Eglinton LRT Public Meetings Announced (Update 4)

The City of Toronto has announced the open houses for the first round of consultation for the Eglinton line. 

Update 1:  A fifth meeting has been added to the list below.

Update 2:  The Star contains an article about preliminary response to the information to be presented at public meetings.  Concerns focus on the space between stops on the underground LRT as compared with the current surface bus operations.  The real question is what, if any, residual bus service will be operated over this portion of the route.

Update 3:  The FAQ for this project is now available online.

Update 4:  The presentation materials for this round of public meetings is now available online.

The Open Houses are planned as follows:

Thursday, August 14
6:30pm to 9:00pm
Forest Hill Memorial Arena, 340 Chaplin Cres.

Tuesday, August 19
6:30pm to 9:00pm
Leaside Arena, 1073 Millwood Rd.

Monday, August 25
6:30pm to 9:00pm
Humber Valley United Church, 76 Anglesey Blvd.

Wednesday, August 27
6:30pm to 9:00pm
Don Montgomery Community Recreation Centre
(Formerly the Mid Scarborough Community Centre)
2467 Eglinton Ave  East

(Added) Richview Baptist Church
1548 Kipling Ave (just north of Eglinton)

The project website is now online.

Note:  If you want to contribute to the thread about technology choices for the line, please do that in the post where that discussion is already underway.

50 thoughts on “Eglinton LRT Public Meetings Announced (Update 4)

  1. All I can really say is “Finally”. IMHO this should have been the first one to go to public consultation and EA (since it will take the longest to build, but also be the key that links the network).

    I note that it mentions the western portal being “between Jane and Keele”. IMHO they need to make it west of Weston, as there is a very small area just west of weston that would make it impossible to squeeze in the line unless you buy at least 4 front-lawns, and demolish at least 2 houses (at least in part).

    Steve: This is also the most complex route and a lot of preliminary work had to be done before having public meetings. Meanwhile the simpler routes have been making their way through the mill. I would rather have a relatively short delay to the start of the consultation than a half baked job that raises so many questions we spend weeks here complaining about poorly prepared work.


  2. I noticed that only 2 meetings are within a reasonable distance of Eglinton Ave. Heck, the TTC neglected to set-up a meeting for residents between the Allen Rd, and Keele! Chaplin is the closest, but it is not that close.


  3. Steve,

    Since the ELRT goes across the city (Eglinton being the only street that crosses etobicoke, york, north york, east york, toronto and scarborough), I asked Giambrone about the ELRT that they are going to be done by three teams (I asked him on the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT session)…

    First Team: 13 km underground part

    Most likely then one team for the part west of the underground part and another team for the part east of the underground part.

    What do you think about the chances of that actually happening and not disrupting the whole city thus splitting the city in half?

    Steve: I think there’s a fighting chance of something being built on Eglinton, the only question is what. As for splitting the city in half, it doesn’t matter what technology, the line will have to be under the street and the stations will be a major upheaval at every location. At least they won’t have to built a junction with the Yonge line as they did at Sheppard. Remember the gigantic excavation for that?


  4. I really hope the expedited environmental assessment process works well and gives a decent plan with a reasonable choice of technology because the last thing the city needs is another transit fiasco. The thought of crossbreeding the Scarborough RT with the St. Clair streetcar line’s rebuild is seriously disconcerting.

    That said, if something reasonable is designed, the design needs to be signed off on and work needs to begin. The politicians need to stop talking great volumes about grand visions and get on with doing for anything to actually happen.


  5. Why does this line stop at Renforth?

    Steve: I don’t know. Possibly because details of the airport link are still being worked out.


  6. Something in your response to Miroslav Glavic’s comment got me thinking…

    Are you certain that there would be no junction built? I am under (the possibly misinformed) belief that the Eglinton LRT (below-grade) portion is to be built to subway specifications (in terms of tunnel depth/architecture and station spacing, though obviously not for platform length) is this true/untrue?

    If it is to be built in this manor, wouldn’t a pair of junctions (at Eglinton West station (partially built, then filled in) and Eglinton Station be required at the point where the underground portion was to be converted to subway at some point way off in the future (like when Hazel McCallion is NOT mayor of Mississauga)…

    Are you aware of any precedents to creating a junction after-the-fact?

    Steve: The logical junction would be at Kennedy Station where it would be fairly easy to add using joint tail tracks with the Danforth line. Yonge and Eglinton’s geometry is such that it is impossible to build curves linking the routes (remember what Sheppard and Yonge looked like with two completely empty corners while the junction was under construction). At Eglinton West, a junction to the north would have to link across the existing Allen Road. To the south, there might be room, but given the need for a 500-foot long station, the curves would have to start too far east or west to clear existing buildings.


