve the customer experience and achieve travel time savings, ease congestion, and create better access to jobs. The alignment will evolve throughout design development and procurement, as more information is gathered about geotechnical conditions, built and natural environmental impacts and other factors. The ongoing surveying and investigative drilling work that you have mentioned is an essential input to this process. Further findings from ongoing work will be presented in the Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC), which we are aiming to complete by Fall 2020.

We are committed to minimizing and managing the effects of noise and vibration on its neighbours – during both construction and operations. You may have seen that just last week we shared details about the west segment of the project on our website. In the King-Bathurst area, we straightened out the curve leading up to that intersection to allow for the line to run diagonally which will give customers a ride that is smoother, more comfortable and faster. This change also reduces the risk of delays due to track repairs, making for a more reliable service. Due to the depth of the tunnelling through these areas, we expect any impacts will be comparable to the previous plan and that the majority of buildings overhead will not be needed to accommodate construction. Tunnelling deep into the bedrock below the surface and reducing the curvature of the route reduces the potential for vibration and noise and allows us to deliver the Ontario Line in a way that provides faster service while minimizing or avoiding impacts to the built environment.

Anonymous's avatar
Sep 24, 2020 - 23:25

The stations proposed for the new Ontario Line are too far apart - Why would you not use a bit of foresight and include a station at Cherry Street?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 28, 2020 - 09:19

The proposed alignment and station locations, which were released as part of the July 2019 Ontario Line Initial Business Case, were determined based on our objectives to increase access to transit, improve the customer experience and achieve travel time savings, ease congestion, and create better access to jobs. Currently, teams are advancing the project plan, looking at factors like the potential number of users, ease of construction, and cost, to name a few. Findings will be presented in the Preliminary Design Business Case, which we hope to complete this Fall.

Anonymous's avatar

How much thought is being given to creating a seamless, integrated experience at the all-important points where the Ontario Line intersects with other lines?

1) I'm especially hopeful that there will be work done to integrate the Exhibition/Ontario Place and planned King-Liberty GO station into a single passenger experience that will promote use of transit in the area.

2) All of these stations will bring tremendous foot traffic to the areas. It would be amazing to see commercial retail opportunities integrated that take advantage of these opportunities -- creating some revenue for Metrolinx, smoothing out peaks by incentivizing lingering, attracting additional passenger volume, and enhancing overall experience.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 28, 2020 - 09:18

Our goal for the Ontario Line is to provide a seamless travel experience for customers. At Exhibition station, we are planning a Transit Hub Station that will create a convenient transfer point for customers, offering convenient and direct connections between GO and Ontario Line subway service as well as offering transfers to TTC streetcars. We are working closely with our partners at the TTC to ensure our services complement one another and best serve the community.

We understand the importance of building transit that will connect with vibrant and mixed-use, transit-oriented communities that benefit all individuals, families and businesses in the GTA. We will do so by collaborating with residents, community groups, municipalities, commercial partners and developers. This approach will support strong ridership, reduce congestion on our existing transit lines and roadways, and provide a mix of housing options – all while creating jobs and stimulating economic growth as we deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anonymous's avatar
Sep 29, 2020 - 15:49

Will Metrolinx consider keeping the Ontario Line underground through the section between Pape/Gerrard and East Harbour? I understand the reasons for going above grade in order to cross the Don River, but running the trains above ground in an established neighbourhood is extremely destructive.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Sep 30, 2020 - 12:21

We are sensitive to concerns about the project’s impacts along the entire alignment, which is why we refined our plans for your area to reduce community impact, including preserving local institutions such as the Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre and installing noise walls.

Running the Ontario Line on a mix of elevated, at-grade and underground sections means we can deliver a longer route that will serve more communities.  Leveraging the existing GO rail corridor and running the line above ground in certain areas means we can reduce construction timelines, impacts and costs and streamline our work with existing GO Expansion plans.

Tristen's avatar
Sep 30, 2020 - 12:06

When can I expect to see the announcement of the Ontario line NORTH extension (beyond science centre) ?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 1, 2020 - 09:10

At this time, the proposed 15.5 km route with 15 potential stations is the plan we are advancing. However, the current plans for the Ontario Line incorporate the possibility of future expansions that may be considered.

Layperson 's avatar

Following ISO Standardization guidelines ...Does the new deliver of better, faster, more reliable and more frequent that is proven and adopted subway systems around the world. Please provide the locations that have similar weather and topography as we do here. Also if you have ISO Standardization recognition number. Please note as a layperson we have Line 1, 2, 4 all standardized. Line 3 shortly will be standardized with Line 2 which as a layperson is great. So will Ontario line be the same track size so that if possible same cars could be used with lines 1,2,4. As I recently UPE change the new cars to the GO Cars so I guess that means UPE is same size as the GO standardized trains.
Would be very interested in learning more about this new better, faster, more reliable advances in vehicle design and rail technology. Does it fit the current standardized system on Line 1, 2, 3, 4? Please advise with what countries and locations you are referring around the world.
What ever the exact vehicle ends up being will it fit the Line 1,2, 3, 4? If not why not. Does it meet any ISO standardized proctol?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 8, 2020 - 10:58

We expect the line to feature modern, automated trains like the ones used in Vancouver, London, Paris and Singapore. Remotely operated trains that run on an automatic signalling system are currently considered to be the safest model in use. They stop in precise spots and can line up with platform screen doors that open and close in sync with a train’s doors, keeping customers away from tracks and giving them predictable locations where they can board the trains. The trains are operated and monitored from sophisticated control centres. We will be able to cycle these through the system faster, meaning we can run up to 40 trips an hour with as little as 90 seconds in between trains. The use of lighter, smaller (12-ton axle load per train) and fully automated electric rail technologies will allow for significant reduction in energy spent per train as well.

The Ontario Line will use all industry best practices to deliver a safe and quick journey for the GTHA.  Ontario Line elements that are different to Lines 1, 2 and 4 are technical differences which meet similar safety and technical standards, but take advantage of modern practices and techniques that otherwise wouldn’t be available to a line that would have to take into consideration legacy infrastructure, some which was originally constructed in the 1950’s.

More details will be available as procurement advances.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 1, 2020 - 12:28

Can you explain why there are only 2 noise measurement receptors in Riverside/Leslieville, one at Wardell & Cummings and one at Pape/Langley? When the stations locations are at Degrassi/Queen and Carlaw/Gerrard? Why are you not establishing noise baseline measurements around the station locations?
Also why are there no Vibration measurement receptors in Riverside/Leslieville AT ALL? There are vibration receptors listed throughout downtown buildings, but none our area. We also have many fragile historically labelled structured along the designated route? As the route rises and decends through a tunnel at Pape/Langley, surely there should be baseline vibration readings there as a minimum?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 7, 2020 - 09:18

For the purposes of the Environmental Conditions Report, noise measurement locations were selected based on proximity to the above ground sections of the representative alignment and potential facility locations as presented in the Ontario Line Initial Business Case, 2019. For the vibration measurements, the locations were selected because they accommodate spaces and equipment that are potentially more sensitive to ground borne noise and vibration than typical residential buildings. As Project planning and design advance and further details on planned transit facilities are available, additional noise and vibration estimates or measurements will be considered for locations beyond those included in the Environmental Conditions Report. Measurements or predictions of the baseline levels, or a combination of both can be used for impact assessment studies, as per the current guidelines such as the Environmental Noise Guideline - Stationary and Transportation Sources - Approval and Planning (Ministry of the Environment (now Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks), 2013). Further, impact assessment studies will consider and adopt appropriate vibration impact criteria for buildings susceptible to vibration damage. Noise and vibration impact studies are currently in progress and results will be available as part of the forthcoming Early Works and  Environmental Impact Assessment Reports.

Anonymous's avatar

Why is Metrolinx using the word "consult" with this entire OL process? What you are giving the public is only a REVIEW of your plans - there is nothing in your plans that reflects the voices or needs of the communities you serve, and who pay your salaries with our tax dollars.
Why, when an entire neighbourhood clearly asks you to put the Ontario Line underground through Riverside/Leslieville, you continue to ignore us and won't even consider exploring the option to do so? - a very viable option considering we already had a subway slated to break ground this year - the Relief Line, with an almost completed TPAP.
I note you are building a subway in Ford's riding through Scarborough, with much less density than Leslieville. How is this an example of providing cost effective transit as you claim??

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 5, 2020 - 10:04

We know that good transit planning involves the community, and that better decisions are made when different views are considered. For example, you may have noted that just this week we shared that as a result of the community’s feedback, we have been able to ensure that the popular Jimmie Simpson Community Centre will be able to continue operating during construction and beyond.

As we complete the necessary studies and investigations to support more detailed plans, more information which will be shared with the public as it is available. Future opportunities for public feedback include further environmental studies, options for mitigating noise and vibration during construction and operation of the line, and some design elements of visible infrastructure, like stations and bridges. All feedback from the public is considered alongside considerations like cost and technical feasibility.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 1, 2020 - 13:13

Your ECR notes "The assessment found that the Ontario Line South Study Area had the highest emission amounts of criteria air contaminants and greenhouse gases." Particularly, Exceedances of the Ambient Air Quality Criteria and Canadian Ambient Air Quality Criteria standards: greenhouse gases: Benzene by 134%, Benzo(a)pyrene by 208%, and Benzo(a)pyrene at a whopping, 619% of the standards." pg. 143

What is Metrolinx's plan to mitigate this potential effects of years of construction on air quality throughout the southern portion construction of the line?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 7, 2020 - 09:19

As part of the forthcoming Early Works and Environmental Impact Assessment Reports, the existing air quality parameter exceedances identified in the Draft Environmental Conditions Report (ECR) will be considered and air quality impacts from the Ontario Line Project will be assessed. Preliminary construction air quality impact mitigation measures identified to date and outlined in the Draft ECR include avoiding overlap of construction activities, minimizing the number of machinery in operation and implementing other best practices aimed at reducing potential air quality impacts. For further details, please see the Draft ECR Air Quality Qualitative Assessment. These impacts and mitigation measures will be further studied and refined as part of the Early Works and the Environmental Impact Assessment Reports.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 1, 2020 - 13:38

We note in the ECR Southern Section that Bat Species at Risk, including Eastern Small-footed Myotis, Little Brown Myotis, Northern Long-eared Myotis and Tri-coloured Bat, along with Bird Species at Risk, the Chimney Swift have been identified.
We have also been told by Metrolinx that track vegetation clearing will begin in 2021. How does Metrolinx plan on protecting these SAR? Particularly if vegetation clearing is taking place during prime nesting season? Will Metrolinx be scheduling this clearing work during dormant periods in the late fall to protect these SARS?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 6, 2020 - 09:27

Metrolinx anticipates to conduct vegetation removal outside of the bird nesting season and bat SAR active season. Removals will be kept to a minimum and limited to within the construction footprint. Targeted surveys for Chimney Swift, bat SAR and any other SAR that may be impacted will be completed in advance of the vegetation removal and construction activities. Metrolinx will meet all requirements of the Endangered Species Act, including any permitting, mitigation and compensation requirements.  Preliminary mitigation measures associated with potential impacts to wildlife and SAR are further described in the Ontario Line Environmental Conditions Natural Environment Report and will be refined in forthcoming Early Works and Environmental Impact Assessment Reports.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 1, 2020 - 14:46

After reviewing your Appendix C3 Correspondence Record I note the following:
1. how many residents along the line were not given any notice of drilling work,
2. were complaining about noise, disruptive behaviour of contractors,
3. contractors driving/parking on private driveways, and on parkland/parking on parkland (where people/children were walking etc.)
4. storing equipment and samples in parks -
5. painting lines along an entire block up into resident's gardens and onto their front steps - and
6. not being supervised in the least by Metrolinx.
How does Metrolinx propose to oversee these contractors and protect our neighbourhoods and families, primarily when work is being done in the middle of night? Will there be a 24 construction hotline to Metrolinx Managers - able to stop work or manage these projects when something goes wrong, work happens without notice, in the middle of the night?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 5, 2020 - 10:09

We recognize that the work to improve transit projects can often be disruptive, and we continue to take steps, with our contractors, to minimize and manage the effects on neighbors, responding to and addressing concerns as they are raised.

We will also provide advance notice of all planned work. We will post a community notice on our website once work is confirmed. The notice will also be emailed to the area MPP and City Councillor at least 48 hours before the work begins. In cases where we know that work is very localized or expected to be disruptive, we will hand-deliver a community notice to area residents and businesses around the work site. Each notice includes information about the location of the work site, nature of the work, duration of the work, and timing details. Work can sometimes be delayed or rescheduled.

You can reach out to us anytime with questions or concerns at 416-202-5100 or emailing [email protected].

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 1, 2020 - 15:46

I note the noise wall mitigation measure listed in the South Section between Gerrard Station and Leslieville Station. I also note that this noise wall is listed as being built as part of Early Works beginning in 2021. However, the financial close of the RFP for Design, Build, Maintain is not slated until 2022 or later, when the actual trains and technology will be chosen.
How does Metrolinx intend to build an effective noise wall, and predict noise mitigation behind from 6 lanes of rail traffic, without knowing the important decibel levels in technology that hasn't been chosen yet?
How will Metrolinx then include noise mitigation from the many construction projects slated for this area - including building new bridge supports, track bed creation, vegetation removal - most slated for overnight work?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 9, 2020 - 12:11

Preliminary study results show that noise walls along the shared rail corridor through the Riverside area will be effective in reducing noise from both Ontario Line and GO Transit trains. The noise study is taking into account various potential train options and associated noise levels, and is basing the noise mitigation on the train option with highest anticipated noise levels, taking a conservative approach.  The exact locations, height and designs of noise walls will be confirmed as planning work continues. Select noise walls will be installed as part of the Lakeshore East Joint Corridor early works to facilitate Ontario Line and GO Expansion implementation efficiencies along the joint corridor. Remaining noise walls, where required, will be implemented as part of the Rolling Stock, Systems, Operations and Maintenance contract which also includes the design and supply of trains, to specifications set by Metrolinx.

Preliminary construction noise impacts and mitigation measures include equipment enclosures/silencers, temporary construction site noise barriers, and construction work hours restrictions where possible. These measures will be refined and provided for public review and comment as part of the forthcoming Early Works and Environmental Impact Assessment Reports.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 1, 2020 - 15:50

I would like to note that the Leslieville station name is actually located in Riverside, not Leslieville. Will this name remain or do you plan on changing it so that it is accurately named?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 5, 2020 - 10:05

The names of stations are conceptual and subject to change. While we are still in the early stages of the project and many decisions are still pending, we appreciate your feedback and will share it with our project team.

Anonymous's avatar

The maps and stations you have just released do not show the addition of a 4th electrified track which is referred to many times in the ECR, as well as the SmartTrack entryway/exit on the Gerrard station design. When will we have more details about these 2 complex and integral components of the Ontario Line planning and project? Why are you releasing maps without this information on them?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 6, 2020 - 09:26

As a transit agency, Metrolinx is doing our part by responding to areas that are growing with increasing demands of service, as well as finding the most sustainable solution for electrifying the GO rail network. The 4th GO track, previously approved as part of the Lake Shore East Rail Corridor Expansion (Don River to Scarborough GO Station) Environmental Project Report, is being considered as part of the six-track Lakeshore East Joint Corridor planning and design. The Province, the City and Metrolinx continue to work together on the planning and design of Smart Track. Further information on the Smart Track program will be available at a later date. As the purpose of the Ontario Line Environmental Conditions Report is to document the existing environmental conditions, maps of future planned projects have not been included in this report. Relevant maps and other information will be included as part of the forthcoming Early Works and Environmental Impact Assessment Reports, where appropriate.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 1, 2020 - 16:01

When does Metrolinx plan on issuing the final Ontario Line Business Case to the public?
Will the final version factor in the current Covid pandemic and low ridership numbers which will most likely continue for the next few years due to this virus and populations now working from home?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 5, 2020 - 10:08

We are currently working on the Preliminary Design Business Case which will be released this fall and is the last business case before the procurement process phase begins. We will continue to assess the implications of the COVID-19 virus on ridership as we move forward in the design and procurement process.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 4, 2020 - 16:11

Why is correspondence missing from many the local community groups for Ontario Line meetings? - these include emails, meeting minutes with Metrolinx since last year? Why are these not included in the public records?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 9, 2020 - 12:10

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Part of the work underway during the consultation period for the draft ECR is a further review of recent correspondence and meetings to ensure that all comments and material relevant to the ECR are included in the final report. If there’s anything specific missing, you can email it to us ([email protected]) and we’ll make sure it gets included.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 4, 2020 - 16:34

Your Appendices C3 makes reference to getting feedback on the draft ECR from CN rail, Hydro One and the City of Toronto, but there are no emails with comments back from these various bodies. Why have these emails and comments not been included in the public records? Where can we access this information? Will they be included in the final version of the correspondence records for the public to review?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 9, 2020 - 12:09

We are continuing to receive feedback from ministries and government agencies and their feedback will be included in the Final Environmental Conditions Report.

Anonymous's avatar

Hi!

