The SMLRT, on which the EELRT is based, concept terminated at Sheppard Ave East and Morningside Avenue, where it would connect to the Sheppard East LRT (SELRT). In July 2016, City Council (EX16.1) directed staff to identify the alignment and next steps for an extension of the EELRT to Malvern.
Several possible routes for extending the EELRT to the vicinity of the Malvern Town Centre were developed, screened and evaluated for feasibility. Many route options were removed from further analysis if the option would have one or more of the following:
- Significant impact to stable neighbourhoods
- Major environmental impact
- Significant and adverse impacts to commercial, institutional and/or residential properties
- Major feasibility concerns
- Incompatibility with design standards
Five alignment options, shown below, were short-listed for further evaluation. The five options are:
- Option 1: Morningside Avenue – Hydro Corridor – Neilson Road
- Option 2: Morningside Avenue – 401 north side boulevard / Cinemart Drive – Neilson
- Option 3: Morningside Avenue – Milner Avenue – Neilson Road
- Option 4: Morningside Avenue – Sheppard Avenue East – Neilson Road
- Option 5: Morningside Avenue – Sewells Road
The 5 options were evaluated using the Rapid Transit Evaluation Framework.
The Hydro Corridor option (Option 1) was not recommended for further consideration due to constraints and costs of constructing in the hydro corridor. Highway 401 boulevard (Option 2) and Milner Avenue (Option 3) options were also not recommended for further consideration, primarily due to anticipated traffic conflicts with the Neilson Road – Highway 401 interchange. Through a high-level analysis, the remaining options (Option 4 and Option 5) perform well as they would both allow the LRT to serve a large number of people, and serve a high number of key destinations.
The two short-listed options were presented at public and stakeholder consultation events in late Fall 2017. There was strong support for an extension to Malvern, with both Options 4 and 5 receiving support. A detailed evaluation of the two alignment options was undertaken using the Rapid Transit Evaluation Framework, with a focus on criteria where the two options differed.
Assessment of Option 4 (Sheppard East) Summary
- There is potential for capital cost savings in terms of track work and platforms, as the Sheppard East LRT is also planned to be constructed along Sheppard Avenue East.
- The Option 4 alignment would build on the future SELRT. Track between Morningside Avenue and Neilson Road would be used for both lines, and the Neilson Road alignment would offer the opportunity to provide a branch service of the SELRT to Malvern.
- This option provides the most direct route between the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and Malvern Town Centre, which minimizes capital costs.
- The LRT would require making turns through two intersections, at Morningside Avenue and Sheppard Avenue East, and at Sheppard Avenue East and Neilson Road, with potential for impacts to traffic.
Assessment of Option 5 (Sewells) Summary
- The right-of-way on Sewells is narrow and constrained in some sections, and would require that the LRT operate in mixed traffic, or the removal of traffic lanes leaving only a single traffic lane in each direction. Depending on the design of the LRT and traffic lanes, there could be impacts to properties along Sewells.
- There are potential environmental impacts to the Morningside Creek habitat.
- The employment lands to the east of Morningside Avenue are accessed by several driveways on Morningside Avenue, between Sheppard Avenue East and Sewells Road. This option would impact access to the driveways serving businesses in the employment lands.
- Traffic impacts are anticipated to be favourable compared with Option 4, as trains are only required to turn through a single intersection.
- Operating costs could be lower as a result of one fewer sharp turns in the alignment. Whereas Option 5 requires the LRT to make sharp turns at the intersections of Morningside Avenue and Sheppard Avenue East, and at Neilson Road and Sheppard Avenue East, Option 4 only requires one sharp turn at Morningside Avenue and Sewells Road.
- Option 5 is approximately a kilometre longer than Option 4. The additional track length would increase the cost of this option compared to Option 4.
|Rapid Transit Evaluation Criteria||Option 4 – Sheppard Ave East||Option 5 – Sewells|
|Choice||Preferred option. More opportunities for transfer to other transit services. Provides operational flexibility with Sheppard East LRT.|
|Experience||Preferred option. One less left turn to make through an intersection.|
|Social Equity||Preferred option. Serves more equity-seeking individuals.|
|Public Health & Environment||Preferred option. Avoids potential impacts to Morningside Creek.|
|Healthy Neighbourhoods||Equal impact||Equal impact|
|Shaping the City||Equal impact||Equal impact|
|Affordability||Preferred option. Builds on track of future Sheppard East LRT.|
|Supports Growth||Equal impact||Equal impact|
Figure 1: Rapid Transit Evaluation Summary Table, directly comparing the two short-listed options.
A total of 8 potential stop locations were evaluated between UTSC and Malvern Town Centre.
Stop Locations assessments were based on:
- Existing use of TTC bus stops
- Connections to other TTC routes
- Existing and projected growth; and
- Nearby destinations
- The ability to provide an equitable set of social, economic and cultural opportunities
- Stop is included as part of the approved Sheppard East LRT
The emerging preferred stops – subject to public consultation over the summer 2018 – include Malvern Town Centre because it is a key destination; and Neilson-Sheppard, Sheppard-Murison, Sheppard-Brenyon, Morningside-Sheppard because these stops are already part of the approved Sheppard East LRT.
Neilson-Berner Trail was not preferred because the stop will continue to be well-served by TTC buses heading to Scarborough Centre. Morningside Milner was not preferred because it is too close in distance to Morningside-Sheppard. Morningside Pan Am Drive was not preferred because of low demand.
An alignment along Sheppard Avenue East and Neilson Road is recommended as the preferred alignment for the extension to Malvern Town Centre, primarily due to the efficiencies and flexibility provided by interlining the transit service with the future SELRT.
For a copy of the Malvern Extension Recommendation Memo, please email us or call us at 416-338-2848.