The Ashbridge Carhouse Debate

At its recent meeting, the TTC approved two reports related to the Ashbridge Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF for short).  One dealt with the removal of contaminated soil and capping of the site at Lake Shore and Leslie, while the other addressed various requests from the City’s Budget Committee regarding site access by streetcars and possible alternative locations for vehicle storage.

The Ashbridge site selection and the proposed route connecting it to the existing streetcar system have been the subject of much debate over the past few years.  The community holds strong, if not always consistent, views on the subject, and has been generally supported by their local Councillors.  As it happens, Leslie Street is a ward boundary with Councillor Fletcher to the west and Councillor McMahon (formerly Councillor and TTC Commissioner Bussin) to the east.

Throughout the process of site selection and design, there has been a sense that “the fix was in” for the Ashbridge property, although purely from the TTC’s viewpoint, it is probably the best site.  The debate, however, isn’t going away, and there were two hours of deputations on the subject at the Commission meeting.  (These preceded the six hours we dedicated souls spent on the proposed service reallocations.)

This article is an attempt to pull together various threads of the debate and comment on them.  For the record, I was not a party to the deputations, nor was I consulted by Councillor McMahon on the details of her proposal.

The City’s website for this project contains all of the background material.

What’s a “Maintenance and Storage Facility”?

The TTC now operates its fleet of streetcars from two carhouses, Russell in the east and Roncesvalles in the west, and does heavy maintenance on the fleet at Hillcrest in Harvey Shops.  This building dates from the beginning of the TTC (the site was once a race course out in the countryside), and it is designed to handle standard streetcars roughly 50 feet long.  The building is divided into service bays north and south of a central transfer table (a horizontal version of a steam railway turntable) which is long enough to hold one standard-length car.

When the ALRVs (the streetcars that bend in the middle) appeared in Toronto, an addition was built on the easternmost tracks in the shops which have direct access from outdoors.  This allows the ALRVs to drive through the old building, across the transfer table, and into the new longer wing on the northeast side of the building where they are maintained.

The maintenance facilities at Hillcrest, as at the two carhouses, are designed for cars with underfloor equipment and maintenance access from pits under the vehicles.  The new Low Floor LRVs (LFLRVs) have their equipment on the roof, and require a different layout of their shops for maintenance.  This, combined with their extra length, makes Harvey Shops totally unsuitable for the new fleet.  Rather than attempting a retrofit, the TTC proposes a new building for heavy maintenance on the LFLRVs.

The new fleet will be 204 vehicles each about twice the length of a CLRV (today’s standard streetcar).  Expressed simply by length, the current fleet is 195 CLRVs (one of the original 196 has been scrapped due to extensive damage) and 52 ALRVs, the equivalent of 78 CLRVs by length.  This gives a total for today’s fleet of 273 cars.  The new fleet, by length, will be the equivalent of 408 cars.  This allows for additional service and some system growth, although the Capital Budget does include separate provision for cars for new waterfront routes.  (I will deal with the streetcar fleet plan in a separate article.)

Even after all of the existing cars are retired, the two carhouses cannot possibly hold all of the new fleet, and a third carhouse is required.  The TTC proposes to include this with the new main shop for LFLRVs at Ashbridges Bay.

The Site

The proposed MSF is located on the southeast corner of Leslie Street and Lake Shore Boulevard in land that is now open space, but is fenced off.  It is immediately north of the Ashbridges Bay Sewage Treatment Plant.

The Martin Goodman Trail runs along the north and west sides of the site.  This trail is used both by cycling traffic to and from downtown by residents of the east end, and for access to the Leslie Street spit.

Commissioners Street runs west from Leslie at the south end of the site, and in long-range Waterfront transit plans, it includes an LRT line, the eastern end of the Portlands route.  However, this area is unlikely to be redeveloped for a few decades.

The large block of open space includes a berm raising the elevation considerably above the surrounding streets, and this must be removed to bring the grade of the site to an appropriate level for the new yard.  The underlying soil must be capped to prevent contaminants from escaping.

