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PRESS RELEASE: Davenport Community Groups Petition the Province to Meet the Community’s Requirements on Metrolinx’s Davenport Diamond Project

 

Today, a coalition of nine Davenport community groups, supported by local elected representatives have submitted a community petition containing approximately 1,500 signatures to Davenport MPP Cristina Martins, which will be read in the Ontario Legislature later today.

 

The petition was created to call on the Government of Ontario and Metrolinx to meet the requirements of the Davenport community for the proposed Davenport Diamond Grade Separation project.

 

The petition calls for:

  • developing a comprehensive vision that includes a design competition;

  • addressing noise, vibration, and safety issues and concerns;

  • creating a multi-modal station at Bloor;

  • establishing cycling and walking connections throughout including connections to the West Toronto Railpath, the Green Line, and an elevated connection to Earlscourt Park;

  • devising a long-term maintenance plan and endowment fund for community programming;

  • resolving concerns relating to Dupont St;

  • providing the community with a date commitment to electrify the corridor; and

  • guaranteeing that no more than the proposed 36 trains per day will be in use until electric trains are operational on the corridor.

 

The Davenport community is united in calling for this piece of transit infrastructure to be a city building exercise that truly benefits all communities along the corridor. Metrolinx and the Government of Ontario now have an opportunity to create goodwill and help realize the community and City vision for this project by adopting the issues raised in the petition.

 

– 30 –

 

Quotes from the community groups are on page two [below] and a copy of the petition and open letter has been included as part of this release.

 

The petition is an initiative of BIG, Bloordale BIA, Bloordale CIA, Davenport Village Community Association, DIGIN, Friends of the West Toronto Railpath, How We Live In Cities, Junction Triangle Rail Committee, Options for Davenport, and Councillor Ana Bailão.

Media Contacts:

 

Sam Barbieri for Options for Davenport, 416-779-9396, optionsftdd@gmail.com

Matt Park for Davenport Village Community Association, 647-572-1767, parkie10@hotmail.com

Robert Cerjanec for Councillor Ana Bailão, 416-338-5274, rcerjan@toronto.ca

 

Quotes

 

“This project will impact our community for the next 100 years. Through advocacy, research, and hard work, our community has come together and presented a real and achievable vision for this project. I encourage Metrolinx and the Province to follow the lead of the Davenport community in truly creating a city building project that benefits all communities along the corridor – our community deserves no less.”

– Ana Bailão, City Councillor, Ward 18, Davenport

 

“Metrolinx’s proposed rail overpass is going to pass within metres of homes, businesses and parks. Not surprisingly, the people who live here are concerned about noise, diesel pollution, safety, and the visual impact that such an imposing structure will have on our established neighbourhood. Our community has come together to put forward a series of reasonable requests relating to these issues. Meeting these requirements is the very least the Province and Metrolinx can do for our community. We deserve that much.”

– Sam Barbieri, Options for Davenport

 

“I think it’s rare that community organizations and government unify over contentious projects like the Davenport Diamond Grade Separation when opinions are so often divided, but for the greater good of our community’s future, our strength is shown by collaborative efforts of passionate individuals, organizations, and political representatives. Our community deserves the best when all projects are considered for it and I am proud to live in one where people care enough to strive for the same thing.”

– Jason Campbell, Chair, BIG: Bloor Improvement Group

 

“Any multiuse trail built along this overpass must have meaningful connections to other trails such as the West Toronto Railpath and the future Green Line – otherwise it will be a stub to nowhere. A fully inter-connected trail system would also become a force multiplier for active transportation routes in the West End, which is a good thing for all transit users.”

– Scott Dobson, Friends of the West Toronto Railpath

 

“Metrolinx’s railway overpass will be a pronounced community disruption requiring the neighbourhood to bare a permanent physical cut into the landscape. The bridge will interfere with sightlines, contribute more noise and air pollution and put at risk the wildlife habitat now residing along the corridor. Jointly, our community groups and organizations have put forward carefully considered requirements to ensure that this project results in the best possible outcome. We adamantly urge that Metrolinx honour these sensible requests including design and entryway resolutions in the Dupont Street area. The high density Dupont area is traffic congested, rapidly intensifying and hosts the apex of the overpass but is the least accessible pathway on plans to date.”

– Dyan Marie, How We Live In Cities

 

“The Davenport Diamond rail overpass is more than merely a piece of transit infrastructure. It is about people and communities. Every effort must be made to ensure that each are both protected and augmented through this challenging project. This is an essential opportunity to ensure electrification at the earliest possible juncture. Design excellence must be a key tenet in order for us to create a marque structure together. A multi-modal station at Bloor; establishing cycling and walking connections throughout including connections to the West Toronto Railpath in the south and The Green Line, and an elevated connection to Earlscourt Park to the north are all key to ensure this generational piece of transit infrastructure is an asset rather than an eyesore for Davenport and a model for Metrolinx as it works with other communities in the future.”

– Matt Park, President, Davenport Village Community Association

 

“The community is looking for the best possible design. An architectural gem that elevates the community not just the trains.”

– Kevin Putnam, Junction Triangle Rail Committee

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