We noticed that our beloved 'Thorncliffe Park' sign at Overlea and Millwood didn't make it onto the list as recognized heritage in the draft ECR. It has been a part of our neighbourhood since the 70's and we're hoping it will be around for a lot longer! Hopefully Metrolinx can protect it even though it isn't officially protected. Thank you.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 7, 2020 - 09:16

Thanks for pointing this out – it’s certainly a memorable landmark. Your feedback has been shared with our Environmental team. To date, Metrolinx has completed a comprehensive inventory of heritage properties and cultural heritage landscapes, including Heritage Conservation Districts within the study area. These properties and landscapes were identified based on available desktop information (e.g., historical documents and previously completed heritage reports), through consultation with the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, City of Toronto Heritage Preservation Services, and Ontario Heritage Trust, and through a visual survey of cultural heritage landscapes and built heritage resources within the study area. A total of 283 built heritage resources and cultural heritage landscapes were identified in the Draft Environmental Conditions Report.

As further studies are completed and the Environmental Impact Assessment Report is prepared, a Heritage Detailed Design Report will be completed that will give us a better understanding of the full range of anticipated impacts and associated mitigation options, including preservation or commemoration of impacted heritage properties. These reports will be shared with the public. As with any of our report findings, community members are always encouraged to provide feedback. All feedback is recorded and factored into our project delivery wherever possible.

Anonymous's avatar

Will the project include linear walking/biking paths along the tail tracks to allow for connections from the Dufferin Gate loop? This is a nearby terminal station which also is close to Dufferin Street service, providing this connection could allow for redundancy to access the station and for future flexibility.

This would also allow for further bicycle and walking paths and connectivity from Liberty Village (and possibly Strachan) to access Dufferin Street and provide a path through Exhibition Grounds to the lakefront.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 7, 2020 - 09:17

Thanks for your suggestions. We are always on the lookout for ways to better connect people to our stations and are working with our partners at the City of Toronto to determine how the Ontario Line stations will fit into and enhance the neighbourhoods they will serve.

Tristen's avatar
Oct 6, 2020 - 01:18

Will there be any new public/private housing alone the line?

advantages:
increase supply of public housing (there are more than 330,000 applications waiting for affordable housing)
increase Ontario Line ridership
better use of land
be sure that people are living as close to transit as they can

Have Metrolinx considered building plazas, malls, housings and offices on top of the rail yard?
Many countries are doing exactly those.
The space above any rail yard is valuable in the city of Toronto.
Why should Toronto waste such valuable space that has proximity to transit????

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 8, 2020 - 10:56

The Province of Ontario has committed to a multibillion-dollar expansion of the transit network across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. As part of this opportunity, Metrolinx, in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario, will deliver Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) at new and existing transit stations. TOC are higher density, mixed-use developments that are connected, next to or within a short walk of transit stations and stops. This approach will support strong ridership, reduce congestion on our existing transit lines and roadways, and provide a mix of affordable housing – all while creating jobs and stimulating economic growth as we deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The specific development concepts brought forward under the province’s TOC program will be determined through discussions with potential developers and municipalities. We are committed to working with our government partners to engage the public on TOC proposals on a site-by-site basis to ensure the unique needs of local communities are understood and considered.

Tristen's avatar

Why Flemingdon Park Station is closer to the Science Centre than the actual Science Centre Station?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 8, 2020 - 11:00

The names of stations are subject to change. As you may have noticed in the latest information on our website, the locations of the stations currently named Flemingdon Park and Science Centre have both been shifted to the north. The recent change in the location of Flemingdon Park Station (now located on the west side of Don Mills just north of Gateway Boulevard) into an existing parking lot, closer to the Ontario Science Centre, was aimed at reducing community impacts. We are looking at the impacts of these changes and are still in the early stages of the project so many decisions are pending.

Anonymous's avatar

I have just seen your updated plan for the North component of the Ontario Line...specifically for the Overlea Blvd. - Thorncliffe area portion.

Although you are now running the line more on the commercial side than the original proposal after the Thorncliffe Station, which is good....You are also now proposing to run the crossover at the end of the Leaside Bridge onto the elevated rail even closer to the side of our Condominium at 1 Leaside Park Drive (marker #1 on your proposed drawing). This cross over onto our corner of the street (North East corner of Overlea Blvd. and Millwood) would destroy beautiful old trees, a residential area, and the Thorncliffe sign into the neighbourhood (in effect, clipping our corner of the property). Furthermore, this updated design will absolutely continue to have a huge negative effect (noise, vibration, pollution, physical and visual intrusion, etc.) on several properties (condominiums, town homes, businesses, etc.) leading to the Thorncliffe Station if it runs on an elevated rail. The proposed design of the elevated rail is also quite ugly; putting what in effect looks like the Gardner Expressway on any part of a residential area is terrible.

ALTERNATIVE: Instead, why don't you run the line in this segment a little more north to cross over onto Banigan Drive? (Banigan Drive is one block north and still very accessible for commuters to walk to for the proposed Thorncliffe Station.)

OR EVEN BETTER... run it completely underground until you reach the industrial area (marker #3 on the drawing)? By running Section #1 and #2 completely underground, you will not impact any residential communities....This update shows a shorter stretch than the original plan so this alternative should be more cost effective and indeed possible than putting the original planned route along Overlea Blvd. fully underground.

Can you do a cost analysis for running this residential segment of Overlea Blvd. underground?

As a Toronto city councillor Doug Ford led a push with his brother, then Mayor Rob Ford, to cast plans for above-ground transit in Scarborough as "second rate." Why is it acceptable then to impose such a "second rate" plan on any other communities (Thorncliffe Park)...This is an equity issue.

There would be more buy in from ALL residents with a more equitable, and for the aforementioned reasons, better approach to this transit line.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 13, 2020 - 11:10

The rendering included in the north segment update is conceptual and the future design may change. Minor adjustments to the curve of the route will be considered alongside considerations like cost and technical feasibility. However, the reason why the line can't run underground here is because of the geography in this area of the city. We would need to tunnel very deeply to get in and out of these areas. To get under the Don Valley by the Leaside Bridge and an offshoot of the valley that wraps around Thorncliffe Park, we would have to build the deepest station in Toronto’s transit network, making for very long connections to buses at street level. This would also mean longer construction timelines. In Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park, an elevated guideway running along Overlea Boulevard and Don Mills Road will take advantage of a wider street layout that can accommodate a new structure and avoid the need for digging. Elevated guideways are nothing new — they’ve been built for centuries. But advances, particularly in using concrete that can support thinner structures than in past decades, have enabled more attractive designs.

We will continue to work with communities to ensure a comprehensive array of measures are in place to address any noise or vibration impacts and to ensure designs are sensitive and respectful of communities.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 6, 2020 - 19:40

Do you send your masks to the states?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 13, 2020 - 11:11

Thank you for your interest in the Metrolinx face masks. Currently, we do not ship Metrolinx face coverings to the States. However, we are in the works of getting our online store up and running. The online store will allow customers from the States to purchase face coverings in the near future.

Anonymous's avatar

Your updated North Segment, specifically the crossover after the Leaside bridge into the "Thorncliffe" portion is troublesome.

Your alignment now brings this major railway even closer to a seven story residential condominium (1 Leaside Park Drive) as the updated sketch has the crossover happen on the North East corner of Overlea and Millwood.

This is horrifying for many reasons: this cross over onto that corner of the street endangers the health of residents (especially in the 7 story condominium) as it would be detrimentally closer to our living space. Furthermore, it would impact the appearance of the entry into Thorncliffe Park (the Heritage sign has been on that corner since the 1970s and signals the entry to the Thorncliffe community); it would destroy a plethora of beautiful trees that form a canopy and block the current roadway, and be even closer to the adjacent Leaside Park (where hundreds of community members enjoy park space and sports games daily). Undoubtedly, this will destroy property values throughout this segment.

As someone else pointed out: this updated design will absolutely continue to have a huge negative effect (noise, vibration, pollution, physical and visual intrusion, privacy issues, lost air rights, etc.) on several properties (condominiums, town homes, businesses, etc.) leading to the new Thorncliffe Station.

Moreover, according to this new route....the elevated rail would cross two streets (both Millwood and Overlea Blvd.). Given that most of the line after the Thorncliffe Station has been moved to run into the industrial area.....why isn't the crossover reallocated to do the same? This is an equity issue for everyone living along Overlea Blvd.

BENEFITS OF MOVING THE LINE COMPLETELY AWAY FROM OVERLEA BLVD:

1. Move the crossover and line a block west to connect and run on Banigan Drive. The station can still be at Thorncliffe Park (which connects with Banigan Drive). Again, as someone else noted: "people would rather take a 5 minute walk to the train, than have the noise, vibration, lack of privacy, visual impact, and lost air rights associated with a train in the middle of a residential community." 

2. This move would ensure that NO residential areas (condominiums, townhomes, etc.) in this segment are impacted....this is key for everyone in the community as this is our home. It ensures greater safety, and less disruption from construction, for all who live (and work) in this segment.

3. This reallocation would be much better for traffic...moving the line a little west to cross at Banigan would put the rail over one road (Millwood) rather than crossing two roads (both Millwood and Overlea)....especially when Overlea Blvd is already busy with traffic....In addition, there would be less disruption during the construction for Overlea Blvd where there are numerous homes and businesses.

4. It is more fitting that the line run through industrial areas rather than impact any residential areas....there would still be easy access at Thorncliffe Park Drive (see aforementioned point above).

5. It would preserve the original location of the Thorncliffe Heritage Sign and undoubtedly be a more welcoming entry into the Thorncliffe Park area.

6. It would preserve all of the beautiful trees that line all of Overlea Blvd. and the canopy of foliage and trees that currently exists on that North East corner where the welcome sign is.

This is a critical piece for the Thorncliffe Community, especially for the residents, places of worship and businesses in this area. Please take this request seriously and make changes to avoid the residential community of Overlea Blvd. completely.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 13, 2020 - 11:17

We are continuing to refine our plans and appreciate your concerns about noise and visual impact to nearby residents in condo buildings or town homes. While we are still in the process of finalizing property requirements, we are always looking at options to construct the Ontario Line in a way that not only serves local transit riders, but also fits into the communities they call home. 

Anonymous's avatar

In the Ontario Line preliminary alignment plans, the stop at Science Centre is illustrated to be located over the current bus terminal being constructed for the Eglinton Crosstown. Could Metrolinx indeed confirm this and share plans on how this complex transfer point will work?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:28

Detailed design and planning work is still underway to determine station entrance locations and connections to other transit services. We’re working closely with our partners to ensure services complement one another and best serve the community.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 09:58

Where to put the MSF.?

The land Metrolinx is targeting for the MSF has several functional businesses that gainfully employ many people. Two are large chemical plants that would be extremely expensive to relocate. The other side of the rail tracks has a lot of land not being used in the same fashion. Just drive along Wicksteed and see how many "Storage " facilities there are. The rail line creates a significant barrier to the Ontario Line itself however is it really out of the question to go over or under it ?

On the other hand maybe it is time to encourage the chemical plants to move along as residential space continues to encroach on them.

The 3rd quarter City of Toronto Transit report indicates that the city is strongly against the use of the Leaside Employment Lands for this facility. It goes as far as suggesting some alternatives and recommends that Metrolinx's does more studies on where else to locate it.

At some point will Metrolinx offer up some alternate proposals for the public to comment on ?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 13, 2020 - 11:19

Metrolinx is exploring sites in the area to determine where it could situate a maintenance and storage facility for the Ontario Line, which needs to accommodate 200 trains at opening and up to 250 trains to support future growth. As teams finalize plans for where this important facility will be located, they will engage with property owners from different areas to help select a site that minimizes impact on jobs, local traffic and the surrounding environment while fulfilling the technical requirements of much-needed Ontario Line service. We will share more details with the public as we continue to make progress.

Anonymous's avatar

There was an approved, shovel-ready plan to move the lines underground. Why was this abandoned?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 13, 2020 - 11:22

The Ontario Line will provide much more than downtown relief. By reaching north to the Ontario Science Centre and west towards the Exhibition Grounds and Liberty Village, and running the line on a mix of elevated, at-grade and underground sections, the Ontario Line will extend subway service to high-density neighbourhoods that need better transit – places like Liberty Village, King West, Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park. By using the GO corridor and building bridges across the Don River instead of tunnelling underneath it, a route that is approximately twice the length of the Relief Line South can be built at a similar cost.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 19:24

Why is it nearly impossible to find the answers to questions asked by others on this website? This feels like you are intentionally making it difficult to see the questions the community is asking. Is that true?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 13, 2020 - 11:23

Sorry that you are having trouble navigating our website. As we have just launched a new round of engagement, we have updated our website to allow for comments and questions specific to the most recent updates about the Ontario Line project. When you click on “Contact Us” on the ribbon located at the top of the page, it will direct you to a form. You can access the Q’s & A’s by clicking “Public Forum” located in the body of the content.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 19:57

Why is the Eglinton line going underground, but this project is not? if budget was available to go underground there, where the roadways are much wider and with lower residential density, why is there not budget allocated to do the same in the Leslieville area?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 19, 2020 - 07:38

Surface stations in this area will save customers significantly more time in their journeys than underground stations because they would have to be almost 40 metres deep in order to avoid sewer mains. By building and operating above-ground in the Riverside and Leslieville area, we can reduce construction impacts on area residents and businesses and finish the work in shorter timeframes. It also allows us to significantly reduce the amount of property we need to accommodate construction and long-term operations – as of now we are staying almost entirely within the current footprint. Since we are coordinating work on the Ontario Line with previously announced GO expansion efforts, we are able to avoid multiple disruptions in these neighbourhoods and invest in noise and vibration mitigations such as sound barriers that will protect the community from the sights and sounds of rail operations. Further details on impacts, mitigations and designs to fit the new infrastructure into the fabric of the neighbourhood will be shared in upcoming environmental reports and public engagement.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 20:00

What sound vibration assessment has been done for the Leslieville portion of the the system? E.g. between Dundas and Eastern?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 16, 2020 - 11:03

You can find information on noise and vibration existing conditions assessment conducted for the Ontario Line in Appendix B3: Noise and Vibration Report released as part of the Draft Environmental Conditions Report. Page 3 of Appendix B3 includes description of the study areas followed by maps outlining these areas. Page 10 and 15 includes information on noise and vibration measurement locations and results for each study area. The Leslieville portion of the alignment is within the Ontario Line South Study Area.

The draft ECR summarizes potential impacts and potential mitigation measures for consideration during project planning and design. As detailed design advances, potential impacts and mitigation measures, including those associated with noise and vibration, will be confirmed. These details as well as supporting studies will be included in the Early Works Reports and/or Environmental Impact Assessment Report.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 20:01

For the above ground portion of the tracks south of Gerrard, what have your health assessments shown with respect to noise? In particular what will the health impact be for children living close to the tracks and playing in the parks?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 27, 2020 - 08:45

We agree that protecting parks and greenspace is important. By allowing people to leave their cars at home and take transit instead, the Ontario Line will help protect air quality. In above-ground sections of the line through Riverside and Leslieville, the electric-powered Ontario Line trains will mean no additional emissions are introduced to your local community and effective, well-designed sound barriers, landscaping, and new trees and greenery will significantly reduce the sound and visibility of the corridor and the trains that will operate within it.

We are completing a series of environmental assessments for the Ontario Line to make sure it’s the right fit for the communities it serves. Anticipated impacts will be comprehensively analyzed in subsequent Early Works Reports and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report, which will also include recommendations for robust mitigation measures to protect communities in which Metrolinx and its contractors will be building and operating.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 20:02

Where can the public see the RFP that has been put out for a design firm to build portions of the rail system?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 15, 2020 - 12:07

P3 projects have large bid teams, which includes constructors and designers (and other firms) that have partnered up to bid on the project. The RFP they are collectively working on includes all the aspects to design, build and finance the project - there isn’t a separate RFP issued for portions of the rail system.

During a live procurement, the full RFP document can only be provided to the teams bidding on the project and must remain confidential as this impacts the bidding process. When the RFP is issued to the bid teams on the Ontario Line, we will announce it here. That being said, Metrolinx offers public engagement opportunities to view or provide input on certain aspects of the design, such as through future virtual Open Houses and information posted on our website

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 20:03

Can you provide specifics on what type of noise wall will be built? How can this be promised at this point if there is not yet even a plan in place for the tracks?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:30

Preliminary study results show that noise walls along the shared rail corridor through the Riverside area will be effective in reducing noise from both Ontario Line and GO Transit trains. The noise study is taking into account various potential train options and associated noise levels, and is basing the noise mitigation on the train option with highest anticipated noise levels, taking a conservative approach. The exact locations, height and designs of noise walls will be confirmed as planning work continues.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 20:06

Will all construction be done during the day? Anyone who lives near the tracks now knows that repairs to the current tracks often happen at night, which means neighbours lose sleep every time there is a significant repair. How will you protect people from noise during construction?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:33

Metrolinx has a number of measures it can take to reduce and manage impacts to residents and communities, both during and after construction, which we will use whenever and wherever necessary. We will take practical steps to reduce noise and vibration by keeping equipment well-maintained and fitted with muffling devices, using equipment and methods that minimize vibration, and coordinating construction schedules so that noisy operations do not occur simultaneously.  We will also keep residents and businesses informed with timely information and regular information as well as options to send us questions or concerns.