The site was chosen for its size and its location close to the existing streetcar system.  The proposed yard entrance at the southwest corner (Commissioners Street) is 800m south of Queen Street where a full “Y” junction will be installed.

Site Selection

Early in the project, the TTC reviewed a number of sites for the new MSF.  (See page 8 of the presentation panels for a meeting of June 2009.)  Many of these were rejected as too small, although other factors were at play.

Site 11 (southern Etobicoke): This is a large property west of 8th Street between New Toronto Street and Birmingham Street, about 300m north of Lake Shore Boulevard.  It is directly south of the Via and GO rail yards.  There are three blocks of land of which the middle third is occupied by a Canpar building, but land on the other two thirds is vacant.  They are connected by a tongue of land along the south edge of the site.

The eastern block and the connecting tongue are currently offered by Build Toronto as a potential development site.  I do not know the status of the western block between Canpar and 13th Street.

It is unclear why this site is listed as “too small” given that the eastern block is roughly 250m x 375m, comparable to the space at Ashbridges Bay.

Like Leslie Street, 8th Street is lined by housing and it also has a Fire Hall.

This property is geographically further from the heart of the streetcar system, and would entail higher dead-head costs for cars running to and from service.

Site 13 (Lever Brothers): The old Lever Brothers factory at the foot of Broadview is bounded by the Don River to the west, the CN corridor to the north, Lake Shore Blvd. to the south, and other industrial properties to the east.  The factory would have to be demolished along with any associated site cleanup.  It is unclear whether this site has a willing owner, or if expropriation would be required.

When the site selection was underway, part of this site was used by a nearby movie studio, although this use has since ended.  That’s why the site is listed as “too small”, although it has other problems.

Access is more difficult than at the other sites because Broadview does not run straight through, and cars would have to jog along Eastern, under the railway, and then back southwest along a strip of land connecting to the main site.  A straight route would require creation of a new TTC-only road through the parking lot of the BMW dealership (the one with the cars in the building window at the south end of the DVP) and a new underpass beneath the railway.  Between Eastern and Queen, there is housing on some of the adjacent land.

Another approach that avoids the railway would require running streetcars down one of the north-south residential streets east of the rail corridor and approaching the site from the north-east.  This has numerous problems including length, dead-heading and neighbourhood effects.

The two sites above are the only alternatives from the original study that have been discussed recently.

Access to the Carhouse

There has been much debate about the effect of installing streetcar tracks on Leslie from Queen to Commissioners.  This was not helped at the project’s outset by the publication of a scheme that would have place these tracks in reserved lanes, total overkill for a set of yard tracks.  This sensitized the community even though the scheme was quickly withdrawn.

Local issues include:

  • noise effects of the track on Leslie and the special work at Queen (where there is senior’s residence on the northeast corner)
  • effect on cyclists of streetcar tracks crossing the Martin Goodman trail on the south side of Lake Shore at Leslie, and again at the site entrance on the east side of Leslie north of Commissioners
  • the operational feasibility of sending up to 85 cars into service from Ashbridge Carhouse to Queen Street to build up the morning peak service.

The existing track at Russell Carhouse is not exactly quiet, and has been due for reconstruction for some time (this is part of the 5-year track rebuilding plan).  The special work at this carhouse is, in effect, the local reference point for noise much as the badly worn and noisy track on Queen’s Quay is the reference point for residents considering waterfront expansions.  Track on Queen at Leslie is the “new” track with sound insulation, but of course at present there is no special work.

All three of the originally considered sites (Ashbridge, one on Eastern between Pape and Leslie, and one on Unwin Avenue) involved track on Leslie, although the second of these only required track north of Eastern and included an alternate route via Carlaw.

Both the Lever Brothers and Etobicoke sites would also involve new tracks through a residential area, and so this is a common issue everywhere.  The bike path is an issue for both the Ashbridge and the Unwin sites.

During discussions about alternatives, a scheme to route cars to Ashbridge from the north-east was proposed.  This would have run through the west end of Russell Yard (using existing intersections with Queen), then west via Eastern Avenue, south via Knox and across Lake Shore into the site.

