Public Meeting #1 – Meeting Summary

Round 1 Public Consultation Public Meeting #1
November 29, 2017, 6:30–8:30pm Meeting Summary

Public Meeting Overview

On November 29, 2017, the City of Toronto (City) hosted the first public meeting for the Eglinton East Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. This meeting was the first in a series of three public meetings that are part of the Phase 1 Consultation period for the study. The meeting was held at the Malvern Community Centre (MCC), 30 Sewells Road, Toronto. The meeting structure was:

6:30–6:45pm               Arrival + Introductions
6:45–7:30pm               Presentation
7:30–7:45pm               Question & Answer Period – Clarification Focus
7:45–7:50pm               Overview of Market Stations
7:50–8:25pm               Market Stations Activity
8:25–8:30pm               Closing and Thank You

Attendees

Approximately 30 people from the public attended this event. In addition, Mayor John Tory, Councillor Neethan Shan (Ward 42) and Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22) also attended.

Introduction and Presentation

Dillon Consulting provided opening remarks and welcomed participants to the event. 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.

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

Question and Answer Period

The discussion captured during the question and answer period is summarized below. Questions are noted with a “Q”, comments with a “C” and answers with “A”. Answers were provided by Mike Logan or Kristin Olson, unless otherwise indicated.

Q: With the LRT operating only on tracks, would a problem with a track or a train cause the entire system to go out of service?
A: We are currently looking at system resiliency as part of the service concept work which includes looking at bypass tracks and maintenance areas at key locations on the corridor. The concept work will review the different track alignments and explore options to address this issue.

Q: Are sharp corners and turns bad for wear and tear? Does it cause a lot of maintenance and delays due to slowdowns at turns or breakdowns on the tracks?
A: Track sections with corners are more complicated than straight routes as the LRT will be required to slow down at turns and this will impact overall service. This is being considered in our review of the alignment options at the key turning locations of Eglinton-Kingston, Kingston-Lawrence-Morningside, and around the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus area.

Q: Are there opportunities to improve sidewalk connections at the Danforth GO area for better connections between Main Station and Danforth GO? This could include a covered moving sidewalk for people.
A: The Main Station and Danforth GO area is outside of the study area for this project, which is east of Kennedy Station. We are looking at how to improve connections between the LRT line and both Guildwood and Eglinton GO Stations.

Q: The 2009 Environmental Assessment (EA) assumed that any section of Eglinton Avenue or Kingston Road which is 6 lanes wide would be reduced to 4 lanes for the LRT. Is this still the assumption for the current plan?
A: Yes, our assumption is that two through lanes would be removed. A lot of detailed traffic modeling still needs to be completed to help answer questions around optimizing the corridor. The corridor needs to work for everyone including cars and pedestrians while also providing more choice, including rapid transit. Further information on the traffic study and optimization work will be part of consultation in 2018.

C: Anything the Mayor and the rest of City Council can do to move this project forward would be appreciated. Over the past 30 years living in Scarborough, it has been observed that not much has changed in terms of transit. Council needs to pay attention to Scarborough and help residents see change in their lifetime.

Q: When can we realistically see the Eglinton East LRT built?
A: A final report will be submitted to Council in 2019 and will include an implementation schedule. Construction schedules for projects such as these typically have a timeline of four or five years once the detailed design is finished.

Q: How can we get the Sheppard East LRT project back on the agenda and built?
A: The Sheppard East LRT project is being managed by Metrolinx. Our understanding is that it will be implemented after the Finch West LRT is completed in 2023.

Q: Was there funding diverted from the Scarborough Subway Extension to the Eglinton East LRT?
A: We reported to Council that the express Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton East LRT would cost approximately the same as the three stop Scarborough Subway Extension.

Q: Is there funding for the Eglinton East LRT?
A: The project has been identified as a priority for Federal funding. As part of the work we are currently doing and once we have a recommended concept, the project team will be reporting to Council with a business case that lays out cost estimates in early 2019. At that time, staff will seek Council’s direction on how to proceed. There is no financing strategy to pay for this project as we need to provide Council with the funding specifications in a business case.

C: The transit routes available to me take a very long time to commute in Scarborough. I want to thank the City for championing these plans for the LRT as it would improve transit in Scarborough. The one stop subway may not appear to serve all communities now, but it is an improvement and looking forward 20 years in the future, it has the potential to be expanded.

Councillor Matlow: Everyone should read the facts and understand what transit options are available to the community. Other options include going back to the original 7 stop LRT plan instead of the 1 stop subway along with the 17 stop extension LRT plan which would provide transit that would reduce travel time significantly.

Mayor Tory: City Council has directed staff to progress plans for the LRT and that is why we are here tonight. The role of staff members from the City is to provide information that is independent from political debates. The reason transit has not improved in Scarborough is because City Council historically keeps changing their mind regarding transit in Scarborough. My goal is to commit to what has been approved by Council now and move the plan we have for the Scarborough Subway forward, and keep transit plans active that have been supported by the majority.

Councillor Shan: We need to continue support for transit in Scarborough and it’s great to have people here pushing for transit. The extension of the Eglinton East LRT to Malvern has an active campaign with over fourteen-hundred (1,400) signatures within two weeks of community support.

Breakout Session to Market Stations

Following the Q&A Dillon Consulting identified the Market Stations activity available in the room and encouraged participants explore them all. The Market Stations provided greater detail about the key issue areas along the corridor with staff available to answer questions. The Market Stations included:

  • Kennedy Station and Crosstown Integration
  • Eglinton and Kingston Road
  • Kingston – Lawrence – Morningside
  • University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) Integration
  • Northern Extension – Connecting Malvern
  • Planning + Placemaking
  • Share Your Corridor Wish + Guildwood GO Connection

Closing and Thank You

Dillon Consulting thanked the public for coming out to attend the meeting and encouraged everyone to visit the website to continue the conversation online and contribute more ideas and comments.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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