> The Ontario Line LIVE-East Harbour, Leslieville/Riverside, Gerrard -June 24, 2021 | Metrolinx Engage

The Ontario Line LIVE-East Harbour, Leslieville/Riverside, Gerrard -June 24, 2021

Archive - June 24, 2021

On June 24, 2021, Metrolinx hosted a presentation and live Q&A focused on East Harbour, Riverside/Leslieville and Gerrard stations with over 68 people in attendance. During the virtual open house, we answered top-voted questions submitted by registrants, as well as live questions from participants using a Zoom call-in option. Participants asked a variety of questions related to the construction approach, environmental assessment, transit corridor lands, bridges, trees and more. We’ll be posting answers to questions from the event on this page soon.

For those who weren’t able to join us, you’ll find the video recording below. We’re looking forward to holding many more meetings in the future, including a consultation on the retaining/noise walls for your community.

Agenda

6:30PM - 7:00PM: Ontario Line Project Update

7:00PM - 7:30PM: Questions and Answers to Pre-Submitted Questions

7:30PM - 8:00PM: Call-in Questions

 

Virtual Open House – June 24, 2021 Outstanding Questions

What will the interchange look like with the Ontario Line, GO transit and TTC at East Harbour?

Design is ongoing to determine what the East Harbour transit hub will look like. The priority is to make sure customers can easily transfer between Ontario Line, GO Transit and TTC services.

South or North of Don Yard ???

The portal will be located in the Don Yard, a staging area for GO Trains.

What is the range of disruptions people within 30m corridor could experience? And where along the corridor? ie: minor construction to expropriation?

The distance varies along the corridor. In some cases, the transit corridor lands may only extend a short distance away from the Ontario Line corridor, while in other places, they could extend up to several hundred metres. The reason for this is transit corridor lands are meant to account for all aspects of transit planning and construction. Boundaries extend to the furthest possible point where land may be needed, whether for locations where Metrolinx may do environmental studies about noise and vibration, areas where utilities may need to be relocated, access points for construction areas, or areas where traffic may need to be temporarily diverted due to construction.

Notices were also sent out to those in the buffer area that extends an additional 30 metres around the transit corridor land boundary because the same conditions that apply to those on transit corridor lands apply to those in the buffer area.

The access area near the Dundas overpass, east and west entrances, what will the duration be and how will the traffic management be handled?

The access area through Dundas Street near Bruce Mackey Park is needed for 16-18 months and is expected from summer/fall 2023 to fall 2024.

The access area through Dundas Street near Paisley and Booth Avenues is needed for 16-18 months. It is expected to be in use from summer 2022 to fall 2023.

Building a subway through such a densely populated urban area is a challenge, but we’re committed to keeping people moving during construction. Our top priority is maintaining safe access for all. We’ll be working with communities, local BIAs, elected officials and the TTC on plans to maintain safe access to local stores and businesses with robust safety measures and frequent communication. These plans will involve:

  • avoiding or minimizing impacts to existing transit services as much as possible;
  • communicating early and often about any temporary impacts to roadways and transit lines;
  • looking at other projects that may be taking place to see how they might affect our plans;
  • ensuring communications about any changes are clear and highly visible across many different channels.

Our access requirements are in the preliminary stages and are subject to change as we refine to reduce impacts.

How will GO Transit service be impacted during construction of the Ontario Line?

The details of construction impacts and detours have not been finalized. Every effort will be taken to ensure that GO service and access is maintained. Metrolinx will coordinate with the appropriate transportation agencies to mitigate any impacts caused by construction prior to the work beginning. In the event of service disruption, alternative access and routes will be provided and displayed to the public in advance to ensure a seamless transition.

Working with our partners at GO operations, we will carefully plan work to minimize disruption to GO services. This is possible by shifting the tracks to the opposite side of the corridor away from the work taking place. Preliminary analysis tells us there will be little to no disruption to existing GO services.

What are the impacts of the bridge replacement and corridor regrading? Will this impact the environmental assessment process? We want these tracks underground. It seems like you did not think the above ground plan was complicated and costly as it now seems.

Our early works scope always envisioned work required on the area bridges and regrading of the corridor. The environmental assessment process can accommodate refinements in design as we work towards the forthcoming environmental reports.