The TTC objected to this on various grounds:

  • they did not want to give up the space in the yard for connection tracks, and that an expansion of the carhouse was planned (this expansion has been dropped from the plans);
  • the revised junction at the northwest corner of Russell Yard would require acquisition of a house where there was an operating business (the property is now for sale);
  • the turns to and from Eastern would add to the length of time needed to get cars to and from the Ashbridge site;
  • operation on Knox would conflict with Canada Post requirements (actually, the main activity on the site is at Woodfield Avenue, the east end of Canada Post’s property);
  • a new signalled transit intersection would be required on Lake Shore east of Leslie for cars crossing from Knox (which dead ends) to the carhouse.

There is considerable concern about traffic congestion on Lake Shore at Leslie and the effect of the added streetcar traffic.  Oddly enough, the City’s Transportation Services Department did not raise this during the original study, or if they did, it was done very quietly.  In any event, if this is a problem, then the same issue will exist for a transit crossing at Knox.

The Knox alignment would cross the Martin Goodman Trail, but only in one location, the site entrance.

There has been some debate about the number of streetcars that will operate on Leslie during service buildup.  The TTC’s fleet plan calls for a 20% spare factor for LFLRVs meaning that they would schedule at most 80 cars for the AM peak from the Ashbridge site.  However, with planned service and route expansion, this could grow a bit.

Service on various routes builds up over an extended period with the first cars going out before 5am and all of the service on the street shortly after 7am.  This means that there would be a headway of less than 2 minutes over a two hour period turning out of the carhouse onto Leslie, proceeding north to and then turning east or west onto Queen.

This will require traffic signal priority to ensure that cars run through as quickly as possible, especially on the closely spaced signals at Lake Shore, the entrance to Loblaw’s parking lot and at Eastern.  Traffic signal priority at this level — with a green wave anticipating streetcars rather than reacting only when they are too close to run through without stopping — has not been Toronto’s strong suit as any rider of the Harbourfront line knows.  This is a generic problem for any access route to a large carhouse with a single exit that is not located directly on a carline like Russell or Roncesvalles.

Alternative Proposals from Councillor McMahon

Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon proposed a set of alternatives for the Ashbridge MSF originally at the City’s Budget Committee on January 24, 2011.

Summary Report & Presentation

A revised version of the presentation was given at the TTC meeting, but it is not available online.

The nub of Councillor McMahon’s argument is that space can be found for the carhouse (running repairs and cleaning) and maintenance facilities elsewhere on the TTC system including:

  • Hillcrest
  • Exhibition Loop
  • Additional capacity at Russell and Roncesvalles
  • The former Danforth Carhouse site

At Hillcrest, there are parcels of vacant space (the land use has evolved over much of a century including expansion to the west to accommodate Duncan Shops which replaced Parkdale Garage).  However, these parcels are not contiguous and are not all suitable for storage.  Whether any of them could be used only for a new maintenance facility and/or partly for storage (leaving the remaining carhouse function to be accommodated elsewhere) is hard to say.  The proposed spaces are tight, and might be better suited to a restructured Hillcrest property once streetcar maintenance leaves Harvey Shops.

Exhibition Loop is a large property on the north side of Exhibition Place under the Gardiner Expressway.  Additional storage tracks could be built here, but more is needed for a true carhouse so that cars can be serviced overnight.

The TTC is reviewing whether some storage functions could be performed at either Hillcrest or Exhibition Loop, but it is unclear when they will report on the subject or how that might affect the design at Ashbridges Bay.  At most it might divert some storage away from this site and reduce the service build-up effects, but it would not eliminate general concerns about the site, the new tracks on Leslie or the bike path.

A map in Councillor McMahon’s presentation includes the old Danforth Carhouse as well as the St. Clair Carhouse sites.  (St. Clair is an error in that whoever made the map didn’t know where Hillcrest was, accurately.)  The Danforth site has not been an operating carhouse since the BD subway opened in 1966, and its function as a bus garage ended in 2002 when the new Eglinton garage opened.  Danforth is a comparatively small site now that part of it has been sold for housing, and it would require a connection track down Coxwell through a residential neighbourhood.  It is rather odd to see a proposal with many of the same problems as Ashbridges Bay in this presentation, and by the time we saw the version at the TTC meeting, the Danforth site appears to have fallen off of the table.