We will know more about precise construction impacts as the project moves through further design stages. 

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 8, 2020 - 20:12

Why have you not given us the actual costing of running the Ontario Line underground through the area from the Don River to Gerrard Street? You have told us it is cheaper to go above ground. On what is that based? Considering all of the above-ground infrastructure costs and communities that you will have to destroy and compromise, how much will you really save instead of going underground? If the Eglinton Line fiasco is anything to go by, would it not be better, safer, and faster to put the Ontario Line underground?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:34

Cost is only one consideration.  Decisions related to the alignment for the Ontario Line are made in the interest of improving the customer experience, increasing access to transit, maximizing ridership, achieving travel time savings, and creating better access to jobs.

We are also able to reduce construction impacts through Riverside by layering construction of the Ontario Line with the corridor improvements that were already planned to support the expansion of GO rail services. Also, using the GO corridor will allow people to more easily connect between the Ontario Line, GO and TTC at street level, saving time compared to connections that would lead people into deep underground stations. We will be working with communities to plan and develop stations and infrastructure that fits into and contributes to the neighbourhood.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 20:18

You have said that the Jimmie Simpson Community Center will not be impacted. But if the trains and technology have not been selected yet, and therefore you don't know exactly how much space is needed, how can you guarantee that the center will not be impacted?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:36

With the Leslieville Station situated mostly to the south of Queen Street and spanning over the existing rail bridge, the popular Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre will be able to continue operating throughout construction and beyond.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 8, 2020 - 20:30

There is no mention of the number of trees that are hugging the current line and will be eliminated as a result of expansion of the line. How is this not an environmental impact? What are your plans to ensure they are replaced?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 16, 2020 - 11:05

Information regarding the vegetation communities and plant species found within the project study area, along with preliminary impacts and mitigation measures identified to date, is found in Appendix B1: Natural Environment Report which was released as part of the draft ECR. As project planning and design advance, Metrolinx will complete and publish Early Works Reports and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report which will include anticipated impacts and mitigation measures.

Metrolinx will work to preserve surrounding vegetation in areas where we are building to the extent possible and provide compensation/replacement in accordance with Metrolinx’s Vegetation Guideline 2020.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 8, 2020 - 20:46

The recent update on the Ontario Line leaves many important questions unanswered:
- has there been a study to keep the line underground all the way? If yes, where is it? If no, why is it not considered?
- there is no indication of the type of technology to be used for the train, the electrification, etc. How can noise/vibration impact be evaluated? what would be the mitigation measures?
Is there any intention from Metrolinx of sharing meaningful information publicly and take into account the community feedback?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:38

In June 2019, the Ontario Government passed the “Getting Ontario Moving Act” which assigned responsibility for planning some rapid transit in Toronto to the Province of Ontario. As a result, the Relief Line project was replaced by the Ontario Line project.

A great deal of information is uncovered as a project evolves from the early analysis phase to the planning and design phase, through procurement, and onward to the delivery and operations phases. We use all the facts we have to update and inform decisions about the project. The decision to run the Ontario Line on a mix of elevated, at-grade and underground sections means we can deliver a longer route that will serve more communities. By using the GO corridor and building bridges across the Don River instead of tunnelling underneath it, a route that is approximately twice the length of the Relief Line South can be built at a similar cost. Decisions related to the alignment for the Ontario Line are made in the interest of improving the customer experience, increasing access to transit, maximizing ridership, achieving travel time savings, and creating better access to jobs. These criteria are balanced by cost and other community considerations.

You can find information on the type of technology to be used on our website here. The vehicles that will be used for the Ontario Line will be designed to Metrolinx specifications so we have a clear sense of the anticipated noise and vibration profile and we will work closely with communities to ensure a comprehensive array of measures are in place to address any impacts.

Anonymous's avatar

The information you're presenting on the alignment of the rail and the station locations is misleading.
- the ongoing GO rail expansion (including extra tracks is not factored-in to the proposed 'refinements' for the portion south of Gerrard
- there's no certainty or precedence for light rail (Ontario Line rolling stock) running closely adjacent to heavy rail (GO trains) in a narrow corridor
- there's no information on the major bridge expansions required (the overbearing impact of a wider bridge at Gerrard / Carlaw is a good example)
- there is no acknowledgement that planting trees to replace those removed is not a 'win' for the neighbourhood
I've read the business case for moving this portion of the Ontario Line above ground but it's still not clear why closer study is not being done on the neigbourhood impact during construction and in operation. This neighbourhood successfully resisted the Gardiner East expansion (including lobbying for demolition of the elevated portion to Leslie) and the bents remain along Lakeshore as a reminder of the folly. The proposed Ontario Line alignment repeats this folly, ripping through small, single-lane, well-treed neighbourhoods while infringing on the existing limited park space. Surely there's a better approach.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 8, 2020 - 20:51

Why have you stopped public meetings with the community and used COVID as an excuse? There is no reason why you cannot hold virtual meetings as many of us are now doing in our own lives and jobs. In fact through this medium you should be able to reach more people, more often, and also record the meetings to allow those who cannot attend to listen or watch later. There is no risk to your employees of this approach so clearly you want to avoid any form of direct community consultation and feedback because the plans you are sharing have not been well received by those most affected by them.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 13, 2020 - 11:26

At every major milestone along the concept design development, Metrolinx will share updated plans with the public. The Community Relations team has just begun another round of targeted outreach and are setting up additional opportunities to engage with the public as their input is vital to this project. Further information will be shared in our e-newsletter in the near future.

Anonymous's avatar

Your latest update is showing the crossover of the Ontario Line on the North East corner of Overlea Blvd. and Millwood. What a terrible place to build the crossover of the Ontario Line and entry into the Thorncliffe Community!

This point (Marker #1 on your latest alignment map for Thorncliffe Park) is so very close to a seven story condominium (1 Leaside Park Drive)...As several others have pointed out...this is a safety, and health issue for the residents in that condominium and neighbouring town homes, and all of the businesses and workers along that portion of Overlea Blvd.!

Your commentary in the "Thorncliffe Park" update reads:

METROLINX UPDATE: "After crossing the valley, the Ontario Line crosses Millwood Road and runs along Overlea Boulevard on an elevated guideway. This is possible because of the wider street layout, and it avoids the need for disruptive tunnelling activities."

--> This is NOT a wider street layout, and in fact, this high speed railway will have to cross TWO roads (Millwood Road) and the narrow Overlea Blvd. metres away from the homes of ALL of the residents at 1 Leaside Park Drive! It would create unliveable conditions (noise, vibration, pollution, physical and visual intrusion, privacy issues, lost air rights, etc.), let alone the safety concerns, traffic nightmare (especially during construction)...Why cross on the corner that has the most residents (and people impacted)????!!

METROLINX UPDATE: "Instead of the original plan to proceed along Overlea Boulevard after the station, the Ontario Line will turn to the north and run adjacent to the nearby hydro corridor, on its way north which reduces community impacts and is a better fit for the neighbourhood."

--> Agreed! It is wise to run this line adjacent to the nearby hydro corridor which would reduce community impacts...but do not forget about ALL of the residents and businesses on Overlea Blvd! ***This can easily be resolved by moving the cross over alignment one block west to Banigan Drive which ultimately connects to Thorncliffe Park Drive as already noted.**

As others have clearly noted, this would have several benefits (ie. it would avoid all residential properties, places of worship, and businesses on Overlea Blvd. and nearby Leaside Park, preserve the foliage of trees and the heritage Thorncliffe sign, reduce impact on traffic by crossing over on one road rather than two...and truly align with the nearby hydro corridor).

In addition, why did Doug Ford's Eglinton LRT and Scarborough line get changed from being built above ground to underground when there was the room for that rail to be above ground? Ford demanded the funding for this and deemed the above ground portion to be "second rate" as someone noted for that community....Why is this an acceptable option then for any other community like Overlea - Thorncliffe? This is hypocrisy!

Overlea Blvd. is a small boulevard that should be avoided completely, especially since there are other viable options (move the crossover and continuation of the rail to Banigan). Alternatively, the line in this smaller segment should be put completely underground.

This is a point of equity for all residents in this community! Please do a cost analysis and make the necessary change to reallocate this segment of the line. Riders would still have easy access to the Thorncliffe Station and the lives and health of those commuters and residents living in the community would not be compromised. Do the right thing Metrolinx and Doug Ford, move the line completely away from Overlea Blvd and all of RESIDENTIAL housing in this segment!

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:39

We appreciate your concerns about noise and visual impact to nearby residents in condo buildings or town homes. Based on feedback from your community, the alignment has been shifted to the north side of Overlea. Instead of proceeding along Overlea Boulevard, the Ontario Line will turn to the north at Thorncliffe Park station and run adjacent to the nearby hydro corridor, which reduces community impacts. We are still studying the impacts from the change. The updated route through Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park has resulted in a number of property impact avoidances including Valley Park Middle School and the adjoining cricket pitch. It also reduces construction inconveniences around several houses of worship that front onto Overlea Boulevard. While we are still in the process of finalizing property requirements, we are always looking at options that will have the least amount of impact to homeowners, business owners and important community services. Making this adjustment is part of our ongoing work to factor in residents’ feedback wherever we can and make sure the new transit line is built in a way that not only serves local transit riders, but also fits into the communities they call home. 

The rendering included in the north segment update is conceptual and the future design may change. Minor adjustments to the curve of the route will be considered alongside considerations like cost and technical feasibility. However, the reason why the line can't run underground here is because of the geography in this area of the city. We would need to tunnel very deeply to get in and out of these areas. To get under the Don Valley by the Leaside Bridge and an offshoot of the valley that wraps around Thorncliffe Park, we would have to build the deepest station in Toronto’s transit network, making for very long connections to buses at street level. This would also mean longer construction timelines.

We will continue to work with communities to ensure a comprehensive array of measures are in place to address any noise or vibration impacts and to ensure designs are sensitive and respectful of communities.

Anonymous's avatar

Hello,
I have read the proposal for building this relief line and I am very concerned that the line crosses onto the E.T. Seton Archery range. I grew up going to this public archery range for many years and it is a sacred place for archers to enjoy the sport. It would be unsafe for archers to shoot when the train is visibly passing by the range. Would it be possible to have the train track be moved away from the archery range?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 16, 2020 - 11:06

We appreciate the importance of park spaces and recreational facilities to the local community. The rendering included in the north segment update is conceptual and our plans are still being refined for this area. We will share any changes as soon as key details are confirmed.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 9, 2020 - 15:12

You've just replied "Reply Metrolinx Oct 9, 2020 - 12:09
"We are continuing to receive feedback from ministries and government agencies and their feedback will be included in the Final Environmental Conditions Report."

Are you allowing the public to give feedback on the final ECR? If not, how can we read the information that is being given by these important agencies beforehand?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 16, 2020 - 11:07

The final Environmental Conditions Report (ECR) will address and include comments received from agencies and other interested persons during the draft ECR public review period (September 17th, 2020 to October 17th, 2020). The final ECR will be published on the Metrolinx website and feedback on the ECR can continue to be provided via the Ontario Line email ([email protected]). Feedback received after the draft ECR public review period will be included as part of the project consultation record, and considered and incorporated into the draft Early Works and Environmental Impact Assessment Reports, as appropriate. 

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 9, 2020 - 16:49

The Eglinton CrossTown Express project is years late, and wildly over budget. Meanwhile, residents and pedestrians have been put in serious danger, traffic has been seriously inconvenienced by the construction, and local businesses have been bankrupted or seriously hurt. In fact, the CAA selected Eglinton East as the worst street in Ontario because of the CrossTown Expressway.

How can Metrolinx assure residents and businesses affected by the Ontario Line that it will not be a repeat of the incompetence shown in the construction of the Eglinton CrossTown Express?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:41

Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. Safety has always been a top priority for Metrolinx. Regular communication and safety measures will be in place to keep the community safe throughout construction of the Ontario Line.

Metrolinx may require the use, occupation, modification or temporary closure of a municipal highway or right-of-way, this is to help complete construction faster and build infrastructure that will best suit the needs of the city. Metrolinx and its contractors will always work with partners, including the City of Toronto, to reduce impacts on the community while continuing to advance important projects and deliver improvements to transit as quickly as possible.  

We are still in the early stages of the Ontario Line project and it is too early to confirm anticipated impacts, but we will be providing further information as it is available and providing residents and businesses with advance information about impacts and mitigations so they know what to expect.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 9, 2020 - 16:57

My family lives on Pape Avenue south of the Danforth. We have witnessed the various contractors and subcontractors doing core sampling in our area. They seem disorganized, rarely arrive or depart at the indicated dates, and at times come in conflict with each other. And when we have asked Metrolinx to deal with issues arising, we have been told that it's out of your hands, and we should talk to the contractors, who, frankly, could care less what we have to say.

Given that Metrolinx is being sued – for the second time! – by the contractors on the Eglinton CrossTown Express project, and seems to have no control over its contractors and subcontractors there, and given that these contractors seem to be completely indifferent to the inconvenience, danger, and financial problems that they are causing residents, vehicular traffic, and local businesses in that area, what will Metrolinx do to insure that it keeps control over its contractors and subcontractors on the Ontario Line?

We need assurances that Metrolinx will remain in control, and is willing to be held responsible for its contractors now, BEFORE contracts are signed.

It will be unacceptable for Metrolinx to tell us that problems that occur are "out of our control." They're your contractors, so they are your responsibility. How will you ensure control and responsible behavior?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:43

We continue to work closely with our contractor partners, local authorities and communities to ensure impacts to the community are minimized during construction. We recognize that the work to improve transit projects can often be disruptive, and we continue to take steps, with our contractors, to minimize and manage the effects on neighbors, responding to and addressing concerns as they are raised.

If you have any concerns in the future, please feel free to email us at [email protected]etrolinx.com or call us at 416-202-5100 and we will look into them for you.

Anonymous's avatar

Why not start tunnel portal just east of the new East Harbour station and run underground from there?

Bridge over Don much cheaper than tunnel under river. I agree. The original decision to go above ground to save money was based on Relief Line cost of the tunnel under the river. Produce new cost analysis showing bridge and new location for portal.

Agree that East Harbour station should have all tracks at the same level. A tunnel directly east of the station won’t affect this.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:44

Through Riverside, the line will run at-grade alongside the existing GO rail corridor, helping to reduce construction impacts and costs. This is because it layers construction of the Ontario Line with the corridor improvements that were already planned to support the expansion of GO rail services. Also, using the GO corridor will allow people to more easily connect between the Ontario Line, GO and TTC at street level, saving time compared to connections that would lead people into deep underground stations. We will be working with communities to plan and develop stations and infrastructure that fits into and contributes to the neighbourhood.

Anonymous's avatar

Its not acceptable that Metrolinx continues to ignore the City and neighbourhood's request to put the Ontario Line underground from Gerrard to Eastern as per the Relief Line did preceding it. ALL other Metrolinx projects covered under Bill 171 will be underground, with the exception of Thorncliffe Park, which residents want underground too. Both the Minister of Transportation and Metrolinx say that it is cheaper to run the line above ground will saving tax payers dollars to get a 17km line for more residents. If that is truly the case, than Metrolinx should demonstrate it is cheaper by studying the below grade (work already done by the City) and cost it out and SHARE the costs with the City and public. Its appears saving money is not the real answer as the Mx will now be burying the Eglinton West LRT (9.2 kilometres) which will cost an extra $1.8 billion and serve fewer local riders. So why do it?!!! Our section is less than 3km, and higher density, business and homes with few park spaces. I encourage everyone to read this article.
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/09/20/burying-the-eglinton-west-lr...
So why does Metrolinx continue to not address the City and neighbourhood's continued requests to put the Ontario Line underground from Pape to Eastern, only 3 km, when it just announces that it will spend 18 billion dollars to bury the Eglinton LRT, 9.2 km, which will serve fewer riders?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 10, 2020 - 13:28

The interchange with the Eglinton Line at Science Centre Station seems to require a two-storeys climb (similar to the interchange between Line 2 and 3 at Kennedy Station). What are you doing to facilitate passengers making this transfer?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:45

Detailed design and planning work is still underway to determine station entrance locations and connections to other transit services. We’re working closely with our partners to ensure services complement one another and best serve the community.​

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 10, 2020 - 20:25

Would it be possible not to build Leslieville Station in Riverside? A lot of us would be fine using East Harbor. Toronto is planning Broadview to go south of Eastern. Maybe TTC can send some Queen street cars down to East Harbor instead of building the station. It's not too far away at all.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:46

Thank you for your suggestions. The station at Queen Street is an important connection that will bring customers to the Riverside and Leslieville communities and provide a higher order transit option for local residents who want to get downtown or up to the Danforth and beyond. We will be working closely with the community to construct the station in a way that contributes to the rich fabric of the neighbourhood.