Four bridges in the community will need to be rebuilt at Eastern Avenue, Queen Street, Dundas Street and Logan Avenue. This is needed to support a realignment of GO tracks within the rail corridor from the Don Yard up to the new station at Gerrard, which is needed to make space for new Ontario Line tracks. New Ontario Line bridges will be built next to these new GO rail bridges. In keeping with City of Toronto standards, the new bridges will be constructed with five-metre vertical clearances from the roadways below, except for Eastern Avenue which is still being reviewed. This is an improvement from the existing vertical clearances of 3.9 metres at Queen, 4.1 metres at Dundas, and 4.4 metres at Logan.

The increased clearances will improve the quality of the space below the bridges for car, pedestrian, cyclists and transit vehicles. To accommodate the increased vertical clearances of the new GO bridges, the existing GO tracks will also need be raised. The amount that the corridor will be raised is 1.1 metres at Queen, 0.9 metres at Dundas, and 0.6 metres at Logan. Eastern Avenue clearances are still being reviewed.

The impact analysis will be assessed in both the upcoming Lakeshore East Joint Corridor Early Works Report this fall and the Environmental Impact Assessment in early 2022 that will also detail mitigation measures we will use.

Will First Avenue be used as an access point?

No, the goal is to access the rail corridor through the main roads to reduce disruption to the community. For example, access points have been planned using Eastern Avenue, Queen Street, Dundas Street, etc. First Avenue will not be used as we have an access point using Gerrard Street.

What improvement plans along the Ontario Line does Metrolinx have in place with the city that will support safe pedestrian and bike friendly neighbourhoods as well as the demand for green space and parkland which we know to be vital to mental health and enjoyment?

In our open houses in early 2020, we heard from the community that protecting green space was important. Through careful planning, we have ensured no park will be smaller after the Ontario Line is complete. Except for Gerrard Carlaw Parkette, all parks will continue to be fully accessible during construction. After construction is complete, there will be a net increase of 2,600 m2 of park space for the community.

Metrolinx has completed studies on connectivity and committed to creating a new dedicated multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists to use when crossing the Lower Don River.

Where have the pedestrian/cycling references gone for the new Lower Don Bridge? It's been promised for years to be part of any new track build for accessing East Harbour, was referenced by Metrolinx on the LDB slide in the April open house meetings, yet now is conspicuously missing from the description of what will be built in the Early Works report and the press release/info page about the bridge. Please explain how/what the pedestrian/cycling access across the river there will look like.

We originally considered integrating the multi-use trail with the Ontario Line bridges, but with only one Ontario Line bridge on the north side, we're able to build a dedicated bridge that allows for pedestrians, cyclists and other forms of active transportation, separate from the Ontario Line bridge.

This work won’t be part of the early works construction scope and is therefore not included in the report. Rest assured, we intend to deliver this benefit to the community as we recognize the need to better connect this area with additional infrastructure.

You are talking about the parks with more green space which is great but how will you soften the visual of the retaining wall? Will you be investing in the parks themselves like other projects?

We have numerous tools to soften the visual impact of the retaining wall. All these options will be presented to the community at an upcoming consultation so we can take feedback and design priorities to the project team for consideration.

For example, we can use patterned concrete, vegetative embankments, vegetative vertical walls, tree plantings, terraced landscape and more.

In addition, for the noise walls, we are considering materials that are transparent or reflective.

We are in active discussions with the City of Toronto to invest in the parks that the community uses. We have proposed to refurbish existing amenities and add new amenities. There will be consultation with the community to determine the local priorities for neighbourhood parks.

Are the existing mature trees beside the tracks in Bruce Mackey & Jimmie Simpson Parks or in the ROW? The cartoons shown at the last consult were misleading.

There are trees within the Metrolinx property and trees that are on City lands.

We have completed a tree survey and the tree impact analysis is currently ongoing. It will be included in the upcoming Lakeshore East Joint Corridor Early Works Report this fall. Vegetation clearing related to the Ontario Line will not begin until the community has the Early Works environmental report.

At the last presentation, we heard that the Environmental requirements will be reported in 2022, but that the RFP will be released before this, in 2021 - can you explain how the environmental obligations will be included in the contract?

The construction pre-qualification period for the Lakeshore East Joint Corridor Early Works around Riverside and Leslieville will starting early 2022.

The associated environmental report (Lakeshore East Joint Corridor Early Works Report) will be available this fall, with a 30 day feedback period, before construction begins in mid-2022.

What is the cost (est.+/- Mil.) difference between an above ground OL vs. a buried option? What is the estimated difference in time to complete either option which now includes raising/regrading the entire corridor and bridges?