  7. Steve,

    Drew’s comment reminded me one thing…..Giambrone said 13 kilometres of the EWLRT will be burried…..I think he mentioned Laird Drive as a start point or something like that……why is the EWLRT going to be partially buried? I have been in Laird/Eglinton before but years ago, there was a Canadian Tire and it’s close to the Sunnybrook park area where the don river is located.

    Steve: When Eglinton drops into the valley easy of Brentcliffe the right-of-way also opens out. At this point, the line can move to the surface, probably along the south side of the road. The only bus stop between Laird and Don Mills is at Leslie Street, and that would be an LRT stop too. If there is to be an underground station at Don Mills, there is lots of room under the Science Centre parking lot on the SW corner and that’s another reason a south side alignment makes sense.

    The line would be underground from Laird west to somewhere between Keele and Jane (until I see the plans I won’t know for sure what the TTC has in mind). However, 13 km gets you from Laird/Brentcliffe in the east to west of Jane. The figure may be approximate. Who knows. Wait for the meetings next week to look at the drawings.


  8. For the spatially conceptual challenged reader (namely, myself), can you please explain how a transit rider would move from the new Eglinton line to the Yonge Subway – surely a major transfer point!

    Steve: The Eglinton line will be underground at Yonge, and there will be a transfer connection somewhat like what already exists at Bloor/Yonge between the two subway lines. This is an important interchange because the combined loads coming in from both directions will mostly want to transfer to the subway. Given the geometry of the intersection and the gradient down to the west, I suspect the Eglinton line will pass under the Yonge line.


  9. An article in today’s Star gives the relative speeds of bus, LRT and subway.

    – 16-18 km/h for the Eglinton bus with stop spacing every 300m
    – 22 km/h for the Eglinton LRT with stop spacing every 850m
    – 32 km/h for the Bloor-Danforth subway with stop spacing every 875m

    The question is: Why is the LRT speed not closer to the subway speed given underground running and similar stop spacing? LRT is almost a 30% improvement in speed compared to almost 90% for subway over bus.

    Steve: The TTC is misquoting its own data here. The BD subway has a higher average speed because of the more widely-spaced stations on the outer end. The actual speed over a route with comparable stop spacing to the underground part of the Eglinton line is slower than the figure quoted above, and the average stop spacing is also closer.

    Also, the Eglinton line is underground for roughly half its length. The rest is on the surface and must contend with pesky traffic signals, etc., no matter how far apart or close together the stops are.

    In Paris, I remember the T3 tramway with excellent signal priority seemed noticably slower than the metro yet also very noticably faster than a city bus I transferred to. I would have thought the Eginton LRT to be better an 30% faster than the bus.

    Steve: I have not seen the details of the TTC’s design for this line yet and don’t know they calculated the eventual speed of the line. Also, it’s worth remembering that there are a few places along Eglinton where the bus doesn’t stop often and rarely encounters traffic congestion. Therefore the savings are only possible in areas where there really will be a change in operating characteristics.


  10. Shouldn’t the TTC wait until October for this line to see what Metrolinx comes up with in September? There’s a good chance it’s going to be ICTS to STC.

    Doing this now, only to change direction later on, makes them both look stupid.

    Steve: Any review of the Eglinton line is going to cover the same ground for either technology at least for the underground section. Also, controversies such as station spacing would beset a subway or ICTS implementation on Eglinton even moreso than LRT because they would be grade-separated for their entire length.

    I also think Metrolinx may choke on the pricetag for an end-to-end ICTS.

    Finally, it’s worth knowing what the alternatives are. Metrolinx seems bent on squashing any debate on the merits of its plans or alternatives to them. Oddly, everyone dumped on Transit City for having pre-empted other modal choices, but nobody seems to hol Metrolinx’ feet to the same fire.


  11. Steve, at these EA meetings would it be an appropriate time to voice an opinion about the route being split in two? I hope they have an East Eglinton LRT that replaces the #34 bus route and I hope they have another Eglinton LRT route in the west that roughly replaces the #32 route.

    Steve: Operationally, it would be useful to have turnback facilities at various points along the route. Whether the lines should operate as two completely separate services is another matter, and of course this scheme would directly contradict those who see Eglinton’s manifest destiny as a regional, cross-city service. Forcing everyone to transfer at Yonge (although most will be headed for the subway anyhow) works against that vision of our future.

    For the benefit of literal-minded readers,I am being a tad cynical here.


  12. Steve, it would be easier to suppress the visions of Eglinton as a regional, cross-city service if the TTC stopped referring to it as the “Eglinton Crosstown” line and dropped the arrows into the 905 from the left-hand side of its map. 🙂


  13. @Matt L.