 

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 11, 2020 - 10:06

This Line is known as the Ontario Line and it will intersect with Yonge, Danforth, and the Eglinton Line. These names are readily understood by the people of Toronto. So why use numbering for the Lines? When you say Line 4 or Line 5, nobody has a clue what is being talked about. Most still don't know which is Line 1 or Line 2. 'Eglinton', on the other hand, is immediately recognizable. I suggest changing the name of all these rapid rail transit lines to letters.
Y Line = Yonge-University-Spadina Line.
B Line = Bloor-Danforth Line
S Line = Sheppard Line
E Line = Eglinton Line
F Line = Finch Line
O Line = Ontario Line
H Line = Hurontario Line

While your at it, you could number all stations (i.e. Y4 could be York U), in addition to names, so that tourists can more easily orient themselves on the system. Then, all GO lines, which may become electrified soon, can use a two letter Code. The use of number Codes would be reserved for the local agency and their buses. The above is based partly on what is done in Japan.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 14, 2020 - 09:47

Thanks for your suggestion. The change to numbered lines was part of an improved wayfinding initiative undertaken by the TTC in 2014. You can read more about it here.  ​We continue to work with our transit partners to provide an integrated customer experience across all transit services.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 12, 2020 - 10:37

Why is the Arborist Report not included in the draft ECR? This report details the trees and tree canopy along the OL route - it is a environmental condition and the public should be able to review it and ask questions. When can we see and review this important report?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 16, 2020 - 11:08

The draft ECR characterized existing vegetation in terms of Ecological Land Classification and individual plant species within the broader Project Study Area. Once design details are sufficiently advanced, tree surveys will be conducted. Metrolinx will share the Arborist Report(s) once available.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 12, 2020 - 12:19

Hello, when will public feedback be open for the Ontario Line alignment and stations?
It looks like I can only comment on the draft Environmental Conditions Report at this time.

If I am mistaken, which link do I follow to be able to comment on proposed alignment and stations?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 15, 2020 - 12:25

Thank you for your interest in the Ontario Line. While we are actively seeking feedback on the Draft Environment Conditions Report, there are various ways you can provide feedback on other elements of the Ontario Line project: ​

Further details on the alignment and stations, including information about anticipated impacts and mitigations, will be shared in future environmental reports which will also be posted for public review. We value and record any feedback we receive, whether it’s online, over the phone, or in person, and we factor it into our project delivery wherever possible.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 12, 2020 - 14:38

You repeatedly claim that there are cost savings by running sections of OL above-ground (e.g. "... running the Ontario Line on a mix of elevated, at-grade and underground sections means we can deliver a nearly 16km route that will serve more communities with less construction impact and within the budget ...").
What alternatives have you investigated to determine that an above-ground route is providing these cost savings?
Please show us your cost comparison between the options you have studied.
What would be the cost to put OL underground compared to the above-ground option?
The affected communities and the City of Toronto have directed Metrolinx to study an underground option. Can you please share these findings and the cost comparison?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 15, 2020 - 11:24

Cost is only one consideration. Decisions related to the alignment for the Ontario Line are made in the interest of improving the customer experience, increasing access to transit, maximizing ridership, achieving travel time savings, and creating better access to jobs.

We are able to reduce construction impacts through Riverside by layering construction of the Ontario Line with the corridor improvements that were already planned to support the expansion of GO rail services. Also, using the GO corridor will allow people to more easily connect between the Ontario Line, GO and TTC at street level, saving time compared to connections that would lead people into deep underground stations. 

In Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park to the north, an elevated guideway running along Overlea Boulevard and Don Mills Road will take advantage of a wider street layout that can accommodate a new structure and avoid the need for digging. Elevated guideways are nothing new — they’ve been built for centuries. But advances, particularly in using concrete that can support thinner structures than in past decades, have enabled more attractive designs. Stations will also benefit from shorter construction times and updated design approaches.

We will be working with communities to plan and develop stations and infrastructure that fits into and contributes to the neighbourhood.​

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 12, 2020 - 14:58

Your assessment found that the study area South had high emission amounts of air contaminants. The removal of trees and green space for the OL will further deteriorate air quality.
How do you plan to address air quality during construction?

It seems like you are using United States Environmental Protection Agency emission standards to compare rail emission. Aren't there any Canadian standards that we should be following here?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 16, 2020 - 11:09

Preliminary construction air quality impact mitigation measures identified to date and outlined in the Draft ECR include avoiding overlap of construction activities, minimizing the number of machinery in operation and implementing other best practices aimed at reducing potential air quality impacts. For further details, please see the Draft ECR Air Quality Qualitative Assessment. These impacts and mitigation measures will be further studied and refined as part of the forthcoming Early Works and the Environmental Impact Assessment Reports.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency emission standards for locomotives (Tier 0 to Tier 4) are industry standard and are recognized in both the United States and Canada. Tier 0 to Tier 4 standards mandate the acceptable locomotive engine emissions for nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and particulates, as well as hydrocarbons. These standards are used by locomotive manufacturers to guarantee emission levels from their engines. By law, all locomotives operating in Canada are required to meet these Tier level emission standards for North America. This is stated in the Locomotive Emissions Regulations SOR/2017-121 made under Canada’s Railway Safety Act. Sulphur dioxide was estimated separately following Canadian diesel fuel standards of 15 mg/kg for locomotive engines.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 12, 2020 - 15:05

In the Leslieville above-ground section there are only two receptors for noise and none for vibration. This is an area that will be heavily impacted by 6 rail lines and a narrow corridor that will bring the lines and stations extremely close to houses.

Why were there not more receptors deployed?
Why wasn't more of the area covered?
Why was vibration not studied?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 15, 2020 - 12:20

For the purposes of the Environmental Conditions Report, noise measurement locations were selected based on proximity to the above ground sections of the representative alignment and potential facility locations as presented in the Ontario Line Initial Business Case, 2019. For the vibration measurements, the locations were selected because they accommodate spaces and equipment that are potentially more sensitive to ground borne noise and vibration than typical residential buildings. As project planning and design advance and further details on planned transit facilities are available, additional noise and vibration estimates or measurements will be considered for locations beyond those included in the Environmental Conditions Report. Measurements or predictions of the baseline levels, or a combination of both can be used for impact assessment studies, as per the current guidelines such as the Environmental Noise Guideline - Stationary and Transportation Sources - Approval and Planning (Ministry of the Environment (now Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks), 2013). Further, impact assessment studies will consider and adopt appropriate vibration impact criteria for buildings susceptible to vibration damage. Noise and vibration impact studies are currently in progress and results will be available as part of the forthcoming Early Works and Environmental Impact Assessment Reports.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 12, 2020 - 15:22

Your maps and material do not show the 4th track and the impact of SmartTrack on the OL.
When will you provide information on how you will fit 6 tracks into an narrow corridor? Your current material doesn't even acknowledge the coming of the 4th track.
When will you be addressing safety concerns about run subway trains adjacent to heavy freight trains, homes and parks?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 15, 2020 - 12:18

As a transit agency, Metrolinx is doing our part by responding to areas that are growing with increasing demands of service, as well as finding the most sustainable solution for electrifying the GO rail network. The 4th GO track, previously approved as part of the Lake Shore East Rail Corridor Expansion (Don River to Scarborough GO Station) Environmental Project Report, is being considered as part of the six-track Lakeshore East Joint Corridor planning and design. The Province, the City and Metrolinx continue to work together on the planning and design of Smart Track. Further information on the Smart Track program will be available at a later date. As the purpose of the Ontario Line Environmental Conditions Report is to document the existing environmental conditions, maps of future planned projects have not been included in this report. Relevant maps and other information will be included as part of the forthcoming Early Works and Environmental Impact Assessment Reports, where appropriate.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 12, 2020 - 20:47

As early works begins, will we see Metrolinx community liaison offices? This has been promised but not yet fulfilled.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 15, 2020 - 12:28

We look forward to opening community offices but are currently working remotely to continue to do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We have been making regular visits to many neighbourhoods along the alignment and have ramped up virtual engagement to offer the public more opportunities to provide feedback online while public events are not possible amidst COVID-19. You can contact a member of the Ontario Line team via phone at 416-202-5100 or via email at [email protected].​

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 13, 2020 - 12:38

Health Canada in its Canadian Handbook on Health Impact Assessment stipulates that “health assessment needs to be integrated into Environmental Assessment” to “ensure … the health and well-being of individuals and society is not compromised.” Health Canada goes onto say “these issues can go unnoticed by developers and be easily ignored unless individuals or communities raise them.”

We understand from WHO that long-term noise exposure leads to health issues like “cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in children, sleep disturbance, tinnitus and annoyance.”

Where is the Health Impact Assessment?

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 13, 2020 - 17:32

Do you only answer questions you want to answer? There are several questions that have been here for days that are conspicuously unanswered.

This whole exercise seems to smack of the same kind of "look good without doing good" communications that have characterized your interaction with the public. You claim to be consulting with the public, but you hold meetings at which you make proclamations, and don't answer questions, or slide around them without providing any substantive information. On this web page, you claim to be responding to public questions, but you seem to pick and choose the questions you want to answer, and most of your answers seem to come from press releases.

If you're not going to provide substantive answers, please just say so and save us all a lot of trouble, OK?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 15, 2020 - 12:37

Thank you for your feedback. We aim to address all questions within three to five business days but in some cases it may take longer for us to respond due to volume.

At every major milestone along the concept design development, Metrolinx will continue to share updated plans and information on project developments with the public. Over the past several months, our technical team has been working diligently to refine the plans and take them a step closer to constructability. We will address every question with all the details and information available at the time. 

Due to public health guidance on large gatherings, our engagement is mostly being conducted online at this time. We are exploring additional opportunities to engage with the public as their input is vital to this project and helps us build infrastructure that fits into the fabric of the neighbourhoods through which the Ontario Line will run. We value and record any feedback we receive, whether it’s online, over the phone, or in person, and we factor it into our project delivery wherever possible.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 13, 2020 - 21:54

In ECR, current noise reading on Wardell St (MO_02S) already exceeds Ontario Ministry of the Environment's sound level limits. In other words, our community is already doing more than our fair share in helping our city’s transit by living with noise generated by existing GO and VIA rail trains. The expansion project will double the number of tracks and multiply the number of trains passing through. What are the noise levels at which Metrolinx and Province will deem the at grade/elevated portion of Ontario line not feasible?

Public health implications cannot be assessed by engineers or policymakers. WHO warns “sufficient evidence about the adverse health effects of long-term exposure to railway noise exists" and prescribes acceptable noise levels. Are you aware of these environmental standards? Which medical experts have given you the green light to proceed with the current plans that will jeopardize health and safety of our communities?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 25, 2020 - 16:47

We have studied noise and vibration impacts along the Ontario Line study area and will add effective, well-designed sound barriers, landscaping and vegetation to better shield communities living alongside the joint rail corridor from all rail operations, including GO and VIA services. This will significantly reduce the sound and visibility of the corridor and the trains that will operate within it. Our preliminary analysis shows these combined measures would effectively eliminate noticeable noise and vibration impacts from the Ontario Line and reduce the noise and vibration profiles of the GO trains that currently use the corridor. We will provide the details from this analysis in upcoming environmental reports.

Teams are also continuing to study an array of measures that can help mitigate both noise and vibration, including rail dampers, continuously welded rail, ballast mats, floating slabs, and resiliently supported rail ties and high resilient fasteners. All of these technical solutions have been proven effective on other transit lines and systems throughout the world.

Metrolinx is following the same methodology for noise and vibration as we have for previously assessed projects. We work closely with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to ensure that our approach to noise and vibration assessment is sound and in line with all applicable guidelines and regulations.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 15, 2020 - 11:31

The decision to run the Ontario Line on a mix of elevated, at-grade and underground sections means we can deliver a longer route that will serve more communities. By using the GO corridor and building bridges across the Don River instead of tunnelling underneath it, a route that is approximately twice the length of the Relief Line South can be built at a similar cost. 

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 14, 2020 - 13:11

Why are there no noise receptors at
Degrassi/Queen and Carlaw/Gerrard where the
stations will be located? Why are you not
establishing noise baseline measurements around
each station location?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 15, 2020 - 12:13

For the purposes of the Environmental Conditions Report, noise measurement locations were selected based on proximity to the above ground sections of the representative alignment and potential facility locations as presented in the 2019 Ontario Line Initial Business Case. As project planning and design advance and further details on planned transit facilities are available, additional noise and vibration estimates or measurements will be considered for locations beyond those included in the Environmental Conditions Report. Measurements or predictions of the baseline levels, or a combination of both can be used for impact assessment studies, as per the current guidelines such as the Environmental Noise Guideline - Stationary and Transportation Sources - Approval and Planning (Ministry of the Environment (now Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks), 2013). Noise and vibration impact studies are currently in progress and results will be available as part of the forthcoming Early Works and Environmental Impact Assessment Reports.

Anonymous's avatar

With the most recent designs released, the proposed location of Ontario Line - North Line now cuts the corner of our condominium property as design shows section to exit new valley crossing both Millwood and Overlea. This will have detrimental to the health and welfare to both our property and the residents living in our building. I recommend consideration be given to moving the valley crossing further west, to cross Millwood west of the York Masonic Temple, and link directly with Banigan Drive. Banigan runs parallel with Overlea, and if Thorncliffe station was moved to the intersection of Banigan and Thorncliffe, would require only an addition 3 minute walk for riders to board the new transit system.
Consideration should also be given to creating a second station to service the east side of the Thorncliffe community. This could be located at the intersection of Pat Moore, Beth Nealson and Thorncliffe Park Drive roads.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 15, 2020 - 12:57

We are continuing to refine our plans and appreciate your concerns about impacts to nearby residents in condo buildings or town homes. We will continue to work closely with communities to address any concerns and to ensure designs are sensitive and respectful of communities.

The rendering included in the north segment update may change. Minor adjustments to the curve of the route will be considered alongside considerations like cost and technical feasibility. While we are still in the process of finalizing property requirements, we are always looking at options to construct the Ontario Line in a way that not only serves local transit riders, but also fits into the communities they call home. ​

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 14, 2020 - 22:30

In one of your answers below, you state "Preliminary study results show that noise walls along the shared rail corridor through the Riverside area will be effective in reducing noise from both Ontario Line and GO Transit trains. ". Can you please share those studies?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 25, 2020 - 16:46

Results from other projects tell us that noise walls along the shared rail corridor through the Riverside area will be effective in reducing noise from both Ontario Line and GO Transit trains. We take into account various potential train options and associated noise levels and base the noise mitigation on the train option with highest anticipated noise levels, taking a conservative approach.  The exact locations, height and designs of noise walls will be confirmed as planning work continues and will be shared with the community in future environmental reports.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 15, 2020 - 14:55

In the Environmental Conditions Report you divide the Ontario Line into 3 sections but in "Neighbourhood Updates" the Ontario Line is divided into 4 sections. And the area of Pape Avenue between Gerrard and the Danforth doesn't seem to fit into either the "East" or the "North" section. Please clarify.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 16, 2020 - 11:10

Thank you for your question. The area of Pape Avenue between Gerrard and Danforth is covered as part of the East Neighbourhood Updates under the Pape South section.

Anonymous's avatar

Why does Metrolinx persist in planning an above-ground line through Riverside/Leslieville without considering an underground alternative as specified in Motion EX9.1, Amendments 19 & 20, as passed by City of Toronto in 2019? In addition to the motion by City Council, neighbourhood residents and other stakeholders have repeatedly requested that you investigate the underground route in order to spare our park space and tree cover. How can you call this a consultation when you refuse to consider alternatives to the above-ground line?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 19, 2020 - 11:18

Metrolinx is designing a transit line that keeps costs down and maximizes benefits, allowing the Ontario Line to go further and serve more of the city. Community engagement will be continue as we move through all stages of the project and has already helped us to improve the plans for the Ontario Line. We value any feedback we receive and factor it into our project delivery wherever possible.

We appreciate your concerns about park space and tree cover. We aim to minimize and mitigate impacts on ecosystems and make best efforts to manage, preserve or protect vegetation in and around the proposed route of the alignment. Metrolinx will work with its contractors to preserve surrounding vegetation in areas where we are building. Removed trees will be compensated in accordance with Metrolinx’s Vegetation Guideline, which provides a landscape science-based approach that exceeds the requirements of applicable bylaws and regulations.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 15, 2020 - 16:24

The Metrolinx assessment found that the OL South Study Area had the highest emission amounts of air contaminants and greenhouse gases. The levels are very concerning, especially when the air quality study was carried out in May 2020 during a period of vastly reduced vehicular and rail traffic emissions. How is Metrolinx going to bring levels in compliance with ambient air-quality criteria when plans include a severe reduction in vegetation, which helps to alleviate emissions?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 27, 2020 - 09:59

The traffic data used to estimate existing air quality conditions were derived from 2017, 2018, and 2019 vehicular traffic counts. Note that the "existing conditions" year in the Draft Environmental Conditions Report (ECR) is 2019. An annual growth rate of 1% was applied to the 2017 and 2018 data to produce comparable data for 2019 AADT (annual average daily traffic). The traffic and rail schedules from spring 2020 were not included in the analysis due to lack of 2020 data available from the City of Toronto, as well as uncharacteristic traffic and rail operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the forthcoming Early Works and Environmental Impact Assessment Reports, the existing air quality parameter exceedances identified in the Draft Environmental Conditions Report will be considered and air quality impacts from the Ontario Line Project will be assessed. Preliminary construction air quality impact mitigation measures identified to date and outlined in the Draft ECR include avoiding overlap of construction activities, minimizing the number of machinery in operation and implementing other best practices aimed at reducing potential air quality impacts. For further details, please see the Draft ECR Air Quality Qualitative Assessment. These impacts and mitigation measures will be further studied and refined as part of the Early Works and the Environmental Impact Assessment Reports.