The Future of the Ashbridges Bay Site

The Toronto Port Authority did well unloading their land to the City and TTC who will bear the cost of grading and remediation.  Some who object to the MSF argue that the land is needed for future expansion of the sewage treatment plan south of Commissioners St.  If so, then the green space south of Lake Shore will be lost in any event, and the intrusion of land clearance (dump trucks, etc) in the neighbourhood will occur some day, just not today.

The TTC has approved the contract for the land clearance, and I fully expect to see a new building on the site in the next few years.

We might have looked at alternatives.  An obvious one is the Etobicoke site —  this could eventually replace Roncesvalles, a difficultly shaped piece of property requiring a lot of work to handle the new fleet, and a parcel that would certainly attract interest for development.  All the same, Etobicoke has issues of its own and we are unlikely to see an overnight approval if it were proposed, and the clock is ticking on LFLRV deliveries.  Moreover, replacing Roncesvalles doesn’t answer the Ashbridge question.

Space at Hillcrest may be useful, but on a temporary basis to store retired cars much as the dead tracks at Wilson Yard hold old subway equipment.  It wouldn’t be the first time.  The parking lot on the northeast portion of the Hillcrest property was once full of PCCs after Danforth and Lansdowne carhouses closed in the 60s.  Longer term, the TTC will have to come up with a plan for this site considering that the eventual retirement of the CLRV/ALRV fleet will shift the streetcar heavy maintenance elsewhere.

The Streetcar Fleet Plan

Although I will turn to this in detail in a future article, an important point for planning is that the existing fleet cannot begin to disappear immediately after the first of the new cars is delivered except, possibly, for those cars that are so unreliable that they may as well be scrapped now.  There is a backlog of service requirements on the streetcar network that must be backfilled once new cars displace the existing fleet on a few routes.  Only when the combined capacity of the new and old fleets actually exceeds current requirements can we start to retire old vehicles.

Indeed, the Queen and King routes, which now use ALRVs, are slated to get LFLRVs after the ALRVs have been retired.  This means that enough CLRVs must remain active to replace ALRVs on these routes pending their conversion.  In turn, this means that space at Roncesvalles and Russell for new cars will not be freed up immediately upon the first delivery of LFLRVs and putting off the construction at Ashbridge is not an option.

We must also hope that the LFLRVs’ reliability will be good when they arrive (so much of them is, after all, “off the shelf”) and that we will not see an extended period where new cars accumulate but old ones remain in service.

22 thoughts on “The Ashbridge Carhouse Debate

  1. Won’t all the new streetcars smell like sewer if they park them there?

    Steve: Shhhhh!! You’re not supposed to mention that.


  2. Are there any double-point switches on the streetcar network yet? I have yet to see any.

    Steve: No, and none are planned. I will be writing an article about streetcar infrastructure plans in a few days, along with the fleet plan.


  3. One issue I never saw mentioned is working conditions at the new MSF. There are considerable odours there on some days and this might affect people working at the site. I hope they’re going to install some good air-conditioning or they may experience a lot of sick leave.


  4. Y’know there is another MSF site that already has an EA completed. The Kodak Lands. At 50 acres do we need all that space now for a shortened Eglinton line? I don’t think the Jane LRT is going to break ground anytime soon. So why not 20 acres of that site for TTC gauge Flexity and the other 30 for standard gauge LRT? Yes its 3km of track to connect to Gunn’s loop but just another 2km to Dundas West. That run could be a very useful piece of revenue track. Compare that cost to cleaning up and developing the sewer plant site.