    But what’s the benefit of dropping the vision of Eglinton as a cross-city service? The Eglinton light rail will be slower than Bloor subway, but faster and more reliable than any major E-W bus route north of Bloor. For many crosstown trips with both the origin and the destination north of Bloor, it should be faster and more convenient to transfer via Eglinton line, rather than detour further south via Bloor.


  14. George S wrote, “would it be an appropriate time to voice an opinion about the route being split in two?”

    Notwithstanding Steve’s comments, I would add that until the line is built, we are talking about the line being built, whether there is one route that runs from end-to-end, or two that turn back at the centre is not really an issue at this time. In fact, if there turned out to be a significant number of people traveling from Lawrence and Jane to Lawrence and Don Mills at rush hours, the TTC might implement a U-shaped service on the TC infrastructure that covers this. As an example, VIVA runs their Pink route during rush hours because of the number of east-Highway 7 to Finch travelers warrants it.

    At the same time, if it makes better sense for the public to see two separate routes, why not run a train from end-to-end that changes its route name/number at Yonge. The TTC does this currently with a number of bus routes with a shared terminal, particularly short ones. Even GO’s lakeshore services operate this way, where east and west are listed as separate routes even though, outside of rush hours, the same train continus past Union Station on the “other” route.


  15. Steve: “Yonge and Eglinton’s geometry is such that it is impossible to build curves linking the routes (remember what Sheppard and Yonge looked like with two completely empty corners while the junction was under construction).”

    At Yonge and Eglinton proper, I agree entirely, there’s no way. However, I suspect that some provision may be made (at an appropriate future date) for the TTC to feed a track or two down the old Belt Line to link it to Davisville yard, which, at a functional level, keeps the HRV network interconnected. This is probably important since the portion between Don Mills and Jane (or Weston Rd depending on Jane LRT alignment) would be first in line for becoming a subway before the Don Mills to Kennedy portion, and Davisville would then become Eglinton’s yard after Yonge gets a new yard added somewhere around Steeles.


  16. Rainforest, I’m badly afflicted by the visions that frustrate Steve so much. It just seemed like a good time to point out the disconnect in the city and TTC’s position: their plans are mostly optimized for local service, but their talking points emphasize the crosstown and regional importance of the corridor.

    In general, I understand how better local transit is important for the Avenues part of the Official Plan. But when a proposed line costs over $2 billion and tunnels under up one of the city’s best east-west transportation corridors, I’m just not sure a locally-focused approach will fly.

    Speaking of flying, at 22 km/h, it would take about 52 minutes to get from Yonge and Eglinton to the airport. That means a subway to Kipling + the Airport Rocket would still be the fastest way from Bloor-Yonge station; even from Yonge and Eg it’d be a toss-up depending on connection times and traffic on the 427.


  17. Taking into consideration what Steve said, I estimated the average speed of the Bloor-Danforth subway from Jane to Main to be 27 KM/H. (Jane to Main appears to contain all the closely-spaced stations similar to the underground Eglinton LRT. The distance if I measured the map correctly is 14 KM. The TTC’s Subway Travel Time Calculator says the trip should take 31 minutes.) Thus, the comparison of bus, LRT and subway speeds for linton might be:

    – 16-18 km/h for bus
    – 22 km/h for LRT (nearly a 30% improvement over bus)
    – 27 km/h for subway (nearly a 60% improvement over bus)

    The trip from Yonge to Airport along Eglinton would be:
    – 67 minutes by bus
    – 52 minutes by LRT
    – 42 minutes by subway assuming close station spacing all the way.

    Does that seem right?


  18. Do you anticipate that a southside alignment would mean the end of the Celestica interchange?


    Steve: A lot depends on where the route is when it gets to that point. If it’s heading into a Don Mills Station underground, the vertical alignment will be different. Having said that, yes, I think the Celestica interchange should be closed if it interferes with the LRT line.


  19. @Matt L.

    I see the point. Indeed, some of the TC lines are positioned where a rapid trunk route should exist, but being actually designed more like premium local services.

    However, Eglinton LRT has a good chance to be at least semi-rapid thanks to the central tunnel section. The 22 km/h probably applies to the surface sections, whereas the central part may be about as fast as a subway, around 30 km/h.


  20. I have been hearing that Metrolinx is proposing using Bombardier’s ART technology on the line.
    Why choose a technology, whose capacity is not that much higher than LRT? Especially a proprietary technology?

    Steve: Metrolinx is being rather coy about this. They refer to the Eglinton line as “Metro” which could be a full subway or the Scarborough ICTS. The real problem is that it seems to be a technology looking for a place to be used, and Metrolinx has to be careful that their plan doesn’t appear to be a sweetheart deal creating an artificial market for Bombardier’s products.