Metrolinx will also work to preserve surrounding vegetation in areas where we are building to the extent possible. Removals will be kept to a minimum and limited to within the construction footprint, based on careful consideration of construction access and laydown requirements and review of the local environmental conditions, including the detailed tree survey results. Following construction completion, temporarily disturbed areas will be restored and vegetation removal compensation will be done in accordance with Metrolinx’s Vegetation Guideline 2020.

Anonymous's avatar

One of your comments below says "Cost is only one consideration. Decisions related to the alignment for the Ontario Line are made in the interest of improving the customer experience, increasing access to transit, maximizing ridership, achieving travel time savings, and creating better access to jobs."

Where in all this is the consideration for the community?
This is a mature, fully-developed neighborhood with already high noise levels and poor air quality.
Will the cost savings and benefits to the riders come at the expense of this community?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 19, 2020 - 11:15

By leveraging use of the existing GO rail corridor, community impacts during construction can be streamlined with our previously announced GO Expansion plans and be reduced compared with the impacts from significant construction along Carlaw Avenue, under the Relief Line South plans. Noise walls, along with state-of-the-art vehicle technologies and strict maintenance practices, will mitigate noise impacts from both Ontario Line and GO trains. We will continue to pursue other mitigation measures and design innovations to make this project a good fit for the community.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 15, 2020 - 19:47

Will transit-oriented development around the new OL stations follow global best practices and include the creation of high-density, walkable, complete neighbourhoods around each station? Will those neighbourhoods include affordable housing? When will a timeline and vision for transit-oriented development be shared?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 19, 2020 - 11:18

Metrolinx, in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario, will be collaborating with our communities, municipalities and developers to create transit-oriented communities (TOC) for the benefit of all individuals, families and businesses in the GTA. This approach will support strong ridership, reduce congestion on our existing transit lines and roadways, and provide a mix of affordable housing – all while creating jobs and stimulating economic growth as we deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will work with our government partners to engage the public on TOC proposals on a site-by-site basis to ensure the unique needs of local communities are understood and considered. More information will be shared as soon as it is available.

Anonymous's avatar

I anticipate lots of thumbs down for this comment so here goes nothing:

First off, kudos to the team for actually developing a conceptual route for this plan. I am sure other readers on here will probably disagree, but the fact that they made what most people though was imaginary and turned it into something is an achievement. Now that you have a starting point, where do you go from here? Do you anticipate making more changes? Is there a cutoff date for when you need to settle on a route or will it take years to decide like other transit projects in Toronto? Everyone has legit complaints, but at some point you need draw a line and say "this is the route" as making changes to please one neighbourhood will then anger another neighbourhood. Unfortunately this line wasn't built 20 years ago when Toronto was less developed and doing it now with the city current density levels will not please everyone. What I am trying to say is please provide assurance that Metrolinx will actually start building this line because looking at the grand scheme of things the city needs it!

My other concern is actually delivering this project on a somewhat decent timeline once construction begins. I Iive along the Eglinton Crosstown line and get deeply annoyed when I see workers taking long breaks and wasting time. Crosslinx is suing Metrolinx, but yet I see workers being unproductive day after day. How will you ensure that the contractors who win the bid stay on track so we can avoid these unnecessary delays that have happened with the Crosstown? We can't be getting this project delivered in 2040 ...

One other note:
- To residents who live near Leslieville and East Harbour station: I know it won't be easy, but building along the existing corridor is the best option. Underground transit construction is really messy and doing this will minimize the interruption to your daily lives. Take it from a guy who lives on Eglinton.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 19, 2020 - 11:17

Thank you for sharing your feedback.

The procurements for each line are carefully staged and coordinated in order to ensure each and every project is delivered successfully, competitively and efficiently on behalf of the government and taxpayers. The parameters set by Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario for a team to design, build, finance and maintain the line considers how the project will improve access to transit and jobs, enhance the customer experience, cut travel times, and enhance communities where people can live, work and play. You can read more about project timeline and procurement information here.

We appreciate your questions as we continue advancing the Ontario Line and delivering much needed transit connectivity to Toronto.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 16, 2020 - 12:36

I have a few general questions regarding the impact of construction on the Alumnae Theatre, located on the south west corner of Berkeley and Adelaide Streets. I am the volunteer Theatre Manager for the Alumnae Theatre Company.
The map posted in the Neighbourhood Report for the Corktown Station seems to show a smaller line going from the Corktown station to Richmond street. The main tunnel is shown going north on Berkeley Street on one side of our building while the smaller line veers to the west, either going under the Alumnae theatre or immediately to the west of it. It looks like the theatre will be, essentially, surrounded by construction. Are patrons, volunteers and creative teams going to be able to access the theatre while construction is going on? Will our patrons have to walk lengthy and confusing paths – I’m thinking about the situation at Yonge and Eglinton over the past few years?
Construction will also have a major impact on our (limited) parking spaces. The spot that we reserve for use by our volunteers with accessibility requirements is the spot by the tower, closest to Berkeley Street and most likely to be impacted by any construction equipment and barriers.
I would appreciate an explanation of the two tunneling lines on the map as well as some idea of how pedestrian and vehicle traffic will be handled during construction.

Catherine Spence
VP Theatre Manager
Alumnae Theatre Company
[email protected]

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 27, 2020 - 10:42

By shifting the Corktown station south into what is currently a parking lot, we have been able to reduce construction impacts in the neighbourhood around the Alumni Theatre. We are committed to maintaining transit and traffic continuity in the areas where we will be working. Details about construction timelines and anticipated impacts will be shared with the public as the project advances. Further information about impacts and proposed mitigations will be detailed in the forthcoming Environmental Impact Assessment Report which is expected in early to mid-2021. Learn more on our website.

We reached out to the Alumni Theatre directly by email and encourage you to contact us ([email protected]) to setup a time for us to discuss further.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 16, 2020 - 12:52

If the OL must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south and rise above ground in south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area – not residential? This is going to wreak havoc on a number of historical homes in the area which feels entirely unnecessary. It seems that the residents of this neighbourhood are not being considered whatsoever.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 19, 2020 - 09:59

Leveraging the existing GO rail corridor and running the line above ground in certain areas means we can reduce construction timelines and costs and streamline our work with existing GO Expansion plans. This means that communities won’t be impacted by additional construction that would have otherwise ran along Carlaw Avenue under the Relief Line South plans. We’re sensitive to the community’s concerns about the project’s impacts in this area, which is why our plans preserve local institutions such as the Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre and include the installation of noise walls. We will continue to pursue other mitigation measures and design innovations to ensure that this project is a good fit for the community.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 16, 2020 - 13:24

1. Please explain why the 2km section of track through Riverside/Leslieville must go above-ground, when the same route but underground alignment would be less invasive and less destructive on our neighbourhood, businesses and environment?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 19, 2020 - 10:00

There a few reasons for running the Ontario Line above ground in the Riverside and Leslieville area. By running the line here at-grade alongside the existing GO rail corridor, it will help to reduce construction impacts and costs. This is because it layers construction of the Ontario Line with the corridor improvements that were already planned to support the expansion of GO rail services. The current plans include maintaining traffic and streetcar service along Queen Street and we will be working closely with businesses and residents so they are aware of construction plans and anticipated impacts and can provide feedback on mitigations. Details about anticipated impacts of constructing and operating the Ontario Line will be released as part of forthcoming environmental reports and we look forward to sharing them for public feedback.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 16, 2020 - 13:46

From the ECR Area of Study, we can see that Metrolinx has not considered any alternative alignments, despite the motion Ex9.1 Amendments 19 and 20, passed by the City of Toronto in 2019, which states Mx must investigate underground routes through Leslieville. Why is Metrolinx ignoring the City directive and our community voices?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 27, 2020 - 09:12

Public discussion of the impacts and benefits of various construction approaches will continue, building on the Ontario Line Initial Business Case which found that the above-ground approach through Riverside and Leslieville significantly reduced construction timelines and property impacts. A tunneled approach is complex, time-consuming and disruptive due to the amount of excavation that is required. In areas where practical alternatives exist, such as within an existing rail corridor, we can drastically cut down on construction impacts to communities and finish the work in shorter timeframes. It also allows us to avoid significant impacts on local traffic and businesses, as major excavations and adjoining construction laydown areas would have been needed to build stations underground. That said, we will work with communities to address any impacts during construction and operation and ensure designs are sensitive and respectful of communities.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 16, 2020 - 14:14

Can you explain why the section of the Ontario Line running thru Riverside/Leslieville has to be above ground, and why this section of the track can't remain underground thru this neighbourhood?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 19, 2020 - 10:01

Running the Ontario Line on a mix of elevated, at-grade and underground sections means we can deliver a longer route that will serve more communities. By using the existing GO corridor in this area, a route that is approximately twice the length of the Relief Line South can be built at a similar cost. Leveraging the existing GO rail corridor and running the line above ground in this area also means we can reduce construction timelines and costs and streamline our work with existing GO Expansion plans. Furthermore, using the GO corridor will allow people to more easily connect between GO and TTC services that will both be accessible by street level, saving time compared to connections that would lead people into deep underground stations. 

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 16, 2020 - 15:40

1. Please explain why the 2km section of track through Riverside/Leslieville must go above-ground, when the same route but underground alignment would be less invasive and less destructive on our neighbourhood, businesses and environment?

2. If the OL must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south and rise above ground in south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area – not residential?

3. From the ECR Area of Study, we can see that Metrolinx has not considered any alternative alignments, despite the motion Ex9.1 Amendments 19 and 20, passed by the City of Toronto in 2019, which states Mx must investigate underground routes through Leslieville. Why is Metrolinx ignoring the City directive and our community voices?

4. Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

5. How can you call this process a ‘consultation’ when you are only advancing one design/route/alignment forward that clearly our communities do not want?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 16, 2020 - 16:08

Why has Metrolinx seemingly not even considered putting the Ontario Line below ground in Leslieville? It is a small dense community and your proposed route will impact on much of the parkland in the area. The original plan for the relief line was underground - why not the Ontario line?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 19, 2020 - 10:06

We appreciate the importance of park spaces to the local community. We will work with contractors to preserve surrounding vegetation in areas where we are working. 

Running the Ontario Line on a mix of elevated, at-grade and underground sections means we can deliver a longer route that will serve more communities. By using the GO corridor in this area, a route that is approximately twice the length of the Relief Line South can be built at a similar cost. It will also reduce construction timelines and streamline our work with existing GO Expansion plans. Furthermore, using the GO corridor will allow people to more easily connect between GO and TTC services that will both be accessible by street level, saving time compared to connections that would lead people into deep underground stations. 

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 16, 2020 - 17:03

Will this line be going right through Jimmie Simpson Park? There is a summer softball league that plays there, about 165 people in the community. It would be a shame if this league has to close.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 9, 2020 - 08:53

We heard from the community about the importance of protecting Jimmie Simpson Park and Community Centre as well as other parks that are adjacent to the existing GO rail corridor. Running the line along the existing corridor through Riverside and Leslieville helps streamline construction work in the community and cut construction impacts in half when compared to a tunneled approach. GO expansion work was already planned along the rail corridor, and Ontario Line plans have construction fitting almost exactly within the footprint of the corridor to help avoid multiple disruptions. The softball league will continue! Metrolinx will be working with the city of Toronto to mitigate any impact to parks, including shielding the neighbourhood from the rail corridor by adding effective, well-designed sound barriers and by planting new trees to reduce both the sounds and sights of rail operations.

Anonymous's avatar

How can you call this process a ‘consultation’ when you are only advancing one design/route/alignment forward that clearly our communities do not want?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 27, 2020 - 09:17

At every major milestone throughout the project, Metrolinx will share updated plans with the public and seek input. All draft environmental reports are also posted publicly for review and comment, and feedback received is incorporated into the final reports. We are also taking feedback from the community and responding to questions by phone, email or here on Metrolinx Engage. We are committed to listening to residents and businesses so we can provide you with the information you need about the benefits of the project while helping to manage any impacts. Our plans have been updated based on what we heard from the community and we will continue to work with you to deliver infrastructure that fits within and enhances the neighbourhoods we will serve.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 16, 2020 - 18:22

An Environmental Conditions Report for the Riverside/Leslieville rail corridor that does not assess the value of the corridor in terms of habitat connectivity omits the value of ecosystem services. The presence of migratory birds and the evidence of beneficial insect life points to what will be lost beyond the threat to species at risk (bat species and chimney swifts), beyond the destruction of a vital part of our tree canopy (already below the city average in this neighbourhood), and beyond the substantial damage to parks, which have been a crucial refuge for the community during the pandemic. How can Metrolinx rush into the clearance of vegetation in 2021 when the scientific and environmental studies of plant and animal communities along the entire corridor with connected habitats (from Corktown Common to the Don Valley) has not been undertaken?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 23, 2020 - 08:54

Information regarding the vegetation communities and wildlife species found within the project study area, along with preliminary impacts and mitigation measures identified to date, is found in Appendix B1: Natural Environment Report. Information on the vegetation and wildlife found within the Corktown Common to Don Valley area is documented under the Ontario Line South Study Area. Connectivity is discussed in the Natural Environment Report Section 4.5 Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat. Assessment of existing environmental conditions found that the existing rail corridor may support movement of small mammals, birds and insects but overall is considered to be a fairly poor wildlife linkage due to limited connectivity to significant natural areas with many barriers to animal movement (e.g., railways, roads and fences). Decrease in habitat connectivity for wildlife is identified as a potential impact, proposed to be mitigated via natural environment enhancement opportunities, provision of connections to the surrounding natural areas to the extent possible, and providing vegetation removal compensation in accordance with Metrolinx’s Vegetation Guideline (2020). As per the Guideline, Metrolinx will apply ecological compensation in designated natural areas such as those in vicinity of the Don River. Ecological compensation is an approach to compensation that involves replacement of trees at a ratio representative of their ecosystem functions and services.

 

Metrolinx will work to preserve surrounding vegetation in areas where we are building to the extent possible. Removals will be kept to a minimum and limited to within the construction footprint, based on careful consideration of construction access and laydown requirements and review of the local environmental conditions, including the detailed tree survey results. Following construction completion, temporarily disturbed areas will be restored and other natural environment impact mitigation measures will be implemented, along with vegetation removal compensation in accordance with the Vegetation Guideline described above.

Anonymous's avatar

There are two elements of every project - Project Management (how much will it cost? who will do it? what are we building?) and Change Management (how does this affect people? what do people want? how do we incorporate feedback to build a good result for everyone?)

Bill 171 handed over the design to you - but that design includes both Project and Change Management. It's safe to say that you've dropped the ball on the latter.

I've lived in Toronto for over 30 years and we see the same thing: conceptual conversations that get dragged out for years (or decades), resulting frustration and then hasty design, "let's make up for all the time by getting this thing done". But "getting this thing done" still means doing that properly, responsibly and building for generations to come. Choosing to not put the full line underground is painfully shortsighted. I get that you have a job to do and limited resources in which to do it. But can we once - just once - not make a shortsighted decision about the design and planning of our communities in order to save money in the short term?

Saving money now means that forever: people will deal with noise every few minutes as the trains pass (sleeping babies, people with mental health issues, migraines, folks that are stressed out, ie all of us), people will be waiting in freezing cold for a train in the middle of January on an above ground platform, people will forever have to look at noise barriers and barricades that cut off the horizon of our communities.

If this ship has sailed, then the least you can do it take accountability for the decisions that you have made that go directly against what our communities want. Accountability looks like: transparency (how are you going to share the explicit plans with us and when?) and, communication (how are you going to let us know about changes? and when? where can we continue to be a part of decisions and discussion?)

If this ship hasn't sailed, then know that we are in the same boat. The future of our communities is also the legacy that you (as the designers and builders) are creating for yourselves. Which legacy reads better? "Metrolinx changes design in support of communities and generations to come" or "Metrolinx bulldozes over community to stay within budget" - your reputation is on the line here. So is our future. Choose wisely.

Anonymous's avatar

I am a resident living on Overlea Blvd at 1 Leaside Park Drive. I have lived in this condominium since it was built over 20 years ago. I am voicing the grave concerns that several thousands of my neighbours share (both in my building and in the numerous residential areas and businesses that front Overlea Blvd.).

As several others have noted, the North Segment leading to the Thorncliffe Pk Station currently has the alignment hitting the North East corner of Millwood and Overlea Blvd.

This crossing is troublesome for many reasons that others have pointed out including:

1. HEALTH + SAFETY: The crossover is currently on the corner where there are several residential properties (especially 1 Leaside Park Drive). The current route continues to negatively impact a seven story condominium, a town house complex, another condominium near Overlea and Thorncliffe Park, a senior's home,and several businesses on both sides of Overlea Blvd, and community organizations including the Salvation Army.

The Health concerns for all involved who live and work here include:

• noise and environmental pollution (impacting several residences - condos, townhomes; places of worship, seniors’ home) → frequency of trains (every 90 seconds); vibration, privacy issues, physical and visual intrusion, lost air rights, safety, etc.