    Also as the CLRV and ALRV cars are depleted, most of the storage for the new cars will transfer back to Russell and Roncesvalles, leaving the maintenance aspect at the Kodak lands. And that’s where there is saving to be had. Surely if an AC unit on either a Flexity or LRT needs to be repaired, that can be done by a single pool of technicians. The same goes for grinding wheels or replacing motors and just the administration savings of running one large facility instead of two. Nobody considers these things in the stovepipe project methodology.

    Steve: Running the “legacy” system from a carhouse on Eglinton will add considerably to its cost, and a dual gauge carhouse won’t be cheap. I don’t think that this idea has legs, especially considering that construction won’t begin at the Eglinton site until well after the new MSF is required.


  5. “Won’t all the new streetcars smell like sewer if they park them there?”

    Ahhhhh. Reminds me of the good-ol’ days, right after Gunn’s Loop was opened, next to the Canada Packers slaughter facility. The 512 ST. CLAIR cars used to smell just offal.


  6. The site is pretty much lacking in support to keep it as it is. Yes there are a few users of the Martin Goodman on that point but it’s not as heavy a traffic area as that in the Portlands and there should be some solution possible. Esthetically, it’s got a big box store right across the street from it, so it’s not like the neighbourhood is going to have it’s architecture ruined.

    The traffic on Leslie is an issue for the neighbours. And one concern I have is the neighbours might latch onto the issue with enough vehemence to awaken the so far latent “kill the streetcars” attitude of the Ford administration. The legitimate if maybe unfixable concerns might get co-opted. We are talking about people complaining about having to deal with the LFLRV’s getting in the way of their driving around, as well as walking the dog, riding their bike and whatever else they do on that bit of Leslie. Nobody realistically wants to add that to their neighbourhood but infrastucture within the 416 does have to go somewhere.

    One possible response by the administration would be to just kill the system that is causing this and add buses, as we heard threatened during the election. There would have to be larger bus yards and I’m pretty sure the Ashbridges site would be looked at to house some of the few hundred new buses needed to replace the no longer being used LFLRV’s. People on Leslie could be getting worse then this if certain approaches fall into place here. Given how the TTC and the city do things, I could see this happening.

    On another note, I have noticed some people against this focusing on these LFLRV’s having to go all the way up to St. Clair from Ashbridges. I thought LFLRV’s for that line were to be housed somewhere else apart from maintenance?

    Steve: The St. Clair line runs from Roncesvalles.


  7. Did Bombardier say that double point switches are required or is TTC saying that the old tongue and mate are problematic?

    Steve: Bombardier did not say that double point switches are required, and the TTC is leaving the existing special work in place. This was a major issue in the car spec — it had to operate on existing track as there is no way the entire system would be rebuilt.


  8. This deal still “stinks” (pun intended). The community does indeed feel that “the fix was in”, although admittedly this was possibly as much by our former councillor as by TTC management.

    It is worth noting that the community overwhelmingly supported turfing our former councillor and TTC commissioner in favour of our current councillor who valiantly went to bat for her community (and the fiscal well-being of the entire city if this thing proceeds in a fashion at all similar to other TTC infrastructure projects) in the last innings of this fight. She was voted in by an overwhelming majority (65%), with a record voter turnout in her ward. This was following an election campaign which saw three candidates generously remove themselves from the ballot in an effort to support their communities and the greater good. (Hats off to Martin Gladstone who was tied with Mary Margaret, Neil Sinclair, and Bruce Baker for “taking one for the team”.)

    For the record: below is the original motion submitted by Councillor McMahon, which was to delay the decision for 90 days so that concerns, as well as alternate sites, could be properly investigated. Her motion was to *investigate*, not propose alternate sites. She documented in her deputation that she didn’t get enough cooperation from TTC management to prepare an adequate alternative proposal. What she did document was that there were more than enough unanswered questions and concerns to justify delaying the soil removal contract for 90 days.

    This project had all the appearances of being “steamrolled” from the beginning. Haven’t we all had enough experience by now to know how well projects are executed when they are steamrolled for political reasons rather than planned properly?