  21. Steve I was looking at the following comment from Justin Bernard: I have been hearing that Metrolinx is proposing using Bombardier’s ART technology on the line.

    Why choose a technology, whose capacity is not that much higher than LRT? Especially a proprietary technology?

    Steve: Metrolinx is being rather coy about this. They refer to the Eglinton line as “Metro” which could be a full subway or the Scarborough ICTS. The real problem is that it seems to be a technology looking for a place to be used, and Metrolinx has to be careful that their plan doesn’t appear to be a sweetheart deal creating an artificial market for Bombardier’s products.

    Is it just me or is this ICTS Deja Vu all over again. Tech looking for a place to be used can only spell one thing.. Orphan lined boondoggle. *cough* Scarborough RT *cough*


  22. The new 60-foot articulated ICTS cars, in a six-unit train of three married articulated pairs, can carry much more than LRT. With 90 second headways, we’re talking 60-70% of conventional subway capacity.

    ICTS would also allow for integration with the SRT and a ride from Pearson to Malvern.

    Steve: I am not disputing this claim, but that’s only part of the story. First of all, nobody has established that we need anywhere near this capacity on Eglinton.

    Second, the airport is not the primary destination of riders in this corridor.

    Third, extremely close headways imply a large fleet, and the TTC needs to decide whether there will be operators onboard these trains.

    Fourth, the technology requires a completely dedicated right-of-way with associated costs for infrastructure especially at stations, and issues of neighbourhood intrusion for elevated guideways and stations if and where they are used. High capacity implies considerably larger facilities for passenger movement at and access to stations.

    When this debate stops being about finding a home for more ICTS technology and starts being about what is actually needed in this corridor, I will be more kindly disposed to ICTS advocates. Meanwhile, I can’t help thinking that this is an attempt to validate a decades-old plan to run ICTS along Eglinton whether it is actually needed or not.


  23. I’m not saying Eglinton should be ICTS — Metrolinx is saying that. But, one of your posters said that ICTS and LRT were equivalent capacity-wise, which is false. Let’s stop spreading misinformation about the various technologies.

    If the goal is to integrate Eglinton with the SRT for an even longer transfer-free ride and create the longest possible crosstown link deep into Scarborough that also serves the airport, then the ICTS idea has some merit. It’s not just about demand — connectivity is just as important.


  24. @M. Briganti: ICTS / ALRT has no inherent capacity edge over plain LRT. Light rail cars can be combined into 6-car trains, run on 90 min headways, and use automatic control just like ICTS.

    Basically, we have 4 options:

    1) Transit City style LRT: small LRT trains (2 or 3 cars), partly on-street ROW operation. This option is cheapest and provides best local service, but leads to lower speed and capacity.

    2) Enhanced LRT: longer trains, full grade separation. This will be more expensive, but result in higher speed and higher capacity.

    3) ICTS. This will be similar to Enhanced LRT in terms of cost, speed and capacity, but results in the gauge, rolling stock, and spare parts incompatibility with other emerging light rail lines.

    4) Full-fledged subway. This is the most expensive option, but results in the highest capacity.

    So, while options (1), (2), and (4) have both advantages and disadvantages, option (3) is automatically inferior compared to (2).


  25. Do you by any chance know what kind of bus transfer facilities are being bandied about along the line (especially the central underground portion)? I’m sure there won’t be any bus terminals as such but I was thinking that perhaps off-street transfer facilities of some sort might not be out of the question there. I’m going to go out on a limb here and ask about any possibility of parking lots for the line as well.

    Steve: Off-street bus transfers require property taking and also do great violence to neighbourhoods that are built up on all corners. Thinking of places like Bathurst & Eglinton, there is no place to put a loop without tearing down buildings. This is a common situation at likely station locations. Parking lots also require property, and that’s just not available.


  26. Assuming the LRT will be POP, I do not see any reason for bus terminal along the central portion of the LRT. It would be a simple to make sure that the entrances are located near the surface bus stop, and designed to allow easy transfers.


  27. If the Brentcliffe to Don Mills stretch runs at grade but on an alignment separate from the road itself, do you foresee attempts to make the stretch truly access-controlled ie, restricting pedestrian access with high fences, etc a la Yonge near Davisville. How much would this likely increase running speed along the stretch?

    Steve: Yes, I expect that it would be a restricted right-of-way, although not necessarily with the barbed wire and warnings of electrocution we see on subway lines. The operating speed wouldn’t be much different as the only stop between Leaside and Don Mills would be at Leslie.

    Note that as I write this, I have not yet seen the TTC’s proposed alignment for the route.


  28. Perhaps this is an opportunity to get out of the habit of using subway stations in congested neighbourhoods as termini. Not only is land unavailable along much of Eglinton as Steve mentioned, the price to expropriate it is likely to be severe given the likely increase in property prices from the additional transit outside of the YUS zone.