• Living in a state of construction and traffic gridlock outside our front door for several years;

• visual and physical intrusion - over valley, over a SMALL tree-lined residential boulevard (Overlea Blvd.)

2. TRAFFIC GRIDLOCK: according to this new route, the elevated rail would cross TWO streets (both Millwood and Overlea Blvd.). This is a traffic nightmare on two streets that are already busy with daily traffic needs. Given that most of the line after the new Thorncliffe Station has been moved to run into the industrial area, why isn't the crossover reallocated to do the same? This is an equity issue for everyone living AND working along Overlea Blvd.

• This traffic issue would also result in delays for Emergency response calls (of which we have many Emergency response vehicles using Millwood and Overlea Blvd) to the Overlea and Thorncliffe areas.

3. ECONOMIC – PROPERTY VALUES: this will destroy property values in this segment and have a financial impact on businesses along route – (consider impact of the Eglinton LRT that has resulted in over 100 small stores closing and is taking over 11 years to build)

4. ENVIRONMENT + HERITAGE SIGN: This route would impact the appearance of the entry into Thorncliffe Park (the Heritage sign has been on that corner since the 1970s and signals the entry to the Thorncliffe community); it would also destroy the large cluster of beautiful trees that form a canopy, frame the welcome sign and block the current roadway. Finally, it would be even closer to Leaside Park (where hundreds of community members enjoy the green space daily).

ALTERNATIVE:

1. Move the Ontario Line one block west to connect to Banigan Drive which joins to Thorncliffe Park Drive. → This change would avoid impacting any residential properties, places of worship or businesses and would eliminate all of the issues noted above.

• It would put the rail over ONE road (Millwood) rather than crossing two roads (both Millwood and Overlea).

• This ensures greater safety, and less disruption from construction, for all who live (and work) in this segment.

• As several others have noted, people would rather take a 5 minute walk to the train, than have all of these health impacts associated with a train in the middle of a residential community...let alone on a small boulevard.

• It is more fitting that this major railway with fast speed trains every 90 seconds, run through industrial areas rather than impact any residential areas. There would still be easy access to the station at Thorncliffe Park Drive as it is a short walk west.

This area of Overlea Blvd. is home to thousands of residents and workers. Please ensure that transit growth is responsible, equitable, positive, and as you say completed "in a way that not only serves local transit riders, but also fits into the communities they call home"....This current route does not.​ You will have much more buy in from the entire community that this rail is to serve, if you make the necessary changes that will avoid negatively impacting the community that it serves.

Please be responsible and think about the long term impact of this transit line....make this change to the alignment. To you this is a contract that you want to complete.....to us, this is our HOME and WORK space!

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 12, 2020 - 09:00

Part of the original rationale for putting the line above ground in Thorncliffe was that the geography of the area would have required building the deepest station in Toronto's transit network, making for very long connections for passengers to buses at street level. This would also mean longer construction timelines and more significant impacts at the surface. We are still in the early stages of project design, and the rendering included in the north segment update may change. As plans come together over the next few years, we look forward to continuing to provide the community with updates, including more details about the steps we’ll take to mitigate noise and vibration impacts as well as renderings and images for community feedback. These updates will be provided in our e-newsletter as well as through virtual and in-person meetings (when public gatherings are safer) at our future community office in the East York Town Centre.

Anonymous's avatar

Why is there no costing of the above ground vs. below ground on the 1.5 km section between Pape School and Eastern Avenue? The big cost savings cited by Metrolinx was to eliminate tunneling under the Don River. Keep that savings but tunnel from East Harbour (former Lever factory) north to Riverdale Ave.. There will be significant costs associated with the proposed (but uncosted) 1.5 km above-ground section. These costs can be itemized (and likely will be by the community). For example, four bridge widenings, footings and support structures for elevated line, property expropriations, park replacement, noise walls, tree replacements, property acquisition for construction staging to name a few. In contrast, the tunneling equipment and specialized crews are already mobilized and in place as they move south on Pape Ave. Why has there not been any costing done for a hybrid option - burying it between Riverdale Ave and Eastern Ave.? Help people understand the rationale. Everyone wants improved transit but to ignore this basic question will further undermine public trust in Metrolinx and the provincial government. It will fuel growing opposition, which may jeopardize the project politically.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 16, 2020 - 20:33

Hi Shira Hill. Thanks for posting a reminder for everyone to give feedback on the important draft Enviro Conditions Report for the OL. Here:

https://www.metrolinxengage.com/en/content/ontario-line-ask-question

We suggest posting any one of these questions on the ALIGNMENT of the route through our section of track or just clicking on the THUMBS UP on anyone of the questions about alignment of our section:

1. Please explain why the 2km section of track through Riverside/Leslieville must go above-ground, when the same route but underground alignment would be less invasive and less destructive on our neighbourhood, businesses and environment?

2. If the OL must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south and rise above ground in south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area – not residential?

3) Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 16, 2020 - 20:50

The basis of good project management involves cost estimates and reviews by stakeholders. When will the cost estimates for the various routes that should have been considered (as opposed to the community being told this is cheaper and to believe it at face value) be provided to the community (a major stakeholder) for review and discussion. While cheaper looks good on paper, from a long term perspective, it is not always the most cost effective.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 16, 2020 - 20:56

There has been a big impact to the way people work, play and educate within the city as a result of COVID-19. Studies predict that this will have a long-term impact and transit levels may not return to pre-COVID volumes for 5-7 years, if ever. Given that the initial business case included transit volumes, when will a revised business case with adjusted ridership estimates be released.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 23, 2020 - 08:48

We do not yet have enough information to incorporate the implications of COVID-19 on future ridership but will continue to assess impacts as we move forward in the design and procurement process.

Anonymous's avatar

Why was there no cost comparison done on the section of the Ontario Line in the Riverside/Leslieville area? In this densely populated area, an underground route would be much less destructive to the neighbourhood. How would you feel if a train was running past your house every 45 seconds?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 08:39

Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 08:44

There are a number of heritage properties near Dundas and Logan. In fact, it’s a historical district. Given that the Ontario Line is slated to plow through the neighbourhood over bridges and near homes, what will be done to ensure that the historical properties are not disrupted. It is critical that the sanctities of these properties be preserved.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 27, 2020 - 09:55

Our plans focus on avoiding or minimizing impacts to as many historical and cultural properties as possible in all areas and will include station designs that integrate well with the surrounding neighbourhoods.  As further studies are completed and the Environmental Impact Assessment Report is prepared, a Heritage Detailed Design Report will be completed. This will give us a better understanding of the full range of anticipated impacts and associated mitigation options.

If impacts to existing heritage resources are unavoidable, Metrolinx will work with cultural heritage experts to explore options to reuse some or all of the building façade and structures, and/or incorporate commemorative signage in consultation with the City of Toronto Heritage Preservation Services. In all cases, Metrolinx will work with experts to ensure cultural and heritage spaces are treated with as much care as possible.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 17, 2020 - 09:14

From the ECR Area of Study, we can see that Metrolinx has not considered any alternative alignments, despite the motion Ex9.1 Amendments 19 and 20, passed by the City of Toronto in 2019, which states Mx must investigate underground routes through Leslieville. Why is Metrolinx ignoring the City directive and our community voices?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 09:19

Over 5100 people and multiple community groups want the Ontario Line Underground. See:
https://www.change.org/KeepOntarioLineUnderground

Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

If the line must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south and rise above ground south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area – not residential?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 09:27

Metrolinx has a history of failed promises to communities. You will not even engage with the community on any respectful level so how are we supposed to trust that any of these reports or plans mean anything? What is your plan to ensure our communities are respected during construction? What other measures will you undertake to ensure businesses and schools have minimized impact during construction and for all future noise and air quality? This process is a complete train wreck.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 23, 2020 - 08:52

We value any feedback we receive and factor it into our project delivery wherever possible. Plans for the Ontario Line have already been improved by input from the community and we will continue to pursue refinements and design innovations to ensure that this project is a good fit for the neighbourhoods through which it will run, providing more opportunities for input and feedback along the way.

 

Metrolinx has a number of measures it can take to reduce and manage impacts to residents and communities, both during and after construction. Examples include fitting equipment with muffling devices, using equipment and methods that minimize vibration, and coordinating construction schedules so that noisy operations do not occur simultaneously. As further design, infrastructure requirements and project details are confirmed, we will have a better understanding of potential impacts and mitigation measures.

 

As we move forward with the Ontario Line, we will continue to ensure all the lines of communications remain open for questions and community members are continually informed from planning and design through construction.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 10:04

Please explain why the 2km section of track through Riverside/Leslieville must go above-ground, when the same route but underground alignment would be less invasive and less destructive on our neighbourhood, businesses and environment?

Anonymous's avatar

You are obviously not listening to us. We have asked you to put the Ontario Line underground. The relief line was planned, signed off on by the community and ready to go PLUS!!! It was going to be put underground. A viable plan that came from the city of Toronto - why all of a sudden can this not be done?

This is very short-sited on the part of The Ford government and Metrolinx who haven’t put any thought or consideration into how this will affect the future of a thriving neighbourhood. Homes, business, parks and playgrounds will all be impacted by this invasive and destructive approach to building transit. Our way of life will be changed forever. Walking in our neighbourhoods and playing in our parks (if there any left) will be impossible. We will not be able to open our windows or sit in our backyards without hearing the bombardment of trains every 45 seconds.

Why are you not investigating an underground route like city of Toronto did? Why haven’t you done a cost analysis of both? I’m sure there are many industrial/non-residential areas where the line can go above ground to save on costs without destroying communities.

Your consultations and collaborations with the community have been poor to say the least. You are moving forward with a plan that the community does not want and you are making promises that we know you will not keep. Just look at what has happened in other communities like Davenport and Eglinton West – we just don’t believe you.

Your proposed plans are also incomplete. You have not laid out the placement of all the rail lines or revealed the technology to be used. We have not been told exactly what you are doing. You say Jimmie Simpson park will not be impacted…WE DON’T BELIEVE YOU. Jimmie Simpson park must be protected at all costs.

Metrolinx & Doug Ford you are ignoring the voice of the community!

Anonymous's avatar

Metrolinx and the Doug Ford government you are not listening to the community. I live in the Riverdale neighbourhood and our voices are being ignored. We need you to put the 2k Riverside/Riverdale section of the Ontario Line underground. The city of Toronto had a viable plan for the relief line, which included putting it all underground so why is Metrolinx not doing the same? We don’t think you have considered the impact this will have on our community. People living in this area will not be able to enjoy their homes, parks, restaurants and shops, which will end up disappearing as a result of this destructive plan.

The city of Toronto had a plan to put this line underground, but we have not seen a plan from Metrolinx in fact you have never explored or put forth a budget for alternative even though there was a motion passed by the city of Toronto that said Metrolinx must investigate underground routes through Leslieville and instead of listening to the community you have opted to ignore us.

We need our neighbourhood and our parks including Jimmie Simpson to remain untouched. These areas provide us a safe, healthy and stress free way of life and building multiple tracks with trains blasting through here every 45 seconds will have a definite impact on our well-being. The stress, the anxiety and the noise, the vibrations will affect our metal health, our physical health and cause deterioration to our historic homes that will not be able to withstand the heavy pounding trains that will plow through here 24/7 and our foundations will crumble.

Metrolinx put the Ontario Line underground.

Anonymous's avatar

Hi:

Two questions:

1. My property @ 59 DeGrassi is 28 meters from the boundary line of the railway corridor that will house the Ontario Line. To date there is no detailed information available regarding sound, emissions, boundary design. When will detailed design plans and impact assessments be made available that answer these questions?
2. More to the point, we are likely 8 months from the beginning of Earlyworks. What does MX believe is the necessary period of communication of final plans to the neighbourhood?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 11, 2020 - 09:12

We are completing a series of environmental assessments for the Ontario Line to make sure it’s the right fit for the communities it serves, including early works reports for areas where the Ontario Line will operate alongside GO service. Many of the questions you raise will be addressed through these reports, which require a specific level of design that is still being completed. In your area, we will shield the neighbourhood from the rail corridor by adding effective, well-designed sound barriers and by planting new trees to reduce both the sounds and sights of rail operations. We expect the improvements we’ll be putting in place will result in noise levels that are no higher or even lower than they are today in most locations along the rail corridor.

There is a 30 day consultation period after the draft environmental reports are released but we welcome public feedback at anytime in the project and we’ll be here to help you before, during and after construction.

Anonymous's avatar

Where can one find comparisons of the predicted economic and environmental impacts of both the construction and the running of the Riverside/Leslieville part of the line, in terms of underground vs. at grade and/or elevated? Without access to this information it is impossible for community members and policy-makers to make a sound judgement as to the relative merits of the option you seem to have already chosen.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 12:36

Why can the line not be put under ground? This will become the worst place to live in the downtown area. My house is directly behind the current tracks and trains running every 30-40 min or so is more than enough vibration and noise. Walls and noise barriers are a poor attempt to save money. We expect better.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 17, 2020 - 12:47

If the Ontario Line must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south and rise above ground in south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area – not residential?

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 17, 2020 - 13:03

1. Please explain why the 2km section of track through Riverside/Leslieville must go above-ground, when the same route but underground alignment would be less invasive and less destructive on our neighbourhood, businesses and environment?

2. If the OL must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south and rise above ground in south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area – not residential?

3. From the ECR Area of Study, we can see that Metrolinx has not considered any alternative alignments, despite the motion Ex9.1 Amendments 19 and 20, passed by the City of Toronto in 2019, which states Mx must investigate underground routes through Leslieville. Why is Metrolinx ignoring the City directive and our community voices?

4. Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

5. How can you call this process a ‘consultation’ when you are only advancing one design/route/alignment forward that clearly our communities do not want?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 14:26

How is noise being mitigated on the Ontario Line?

What are expected db levels?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 9, 2020 - 08:54

We will know more about precise environmental and community impacts as the project moves through further design stages, which will inform environmental studies.

Metrolinx has a number of measures it can take to reduce and manage impacts to residents and communities, both during and after construction, which we will use whenever and wherever necessary. We work closely with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to ensure that our approach to noise and vibration assessment is sound and in line with all applicable guidelines and regulations.

We look forward to sharing more details through the forthcoming environmental reports.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 17, 2020 - 14:49

From the Environmental Conditions Report's Area of Study, we can see that Metrolinx has not considered any alternative alignments, despite the motion Ex9.1 Amendments 19 and 20, passed by the City of Toronto in 2019, which states Mx must investigate underground routes through Leslieville. Why is Metrolinx ignoring the City directive and our community voices?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 15:16

As a resident directly affected by the projected years of construction of the Ontario Line, I want to understand why no other alternatives were presented. What is the business case to have the Ontario Line between Gerrard Station and Leslieville above ground? Where are the financials and estimates of cost? Why was the existing plan to put the subway underground shelved?

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 17, 2020 - 15:45

Over 5100 people and multiple community groups want the Ontario Line Underground. See:
https://www.change.org/KeepOntarioLineUnderground

Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

If the line must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south and rise above ground south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area – not residential?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 15:49

1. Why is Metrolinx / the Ontario government proceeding with the 2 km section of track through Riverside/Leslieville above-ground, given the permanent destruction of the neighbourhood, businesses and environment that this will cause?

2. If it is determined that the Ontario Line must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south from Gerrard through the residential area and rise above ground south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area?

3. From the Environmental Conditions Report's Area of Study, there is no evidence whatsoever that Metrolinx has considered any alternative alignments, despite the motion Ex 9.1 Amendments 19 and 20, passed by the City of Toronto in 2019, which states Metrolinx must investigate underground routes through Leslieville. Why is Metrolinx ignoring the City directive and our community voices?

4. Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville, particularly given that a viable underground route was already developed by the City of Toronto for the Downtown Relief Line?

5. How can you call this process a ‘consultation’ when you are only advancing one design/route/alignment forward that clearly our communities do not want?

6. The Environmental Report identifies ongoing operational impacts on the neighbourhood, including "annoyance, sleep disturbance, interference with activities" - among the proposals for mitigation is the construction of a wall. Has Metrolinx considered the impact on the neighbourhood of having this wall (or walls) run through the neighbourhood?

7. How does Metrolinx reconcile the decision - at great cost - to build the Eglinton West line from Weston Road to Renforth Drive underground through a less densely populated, industrial neighbourhood, when it was originally planned to run above ground, while Metrolinx / the Ford government is happy to run the Ontario Line above ground through Riverside / Leslieville - a residential neighbourhood, in spite of the more destructive and invasive impact Riverside/Leslieville?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 16:17

You keep putting forward as justification to build above-ground through Riverside/Leslieville that the plan will allow people to transfer from GO trains to Ontario Line trains on the same level. Who exactly raised this as an issue? Can you show us any community consultation that made that a priority or is this just an after-the-fact attempt to justify imposing this above-ground line on the neighbourhood? How can the theoretical inconvenience of having to go up or down a level to transfer between lines possibly outweigh the obvious destruction of the surrounding neighbourhood, including the environmental and health impacts, that will result from putting the line above-ground?

Anonymous's avatar

Riverside/Leslieville Alignment: Goodbye to Heritage Tourist Destination

Riverside/Leslieville is an historic and charming neighbourhood, which continues to bloom as a major tourist destination for Toronto.