    “Motion 1 Submitted by Councillor McMahon

    “That the Budget Committee recommend:

    1. That a directive from the Mayor requesting a 90-day study period to thoroughly investigate new information and changing conditions which may have significantly altered the assertion that the proposed Ashbridges Bay LRV Storage Facility is a cost effective, essential and urgent investment for the City.
    2. That at the end of the 60 days, Councillor McMahon will provide a detailed report to Council evaluating this new information, these new conditions and potential alternative solutions.
    3. That the TTC is provided with a further 30 days to digest the report and provide a response which can be considered at that time by Council.
    4. That no tenders are to be awarded and no money is to be expended on the Proposed Ashbridges Bay LRV Storage Facility project during the 90-day period.”

    Steve: This motion was not passed, as such, by the Budget Committee but was referred to the TTC for comment. They did so at the February 10 Budget meeting, and at that time no constraints were placed on the project by the Committee in the recommendation going forward to Executive. Therefore Cllr McMahon’s suggested motion has no force. As we know, the TTC has approved the soil removal contract.


  9. From what I witnessed in the TTC meeting, none of the very valid questions/concerns posed in Councillor McMahon’s presentation were addressed by the Commission. The pictures of traffic on Lakeshore westbound during the 6-7 a.m. rush are … both instructive and alarming. This does not bode well for the future of either public transit or streetcars in Toronto if this project goes forward as is and hits even a fraction of the problems documented here – given that the vast majority of the cities streetcars will originate from the same neighbourhood (AB and Russell).

    I have to question why Mayor Ford, who attended the public meetings and spoke out strongly in opposition to this project, has remained uninvolved after his election win. His transit advisor published a blog advocating consideration of privatizing the TTC as a way to shake up its internal culture. Perhaps ‘getting out of the way’ of this project’s approval is a strategy to hasten another TTC/streetcar disaster (or “boondoggle” to quote Councillor McMahon) which will only serve to strengthen Mr. Towhey’s original position.


  10. I wonder if a tunnel or underpass at Lakeshore and Leslie is possible? The streets should be wide enough for staged construction without too much congestion. As for Councilor McMahon’s presentation, I find it offensive when it proposes “no free parking for employees”, and also shows a system map which is grossly not to scale, exaggerating the 1 km length of the Leslie St. connecting line.

    Steve: An underpass would take up a lot of space in the Leslie Street right-of-way rendering the road effectively one lane each way all day. Also, it would have to start well north and south of the intersection because of gradient limits and nearby cross-streets. This is a non-starter.


  11. The reports of 80 streetcars running up Leslie are a worst-case scenario.

    By the time we have 80 new cars, there better well be some tracks on Commissioners street & Cherry street for the morning run, if not for revenue service.


  12. “The pictures of traffic on Lakeshore westbound during the 6-7 a.m. rush are … both instructive and alarming. ”

    ???? I drive down Lakeshore before 7 AM some mornings. There’s no traffic of significance much before 7 AM. If most of the streetcars are clear through that intersection before 7 AM, virtually no one will notice. There’s nothing northbound on Leslie, and it doesn’t start backing up on Lakeshore until closer to 7:15.

    McMahon is wasting precious political capital fighting a fight that no one really cares about except a few NIMBYs in the area … this isn’t a huge issue in her ward. The poor service on the 501, 506, and Kingston Road streetcars is a much bigger issue.

    Surely the change a couple of years ago to increase the cycle time of the Leslie/Lakeshore traffic light to allow pedestrians to cross in one cycle would have much more impact than this project … but I don’t hear any complaining about that (oh, I bet most haven’t even noticed …)


  13. Sorry, but you can’t build tunnel here as there is a trunk box culvert sewer, on piles, that runs down the centre of Leslie St south to Commisioners. That sewer has barely 1 m of cover to the top and the water table is approx 1 m below the road.

    Will be a challenge to build an at grade crossing since the new track structure will be basically right above the shallow Box sewer.


  14. “By the time we have 80 new cars, there better well be some tracks on Commissioners street & Cherry street for the morning run, if not for revenue service.”

    All the new cars are supposed to be here by 2020, nine years away. At the rate we are going we’ll be lucky to have the first phase of Queen Quay East built by then, never mind having tracks all the way to Commissioners and Leslie.