    Adding termini also usually means an extra stop at the actual street corner, which really puzzles me since the two are often separated by tens of meters.

    With next bus technology, the arrival of buses could be signalled to passengers in a mezzanine waiting area which they could then exit to the street in time for the bus to arrive at the stop, which could have a shelter for passengers not originating in the sublevel LRT. This may also help with climate control as the number of avenues for air to enter/exit will be limited to the general entrance/exitways.

    Steve: Several years ago, there was a proposal for “train coming” signs in subway mezzanines so that passengers concerned about the safety of waiting on platforms could stay by the collector’s booth and then nip downstairs when a train was about to arrive. The problem with this is that some people need a fair amount of time to make this transition, and if the sign only came on at the last moment, they would rush and could potentially fall (or push others in their path).

    However, for buses at least, the arrival is not as sudden, and more lead time could be given for infrequent services. This would still require a station design that minimized the distance from the waiting area to the street exit and the bus stop.


  29. Steve said …

    “The problem with this is that some people need a fair amount of time to make this transition, and if the sign only came on at the last moment …”

    This used to happen at Bay and St. George during the integrated service test. If you were taking an eastbound train at Bay (or a westbound one at St. George), you waited on the upper platform. A backlit 4-arrow sign (each arrow had a single bulb behind it) would come on to direct passengers to the next eastbound train at Bay (and westbound at St. George).

    But, passengers would often get to the lower platform and miss the train because the light would go off on the upper platform only after the train on the lower platform had left, forcing frustrated passengers to climb back upstairs only to see that same sign with all four arrows unlit. Very annoying.

    Keele and Woodbine were even worse. At the mezzanine levels there the signs would often show nothing, and then say PLATFORM 1 … xxx or PLATFORM 2 … yyy, but when they were both on, you still didn’t know which train was next (assuming it didn’t matter which train you took). Needless to say, it confused so many people that they manually announced the destinations over the loudspeaker.

    But, my understanding is that they are going to put countdown clocks in the subway soon.

    Steve: Yes, just what we need. Countdown clocks on a line with very frequent service. Of course, they will only be visible at platform level and so you will have to go all the way down just to find out that the next train isn’t coming for half an hour.


  30. It just occurred to me, and maybe I should whisper in the hopes that the car-or-nothing types don’t hear, but the Eglinton-Crosstown material, including the FAQ, repeatedly mention reserved LRT lanes while still maintaining two lanes of other traffic in each direction.

    Back in the days of Metro Toronto, roads that were under the control of Metro as major arteries were designed in the suburbs to have a right of way that would allow widening to SEVEN lanes (three in each direction, plus a double-left turn lane in the middle). Sheppard is one of those roads, but east of Pharmacy, it is no wider than five lanes, so adding LRT lanes and bike lanes will not change anything else. Eglinton, on the other hand, is already six and seven lanes wide along much of the eastern non-tunnelled portion. I believe that some of this has the right lane reserved already for HOV purposes at rush hours, so perhaps this has kept the complaints of losing a lane at bay.

    At the same time, YRT/VIVA recently held open houses on the Highway 7 busway proposal for Bayview east to the Unionville GO station. Along Highway 7, their proposal has the median lanes with three traffic lanes on either side. There is no room for additional lanes at the 404 underpass (well, IMHO there is room for one, but only one!), so the reserved lanes will merge with a traffic lane for the underpass, then separate on the other side – I’m wondering how well that will work.


  31. Haha, Like I’m going to sit there for 50 minutes to ride to the airport at 22km/hr? Yeah right, I’m driving.

    Steve jumps in: At the risk of sounding terribly condescending, the airport is not the centre of the universe, and I’m more than a little tired of arguments that we should spend billions to move people to it at very high speed. There are far more pressing transportation needs in Toronto. Yes, the Eglinton line (whatever it is) will be part of addressing these, but can we concentrate on that corridor, not the airport.

    The airport is about 16km west of Eglinton West Station. This means that an LRT line at 22km/h will take about 45 minutes to get there. A subway line at 30km/h would take just under 30. However, you have to get to that line first, and the access time adds to the total trip. If getting to the airport by transit is our goal, we need to have as many different paths that get there without going miles out of the way and this would include a branch of the Finch West LRT, a Mississauga line, Eglinton, something to Kipling Station and, yes, even a line to Union. That’s a network that would make the airport a real hub for regional travel, not just the outer end of a vastly expensive single transit line that would be empty much of the time.