The Ontario Line is more than twice as long at the old Relief Line South proposal and it is forecasted to be completed in a similar timeframe. While the latter had been discussed for years, it was still in the planning phase and the project budget and schedule had not been finalized, leaving it far from shovel ready.

Metrolinx worked with the city’s Transit Expansion Office, to provide an update to Toronto City Council on this issue, noting that average costs per kilometre for the Ontario Line was $.6 - .7 billion compared to the Relief Line South of $.8 – 1.0 billion. You can find more detail on page 10 of the city’s Fourth Quarter 2020 Update on Metrolinx Transit Expansion Projects.

Will Metrolinx provide comparative costing of Steve Munro's below-ground option and the current above ground route between Gerrard & East Harbour which now includes raising the entire corridor from 3 to 5.2 feet? If not, why?

We have responded to this specific below ground option here on June 8, 2021. We were also asked to look into five other below ground options which we responded to here.

In our business case analysis, running the Ontario Line in the existing rail corridor improves the customer experience, results in fewer community impacts and minimizes our property impacts on homes and businesses.

Our neighbours are really concerned about noise and vibration from the increased number of trains - currently there are very few trains each day (about 150, please can you confirm the numbers), and by 2030 this will increase to more than 1500, including both diesel and electric trains (again, please can you confirm the detailed numbers/breakdown) - which noise and vibration measures will be mandated to address this dramatic increase in train traffic?

The Ontario Line schedule is still being determined and nothing is final yet. We do know there is a requirement for the system to be able to run fully electric trains every 90 seconds.

For GO trains, GO Expansion will significantly increase the number of trains and most of this increase will be electric.

Our service design team has provided an ‘ultimate compacity’ or high transit demand scenario for 2037. In 2037, there could be 677 GO trains passing the LSE Corridor. This would be broken down as followed:

  • 109 revenue diesel GO trains;
  • 493 revenue electric GO trains;
  • 75 non-revenue electric GO trains.

Even in this worst case scenario, GO trains contribute less than 1% of all emissions in 2037.

On De Grassi and Queen, how far will the wall move?

The existing fence or wall along Bruce Mackey is expected to shift as a result of the Ontario Line. In a blog here, we detailed how future retaining/noise walls will be mostly within the existing fence, unlocking more green space for the community when the existing fence is removed.

That said, there is a specific sliver at the south end of Bruce Mackey that will need to move out at most by two metres to accommodate the station platform. Even with this, the Ontario Line will create an additional 1,100 m2 of space in Bruce Mackey Park.

when will property notifications be removed?

The language that got added to property titles will be removed once the Ontario Line opens.

How were the boundaries derived for the Transit Corridor Lands + 30-metre buffer? Why are they blocky/square and not a linear 30m buffer from the rail line?

To create the Transit Corridor Lands:

  1. We identified the lands needed for the tunnel/at grade alignment and station Infrastructure
  2. We added a buffer of 30 m around these Lands
  3. We made refinements to include lands needed for staging, access, laydown and other project needs
  4. Where roadways were intersected, we added bump-outs along the roadway to accommodate traffic and utility work Interactions

In some cases, the transit corridor lands may only extend a short distance away from the Ontario Line corridor, while in other places, they could extend up to several hundred metres. The reason for this is transit corridor lands are meant to account for all aspects of transit planning and construction. Boundaries extend to the furthest possible point where land may be needed, whether for locations where Metrolinx may do environmental studies about noise and vibration, areas where utilities may need to be relocated, access points for construction areas, or areas where traffic may need to be temporarily diverted due to construction.

I am 300ft N of Boulton & Clarke, W side of Boulton.. It was never on maps as affected by the tracks. Why now a letter saying I am “within 30m of transit land”

The Ontario Line will run in the existing rail corridor.

The reason you received the letter is because the transit corridor lands distance varies. In some cases, the transit corridor lands may only extend a short distance away from the Ontario Line corridor, while in other places, they could extend up to several hundred metres. The reason for this is transit corridor lands are meant to account for all aspects of transit planning and construction. Boundaries extend to the furthest possible point where land may be needed, whether for locations where Metrolinx may do environmental studies about noise and vibration, areas where utilities may need to be relocated, access points for construction areas, or areas where traffic may need to be temporarily diverted due to construction.

Notices were also sent out to those in the buffer area that extends an additional 30 metres around the transit corridor land boundary because the same conditions that apply to those on transit corridor lands apply to those in the buffer area.

