Hundreds of residents from Toronto’s Davenport community are preparing to take on Goliath, as Metrolinx pushes ahead with its plan to build a Gardiner for GO Trains through the middle of a residential neighbourhood — even as the City of Toronto comes out against the plan.
Options for Davenport, a local non-partisan community group, is preparing a lawn sign campaign, as well as organizing petitions and engaging with provincial leadership, with the hopes it can persuade Ontario’s transit agency that one community does not need to be sacrificed to the benefit of another. The City of Toronto has recommended tunneling the corridor, which is a move that meets everyone’s goals.
“Metrolinx wants to increase GO train traffic between Barrie and Union and we are absolutely supportive of that. Just put it underground — like they have in Liberty Village and Weston — rather than through the middle of a dense residential neighbourhood,” said Laura Zeglen, Chair of Options for Davenport. “This is not a bridge they’re talking about. Metrolinx wants to drop a Gardiner for GO Trains in the middle of Davenport, directly beside playgrounds, houses, condos and parks. It’s devastating.”
The structure Metrolinx has proposed will be three storeys high, up to three GO Train tracks wide, and extend for 1.5 km between just south of Davenport Rd. to Bloor Street. Options for Davenport has been unable to find a single example of another major North American city building something similar in a residential neighbourhood.
In October, Metrolinx promised to delay its environmental assessment until the Spring of 2016, in order to gather more information and to further consult with the community. But late last week, the provincial transit agency backtracked. Metrolinx has announced it will start its EA in January, despite an assessment from the City that the plan is seriously flawed.
“We understand the sense of urgency to address this region’s transit problems. But this is forever. This overpass is going to be here forever. All we want is for Metrolinx and the province to think long term. There is an option on the table that meets everyone’s goals. Why are they not at least exploring it?” Zeglen said.
For more information about Options for Davenport and the impact Metrolinx’s plan will have on Davenport, please visit our website optionsfordavenport.ca or contact spokesperson Sam Barbieri at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can join our mailing list by emailing email@example.com, subject line: “Join mailing list.”
We can also be found on Twitter @Opt4Davenport and on Facebook.