    Ideally the solution would be to quad track Eglinton. 2 express tracks that skip 4-5 stations at a time and 2 local tracks. Yes it is expensive, but the way TTC builds is give me all the money NOW (which is not realistic). If the TTC and governments could acquire some badly needed vision they could lay out Eglinton Quad Track route and provide sustained funding to build 2 stations a year. In 30 years the Eglinton Route would be 60 stations long.

    Steve: Let’s assume that for a subway, the stations are going to be about 1 km apart on average. This corresponds with the major road spacing across much of Eglinton. Therefore, you are talking about building a 4-track subway at the rate of 2km/year and this will cost on the order of $500-million leaving aside pre-requisites such as the fleet, a connection to the existing network and a yard space.

    At your proposed rate, we would reach the airport about 8 years from now (starting from Eglinton West Station) at an accumulated cost of around $4-billion. That’s money that would not be available for other transit projects in the same period.

    Note that if we went with 600m spacings as you suggest below, it would take much longer for construction to reach the airport, and costs would go up because there would be more stations.

    No longer do the residents of the GTA work in Downtown Toronto only but they are dispersed throughout the GTA. For example if I live and work in Missisauga and have a business meeting in North York I could simply get on the Eglinton Express track to Yonge Line. The Eglinton Corridor ties in with the Airport, Jane LRT, Spadina, Yonge, Don Mills, and SRT.

    Much like the 401 is for Cars the Eglinton Line could become a public transit freeway for the GTA. In the Toronto Central section you could have local tracks such as the 401. These tracks could end within the city limits and stop at 600m spacings. But for longer distance commutes to lower density areas the express lines could be extended far into Peel Region and Durham Region. This would function as a GO train that operates frequently in both ways offering a true flexible alternative to the car. This would operate all day both ways, not the one way rush hour parking lot server called GO.

    Many say the Subway is not required and I agree. But if the TTC, City of Toronto Planning Department, and other GTA municipalities with the Provincial and Federal Government would lay out a permanent route for the Eglinton Subway and provide sustained funding of 1 to 2 stations a year, think of the message this sends the Developers and other transit authorties in the GTA. “The Subway is Coming” prepare to build other lrt’s to connect or brt’s. Developers would begin to develop the corridor so by the time the subway is there, density and transit is there to support the local tracks.

    We did not build our road network over night for sprawl, why should we expect anything less for quality transit. Slow permanent, quality transit growth allows the surrounding communities to adjust to reality for the coming subway.

    If the GTA is serious about reducing use of cars, being economically competitive with other world cities, and provide a high quality of life, we need to think bigger and realistic. 22km/hr on a central corridor such as Eglinton with potential to reach into Peel and Durham Regions is HORRIBLY slow. New York has express tracks, Berlin S-Bahn Circles the city fast. Where is the GTA’s Public Transit Freeway built for pedestrains that need to get from Durham to North York, or Peel?

    Oh right, 22km/hr lrt will handle the loads fine.

    The Consultant Engineer for much of Transit City is based in 905; these engineers don’t even take transit to work.

    Transit City is a Excellent Idea but the Eglinton Corridor is needed to Revolutionalize transit in the GTA, not waste it on some for the Moment short sighted lrt.

    Mindless People!
    Mindless Solutions!

    I’m going to keep driving or move to some other city.

    Steve: If we need a regional express line, it is not clear that it should be on Eglinton especially considering the challenge of fitting in the structure and four-track stations at major locations like Yonge & Eglinton. Transit systems are not designed like expressways with the concept of lumping more and more capacity into a single corridor. As I said above with respect to airport travel, people have to get to the regional line to use it. On the 401, they drive on a local arterial. On GO, they either take a local bus, drive to a parking lot or walk in.

    In each case, you have to add the access time at each end of the “express” trip to the total journey time. Shortening the access time by having more lines in the network may actually be more effective than spending a lot of money on a single high-speed route.

    You had an argument worth making until you reached “Mindless People”. A lot of thought has gone into how the transit network should be structured, and just because you don’t agree doesn’t make the rest of us “mindless” or “railfans” or “Millerites” or whatever other epithet you may choose.

    Advocates for subways and ICTS and BRT are just as “mindless” as I may be when it comes to LRT, but I am civilized enough not to tell them how sorry I feel for their misguided fantasies.


  32. The days of 4-track systems are over. Even NY can’t afford to build the new 2nd Avenue subway as a 4-track line.


  33. Quad-tracking the whole line would be darn expensive. Rather, I like Karl Junkin’s suggestion of adding passing tracks at the stops on the surface sections of the route, so the express trains can speed by while local trains are serving a stop. The tunnel section is going to be semi-express anyway, due to the larger distance between stops.

    Note that the 22 km/h figure seems to be copied from the Sheppard line materials, and does not take into account the speed in tunnel section. In the tunnel, 30 km/h can be expected, which should bring the average speed of the whole line to 24-25 km/h (even without passing tracks).


