Centre For Local Research into Public Space (CELOS)


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Custodians:

July 2009

11 e-mails

July 31, 2009, 1 e-mail

Metrolinx issued the Notice of Completion for the Georgetown South Service Expansion project, including the Union-Pearson Rail Link (GSSE/UPRL).

This marks the end of the 120-day formal consultation period Ontario's Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP).

Over the past seven months, we consulted extensively with neighbourhood organizations and individual citizens along the rail corridor. Open Houses, online consultation and meetings with community groups gave us a tremendous amount of feedback and suggestions and these led to a number of amendments and refinements to the project, including:

  • A new Strachan Avenue bridge design that minimizes the impact to the adjacent community and provides beautification opportunities.
  • Preservation of the iconic Farmer's Market at its current location in Weston
  • Plans to extend the West Toronto Rail Path and connect other cycling plans along the corridor in the future
  • Keeping streets open in the Weston and Liberty Village neighbourhoods where possible
  • Designing the new pedestrian bridge over the John Street rail crossing in Weston as part of a new community vision
  • Facilitating community revitalization opportunities afforded by the new Weston GO Transit station

The final Environmental Project Report (EPR) and details of the next steps are now posted on http://www.metrolinx.com/gsse

Read More >>

July 24, 2009, 1 e-mail

L. P. wrote:

Not much activity on the group lately, though the pile drivers certainly haven't gone away. Four are visible from my backyard today, two of which are within a hundred yards. The soil of my backyard has shifted so that the gate (which fitted perfectly well for 40 years) will no longer close far enough to latch. The THUD!ometer stands at 1000; only 1800 left to go!

So here's a little something I cobbled together a few weeks back. Maybe it will help keep our spirits up. Most of you should know the tune; if you don't, go look up the original Gordon Lightfoot song online. It's a Canadian classic, and well worth hearing in its own right.

WEST TORONTO RAILROAD TRILOGY

(with apologies to Gordon Lightfoot)

There was a time in Junction land when pile drivers did not run
When the old and thriving neighbourhood was calm beneath the sun
Long before expansion and long before the Plan
When just the normal noises through our railway ya-ards ran.

But neighbours have no recourse and rail lands have no bounds
And to our aged railway yard they came from all around
They pounded the pile drivers and dieseled up their wheels
And our peace and quiet proved too fragile to stay real.

And when the CN people got started before spring
Their construction folk grew restless for to hear pile drivers ring
Their minds were overflowing with their plans for our railway
With many a savings in their cost, but we're the ones to pay.

For they looked in their blueprints and what did they plan
They saw the rail tunnels building so close to our land
Bringing the passengers through our great town
Into the suburbs, and out and around.

Look away said they across this busy land
From the north of town to the Lakeshore strand.
Bring in the drivers and bring in the piles
We gotta build the new tunnels and stretch them for miles.
Beat on our land, let the decibels flow
Gotta get on our way 'cause we're pounding too slow.
Get on our way 'cause we're pounding too slow.

Behind the pile drivers the sun is declining
The silence comes stealing at the close of the day
Beside the dark railyards we briefly are sleeping
Until the THUD! starts at the rise of the day.

We are the neighbours who live beside the railway
Hearing pile drivers in the rain and the sun
Living on Tylenol, gulping down Aspirin
Hoping we'll last till the piling is done.

We are the businesses set beside the railway
Losing our cli-ents one by one
Watching the plaster fall from our ceilings
Fearing they'll break 'fore the piling is done.

So past the old houses and past the new homes
Rattling their windows and shaking their bones
Spoiling folks' real estate, wrecking their lives
Deafening the children, the men and the wives.

Banging them in and whacking them down
Making them vibrate and making them pound.
Hammer all day and a throb for your heads
If this goes much longer, you'll wish you were dead.

Oh the song of our future has been sung
All our battles must be won
'Gainst the CN folks we stand
All the cards are in their hand
We must find a way to foil
The vibrations in our soil.

For there was a time in Junction land when pile drivers did not run
When the old and thriving neighbourhood was calm beneath the sun
Long before expansion and long before the Plan
When just the normal noises through our railway ya-ards ran.
And there's got to be a quieter way to carry out their plan.\\

Read More >>

July 23, 2009, 1 e-mail

From: Clean Train Coalition

Voice your concerns about the rapid expansion of diesel trains in the GTA

Only 7 days Left!!

Make your voice heard!

The window to voice your concerns is closing. On July 30, Metrolinx closes the public consultation process. You must contact Metrolinx in order to have your concerns registered as part of the official record.

Fortunately, voicing your concerns is simple. Send an email to info@metrolinx.com. Or visit the Metrolinx web portal. For sample email text or for instructions on using the web portal, visit http://www.cleantrain.ca.

Join the growing chorus of citizens who insist that train expansion in our city MUST be electric - for our health, for our environment, and for a green economy!

About the Proposed Expansion

Metrolinx, the provincial transit authority, is proposing to increase the current 50 trains that run along the Union Station to Georgetown rail corridor to as many as 500 diesel trains a day, making it the busiest diesel rail corridor on the planet. Diesel fumes produce a chemical soup of toxic air contaminants which have been implicated in a host of illnesses to which children are especially vulnerable, including cancer, respiratory problems, reproductive and developmental disorders. There are 76 schools and 96 daycare centres within a kilometre of the tracks.

