Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting #1 – Meeting Summary

Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting #1
November 23, 2017, 6:00–8:00pm Meeting Summary

Meeting Overview

On November 23, 2017, the City of Toronto (City) hosted the first Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) meeting for the Eglinton East Light Rail Transit (LRT). The meeting was held at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), Campus Arts and Administration Building, Council Chambers, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON. The meeting structure was: 

6:00–6:15pm               Arrival + Introductions
6:15–7:00pm               Presentation
7:00–7:20pm               Q&A, Group Discussion on presentation content
7:20–7:30pm               SAG Input on Community Interests and Engagement
7:30–7:35pm               Overview of Market Stations
7:35–7:50pm               Placemaking Station
7:50–8:00pm               Wrap-Up

This first meeting of the Eglinton East LRT SAG focused on introducing SAG members, providing an overview introduction of the project, discussing technical challenges under study in phase 1 of the project, and discussing upcoming project consultation activities. SAG members were sent invitations for the meeting. Sixteen (16) SAG members attended the meeting.

Guests

Organization Name
Cedar Ridge Creative Centre Wayne Gratton
Centennial Community & Recreation Association / Scarborough Community Renewal Organization Jennifer McKelvie
Coronation Community Association of West Hill Ron Wootton
Curran Hall Community Association Richard Hicken
First Capital Simon Bajt
Guild Renaissance Group Linda Harris
Guildwood Village Community Association Ralph Van Putten
Highland Creek Community Association Lydia Lampers-Wallner
Highland Creek Community Association David Adamson
Scarborough Transit Action Alison Rene
Toronto Pan Am Sports Aquatic Centre Bob Singleton
Transport Action Ontario Andrew Schulz
University of Toronto Scarborough Brent DuGuid
University of Toronto Scarborough Andrew Arifuzzaman
University of Toronto Scarborough Kimberley Tull
University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Student Union Sitharsana Srithas
Ward 42 Councillor Neethan Shan Office Anujan Rajah
Ward 42 Councillor Neethan Shan Office Siobhan Steward
Ward 43 Councillor Ainslie Office Antonette DiNovo

Project Staff

Organization Name
City of Toronto David Sit
City of Toronto Hussain Tamimi
City of Toronto Josh Bassett
City of Toronto Kristin Olson
City of Toronto Liora Freedman
City of Toronto Mike Logan
City of Toronto Nish Bala
City of Toronto Rod Hines
TTC Scott Haskill

Project Consultants

Organization Name
Dillion Consulting Merrilees Willemse
Dillion Consulting Nadia Galati

Introduction and Presentation

Dillon Consulting provided opening remarks and welcomed SAG members. A presentation was given by the City Project Team outlining the project, the study context and process, the key issues/areas currently under study in phase 1, the planning study expectations and the consultation activities for the project.

Question and Answer Period

The discussion captured during the question and answer period following the presentation is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, comments with a “C” and answers with an “A”.

Q: Why not keep Eglinton the way it is now? How will the options will affect traffic?
A: The current design of Eglinton cannot accommodate the functional and operational requirements of the LRT. The space is not large enough for track space. The City is considering additional signalization and other ways to mitigate traffic concerns. A traffic study will be completed as part of the project to better understand and manage traffic impacts.

Q: There is a plaza south-west of Eglinton-Kingston that is being considered for redevelopment. Will the City consider working with the developer to integrate transit?
A: As the starting point, the City is working with the approved transit alignment set out in the approved 2009 Scarborough-Malvern LRT (SMLRT) Environmental Assessment (EA). We are open to collaborating with land owners, but it is our intention to only look at alternative alignments when something does not work with the new design standards that are required for the revised LRT vehicles.

Q: Is the City conducting a traffic study around the Eglinton-Kingston stop?
A: There is a traffic study underway that is looking at the entire corridor and considering how to optimize movements across the whole corridor, including at the Eglinton-Kingston area. The traffic study will include local specifications such as the TTC requirement to terminate 2-3 bus routes at the Eglinton-Kingston location with access to Kingston Road.

Q: Is there a commitment to provide a stop on the UTSC campus?
A: The approved 2009 SMLRT EA achieved a stop on campus and Council has directed us to work with UTSC to integrate the LRT with their Secondary Plan application. The Eglinton East LRT project team is in ongoing discussions with UTSC considering opportunities and challenges associated with how best to achieve this.

Q: Will the Eglinton East LRT stop at Centennial College?
A: Centennial College would be served by the Ellesmere stop at Morningside

Q: Within the UTSC area are stations/buses available just to students or the general public as well? Buses going to UTSC from Durham or Malvern would provide good connections for people who want to travel downtown on the Eglinton East LRT line instead of driving.
A: Bus services are open to everyone, students, local residents, the general public, etc.

