Eglinton East LRT September Engagement Sessions Overview

Eglinton East LRT September Engagement Sessions Overview

On September 5th, 10th, 13th and 18th, 2018 the Eglinton East LRT project team, including staff from the City of Toronto (City), Urban Strategies Inc. (USI) and Dillon Consulting (Dillon), hosted day-long engagement meetings with other City staff, stakeholders and the public. The purpose of these meetings was to gather information and local knowledge about the Eglinton East LRT corridor to identify the opportunities for the public realm (including elements such as streetscaping, public spaces, parks, and pedestrian connections), and opportunities for social and economic development (including community programming, employment opportunities and initiatives to support local businesses). These meetings helped the project team explore the potential benefits that could be supported through investments in transit in the corridor.

Each day of engagement followed a full day schedule including:

  • Morning 8:30am-12pm: Project team working on-site, walking the study area, hosting discussions with City staff about existing programs, policies, and conditions in the area.
  • Lunch period 12pm-2pm: Stakeholder Session, to begin to develop a draft vision for the corridor and to discuss existing challenges, and to identify local opportunities
  • Afternoon period 2pm-5pm: Project team sketching up opportunities identified through stakeholder discussion
  • Evening period 6pm-8:30pm: Public Open House, a community drop-in for people to see the sketches and hand-drawn maps reflecting the day’s work.
    The public was invited to speak with the project team and comment/provide input on the work.
  • Evening period 6:30pm-7:30pm: Walking tour, where the project team and a local community resident co-lead a walking tour along part of the corridor
    to talk about the local issues and opportunities on the ground.

Each day of engagement consisted of a stakeholder brainstorming session in the afternoon. USI led a discussion to identify local opportunities and benefits. As stakeholders made suggestions, USI sketched drawings and marked-up maps of the ideas. These drawings and maps brought the ideas to life and inspired participants to think creatively. After the brainstorming sessions concluded, the drawings and maps were displayed around the room for the public to observe and comment on in the evening. Having drawings to complement other project materials allowed the project team to share project ideas with people who do not speak English as a first language. When members of the public arrived for the community drop-ins and walking tours they were encouraged to comment on the information displayed and share their ideas on the opportunities and priorities for their community.  The format for these events was strategically designed to allow stakeholders to influence the technical work early on in the day and then have the community confirm and refine those ideas in the evening.

The input received at these events is being used to inform the corridor vision and planning study that is underway for the Eglinton East LRT corridor. The events were held over four days in different communities along the corridor with each day focusing on a different geographic area. The events took place at the following locations and focused on the identified areas:

  • Don Montgomery Community Centre on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018: Focused on Eglinton Avenue East from Kennedy Station to approximately Eglinton GO station.
  • Malvern Town Centre on Monday, September 10th, 2018: Focused on the Malvern community, north of Hwy 401.
  • Centre for Connected Communities on Thursday, September 13th, 2018: Focused on the Kingston – Lawrence – Morningside area from approximately Galloway to Ellesmere.
  • Scarborough Village Recreation Centre on Tuesday, September 18th, 2018: Focused on the Eglinton and Kingston Road area from approximately Markham Road to Guildwood GO.

Stakeholder Workshops

Each day from 12:00pm to 2:00pm local stakeholders were invited to join the project team in a visioning workshop for their respective communities. City staff and USI team members introduced the visioning exercise and provided an overview of the planning study. Stakeholders provided local knowledge of each geographic area, and discussed local challenges and opportunities. Feedback was collected by the project team and is documented in this report. USI translated stakeholder-identified opportunities for their communities into sketches and marked-up maps. The materials showed place-specific opportunities for improved public realm and improved pedestrian access to and within the corridor, as well as locations and ideas for economic and social development opportunities.

At each stakeholder workshop the top priorities for the surrounding area were identified as they relate to community assets, connections, social equity and economic development.  During the stakeholder workshops City staff were in attendance to answer questions and to help facilitate conversations.

Community Drop-Ins and Walking Tours

The community drop-ins took place in the evenings in the same locations as the stakeholder workshops that were held earlier in the day. The approach to the community drop-ins was that the material discussed with stakeholders in the afternoon was then pinned-up throughout the room and discussed with the public in the evenings. Community members were informed of the events and invited to attend through the distribution of over 28,000 flyers that were sent to residents and businesses in the surrounding areas as well as through social media and website updates.

In addition to the display materials, an interactive arts-based drawing activity was set-up for community members. The activity was facilitated by team members from the arts-based engagement company Crazy Dames. This activity was an important way for the project team to encourage participation from people who do not speak English as a first language or who feel more comfortable drawing rather than providing written comments. Participants used markers and stencils to illustrate their own ideas for the future of the corridor on various photos taken of the study area. Input primarily focused on potential improvements related to streetscaping, built form, land use, community services, landscaping, and connectivity. Input received through this activity will be captured in a stop-motion film that will be released in late 2018. Key themes were then identified for consideration in the development of the study.

As part of the community drop-in, participants were invited to attend a community walking tour from 6:30pm-7:30pm. USI led the walking tours with the assistance of team members from Dillon and the City. In addition, local stakeholders were invited to help lead the walking tours. The stakeholders assisted with conversations during the walking tours to provide their local knowledge and share some of the perspectives heard during stakeholder workshop discussions.

Participants of the interactive arts-based activity at the community drop-ins noted that this area of the Eglinton East LRT corridor would benefit from wider sidewalks, landscaping, bicycle lanes, mid-rise density and mixed-use developments.

Report Overview

The summary report provides an overview of the top priorities that were communicated to the project team at each September engagement session. The report distinguishes the input received at each session in order to respect the differences and opportunities identified in the various communities along the route. The input is organized in the order that the sessions were held.

  • Chapter 2 summarizes the key themes that surfaced along the Eglinton East LRT corridor.
  • Chapter 3 summarizes the Eglinton Avenue from Kennedy Station to approximately Eglinton GO Station input
  • Chapter 4 summarizes the Eglinton and Kingston Road input.
  • Chapter 5 summarizes the Kingston-Lawrence-Morningside input
  • Chapter 6 summarizes the Malvern Town Centre input.

To request a copy of the full report, please email us or call us at 416-338-2848.