Metrolinx rail bridge plan angers Davenport residents

Residents of a west end neighbourhood where a new rail bridge is being planned say Metrolinx hasn’t given them enough information or options about the project.

Transit organization says rail bridge will improve Toronto-Barrie service

Davenport residents are upset with Metrolinx plans to build a new rail bridge in the area to improve service on the Toronto-Barrie line. (Andrew Lupton/CBC )

Residents of a west end neighbourhood where a new rail bridge is being planned say Metrolinx hasn't given them enough information about the project, or options.

Metrolinx wants a new rail bridge to replace its north-south rail lines between Bloor Street West and Davenport Road so it can run trains more regularly on GO Transit's Toronto-Barrie line — an expansion that was announced by the province in April.

People who live near the rail corridor, however, aren't happy with the idea and said so at a Wednesday night public meeting with transit and government officials.

"Metrolinx has decided they're building a bridge and they're prepared to talk about that … but other options, no," said Kevin Putnam, of the Junction Triangle Rail Committee.

"They won't give us information like their planning study, what led them to think it's the best option," he added.

Putnam and others have asked Metrolinx to consider building a tunnel for the GO Transit tracks, but Metrolinx says that would cost around $650 million in comparison to $120 million for a bridge.

David White, of the group Davenport Options, calls it a "super bridge" which he said "at its highest point would be three stories high and tower over people's homes."

Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca and Davenport MPP Cristina Martins were in attendance at the public meeting to hear the public's concerns.

Martins cautioned it's still "early on" in the project and said there will be more negotiations in the future. She said she and the city have already asked Metrolinx to delay an environmental assessment that was set to begin in September.

"There's going to be a lot of debate and discussion around this project," she said.

Metrolinx has agreed to delay its environmental assessment by a month.

Corrections

  • This article originally stated Metrolinx was set to start construction this fall on a bridge in the Yonge Street and Davenport Avenue area. In fact, an environmental assessment was planned this fall, and the area in question is between Bloor Street West and Davenport Avenue.
    Jul 30, 2015 5:33 PM ET

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