Metrolinx v Riverside: Where Does the Truth Lie?

In an unusual move for a public agency, Metrolinx published a blog post seeking to set the record straight on various issues about the combined Ontario/GO line corridor through the Riverside/Leslieville area.

Get the facts about Ontario Line plans in Riverside and Leslieville

The article begins from the premise that there is misinformation about the project:

There’s a lot of anticipation about how the Ontario Line will make it faster and easier to move around the city, but there’s also a lot of speculation and inaccurate information floating around – particularly when it comes to the vibrant communities of Riverside and Leslieville. All of this conflicting information can be confusing, so let’s take some time to sort the myths from the facts.

Sorting myths from facts can be challenging with Metrolinx because they are notoriously reluctant to share information. When they do hold public sessions, it is common to find staff do not fully understand their own project, or worse refuse to talk about contentious parts of it. They seek cheerleading, not consultation.

Metrolinx quite openly implies that community groups are putting out false information:

If you hear something about the Ontario Line that doesn’t sound right, you can find a source of truth about the project at Metrolinx.com/OntarioLine.

“I want people to know they can come to us at any time to get the facts about the project and what it means for them,” says Malcolm MacKay, Program Sponsor for the Ontario Line.

“There is definitely some speculation and inaccurate information going around, and we want people to base their opinions and feedback on the most up-to-date plans.”

What does Metrolinx claim in their article, and how does this stack up with the real world?


Myth: Running the Ontario Line above ground means widening the rail corridor and extending far into parks and other important neighbourhood spaces.

Metrolinx trots out something that is old news. Early in the process, after the general layout of the corridor was known but without specific plans (something Metrolinx has still not provided), there was an attempt to map Metrolinx and Federal railway standards onto the corridor. If these were followed, the corridor might have to be much wider than it is today.

Metrolinx subsequently clarified that they will not require these clearances, although they have yet to address requirements with respect to adjacent structures like the Jimmie Simpson Centre where the GO rails will be moved much closer to the building than they are now.

There will be a clearance zone around electrified rail territory as shown in the diagram below.

Source: GO Expansion Station Studies Public Meeting Boards Feb 2020

The federal standards are shown below. Note that there is an 18-foot (5.486m) separation required between the track centre line and any adjacent structure. This is considerably smaller than the spacing shown in the diagram above. The Metrolinx diagrams are silent on spacing to fixed structures such as buildings, as opposed to vegetation which can grow into the rail corridor.

There is a proposed 30 metre setback between new railways and residential areas in Canada, but it has not been implemented in part because it is seen as too onerous. Moreover, new railways are comparatively rare.

Source: Transport Canada

Myth: The Ontario Line will destroy neighbourhood parks.

Metrolinx claims that this is not true, and that they will keep most of their work within their existing property, except at new stations at Queen and Gerrard.

The diagram below purports to show the situation where the corridor runs between Bruce Mackey and Jimmie Simpson Parks north of Queen Street, and specifically north of the Jimmie Simpson Centre (about which more below).

This diagram misrepresents the actual dimensions of existing parkland on the west side of the corridor by implying that a considerable green space would remain outside of the Metrolinx property line. To understand the issue, we have to look at just where that property line is.

Here is a map showing the rail corridor in Riverside (from Eastern to Gerrard). The red line show the Metrolinx property line. (Click to open an expanded version.)

Here is the segment between Queen and Dundas magnified. A few things to note about this image:

  • The Jimmie Simpson Centre (lower left of the image) is right at the Metrolinx property line.
  • There is a considerable treed area in the portions of Metrolinx property that are not used by the rail line itself.
  • The westernmost track is separated from the other two as a remnant of the former Riverdale Station.

Another way to understand where the boundaries lie is shown in this photograph of construction of the rail corridor. The street on the left is DeGrassi, and this shows how far the railway corridor extended into what is now thought to be parkland.

Although this may be Metrolinx property, it “feels” like part of the adjacent parkland and contributes to its overall presence in the neighbourhood. If one compares the cross section shown by Metrolinx to the actual location of the property line, one can see that they have shown the best case where there is green space beyond their property on the west side, and no nearby structures on the east side.


Myth: Important community spaces like the hockey rink and basketball court at Jimmie Simpson Park will be wiped out to make room for the Ontario Line.

Metrolinx claims that the Jimmie Simpson Centre is “not going anywhere”. However, this claim runs aground on other Metrolinx plans and policies regarding “Mobility Hubs” and “Transit Oriented Development”.

Although we hear less about them today, there was a period when Metrolinx was obsessed with Mobility Hubs, designs, or major redesigns, of locations where transit lines met. They have a long study about standards for such hubs and a small brochure. This includes the following map.

The Ontario Growth Plan includes provision for zones of influence around stations where cities are required to intensify development, the so-called MTSAs (Major Transit Station Areas). These affect almost all stations no matter what the character of their location. The City of Toronto is currently working its way through studies of the many MTSAs within Toronto around existing and planned rapid transit corridors.