In general, what does being within the 30m corridor do to the value of our homes? Could you have a real estate agent available during Q&A?

The notice of designation will appear on a title search, which should be conducted by the buyer’s lawyer as part of the sale process. It is important to note that other notices commonly appear on property title, and they are just meant to be informational. It is not intended to imply impacts related to construction, but rather simply notify the future resident that you are within proximity to transit. In many instances, proximity to transit is a positive asset.

The notice is also not implying the use of Building Transit Faster Act powers, and the requirement to expropriate. The notice on title is simply to inform future owners of the property by giving them notice (through their lawyer’s title search of the property prior to closing a purchase) of the Transit Corridor Lands designation applying to your property.

What criteria was applied to determine the extent of the “transit corridor lands” through Riverdale/Riverside? What use of this land is anticipated?

To create the Transit Corridor Lands:

  1. We identified the lands needed for the tunnel/at grade alignment and station Infrastructure
  2. We added a buffer of 30 m around these Lands
  3. We made refinements to include lands needed for staging, access, laydown and other project needs
  4. Where roadways were intersected, we added bump-outs along the roadway to accommodate traffic and utility work Interactions

In some cases, the transit corridor lands may only extend a short distance away from the Ontario Line corridor, while in other places, they could extend up to several hundred metres. The reason for this is transit corridor lands are meant to account for all aspects of transit planning and construction. Boundaries extend to the furthest possible point where land may be needed, whether for locations where Metrolinx may do environmental studies about noise and vibration, areas where utilities may need to be relocated, access points for construction areas, or areas where traffic may need to be temporarily diverted due to construction.

For businesses that are within the 30M corridor zone, is Mx providing compensation to address revenue loss/disruption of business operations during construction? If construction timelines change, will business owners be fairly compensated?

Metrolinx provides compensation in accordance to the provisions in the Expropriations Act.

That said, Metrolinx wants to ensure businesses stay open and visible during construction. We will accomplish this by streetscape maintenance, promotional materials, partnerships with BIAs, signage/wayfinding, marketing campaigns, workshops, events and partnerships with the City.

With an aging infrastructure and existing housing structures that were built over 100 years ago, how is Metrolinx planning to address concerns around potential damage to residential and commercial building foundations due to vibration caused either during construction or when transit if fully operational?

Before we start construction, we complete pre-condition surveys and impact analysis to ensure we account for any impacts we may cause and notify property owners accordingly.

The forthcoming environmental reports at the end of this year and in early 2022 will provide more details on impacts. We have already begun to reach out to impacted property owners to make them aware.

Can you tell us more about the properties further out that may be expropriated to get a fuller picture of what will happen? Can you explain the orange access areas a little more?

In our June 24 virtual open house, we disclosed potential property requirements at this point in design. Since the Ontario Line will run within the existing rail corridor, we have identified properties near the rail corridor to be used for access, laydown and staging.

The orange access areas are potential locations where construction traffic will access the rail corridor to complete work. We have heard from the community protecting local roads is important, so we have carefully planned these routes from the main roads (Eastern, Queen, Dundas and Gerrard) to avoid impacts to local roads.

The forthcoming environmental reports at the end of this year and in early 2022 will provide more details on impacts.

As soon as a property impact is identified, we reach out immediately to property owners to make them aware. We have already begun to reach out to impacted property owners to make them aware of any requirements which are needed

Why is Metrolinx on my property title, even if you are not doing anything to our properties? Why is the transit corridor lands for Ontario Line larger than Crosstown or Scarborough?

The design and alignment for Scarborough and Crosstown West Extension are more advanced, and Scarborough specifically is a project that has been around for a long time, and so the precise construction needs are better understood.

It is also important to note that the landscape of study area of Ontario Line in this area is slightly different from Scarborough and Crosstown West Extension being more urbanized, denser road networks and closer road intersections etc.

Will Metrolinx provide compensation for the lost property value?

The notice of designation will appear on a title search, which could be conducted by the buyer’s lawyer as part of the sale process. It is important to note that other notices commonly appear on property title, and they are just meant to be informational. It is not intended to implicate impacts related to construction, but rather simply notify the future resident that you are within proximity to transit. In many instances, close proximity to transit is a positive asset. That is all to say we do not anticipate the Transit Corridor Lands designation to lead to a decrease in property value.