  15. Will the LRVs leaving the new carhouse go into revenue service on Queen or will some be dead-heading longer distances?

    Steve: By analogy to cars to/from Russell, they will run in service.


  16. I note that you have dodged a bullet here by opting not to document the various batshit claims of opponents of the site at Leslie and Lake Shore, which in turn spares me from having to smack them down to the component atoms once again. For once the correct side lost.

    However: Routing and landscape architecture remain significant issues. You didn’t address the latter, which is probably outside your remit. But on the former topic, nowhere have I seen anyone, including the TTC and the city, even pretending to consider a route along Lake Shore and up Coxwell, which disturbs almost no residential housing and could work rather well, actually.

    You keep mentioning the Martin Goodman Trail. The south-side trail runs for about a kilometre. The real trail is on the north side and is bidirectional. The following isn’t being suggested by anyone, but we could remove the entire south-side trail and impair use of the Trail not one whit. (Actually, maybe one whit: Like existing north-side users today, you’d have to cross the street to continue southbound at the foot of Coxwell.)

    Awaiting your one-liner retort.

    Steve: The TTC rejected the Coxwell route as being too long, and there was strong opposition to this from the community. Also, special events at Ashbridges Bay cause traffic jams on Coxwell that would block access to the carhouse.

    Whether it’s on the north or south side of Lake Shore, an east-west path will cross north-south tracks on Leslie.

    As for landscaping, there was a whole design process for this and I’m not going to get into a comparative discussion of the proposals.


  17. Suggestions to access the Ashbridges carhouse by a tunnel under Lakeshore Blvd, bring to mind the idea of placing Lakeshore on an overpass instead !!!!!!!! What a thought, but it points out that putting the major ‘overhead’ traffic overhead is a solution, for both the current issues and broader community connectivity issues (walking to that unarchitectural box store for instance).


  18. Is TTC going to replace switches with automatic ones before getting LRVs into operation?

    Perhaps, I could miss the information regarding this. But up until this moment all I’ve heard was just Ashbridge Carhouse. It seems like this is the only thing to do and the problem of 19th century like switching system simply doesn’t exist.

    Steve: Many switches are already automatic, although there have been problems for decades with the electronics. There is a plan to replace all of the electronics with a new design in the next few years. It has been on the books for some years, but the arrival of new cars, and the need to have more reliable switching makes this imperative.


  19. In reply to Darwin O’Connor:

    Streetcar tracks on Cherry & Commissioners street do not require Queens Quay east as a prerequisite. They will initially connect to the system at King Street East.

    Steve: The link to Commissioners requires the reconfiguration of the Don River and realignment of various streets in the area. The Cherry Street link will not go over the existing bridge south of Lake Shore, but down a new Cherry Street proposed as part of the Port Lands plan. This work is not yet funded.


  20. @JoeClark “the various batshit claims of opponents of the site …which in turn spares me from having to smack them down to the component atoms once again.”

    Oh, such witty and logical argument; how eloquent!

    I extend my condolences to you, obviously forced to live amongst such ignorant and uncaring people.

    Or, on the other hand, is using contemptuous derision against those with a position which differs from yours the strategy you employ for all your arguments?


  21. Joe Clark says: “You keep mentioning the Martin Goodman Trail. The south-side trail runs for about a kilometre. The real trail is on the north side and is bidirectional. The following isn’t being suggested by anyone, but we could remove the entire south-side trail and impair use of the Trail not one whit. (Actually, maybe one whit: Like existing north-side users today, you’d have to cross the street to continue southbound at the foot of Coxwell.)”

    The south side trail continues south on Commissioners to the Leslie Street spit and through the Portlands. It was the orignial trail and I’ve ridden along it hundreds of times. The north side, I don’t think I’ve ever been on. I wonder what the criterion is to call a trail a “real” trail.


  22. @ MarkE that was called the gardiner and someone went to great pains to tear it down a few years ago, contending it would only add 2 minutes to a trip


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