  34. People,

    Simple central transit for pedestrians. Not a complcated network where you have to switch to some line in the middle of no where to go fast. Transit in Toronto does not compete with the cars but sadly with bikes. Eglinton at 22km/hr is MINDLESS and is a insult to the People of Toronto. I wish the general public followed this issue more closely and realize what they are getting for the dollar. By the time it’s built it’s too late.

    Quality rapid transit needs to grow slowly at a sustainable rate where communities around can adjust to the new infrastructure. Remember Jane Jacobs said it takes 20 years to build communities? Everyone wants it overnight, and the negative outcome will sadly show!

    Rainforest says Semi Express? I dont think so. The Bloor line operates at 30km/hr. Try riding it from Kipling to St. George and you’ll find it’s a long ride. Toronto has no express service (express is to advanced a topic for Toronto officials). Eglinton has the potential to go far into Durham and Peel. You need a operation speed of 50km/hr with station spacing of 2-3 km, while local track stations can be spaced at 600m. Remember Eglinton has to potential to tie in all City Centre’s across to GTA not just downtown Toronto and suburban parking lots which GO does well.

    If you build Eglinton quad track you reduce the need for GO Transit imporovements along Lakeshore, and many other transit projects that make transfering and commuting a complicated chore spending much important time waiting and transfering. For example the express tracks could run every 5 mins at rush hour and every 15 mins during the day.

    I don’t mean to insult anyone, and I’m not taking political sides, matter of fact I like Miller, and I’m a big fan of sustainability and the environment, but NO ONE in the GTA is seeing the potential of this corridor to revolutionalize transit across the GTA.

    Go look at what our competing cities around the world are building. They have much more agressive plans then the GTA. Transit City is not comparable to Dallas Dart, Los Angeles Metro, and Ctrain of Calgary. Neither should it. It is a slower community based transit forming a hybrid of transit in the cities I mentioned above and between the existing Toronto Streetcar. It’s a excellent fast mode of transit for Jane, Don Mills, Lakeshore West that could tie into a cross town express system such as Eglinton, quickly providing access to other rapid transit across the GTA.

    BUT a 30km long corridor at 22-25km/hr with potential to be extended?

    GET A LIFE! who are are we really fooling here? I’m going to drive thank you, or take my bike hehe, oh right this is Toronto we dont have continuous bike lanes. We are too busy tearing down the Gardiner because we have too much money, but yet somehow still catering to the car, hummm? Priorities????????, or maybe we will end up funding part of Blue 22, for the Select few???????????. Logic is Mysterious in Toronto these days, we are too busy doing too many things at once while we put ourselves at risk economically as a transit system grinds to a halt.

    What happened to the spirit of the original Yonge line? What message are we sending developers if we build a subway line 1-2 stations a year? over 20 years? or build nothing?. I’M SORRY I’M NOT MOVING TO A AREA SERVICED BY A 22KM/HR LRT THAT STOPS AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS. You really think developers might go for that? Is it easier to sell properties along a fast subway or a marginal streetcar? Time will tell I guess.

    Let’s at least build a Subway across Eglinton and get 30-35 km/hr. Provided it’s built at a slow realistic affordable pace that does not kill other transit projects, the communities around will prepare for the comming subway and the demand will be there.

    Key is Quality, fast, simple transit.

    This does not happen over night, neither is it cheap, so lets take 20 years building a proper infrastructure for the long term.

    As a young university student that has been to cities around the world it is frustrating to watch Toronto do this to itself. If you ride in a subway of London, or Sbahn in Berin you feel like you’re going to fall over. Their transit system has a simple objective. MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, isn’t it time the attitude of our transit change (we can’t even get rid of our advanced left turns for cars on streetcar lines) Shame on us!

    We all need to get a life and a bold attitude for this city and be proud of ourselves. Let’s not make a $2.2 billion dollar mistake called Eglinton LRT. At least make it a Regular subway built over 20 years.


    Steve: I agree with a lot of what you say about the need to build and with our inability to confront car-oriented policies, but the basic issue is your assumption, nay insistence, that the regional line be built on Eglinton.

    If we are going to build a Durham to Peel express route, we need to look hard at the CPR line running across the middle of the city for GO service. This is included in some of the Metrolinx plans, but I don’t know if it will survive into the final version. Even with the capital works needed to upgrade the line, this is far, far better than building a four-track subway on Eglinton.

    As a refresher, this line passes from North Pickering through Agincourt, Leslie/Eglinton, Summerhill (North Toronto Station), West Toronto Junction, Kipling Station and on to Milton (the existing GO line). A branch service up the Weston subdivision into the airport would be possible assuming Blue 22 is built as planned (there are other ways to get to the airport from this line, but I won’t get into detailed design issues here).