The notice is also not implying the use of Building Transit Faster Act authorities, and the requirement to expropriate. As such, we don’t intend to compensate for those residents receiving a notice. Compensation would be considered when we are acquiring a property, partially or in full, or removing/ altering a structure / vegetation on one’s property. However, that’s not what this notice is suggesting. The notice on title is simply to inform future owners of the property by giving them notice (through their lawyer’s title search of the property prior to closing a purchase) of the Transit Corridor Lands designation applying to their property.

MPP Peter Tabuns: Will homes in the transit corridor lands have a pre-condition survey completed? Will the notice on title be until the end of construction for the entire project or certain parts? What is the cost and timeline of raising the entire rail bed?

The extent of the pre-conditions surveys will be based on whether the homes/buildings fall within the zone of influence of the construction work. This will be established through a construction vibration assessment and will be included in our Early Works Report that will be made available for review Fall 2021. As more detail on the constructor’s means and methods become available, this zone of influence will be further refined. If homeowners have any concerns about potential or perceived impacts to their homes, they will be encouraged to connect with Metrolinx who will walk residents through any issue they may have.

The notice on title will be removed when the Ontario Line is open. It is intended to be in effect for the planning and construction phases of the project.

Regarding the cost of raising the tracks, we are unable to reveal projected costs for projects that will be going forward for procurement. This is so we can ensure competitive tension and get the best possible value for the taxpayers dollar. Our overall expectation is that the costs of raising the railbed and replacement of bridges will be more than offset by the bridge work that would have been needed for the original straddle alignment, decreased risk through constructability of the two programs, eliminating maintenance costs of aging bridges, and the long-term increase of operational capacity.

Raising the tracks will be completed as part of the Lakeshore East Joint Corridor Early Works construction which is expected to begin in mid-2022. Before construction starts, an environmental report for this work will be released this year.

Has Metrolinx developed a final design for the portals near Gerrard and Carlaw? I.e., where will they be located, and which houses/structures will be affected?

No, a final design has not been completed. We have rough estimates right now for design and we are advancing and refining the portal at Gerrard and Carlaw. Once we have made more progress, we will update the community with new designs and property requirements.

When do you anticipate that shovels will start hitting the ground (construction commencing)?

Construction for the Ontario Line and GO Expansion in the Riverside and Leslieville neighbourhoods will begin in mid-2022.

With new future stations and spin off development planned (Ie. Gerrard), to what extent will local Planning and Building zoning guidelines change specifically around density targets, building heights, setbacks, and extent of development?

Transit-oriented communities are about rethinking the relationship between transit, housing, and commercial spaces to create vibrant, complete communities.

Through a thoughtful approach to planning, transit-oriented communities will increase accessibility to public transit, reduce congestion, create more jobs and housing, and strengthen neighbourhoods.

Infrastructure Ontario will lead consultations with communities on Transit Oriented Communities this fall and provide more information.

what is the tunnel depth in the Pape south of Danforth area expected to be and what vibration/noise level anticipated during operations?

The Ontario Line tunnels will be around 20 to 30 metres deep in this area. For reference, TTC’s Line 1 & 2 are about 12 metres deep. This will help reduce and minimize noise/vibration impacts.

That said, we are completing the Environmental Impact Assessment Report and this will be shared with the community in early 2022 before construction in this area begins in 2024.

Are you explain the plan for the tunnel to Pape station? Is there only one design you are studying? Why is my home further east located on the transit corridor lands

As the Ontario Line approaches Pape station, it will be completely underground following Pape Avenue at a depth of 20-30 metres.

We are currently analyzing Pape station and the goal is to ensure the Ontario Line station is in close proximity to the existing TTC station to facilitate an easy transfer process.

In some cases, the transit corridor lands may only extend a short distance away from the Ontario Line corridor, while in other places, they could extend up to several hundred metres. The reason for this is transit corridor lands are meant to account for all aspects of transit planning and construction. Boundaries extend to the furthest possible point where land may be needed, whether for locations where Metrolinx may do environmental studies about noise and vibration, areas where utilities may need to be relocated, access points for construction areas, or areas where traffic may need to be temporarily diverted due to construction.

Meet the Speakers

Photo of Richard Tucker

Richard Tucker

Ontario Line Project Director

Photo of Malcolm MacKay

Malcolm MacKay

Ontario Line Project Sponsor

Photo of Ranjit Multani

Ranjit Multani

Manager, Property Team

Photo of Carrie Sheaffer

Carrie Sheaffer

Senior Manager, Environmental Programs and Assessment

Carolyn Tunks, Manager, Pre-Construction Services

Carolyn Tunks

Manager, Pre-Construction Services

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