The mobility hub map above does not include a hub at the proposed Ontario Line station in Riverside because this map predates the OL plan. Moreover, the proposed station at Queen and DeGrassi is not shown as an MTSA by the City, and Metrolinx claims to have no designs on the area for development to support the line’s construction.

The station at Gerrard potentially will see considerable development because it has existing commercial property and parking. Note that its zone of influence extends almost to Queen Street. Here was how this was presented to the Metrolinx Board in 2019.

Source: Transit Oriented Development Implementation, April 10, 2019

All of this may leave the Jimmie Simpson Centre unscathed, except that Metrolinx was rumoured to be considering that site as a potential mobility hub early in the Ontario Line’s design. It would not be much of a hub with little commercial development and only the connecting streetcar services on Queen Street. That plan appears to have been dropped, but Metrolinx has never acknowledged that it might have had designs on the site.

At Queen Street, just west of the Jimmie Simpson Centre, Metrolinx illustrates the layout as below. For clarity, of the four GO tracks, the two on the west side (left) of the corridor are existing tracks and the two on the east side are new. This shows how much closer the railway will be to the JSC than it is today.

The Ontario Line is shown to the west of the GO tracks including space for a platform. This is poorly illustrated because obviously riders must be able to get between the platform and the trains without an intervening gap. The overhead support poles for the OL should be on the outside, not the inside of the corridor. A further problem with this diagram is that it does not show how people would get between the platform and the street.

The drawing does not portray the west side of the site correctly at all. There is no “existing ground” with trees beyond the Metrolinx property line because this line is at the east sidewalk of DeGrassi Street. Where there is now open space and trees there will be a retaining wall and noise barrier. The drawing gives the impression that the corridor is swimming in space when it is, in fact, tightly constrained. (A similar problem exists south of Queen as well.)


Myth: Noise and vibration from passing trains and new noise walls along the rail corridor will ruin the quality of life in surrounding neighbourhoods.

Metrolinx claims that noise walls and quieter electrified train service will result in noise levels that will actually be lower in most areas in the community. They say that “Ontario Line trains will be quieter, electric-powered trains and many GO trains will also be electric-powered”. This is a correction from earlier public consultations where they claimed that all GO service would be electrified. (Only about half of the LSE service will be electric with the Bowmanville extension running with diesels.)

Please see my article A Very Busy GO Corridor for details.

There are three key issues here:

  • Metrolinx has not published a study of the consolidated noise effects of all services in the corridor. The only published information addresses GO improvements separately from the Ontario Line.
  • The studies do not deal with a “do nothing” possibility where rail service increases, but using diesels rather than electric trains.
  • The studies do not distinguish between the current situation where there is a train now and then, and one where there will be a train of one type or another more often than once a minute.

There is a huge change in the daily count of trains proposed in this corridor, about nine times as many trains as today. To be fair, not all trains make the same amount of noise, but they will be a constant presence. Over half of these will be Ontario Line trains.


Myth: Ontario Line work will eliminate all tree cover in neighbouring green spaces

Metrolinx states that “some trees within the rail corridor will need to come down”, but they have not provided a map showing the extent of the planned cutting. Judging by the trees visible in the corridor map above, there will be a lot of trees, and it is not clear whether there is room in the remaining space outside of Metrolinx property to hold all of the replacement trees they will provide. Green somewhere, but not necessarily here.

If Metrolinx is going to claim that elimination of tree cover is a “myth”, then they should produce “before and after” comparisons showing which trees will be removed and where the replacements will go.

Trees are the sort of neighbourhood improvement that could fall victim to budget cuts just as artwork and new open space vanished elsewhere (the Davenport Diamond project). Metrolinx does not have a good track record at keeping its word to communities.


Open Season on Community Groups

It is clear that Metrolinx is smarting from criticism about their plans in Riverside/Leslieville and elsewhere in their network. Their past tactic of gaslighting critics and trying to sideline their positions now appears in print, not just in verbal exchanges during consultations.

They really should check their facts.

Many of Metrolinx problems are “own goals” where their lack of prior consultation, secrecy and arrogance leave affected parties distrustful if not downright hostile. This is a huge contrast to the way consultations were handled by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line.

With a new round of consultations about to begin, making your opening salvo an attack on the credibility of the people you plan to meet is incredibly insensitive. Metrolinx clearly has no intention of dealing in good faith. They would prefer to divide the community and isolate their critics.

Metrolinx owes the community an apology for this abusive approach.

But that’s the Metrolinx way.

15 thoughts on “Metrolinx v Riverside: Where Does the Truth Lie?

