Updated April 12, 2021 at 9:30 pm:
The map of the northern segment of the Ontario Line published by Metrolinx in their October 2020 blog article has been added for reference. Scroll down to the end of the article.
Metrolinx has unveiled a plan for the Ontario Line’s Maintenance and Storage Facility north of Thorncliffe Park. Because of the local terrain, green space and the Hydro corridor (not shown on the map below), this is split into three distinct sections:
- The main buildings are west of Beth Nealson Drive north of the Don River.
- Some servicing areas are in a long spur parallel to the CPR corridor. This will also be the location of a delivery track where vehicles will arrive from the manufacturer.
- The storage yard will be in an area now occupied by various shops and offices as well as a mosque.
Here is a satellite view from Google Maps rotated to match the orientation of the map above.
The area to be occupied by the yard at the north end of Thorncliffe Park Drive West is shown below. This was taken before the Costco building went up on the vacant land in the upper right of the photo. The Ontario line will run north from Overlea Boulevard along the west edge of this property.
Google Street View east from Thorncliffe Park Drive at the future storage yard.
The area for the main buildings on Beth Nealson Drive is shown below as it currently exists.
According to the Metrolinx Blog article on this plan, the site was chosen from a list of nine. Metrolinx has not published the other locations that were considered.
The work we did to identify the best site for the MSF and yard will be pulled together as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report that will be available in 2022.
We can let you know we looked at land near the western terminus at Exhibition all the way to the east and to the northern end of the alignment. A list of nine sites were brought forward for more detailed analysis, some of which were ruled out because they weren’t big enough or they affected too many businesses and jobs.
The site in the southeast portion of the Leaside Business Park was selected because our studies showed that it keeps impacts to the local community to a minimum while meeting all of the needs for the project:
• it is already zoned for industrial use;
• it is close to the main line, making it quick and easy for trains to go in and out of service;
• it is large enough to meet future needs;
• it minimizes community impacts;
• has less individual job impacts.Email from Metrolinx Media Relations, April 9, 2021
While the northern portion that will house the main buildings might only displace a self-storage farm, the southern portion where the yard will be located sits on top of buildings that are an integral part of the Thorncliffe Park community. What the reaction will be might be gauged at an online meeting to be held on April 15, 2021 at 6:30 pm.
Updated April 12, 2021 at 9:30 pm:
When Metrolinx announced their revised route through Thorncliffe Park in October 2020, they touted the fact that this would avoid disruption of buildings such as the Macedonian Orthodox Cathedral. The map of the revised route is below.
Note the area labelled “MSF Study Area”. This is the location, in the updated plan, for the Operation and Maintenance building. The area at the north end of Thorncliffe Park Drive West is not touched by the line and there would be no reason for anyone to raise flags about the businesses and institutions already there.
The yard which is now part of the complex is completely new, and there was no advance indication that this would be part of the design.
On a related note, one of the comments below from Simon Hirst suggests that an alternate location might be the land on the other side of the CPR corridor now occupied by a gravel and cement company. This is visible as a white patch directly above the “MSF Study Area” in the Metrolinx map above (where “north” is to the right, and “west” is up), and in the view below which is a closer view of the same area in the usual geographic orientation.
If that area were to be used, a connection tunnel would have to go under the CPR to link with the Ontario Line whose main shops and offices would be where the brown-roofed buildings labelled “Toronto Moving and Storage” are in the upper right of the photo.
Because Metrolinx has not published its list of alternative sites, we do not know whether this option was considered but rejected for some reason.
Metrolinx does not plan to publish its alternative site analysis until Fall 2022 with the Environmental Project Report, but they also intend to let the contract the includes construction of the MSF and yard at roughly the same time precluding major changes in design.