The iconic De Grassi St., graced with heritage Victorian homes, surrounded by beautiful green space, continuously attracts curious pedestrians, tourists, seniors, and dogs.

This neighbourhood is adjacent to the proposed above-ground section of the OL, from Gerrard St. to Eastern Ave. The proposed 6 track rail expansion will bring continuous noise, vibrations, and bright lights every 45 sec.

Kiss our wonderful neighbourhood goodbye! Why is Metrolinx ignoring repeated community calls and the City's passed motion Ex9.1 Amendments 19 & 20 to 'investigate' underground routes through this neighbourhood? The Relief Line through our beloved neighbourhood after yrs. of planning and $ spent, was shovel-ready to go UNDERGROUND!

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 18:23

Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

Anonymous's avatar

Why is the 2 km section of the track through Riverside/Leslieville being designed to go above ground, when the same route but underground alignment would be less invasive and less destructive on our neighbourhood, businesses and environment?

Anonymous's avatar

The areas that the Ontario Line will be going through, especially in the Riverdale/Leslieville area, are very densely populated. No matter what assurances Metrolinx gives, putting this line above ground will cause incredible disruption.

Given that the Downtown Relief line was virtually shovel-ready, and below ground, why has Metrolinx not even considered putting this stretch of the Ontario Line below ground?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 18:52

The enabling legislation allows Metrolinx to expropriate properties in order to finance construction of the Ontario Line, but places not restrictions on where such property must be.

Will Metrolinx and the Ontario government give binding assurances that properties will not be expropriated outside the immediate vicinity of new stations? Will they give binding assurances that the density of developments enabled by such expropriation will not exceed the City of Toronto official plan for density and disruption?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 19:17

In a prior question, I asked how Metrolinx would retain control, and accept responsibility for its contractors and subcontractors. Your reply was:

"We continue to work closely with our contractor partners, local authorities and communities to ensure impacts to the community are minimized during construction. We recognize that the work to improve transit projects can often be disruptive, and we continue to take steps, with our contractors, to minimize and manage the effects on neighbors, responding to and addressing concerns as they are raised.

Frankly, this is just bafflegab, and did not answer the question. Here's the question:

BEFORE you sign any agreements with contractors and subcontractors, will you commit to retain control and responsibility over your contractors and subcontractors?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 18, 2020 - 11:05

Yes, Metrolinx puts contracts in place outlining specific rules and responsibilities to ensure our contractors abide by all regulations and obligations under a variety of protocols. Some examples that we hold our contractors to include: the Building Code Act, our noise and vibration framework, and obligations outlined in the environmental assessment process. In addition, our contractors are required to provide us with early notification of work that will occur, in order to provide communication to area residents and businesses ahead of work beginning.

We will also continue to act as the liaisons between members of the public and our contractors as we conduct work for the Ontario Line. Our commitment to residents is constant communication through construction and delivery of the Ontario Line to keep residents informed and updated on any upcoming work. We will also ensure that lines of communication remain open for us to address any questions or concerns that residents may have.  

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 19:29

Earlier I asked how you could guarantee the community that the horror show you have visited on Eglinton Avenue with the CrossTown Express won't be repeated with the Ontario Line. Your "response" was non-responsive:

"Metrolinx may require the use, occupation, modification or temporary closure of a municipal highway or right-of-way, this is to help complete construction faster and build infrastructure that will best suit the needs of the city. Metrolinx and its contractors will always work with partners, including the City of Toronto, to reduce impacts on the community while continuing to advance important projects and deliver improvements to transit as quickly as possible.

"We are still in the early stages of the Ontario Line project and it is too early to confirm anticipated impacts, but we will be providing further information as it is available and providing residents and businesses with advance information about impacts and mitigations so they know what to expect."

BEFORE you sign contracts and commit the province and we, the taxpayers, to a particular plan, which means RIGHT NOW, what assurances will you give us that the Ontario Line will not be a repeat of the disaster you have visited on the residents, pedestrians, vehicular traffic, and businesses along Eglinton? In the wake of the loss of business because of COVID, visiting a second plague on area businesses & residents would be unconscionable.

You say you "may require the use, occupation, modification or temporary closure". The Eglinton CrossTown Express is at least eight years behind schedule, so saying this is a "temporary closure" is disingenuous at best, and an outrageous lie at worst.

What steps will you take, and what assurances will you give, that you will not repeat the disaster on Eglinton, BEFORE you sign any contracts?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 11, 2020 - 09:13

The Ontario Line and Crosstown projects are two very different projects and therefore have been planned and designed very differently. The Ontario Line will have less road disruptions compared to Crosstown because construction of the Ontario Line will not be built along only one major road in the city. Instead, construction of the Ontario Line will be spread throughout the city from Exhibition/Ontario Place to the Ontario Science Centre at different times.

In addition, road and traffic disruptions will be avoided or reduced largely due to the fact that Ontario Line stations are not being built one kilometre apart in a straight line across a major Toronto road, the way the Crosstown was designed and built. The Ontario Line alignment has been planned to minimize impacts wherever possible while providing time saving, conveniently connected travel benefits.  Where there are disruptions anticipated, our Community Relations team will provide early notification and communication to area residents and businesses.

We know this is a challenging time for everyone, and that is top of mind for our team as we advance this important project. Construction has impacts, but we’ll be here for you. Throughout Ontario Line construction, our team will be available to answer any questions, provide project updates and offer local supports like promotional signage for businesses, wayfinding, construction hoarding and more. We’re committed to helping you understand the project, get information about construction and manage any impacts.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 19:35

Please explain why the 2KM section of track running south from Gerrard St must be above ground? There was a shovel-ready, fully-funded plan for this much-needed line to run below ground through this neighbourhood. (Downtown Relief line)
Why do you feel it necessary to disrupt the lives of so many families, putting our health and hearing at risk by continuing to promote an above ground section?
How will Metrolinx mitigate the air quality in our neighbourhood during and after construction?
Why will Metrolinx remove the trees and vegitation along this portion of the line before a full environmental study is completed. We are already short of the proscribed tree canopy coverage (28.4% to 31%) for the rest of Toronto.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 19:59

1. Please explain why the 2km section of track through Riverside/Leslieville must go above-ground, when the same route but underground alignment would be less invasive and less destructive on our neighbourhood, businesses and environment?

2. If the Ontario Line must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south and rise above ground in south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area – not residential?

3. From the Environmental Conditions Report's Area of Study, we can see that Metrolinx has not considered any alternative alignments, despite the motion Ex9.1 Amendments 19 and 20, passed by the City of Toronto in 2019, which states Metrolinx must investigate underground routes through Leslieville. Why is Metrolinx ignoring the City directive and our community voices?

4. Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 17, 2020 - 21:02

1. Please explain why the 2km section of track through Riverside/Leslieville must go above-ground, when the same route but underground alignment would be less invasive and less destructive on our neighbourhood, businesses and environment?

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 17, 2020 - 21:03

If the Ontario Line must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south and rise above ground in south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area – not residential?

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 17, 2020 - 21:04

Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 21:05

My understanding is all of the trees along the above ground sectoin of the rail corridor will be cut down during construction, Is this true? How will the trees be replaced?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 27, 2020 - 10:27

As part of the infrastructure work planned under the GO Rail Expansion Program and the Ontario Line as well as other projects, vegetation removals will be required by planned upgrades such as new track, construction staging, as well as implementation of electrification infrastructure. Metrolinx will work with its contractors to preserve surrounding vegetation in areas where we are building.  Removed trees will be compensated in accordance with Metrolinx’s Vegetation Guideline, which provides a landscape science-based approach that exceeds the requirements of applicable bylaws and regulations. In the joint rail corridor, where the Ontario Line will run alongside GO and VIA trains, noise barriers will be installed with landscaping and tree planting, to integrate the new infrastructure into the neighbourhoods and parks.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 21:07

What is the impact of the Ontario Line on Bruce Mackey Park? Is the entire park being destroyed for the line or is the park being retained as is?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 21:10

The fuzzy map indicates that the Leslieville station is running beside (on top of?) the McLeary playground on McGee. Is the entirety of the playground being destroyed to create the Ontario Line? What will be left after the station is completed?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 21:14

What are the impacts on Jimmie Simpson park and playground? Is the line remaining with the current rail corridor? Will there be expropriations of parts of the park, sports fields and playgroud running north from the Jimmie Simpson rec building up to the top of the park Paisley Street?

Anonymous's avatar

Will the rail bridge crossing Queen and Degrassi need to be subsantially widened from the current structure? How much wider?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 11, 2020 - 09:10

There will be three additional tracks added through this area of the shared railway. One track for GO expansion and two to serve the Ontario Line. The additions to existing bridges will be shared as design advances and environmental studies are complete however we are committed to infrastructure that enhances the fabric of the neighbourhoods where it will be built.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 21:16

Will there be any expropriations of property on McGee, Strange, Degrassi and Wardell?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 9, 2020 - 08:59

Initial design work on the Ontario Line is underway but not complete. Significant design and engineering effort is being applied to reduce the need for expansion of the current GO corridor footprint in this area. Final assessments of whether a property is needed or not will be identified through further design, as infrastructure requirements and project details are confirmed. If your property in the Riverside or Leslieville is directly or partially impacted, Metrolinx will contact you directly. We will work collaboratively with our partners, communities and with affected property owners to ensure the lines of communications remain open and that those impacted are continually informed from planning and design through construction, as we move forward with the Ontario Line.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 17, 2020 - 23:12

Why does the 2km section of track through Riverside/Leslieville have to be above-ground when it will be so destructive to a neighbourhood with narrow streets, tiny lots and heritage homes? Why are you inflicting above ground mass transit on a densely packed neighborhood that can least accommodate it?

Anonymous's avatar

Health Canada states in Guidance for Evaluating Human Health Impacts in Environmental Assessment, “the determination of %HA is a widely accepted indicator of the human health effects of long-term noise exposure.” It stipulates “a calculation of baseline percent highly annoyed (%HA) at receptors” be provided in environmental assessment. We are baffled as to why there is not even a mention of %HA in the draft environmental report.

Health Canada says “the change in %HA as an appropriate indicator of noise-induced human health effects from exposure” and recommends that it does not exceed 6.5%. Is the Ontario Line during either construction or operation phase expected to breach change in %HA above 6.5%?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 23:26

No vibration study was undertaken on De Grassi St, Wardell St, Booth St or Gerrard St E/Carlaw Ave. We are extremely nervous about the exposure to constant vibration on an ongoing basis from rail traffic and how it may interfere with our health and everyday activities such as conversation and sleep. This corridor has 100+ year old houses constructed using different materials and methods. There is no mention at all of vibration impacts on the structural integrity of our houses near the tracks or of human responses to the vibrations and reradiated noise induced by railway traffic.

The FCM/RAC Proximity Guidelines points out “vibration in buildings in proximity to railway corridors can reach levels that may not be acceptable to building occupants.” It recommends vibration measurements to include a minimum of five train passbys and prescribes a maximum limit of 0.14mm/s RMS for living areas. We need a vibration study in our homes and neighbourhood to ensure that our community will not be exposed to vibration beyond these limits.

Final version of Environmental Conditions Report MUST include a thorough vibration study in residential area.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 23:27

Ontario Ministry of the Environment Noise Guideline indicates the sound level should be assessed in “indoor living areas such as bedrooms and living rooms.” Province states “a major characteristic of railway noise is its high pass-by sound level for short periods and a major low frequency component produced by the operation of the diesel locomotive. This special character of the sound should be taken into account, particularly when assessing the indoor sound levels.”

We note indoor living area noise measurement is also recommended by FCM/RAC. We need to establish the current indoor living areas’ noise levels for houses facing the proposed Ontario Line, namely on De Grassi St, Cummings St, Wardell St and Booth Avenue.

Anonymous's avatar

We are extremely concerned by the complete lack of due diligence on the public health impact of running 6-lane railways right through a residential neighbourhood. We are families, many with small children and vulnerable populations in our households.

We implore Metrolinx and Province to
(a) immediately commission and incorporate a Health Impact Assessment into the Environmental Report
(b) allow sufficient time for a proper public health investigation and public consultation before proceeding with this project
(c) carry out the cost-benefit analysis of putting the Ontario Line underground.

We ask policymakers not to fund this project or award any contracts until a comprehensive public health impact assessment and consultation have been completed. Beyond numbers and budgetary constraints, there are everyday community members whose lives will be upended if this project proceeds in its current form. Beyond public health concerns, this project would displace small businesses, public greenspaces, community centres, urban wildlife and neighbourhood residents.

The harm caused by above-ground rail in our community will be felt for generations. It is not right the government’s cost saving measures are putting the burden of proper transit on local residents, jeopardizing our health and livelihood.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 17, 2020 - 23:57

Why is there no Public Health Impact Assessment as part of the Environmental assessment? As a health care professional and parent it is very concerning that the report does not address noise exposure, vibration impact and air pollution. These public health concerns are not just for relatively short periods during construction, but would be constant if the OL is to be imposed on our community. Our community would not survive as people would have no choice but to move to protect our families.

Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

How can you call this process a ‘consultation’ when you are only advancing one design/route/alignment forward that clearly our communities do not want?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 18, 2020 - 00:06

Why is Metrolinx not listening to the affected communities and assessing the merits of an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville, especially since significant preparatory work was done to confirm the viability of an underground route by the City of Toronto for the Downtown Relief Line? Has a detailed cost comparison been done?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 18, 2020 - 08:23

1) Please explain why the 2km section of track through Riverside/Leslieville must go above-ground, when the same route but underground alignment would be less invasive and less destructive on our neighbourhood, businesses and environment?

2) If the OL must come above ground – why can’t it remain underground heading south and rise above ground in south of Eastern Ave. in the industrial area – not residential?

3) From the ECR Area of Study, we can see that Metrolinx has not considered any alternative alignments, despite the motion Ex9.1 Amendments 19 and 20, passed by the City of Toronto in 2019, which states Mx must investigate underground routes through Leslieville. Why is Metrolinx ignoring the City directive and our community voices?

4) Why is Metrolinx not investigating an underground route in Riverside/Leslieville when a viable underground route was developed by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line?

5) How can you call this process a ‘consultation’ when you are only advancing one design/route/alignment forward that clearly our communities do not want?

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 18, 2020 - 08:54

Why are you not considering burying the 2km section of the tracks in Leslieville from Gerrard to Eastern? This is a highly dense and developed neighbourhood with parks, homes and small businesses. It is finally a vibrant part of the city that attracts people from across the city. The multi-track train system will create noise and environmental pollution and will involve expropriating homes and destroying a park and important community centre. The Ontario line will go underground in many other areas - why not here in one of the densest parts of the routes?

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 18, 2020 - 09:43

Based on Metrolinx's record of delays, overspending, and what appears to be a 'our way or the highway' approach why should I believe that any of the replies here are more than an attempt at pacification or obscuration?

Sal's avatar

In particular regarding the North end of the line that crosses over Don Valley, you should have considered alternative paths including a completely underground option. I think its clear a lot of people would like to see an underground only option that avoids destroying parkland, homes, etc. And do not say that it isn't possible because it is possible as other cities have done so.

Also who are you building this transit system for? Yourselves? Or the community? If it really is for the community why are we not being included in crucial decisions that will affect the lives of those who live in the vicinity of proposed routes????

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 23, 2020 - 08:51

The rendering included in the north segment update is conceptual and the future design may change. Minor adjustments to the curve of the route will be considered alongside considerations like cost and technical feasibility. We will continue to work with communities to ensure a comprehensive array of measures are in place to address any impacts and to ensure designs are respectful of communities.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 19, 2020 - 14:44

Why are you putting transit lines underground in Scarborough and in Etobicoke (much lower density and much wider road right of ways) and not in Thorncliffe Park or South Riverdale (much higher densities and tighter roads)? It can't be about cost savings otherwise the Scarb. and Etob. lines would be above ground. What is the REAL reason??

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 19, 2020 - 16:54

1) From the ECR area of study, no alternative alignments are considered despite the motion Ex9.1 (amendement 19 and 20) passed by the City of Toronto in 2019, which state that Metrolinx must investigate underground routes through Leslieville and Riverside. Why is Metrolinx ignoring the City directive and our community voices?

2) A viable underground route was developed by the city of Toronto for the Relief Line! Why does Metrolinx shows no interest in investigate this option?
One reason presented by Metrolinx is speed of passenger's transfer, understandably, where a station is deep underground, the one station by the Don Valley and The Don River! Thats one station, at a cost of 3 minutes to commuters...! But at what cost to our community?
Surely, good station engineering could address and offer solutions to reduce passenger's transfer time.

3) To my understanding no cost comparaison have been presented to justify that the above ground section is more economical. Why?
4) Advancing with a designed route alignment that an entire communities rejected does not show genuine intentions in the process of consultation!
4) One must question the thinking process of our leaders when promoting irrational and antiquated, backwards proposal. Our City is dramatically moving forward and is recognized on the international scene as progressive and relevant. Let it reflect in the choices for good transit, now!