The toxins in diesel fumes are carried on the wind for up to 200 miles from source. Hundreds of diesel trains running through the heart of west Toronto will add significantly to greenhouse gases and pollution in the entire GTA and beyond.

Help get the word out - get your neighbours to sign up to http://www.cleantrain.ca Read More >>

July 14, 2009, 1 e-mail

F. D. wrote:

Just a follow-up to Rita’s message…the Stroller Rally for the Clean Train Coalition did NOT happen yesterday. It’s scheduled for next Monday, July 20th, 10-11am. I’ve put it into our yahoogroups calendar, so that I reminder will be sent 3 days in advance of the event.

Just wanted to clear up any confusion… Read More >>

July 13, 2009, 3 e-mail

SR wrote:

Everyone may already know this. As well, I'm not sure it's relevant. In any case...

Canadian Transportation Agency finds Union-Pearson rail link not under federal jurisdiction

http://otc-cta.gc.ca/doc.php?did=2240

The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that the proposed construction and operation of a passenger rail service between Toronto's Union Station and Lester B. Pearson International Airport does not fall under federal jurisdiction. As a result, the project's proponent, Union-Pearson AirLink Group (UPAG), will not be required to obtain an Agency-issued certificate of fitness, nor will it have to seek federal approvals under the Canada Transportation Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act for the proposed railway line.

In making its decision, the Agency found that the new passenger rail service would not be functionally integrated with the operations of the federally-regulated Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson airport. It also noted that the proposed facilities would not be an essential or integral part of the GTAA's activities.

The Agency's decision of the jurisdictional status of UPAG's project is based on evidence provided by the applicant, and could be revisited should the project not be developed as presented.

Decision: Union-Pearson AirLink Group http://otc-cta.gc.ca/decision-ruling/drv.php?id=28683&lang=eng Read More >>

July 10, 2009, 1 e-mail

From: Clean Train Coalition

The Clean Train Coalition
encourages people of all ages to join us for the

  

Clean Air for Little Lungs Stroller Parade

July 20th - 10 am - Queen's Park

Metrolinx, the provincial transit authority, is proposing to increase the current 50 trains that run along the Union Station to Georgetown rail corridor to as many as 500 diesel trains a day, making it the busiest diesel rail corridor on the planet.

Diesel fumes produce a chemical soup of toxic air contaminants which have been implicated in a host of illnesses to which children are especially vulnerable, including cancer, respiratory problems, reproductive and developmental disorders. There are 76 schools and 96 daycare centres within a kilometre of the tracks.

The toxins in diesel fumes are carried on the wind for up to 200 miles from source. Hundreds of diesel trains running through the heart of west Toronto will add significantly to greenhouse gases and pollution in the entire GTA and beyond.

Please join us in sending a message to Premier McGuinty that only clean electric trains should be added to rail traffic through the densely populated urban communities of Toronto.

For more information visit http://www.cleantrain.ca/littlelungs.php. You can also check out and RSVP to out Facebook Page.

Please forward this email to all your contacts and see you on the 20th!

Read More >>

July 7, 2009, 2 e-mails


Click on flyer to enlarge
F. D. wrote:

Attached is a flyer from the Friends of Brock Avenue.

K. P. wrote:

Dear Parent Friends and Friends of Parents & Kids,

I don't know if you have been following the Metrolinx developments. Perhaps you've seen Keith in the news a few times lately! If you haven't, you should be aware that Metrolinx, an agency of the Ontario government, is proposing to increase diesel rail traffic along the tracks which crisscross west Toronto from the current 50 a day to up to 500 a day. That's a diesel train running every 3 minutes, for 19 hours a day, through the most densely populated urban corridor in Canada.

Over a quarter of a million people live along the corridor and there are 76 schools and 96 daycare centers with in 700 metres of the tracks. The toxic contaminants contained in diesel pollution will travel far beyond these neighbourhoods; the smallest particles can travel up to 200 km from source. The toxins spewed by diesel trains are known to cause asthma, cancers, reproductive and developmental disorders, and a host of other deadly diseases. Young children are most at risk. Read More >>

July 6, 2009, 1 e-mail

Help get the word out - get your neighbours to sign up to www.cleantrain.ca

Make Your Voice Heard! (Yes, you!!) - Only 30 Days Left!!!

 

Take 5 minutes to register your concerns on the Metrolinx Web Portal – this is the only official way to make sure that your voice is heard. Fortunately, we’ve made it easy! Visit http://www.cleantrain.ca/webportal.php for step-by-step instructions.

We can make a difference! Metrolinx responded to demands to revise the Strachan Superbridge. But we have only 150 comments on the Metrolinx Web Portal. We have over 800 people on our list – take a moment and add your voice to the chorus!

Tell them that you demand:

  • Clean and modern electric trains to run along the Union Station to Georgetown Corridor
  • No new investment in diesel technology
  • A new environmental assessment that considers electrification as an alternative to diesel

Why Are We Concerned?

Metrolinx and the Province of Ontario plan to run over 400 diesel trains a day through our neighbourhoods. Diesel exhaust is a known threat to human health, especially the health of children and seniors, and is linked to cancer and respiratory diseases. Diesel trains will spew fumes, create noise and divide our neighbourhoods. This plan will seriously impact our quality of life.

Other Ways to Connect

You can sign our petition, join our Facebook Group or follow us on Twitter

Read More >>


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Content last modified on August 01, 2009, at 09:33 PM EST