    The Lakeshore improvements planned for GO address a completely separate demand that is very oriented to core downtown travel (peak and counter-peak). An Eglinton line is not going to eliminate this.

    My reference to “Millerites” was not a swipe at your position, but at those whose simply trash any proposal because the Mayor somehow is associated with it rather than on its own merits.


  35. Thank you Rainforest 🙂

    I was at the TC Public Open House yesterday and spoke with the Architect there, and the Planner. I brought up the passing track model there, and they said that such a scheme has been considered but currently isn’t being proposed, unless the public says otherwise. So, everybody that thinks there should be local/express service for the surface portions, send comments to the TTC, as they can do it if the feedback indicates enough support for it.

    I’d advise the public to drum up support for Malvern through-service as the TTC is currently planning to have people to transfer at Kennedy, even though the track accomodates through-operation (the problem is they want to run different length consists on the two lines).

    This is a cheap way to cater to both crowds and should even satisfy the subway promoters to some extent. This can even increase the capacity limits of LRT in the future should that become necessary, since even tighter headways are possible with multi-tracked stops even though it is still 2-tracks in between stops.


  36. Aside from my grand bold vision of a Eglinton Quad Track, the citizens of Toronto need to well understand the speeds of these proposed LRT lines. Anything under 30km/hr should not be tollerated, tunneled or not. The Calgary Ctrain does not stop for traffic lights. The TTC is old and slow, it lacks energy and speed. Whether it is because of devistating cuts or just mindlessness with no regard to people getting around quick without a car. When is the City of Toronto going to stop favouring the car and speed up its transit like other modern societies. For example the Sheppard LRT signal operation is going to be same as Spadina allowing for the advanced left turn green while the transit vehicles wait. Why are we waisting $6 dollars? build bus lanes and add more buses. It be cheaper.

    The TTC argues closer spacing eliminates/reduces bus service while the farther spacing requires bus service. Well these LRT’s are long distance lines and should have a quick speed. If bus service is reqired then so be it, it works well on all the other subway routes.

    The TTC is marketing the LRT as rapid transit alternative without the cost of a subway. I would hope the citizens of Toronto would be outraged when it gets built for $6-7 billion to only find out its marginally faster then a bus. To make the LRT compatible with the subway and truly rapid, meaning 30km/hr+, the car must take a back seat NOW. I mean why do we need the car anyways if transit city is accesible by all Torontonians. Its suppose to reduce traffic right?

    If we are not willing to put the car aside then we must build subways. There will not be ridership growth if Transit City is Slow. Compared to other cities around the world the TTC seems like it has its hands tied. Its slow and I dont here a political fight out there to change that.

    What a shame!


  37. In response to an earlier comment about the Yonge/Eglinton geometry:

    I took a few minutes to compare satellite photos of this intersection, the Sheppard/Yonge intersection, and the loop-track curves in Wilson and Greenwood Yards. It is clear that there is more than enough room to install a link track sweeping through the western portion of the former TTC Bus Terminal lands and under the old trolley bus garage, linking up with the Yonge line just south of the Eglinton Crossover. One track would be enough for maintenance access, but two would still fit. With replacement of only two minor bridges at side streets this track could have a dedicated run straight into the Davisville yard lead track. There is virtually zero engineering impediment to this aside from possibly avoiding some support piles near the south end of the Yonge/Eglinton lands. Also, given that the new Eglinton tunnels will have to pass under the current Yonge Line tunnels, the link track(s) would be deep enough in the ground to be of little consequence to the above redevelopment of these lands.

    What purpose this track might best serve is up for discussion. However, it would be highly unfortunate if after we build the Eglinton Line with tunnels large enough for future subway conversion that we did not provide for even a minimal link to the Yonge line. Davisville would seem like a good location to store LRT maintenance vehicles at the very least. In the distant future it would leave open the possibility for a shortcut from/to Wilson Yard for non-service train moves that would ordinarily have to go all the way through the downtown loop. The link to the Spadina Line was already provisioned for and partially built, so there are no conflicts with Allen Road either. (This is why the properties neighbouring the Allen Road access ramps were and still are empty.) It doesn’t look like we’re going to get a western extension of the Sheppard Line to accomplish this any time soon, although it should be done so that it can interline to York University.

    Steve: OK, enough of this. When Transit City first came out, I spent months moderating discussions about detailed designs for lines that were still wet ink on a map. I’m not going to get embroiled in why I think your proposal won’t work, and don’t want to turn this blog into a my design is better than yours conversation between a handful of contributors. Note that any further posts on this question will not be published. The debate about the demand for and the mode of an Eglinton line, as well as how it will affect the various neighbourhoods, is far more important than how the track connections will work.


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