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 19, 2020 - 18:10

Can't we just bring back the Relief Line? It was a well-consulted plan that made everyone happy. I am from Leslieville. And I have a good understanding of transit projects in Metro Toronto. The Ontario Line is a highly destructive project and you're making a big mistake by destroying Leslieville by having the Ontario Line run along the GO rail corridor. We won't stand for trains passing by our loving neighbourhood at 90 seconds!!!! It's already bad enough with GO trains around. People have received expropriation notices already and they have no idea what to plan for the future. They were sobbing because they lost their jobs due to the pandemic. How unfortunate. Put the Ontario Line underground. We're putting LRT's underground in Etobicoke why not here? Second, the Ontario Line will not provide the capacity needed to relieve Line 1 and 2. 100m platforms are a joke. And we still don't know what the trainsets will look like or how long they will be. We don't know how 90sec frequencies will even be achieved on this line!!!!!

Bring back the Relief Line. A plan that worked for Toronto. We can find the funds to extend the Relief Line north to Sheppard in the future instead of terminating at Eglinton. Smaller trains will not work on this line. If the Ontario Line is built, communities will be destroyed, Line 1 and 2 will not be relieved, people's lives will be destroyed, memories will be lost. And it's all because of the pathetic Ford government wanted to build a stupid LRT extension underground in Etobicoke and waste money on the SSE in Scarborough. When the money can be used to put the Ontario Line underground, building the Eglinton East LRT, the Eglinton West LRT above-ground and the renovating the SRT. The city was better at handling transit projects. With the province, we all have a price to pay by throwing out plans that worked.

Thanks, Ford for ruining everything... We will fight to push this line underground. And we won't give up.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 19, 2020 - 18:36

To everyone who reads this. YES, I am one of the few who supports this project and I think it should move forward. Let's be fair we're hating on this project because a conservative government is in charge. Places like Leslieville are NDP territory. If you actually read the plan, Leslieville will not get destroyed or levelled or whatever, the community centre there will not be destroyed, and it makes sense to have the line used the GO rail corridor because it actually saves money and time constructing the line. We're calling on Metrolinx to have the OL underground yet if we did, the stations would've been extremely deep due to the presence of a giant sewer there. Not to mention tunnelling the Don would be a waste of money. With all that, the underground alignment many propose would drive up the cost and make constructing the northern segment of the line unfeasible.

If you want a cost-comparison of underground vs overground sure! City Council voted to ask Ford/Metrolinx to do so. And what's wrong with elevated in Thorncliffe Park? The guideway is moved away from the area past the station so I thought y'all would've been happy it's gone. Elevated lines work and can blend into the neighbourhood. Don't believe me? Check out the Vancouver Skytrain and see how they built theirs. Elevated takes a lot less time too. Look at the Montreal REM project. Started in 2018, finishing in 2023. And that's a 67km network of rapid transit done in a few years. Why can't we do that here?

I support this project and I'm happy to see it go forward despite the NIMBY's opposing this project. This is why nothing gets built in Toronto. Let's get shovels in the ground!

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 19, 2020 - 22:53

This is in response to the person who posted the ONE and ONLY positive comment that has suddenly appeared about the building of the Ontario Line on this entire public forum on October 19 entitled, "My Opinions on this Topic":

Oct 19, 2020 - 18:36
YOUR COMMENT: "To everyone who reads this. YES, I am one of the few who supports this project and I think it should move forward. Let's be fair we're hating on this project because a conservative government is in charge."

→ Not true: the reaction and real concerns from 99% (excluding you) of the respondents on this forum is not politically motivated, they would be reacting the same way regardless of the political party that was pushing this agenda because the current design of this transit project is not: “sensitive and respectful… one that is built in a way that not only serves local transit riders, but also fits into the communities they call home.” (Metrolinx's words) It does not serve the communities, it can potentially destroy them.

People are in favour of transit growth that is truly done properly, responsibly, equitably, and with community input.

YOUR COMMENT: "And what's wrong with elevated in Thorncliffe Park? The guideway is moved away from the area past the station so I thought y'all would've been happy it's gone. Elevated lines work and can blend into the neighbourhood."

→ NOT TRUE: It has NOT been moved from several residences, and businesses. In fact, building an elevated railway meters from the entrances and the living space of several residential areas, community service providers, and businesses that would be even more negatively impacted by the updated curve and crossing onto Overlea Blvd. for Thorncliffe Park is not "blending into the neighbourhood" but rather destroying it. There are viable alternatives that have now been suggested whereby the residents and commuters still have easy access to the Thorncliffe station but the alignment of the elevated portion is moved to avoid all residential properties and businesses.

Infact, the numerous negative impacts of the current alignment to Thorncliffe Park still include: HEALTH factors (noise, vibration, pollution, privacy, safety, etc), the ECONOMIC impact on businesses and property values, the TRAFFIC GRIDLOCK chaos during years of construction on Overlea Blvd. (think of the 11 years of development with the Eglinton LRT line), the EQUITY issue of still segregating the Overlea-Thorncliffe community (an already at risk community) by placing an elevated rail in the middle of a small residential boulevard is simply destructive...If, you actually lived beside and worked along any of these elevated routes you would experience the permanent and life altering impact of such a development on lives and livelihoods, and not wish to so quickly "get shovels in the ground!".

YOUR COMMENT: "I support this project and I'm happy to see it go forward despite the NIMBY's opposing this project. This is why nothing gets built in Toronto. Let's get shovels in the ground!"

→ Clearly you do not directly live or value the destructive impact on established communities along the current pathway of this Transit Line as it is currently proposed....."Things (can) get built in Toronto" and have much more credibility and buy in when there is the support of the numerous communities and taxpayers that they are meant to serve.

Plan the route (especially the elevated) portions with thoughtful planning, community input and care....and then "put shovels into the ground". The Ontario Line is a permanent and potentially life altering transit line for everyone who lives, works and commutes in Toronto and should be planned and executed with care not expedited to meet anyone's agenda.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 23, 2020 - 15:11

The fall colours have been particularly nice this year, and many people have been out on the Millwood Bridge, looking toward the city skyline and photographing the view. As a photographer, I myself have done many times, and at all times of year. The current route proposal calls for a new bridge to be placed right in front of this view, forever altering it. What will the new bridge look like? Will it provide pedestrians and cyclists a new vantage point down the valley to replace the one that will be lost?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 11, 2020 - 09:09

Thanks to modern construction techniques and materials, the Ontario Line bridges can be slimmer and less visually impactful. In our recent north segment update, we included a conceptual rendering of the new bridge crossing the Don Valley. However, we’re in an early stage of design.  We look forward to continuing to provide the community with updates, including more details about the steps we’ll take to minimize environmental impacts, as well as new renderings and images for community feedback.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 23, 2020 - 22:28

There seems to be significant number of comments concerning the portion of the line from East Harbour to Gerrard. If the locals are so upset, consider offering an alternative route as follows:
1) Tunnel along the Relief Line route from Queen Street eastward, under the Don River to Broadview.
2) Have the TBM shaft just east of Broadview.
3) Have the line become very shallow, and follow the original (4 year old) alignment along Eastern directly to Pape and north on Pape.
4) This could be built using cut-and-cover to save money to make up for the extra cost of tunneling under the Don.
5) All the stations could become shallower (meaning less expensive and less construction duration) because the line could go over the Carlaw Sewer, and not under and parallel to it.
6) This cut-and-cover construction could continue up Pape to the new Millwood bridge crossing area.
Of course cut-and-cover allows for multiple construction activities to occur at the same time, greatly speeding construction.

So if the locals complain - make an offer. Either an above ground line to save some money or some temporary construction noise of cut-and-cover but an ultimate out-of-the-way underground line.

Anonymous's avatar

Will the Don Valley Crossings be built with suicide prevention barriers?

Knowing that both will only be used by trains; not pedestrians, cyclists, or cars, it is important to be aware that, unfortunately, many individuals take their lives by jumping off of the Leaside Bridge each year.

Many, if not most, drive into the area (i.e. not locals) and abandon their vehicle in the surface parking lot of 1 Leaside Park Drive.

Much of this sad occurrence is due to the Bloor Viaduct receiving barriers a number of years ago resulting in Thorncliffe Park, and the Leaside Bridge, being the next nearest and highest accessible jumping point. Something for Metrolinx to be aware of in the design of its own bridges.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Oct 27, 2020 - 10:02

Thank you for your feedback on this important issue. We are committed to ensuring Ontario Line infrastructure is safe during construction and operation but we also recognize that everyone has a role to play in helping people who face mental health challenges. By increasing awareness and making it easier for people to get the support they need, we can prevent suicide sooner.

At Metrolinx, safety is at the heart of everything we do. To learn more about how we approach rail safety, you can read this blog we published about our actions and advocacy for Rail Safety Week 2020.

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 26, 2020 - 11:02

You cite , "Metrolinx will work to preserve surrounding vegetation in areas where we are building to the extent possible and provide compensation/replacement in accordance with Metrolinx’s Vegetation Guideline 2020."

Where can we find these guidelines? What Provincial Environmental Standards do they apply?

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Metrolinx
Oct 27, 2020 - 10:05

Metrolinx’s Vegetation Guideline can be found here. It follows a landscape science-based approach that exceeds the requirements of applicable bylaws and regulations.

Anonymous's avatar

Hello, I note that Metrolinx has stopped responding to questions posed here on your 'Ask A question' board? Why is that? Where else can the public get answers for these questions if Metrolinx refuses to answer them?

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Metrolinx
Oct 27, 2020 - 10:06

We are continuing to respond to public posts on this forum but in some cases it may take longer than expected due to volume of inquiries received. You can always email us directly at [email protected].

Anonymous's avatar
Oct 26, 2020 - 11:06

The newly released model for the Ontario Line shows the tunnel going directly under our home (Pape Ave, just south of Torrens Ave). What will the impact be to home owners? We are concerned about noise levels during construction and once the trains are running, potential damages to our property and concern about vibrations and impact on the foundation, impact on our property itself in terms of construction of the tunnel itself etc. We are also concerned on how this could affect our property value. Is there someone we can connect with to do a deeper dive on this?

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Metrolinx
Oct 27, 2020 - 10:07

The Draft Environmental Conditions Report is the first step in our efforts to measure the impacts of noise and vibration and propose mitigations. The report looks at the existing conditions, including noise and vibration, to establish a baseline against which anticipated impacts of construction and operation of the Ontario Line will be assessed. These assessments, along with recommendations for mitigations, will be included in Early Works and Environmental Impact Assessment reports which we expect to release over the next 6-8 months as the project moves through further design stages.

It is important to note that the Ontario Line tunnels will be very deep which will significantly reduce noise and vibration impacts. We are committed to going above and beyond to mitigate noise during and after construction of the Ontario Line and will employ the most effective noise mitigation measures. We look forward to sharing further details as the project advances.

If would like to speak to someone, please feel free to email us at [email protected] or call us at 416-202-5100.

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Oct 31, 2020 - 00:28

Is approx height, metres, of the elevated in thorncliffe avalable? Is it same from Millwood to Overlea, to Pat More, to Beth Neelson or does it very a bit?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 3, 2020 - 09:52

At this point in the planning process, we have not finalized the height of the elevated guideway in the north segment. This will be determined in part by the construction partner who be designing and delivering the work, based on specifications set by Metrolinx. That being said, we are committed to ensuring the elevated guideway will fit with the community it will serve. If you haven’t had the chance yet, please take a look at the conceptual rendering that we included in the north segment neighbourhood update. You can find it in the ‘Thorncliffe Park’ section.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 3, 2020 - 15:55

When we purchased our condo at 1 Leaside Park Drive over twenty years ago, we thought we had landed in paradise: an unobstructed three hundred degree view of the magnificent valley framed by the city’s skyline and accessible via one of Toronto’s most beautiful avenue, the Overlea Boulevard.

We are continually awed at the sight of deers at our feet, the flight of red-tailed hawks and Canada geese by our window, the daily display of sunrises and sunsets, the storms brewing followed by a double rainbow. Lazing around on the balcony on a warm summer night before retiring to bed with the patio doors wide open.

From now on, the sights will be altered, the doors and windows permanently closed.

The proposed Ontario Line, is needed and welcome… The line of action however may require the need for more discussion.

Our city is growing at a monumental pace; we should look at this project with an eye towards the future, say 40 or 50 year from now when it will be necessary to tear it all down and relocate the system underground at a then astronomical cost. Let's start the digging now.

The elevated system with unavoidable noise and disruption, as well as a visual assault in such a beautiful setting makes the proposed route totally unacceptable for a first class city and should not be running by its citizens bedroom windows every 90 seconds.
( Montreal is constructing such elevated transit on the far west end part of the island, but it is runs along busy Highway 40 in a fully
industrial sector, obstructing the view of the glass office buildings… and what an appalling eyesore when driving by ).

If above ground or elevated is absolutely imperative, a better route would be to follow Banigan Drive across Millwood Rd, away from our peaceful homes.

Thank you,

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 11, 2020 - 09:08

Building a tunnel deep enough to go under the Don Valley to Thorncliffe Park would have resulted in the deepest station in Toronto’s transit network and would have meant significantly more construction impacts and much longer connection times to buses at street level. We recognize how special your home is to you and are working hard to minimize impacts to the community. Elevated guideways and stations will be designed with your community in mind, using modern design approaches that will be attractive additions to the neighbourhoods they serve. We’ve already incorporated community feedback in our plans and we’ll continue to seek input as plans come together over the next few years, including providing more details about the steps we’ll take to mitigate noise and vibration impacts.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 6, 2020 - 17:28

Can you explain why you decided to move the track north of the commercial businesses along Overlea but then brought it back onto Overlea at the point where the only non-rental townhomes and condos are located? I am very concerned about future property value when the view from my window/balcony will be an elevated train. In addition to that, I am even more concerned about sound. As it is, the VIA rail train (which is even further north than your planned route) causes great noise disruption.

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 11, 2020 - 09:06

We are continuing to work with the Thorncliffe Park community to understand their concerns about the current alignment and balance that with the objectives of improving the Ontario Line customer experience, increasing access to transit, maximizing ridership, achieving travel time savings, and creating better access to jobs. Unlike the current VIA trains, Ontario Line trains will be electrified and therefore much quieter. Metrolinx has a number of measures we can take to reduce and manage impacts to residents and communities, both during and after construction. Impacts and mitigations will be comprehensively analyzed in an Environmental Impact Assessment Report, expected in mid-2021.

As plans come together over the next few years, we look forward to continuing to provide the community with updates, including more details about the steps we’ll take to mitigate visual, noise and vibration impacts and fitting the design of the elevated guideway and stations into the fabric of the neighbourhood. These updates will be provided in our e-newsletter as well as through virtual and in-person meetings (when public gatherings are safer) at our future community office in the East York Town Centre.

Anonymous's avatar
Nov 9, 2020 - 14:32

A number of questions have been raised about health impact of above ground rail through a densely populated residential neighbourhood in Riverside/Leslieville. You have not answered any of them.

Why are you ignoring public health risks?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 11, 2020 - 09:04

By allowing people to leave their cars at home and take transit instead, the Ontario Line will be an environmentally friendly travel option that helps protect air quality. The electric-powered Ontario Line trains will also ensure no additional emissions are introduced to your local community.  Metrolinx has a number of measures we can take to reduce and manage impacts to residents and communities, both during and after construction. Impacts and mitigations will be comprehensively analyzed in forthcoming Early Works Reports and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report.

No one’s concerns will be ignored but it may take some extra time for us to respond. You can always email us directly at [email protected].

Anonymous's avatar

Hi, we have a traffic control box in front of the future Thorncliffe Park Station that is part of the City of Toronto's StreetARToronto program (https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/...).

It was hand-painted by an artist in 2015. Will it be protected during construction?

You can see it on this poster, fourth row down, second picture in: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/95fb-2015-Poster.pdf

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 23, 2020 - 09:11

Detailed design and planning work is still underway to determine exact station locations and what utilities may need to be relocated, including traffic control boxes. We are working closely with the City of Toronto on utility relocations and understand how important these hand-painted artworks are to local communities. We will also be working with communities along the Ontario Line to plan and develop stations and infrastructure that fits into and contributes to the neighbourhood.​

Anonymous's avatar

Anonymous
Nov 19, 2020 - 07:47

We are well into the fall and according to the schedule, the following items are to be issued this fall.

1. -- Business Case
2. South and RSSOM RFP's
3. Environmental Conditions Notice of Final report
4. Early Works Notice Draft Report

Do you expect all of these to be issued this fall still ?

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Nov 27, 2020 - 08:43

Yes, we expect to issue two Request for Proposals, the notice of the final Environmental Conditions Report, a draft Early Works Report, and the Preliminary Design Business Case before the end of the year. While we expect to proceed with these Ontario Line project milestones this season, we will continue to review the situation and re-assess our anticipated schedule as the project continues to move forward. If there are any changes, we will update the projected timeline on our website.

Anonymous's avatar
Dec 1, 2020 - 18:32

Is there a book & video about the history and the rebuilding of Toronto's Union Station? Yours truly, Jim Kerner

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
Dec 3, 2020 - 12:26

The Ontario Line does not intersect with Union Station, but you can find information about Metrolinx’s Union Station revitalization and enhancement project on our Union Station project page and on Metrolinx News. The Union Station building itself is owned by the City of Toronto, which may be able to better direct you to resources like books or videos. Here is their page about the history of the station.