Rethinking the Waterfront West LRT

The TTC’s 2010-2019 Capital Budget contains a project description for the WWLRT that throws the whole project into serious doubt.  Metrolinx funding has been deferred to 2022, and the schedule for the project now looks like this:

  • 2022 Construction starts; Park Lawn Loop is built
  • 2026 Service begins from Exhibition Loop to Dufferin
  • 2028 Service begins from Dufferin to Park Lawn
  • 2029 Service begins from Park Lawn to Long Branch

Most of the Lake Shore community residents who have attended EA meetings to discuss the design and effect on their neighbourhoods will have to wait two decades to see the project implemented.  Whatever happened to Toronto’s “Transit First” model for the waterfront?  Must we wait for the complete condoization of Lake Shore before anything happens with transit service?  How relevant will 2009 studies be if the project isn’t actually in operation until 2029?

This project has been gerrymandered throughout its history to suit whatever pet project (pro or con transit) happened to be on the front pages, and the idea that the line might actually have some useful transit function often appeared secondary.  Indeed, the original 1990 study describes a line that is unrecognizable in today’s plans which have been updated by amendment without any formal public participation or any sense of overall direction for the project. Continue reading