The Vanishing Eglinton Right-of-Way

Serious policy geeks like me spend our time delving into the more arcane reports on various agendas.  This can be tedious work, but every so often, something interesting turns up.

On the May 2, 2011, agenda for the Government Management Committee, there is an item regarding the transfer of various city properties to Build Toronto, the agency charged with making money off of surplus City lands.

Among the properties to be transferred are three strips of land along the north side of Eglinton Avenue:

  • West of Widdicombe Hill Blvd
  • East of Widdicombe Hill to Kipling
  • East from Kipling to Wincott Drive

These lands form part of the original reserve for the Richview Expressway for which plans were abandoned decades ago.  A strip of land will be kept along the south edge of these properties for road widening should an Eglinton LRT project (or similar work needing more road space) ever proceed.

Disposal of this land by the City effectively blocks any scheme for using the expressway lands for a transit line either on the surface on in a ditch.

Another block of land to be transferred lies on the northeast corner of Don Mills and Eglinton.  The report notes that this is the planned location for a bus terminal connecting with the Eglinton LRT line at Don Mills, and this would certainly be a good place for an integrated development.

Elsewhere in the list of surplus properties, one can see remnants of the Scarborough transportation corridor and the Front Street extension.  It is ironic that an administration so bent on auto transportation is giving up lands that once might have been part of an extensive highway network.

Transfer of Properties Report

Appendices including detailed property descriptions