Kingston Road Transit Improvements EA

The draft terms of reference for the Environmental Assessment of improved transit service on Kingston Road from Victoria Park east to Eglinton are working their way through City Council approval.

One bizarre aspect of this process is that the Kingston Road study was already underway when Transit City was announced, and for some reason, no line was included on the Transit City map for this corridor.  This is rather odd considering that the proposed St. Clair extension to Jane was included in Transit City even though it is little more than an intriguing add-on to the overall St. Clair project.

Furthermore, the Kingston Road study is proceeding under the old EA process soon to be replaced by a new, streamlined “Class EA” that will be used for the Transit City studies.  Some processes, once started, are hard to stop, but it’s important after the MoveOntario announcement that the various studies now in progress for Transit City, the Waterfront and any other bits and pieces proceed as a co-ordinated effort.

The draft Terms of Reference and Supporting Documents are available online. 

6 thoughts on “Kingston Road Transit Improvements EA

  1. Steve:

    Regarding the fact that this EA will proceed under the old regime, see page 2 (section 1.1):

    “It should be noted that during the preparation of this ToR, City of Toronto and TTC staff have
    been participating in the development of a new chapter to the Municipal Engineers Association
    Municipal Class EA document to allow municipalities the opportunity to expedite the planning of
    municipal transit projects. The new chapter is expected to be approved for use by the City and
    TTC within the next year. Once this new process is in place, transition provisions are expected
    to be in place such that transit EAs that are already under way at the time of approval of the
    Class EA will be able to elect to proceed in accordance with the requirements of the new Class
    EA process. Subject to the transitions provisions approved by the Ministry of the Environment
    (MOE) for the Transit Class EA, the City and TTC intend to elect to follow this new Class EA
    process for this EA project, rather than continue with this Individual EA under Part II of the EA

    As I read it (and I’m *no expert* in this stuff), this EA will be bumped up to the Transit Class EA when/if that’s approved.

    Steve: Thanks for spotting this text. I had missed it.


  2. If this line isn’t part of TC why has it not been stopped? Is the thinking that some of the EA work will be transferable?

    Steve: The claim is that they didn’t want to prejudge the EA’s technology selection or routing by showing it as an part of an LRT network, but in the process all they have done is to confuse people. Obviously any work will be transferable, but the line should have been on the map if only in dots to indicate a work in progress.


  3. Was there not already a streetcar on kingston road many many years ago? Why do another EA when there was already streetcars there at one point. We know the technology fits there.

    Steve: The Kingston Road radial line was a single-track, side of the road operation totally unlike what we would implement today, and the land uses and traffic in the corridor have also completely changed. We even had to conduct an EA for the St. Clair line where streetcars were actually operating.


  4. What a great plan this terms of reference is. I had already emailed my own dreams to Adam Giambrone’s office for the Kingston Rd. #503 Streetcar being extended to Eglinton and now this new route that is shown on page 26 of the Terms of Reference covers this area on Kingston Rd from the Danforth to Eglinton.

    One added bonus of one of the suggested routes is that the Victoria Park Subway Station will now be serviced by a streetcar. This station is getting a major renovation I heard at TTC meeting I attended earlier in the year and why not add a streetcar line to this great plan. The flexibility of this station will increase with a streetcar there which will also help with ridership.

    Hopefully they extend the #503 Kingston Rd. Streetcar eastward on Kingston Rd. as far as the Danforth where new proposed streetcar will service Kingston Rd. as far as Eglinton.


  5. Steve, is it more or less advantageous from an operational standpoint to have a second subway station serving streetcars in the area?

    I imagine consolidating in one station might be cheaper, as well as providing passengers who are continuing downtown from Kingston Rd. with more options (ie. one less transfer by taking the 506 for people continuing to U of T or Queen’s Park).

    But I would also think that having a second streetcar station close to Main would give the TTC more options during rerouting for emergencies, track reconstruction, etc. Further on this point, if the line comes into Vic Park station via Danforth, does it make sense to add track connecting it to the 506 and 502/503?

    (And how sweet would it be to have the 502/503 terminus at Vic Park station?) How much does this kind of thing factor into the final routing decision?

    Steve: Realistically, I don’t see much sense in trying to connect north from Kingston Road via Victoria Park or Main to the Danforth subway. If we are going to run a service linking with the subway, it belongs on Danforth Avenue and should go to Victoria Park Station. Neither Main nor Victoria Park is wide enough to accept any sort of transit right-of-way.

    One big complaint in southern Scarborough is that all transit lines feed the subway and getting around in Scarborough itself is quite difficult. None of the LRT or bus proposals does anything to address this.

    Further west, the service on Kingston Road west of Victoria Park is appallingly bad in the off-peak. It would be nice to have a through-routed service coming in from Scarborough to downtown, but there’s the little matter of transit priority on a street where congestion and parking are common. A trip from, say, Eglinton and Kingston Road to downtown would be a one seat ride, but a long one. Not as bad as coming in from Long Branch, but still not a speedy trip.


  6. I read the Kingston Rd. Transit Improvement Environmental Assessment: Terms of Reference and I am puzzled by one contradiction. The report states that it would like to make a convenient option to get downtown VIA Kingston Rd. to take some pressure off the Bloor/Danforth subway line.

    The option they follow up giving isn’t very convenient. The #503 streetcar would be extended as far as the Danforth which makes sense to me. A new streetcar would leave (one option) the Victoria Park subway station and travel along the Danforth to Kingston Rd. to Eglinton Ave. where it would have its terminus. The final part of Kingston Rd would be serviced by the Transit City planned Scarborough Malvern Line which would leave Kennedy Station, travel along Eglinton to Kingston Rd to Morningside Ave.

    This plan is an improvement over the present mish mash of different bus routes along Kingston Rd. but it isn’t a convenient plan for continuous travel along Kingston Rd. to get downtown. Really like there idea of using the Vic. Park Subway station for the new streetcar line though, much better then my own idea.


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