C: Highland Creek Area residents’ concerns are focused on traffic at Morningside, Ellesmere, and the Military Trail area. There are a lot of people moving through this area.
A: The project team is looking closely at the traffic movements along the whole corridor and will have more information on this once the Traffic Study is further along.

C: What intersections in Malvern are part of the extension?
A: Five (5) options have been developed for which the City is looking for feedback on in order to determine the best option. The options cross different intersections.

Option 1: Morningside → Hydro Corridor → Neilson
Option 2: Morningside → 401 North → Neilson
Option 3: Morningside → Milner → Neilson
Option 4: Morningside → Sheppard → Neilson
Option 5: Morningside → Sewells

Q: Why is there no bus terminal considered for the Kingston-Lawrence-Morningside options?
A: There is no bus terminal considered in the Kingston-Lawrence-Morningside options because buses can loop around the LRT stop using the existing road network and bus routes.

C: Support was given to reducing vehicular lane(s).
A: The City’s traffic study currently underway will also provide further information on lane reductions

Q: How much would it cost to build a stop underground as opposed to building at grade?
A: Grade separations are much more expensive. For the Eglinton West project it was recently identified that an underground stop would cost approximately $300 million per stop/station. The City will be conducting a comparison of costs and benefits for options later in the project.

Q: Is the City considering expropriating the retail plaza adjacent to the Kingston-Lawrence-Morningside stop?
A: There are no current expropriation considerations being made, although we are open to collaboration with land owners.

Q: When will the Sheppard East LRT be implemented? Is the Eglinton East LRT project considering how to integrate with the Sheppard East LRT?
A: The plan is to implement the Sheppard East LRT after the Finch East LRT has been implemented (approximately 2022). The Eglinton East LRT alignment would integrate with the Sheppard East LRT through the northern extension to Malvern Town Centre. Once the alignment for the northern extension is determined, integration with the Sheppard East LRT could be considered in more detail.

Q: Will a passenger riding the Eglinton East LRT westbound need to transfer vehicles to continue along Eglinton, onto the Eglinton Crosstown which is currently under construction?
A: Passengers will not have to change vehicles. The technical work currently underway is identifying how to seamlessly connect Eglinton East with the Crosstown at Kennedy Station so that it functions as one service.

Q: The Kennedy Station connection for pedestrians is terrible now. The bridge over the GO line is bad to cross. Are you going to improve this?  How are you coordinating with all the services that connect at Kennedy Station (i.e. the subway, the subway extension, the GO trains, the LRT, the bus services, etc.)?
A: This project will determine how to connect the Eglinton East LRT to the Crosstown at Kennedy Station. We are not considering changing the Eglinton bridge over the rail corridor, although we understand the pedestrian connection is poor. Station access will be part of our planning study.

Q: Is the Kingston Road bridge over the Guildwood GO tracks adequate to carry additional LRT traffic and load?
A: The project team is working with colleagues in Engineering and Construction on the project and they have not identified any concerns about this. With the introduction of regional express rail at Guildwood GO, electrification, fare integration, etc., the project team recognizes that this connection will be even more important in the future.

Q: The City has identified that 40,000 residents live within walking distance of the Eglinton East LRT corridor. What is anticipated density/population projections expected for the future corridor? It would be helpful at the public meetings to have more information on current and projected population and employment growth along the corridor.
A: The City does have some of that background information that we can try to incorporate into the presentation. As a part of the Eglinton East LRT study, the City will be undertaking a Planning Study of the corridor to review land use policies, growth potential and outline how growth could unfold over time along the corridor.

C: It would also be useful to see the development proposals along the corridor. There are numerous landowners with plans to redevelop different sites and it would be good to see those mapped out for the public.
A: Current Development Applications can be accessed via the Application Information Centre on the City’s website (https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/application-information-centre/).

 C: Councillor Neethan Shan recently held a Planning Summit and received lots of feedback about engaging the local arts community. Participants identified that City projects need to plan for compensation/funding when engaging local artists/arts organizations in projects.
A: The project team is working to engage the arts community and acknowledges the importance of compensation for arts and culture contributions to projects.

Overview of Market Stations

Following the Q&A Dillon Consulting provided an overview of the Market Stations activity that participants of the upcoming Public Meetings will be able to explore. The Market Stations will provide the details of key areas and study inputs for people to get more information on. The Market Stations include:

  • Kennedy Station and Crosstown Integration
  • Eglinton and Kingston Road
  • Kingston – Lawrence – Morningside
  • UTSC Integration
  • Northern Extension – Connecting Malvern
  • Planning + Placemaking
  • Share Your Corridor Wish + Guildwood GO Connection

The Planning and Placemaking Market Station was set-up at the SAG meeting. SAG members were encouraged to experience the station and provide their ideas before leaving the meeting.

Wrap-up and Next Steps

Dillon Consulting provided an overview of upcoming Public Meetings and encouraged SAG members to invite their communities to participate.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.

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