  1. Since Metrolinx loves to control these Borg-like “you will be assimilated” community consultations sessions, it would make sense to set up a secondary concurrent Zoom call for the community to discuss what Metrolinx is talking about. You can be certain they aren’t going to take any tough questions or consider alternatives in their session so the community should hold it’s own.

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  2. Full Disclosure:
    I’ve yet to fully read this latest post, but a point on the last one on Riverside which I didn’t realize until a couple of days after it was posted was on the ‘noise walls’ and the claim (gist) “Six tracks will be no more noisy than two or four”.

    I happened across a ‘Cheddar’ YouTube vid: ‘How Highway Noise Barriers Can Make Traffic Louder – Cheddar Explains

    which re-awakened some of my experiences working in the audio field (I’m an audio-electronic tech, and sound often ‘plays games’ with hearing and logic). This vid is excellent, and a must view for readers of this string installment as it portrays in diagrams what text alone would struggle to do.

    To keep things brief … it led me to Googling for technical papers, not only on highway noise barriers, but on railway ones too, many of which discount the claims made by Metrolinx (and other transit and freight carriers), the simplest reduction being (gist) “If there is a reduction (expressed in dB of various weightings, most often pink) (adjusted for the ‘loudness’ spectrum of hearing) in one area of proximity to the source, it’s increased proportionately in another”.

    I apologize for not being able to link to any of the papers I read, I did download them, but just don’t have the clarity of mind to remember where at this time.

    What I can state is that they were remarkably easy to find via Google, and with the right few tag words, many showed.

    I don’t want to debase my claims by overstating this impression, but I was left by at least a couple of sources that *effectively* sound barriers are mostly theatre, and of little effective acoustical consequence to neighbours. Some of the rail papers dismissed the efficacy of barriers per-se, and concentrated on the material of the trackbed, to the point of presenting equations per conductivity v. density/material/depth/absorptivity of the track underlay.

    As a rough analogy, this is akin to trying to block the thundering loudspeakers in the apartment above you by erecting baffles in your space. Good luck on that, almost 100% of what you’re hearing is via concrete conduction, not free-air propagation.

    I’ll try and find reference to the papers and post links later.

    Steve: The Cheddar video addresses highway noise which differs from rail corridors in a few significant ways. First and most obvious is that the ground under railway tracks is much more porous (ballast) than a paved highway, and the frequency spectrum of trains is different from that of cars. One thing the video does not mention is the difference between noise from autos and that from trucks with larger engines. This is very roughly analogous to the difference between electric and diesel trains.

    The point about reflection and diffraction of noise around barriers is important. There is an inherent assumption that if you can’t see the trains, you can’t hear them. That’s not how sound transmission through the air works.

    Metrolinx has talked about track construction techniques that will reduce noise and vibration effects from the Ontario Line. These are not unlike changes the TTC has made in subway and streetcar track construction by the addition of sound dampening in the structures. Metrolinx touts these as if they are brand new, almost as if Metrolinx invented them, when they date back decades on the TTC.

    However, it is not clear what, if anything, they will do about the GO tracks. In that case there is not only wheel/rail noise, but for diesel locomotives, the noise (airborn) and vibration (groundborn) from the engines.

    Finally, there is the question of peak noise versus ongoing background levels. Corridors with infrequent service are usually measured for peak effects because relatively long quiet periods can be punctuated by a passing train. The change in service levels on the Riverside GO and OL corridor mean that trains will be passing almost constantly from early morning to late at night.

    Metrolinx has not yet published their noise studies for this area, and so their claims and the methodology on which they are based cannot yet be reviewed. “Trust us”, they say, “the trains will be quieter”.

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  3. Steve writes:

    The federal standards are shown below. Note that there is an 18-foot (5.486m) separation required between the track centre line and any adjacent structure. This is considerably smaller than the spacing shown in the diagram above. The Metrolinx diagrams are silent on spacing to fixed structures such as buildings…

    Sympathy for Metrolinx’ predicament would be a lot easier save for them being the ‘offending party’ all puffed up to tell you what to do, not to openly and honestly discuss the best solutions for all concerned. In others words, be ‘honest brokers’.

    Again, I have downloaded papers on this discussion, but will have to make do with a quick Google to make the point.

    The Railway Assoc of Canada has published a highly professional paper on this replete with extensive pics, diagrams and discussions of local as well as provincial and federal considerations)…but for now: (This article predates the changes to the OMB, but the Fed regs remain intact, and one has to wonder…)

    Steve: See my comments below.

    This paper was delivered at the Rail Issues Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on August 17, 2011.

    Land use development along railway corridors poses a unique set of challenges as it operates within a multi-jurisdictional framework.

    […]

    Federal Requirements Affecting Development Near Rail Corridors

    Railway Safety Act

    The Railway Safety Act requires railway companies to give notice of a proposed railway work to adjacent landowners and the municipality. As part of the approval process, any person receiving such notice may file objections with the Minister of Transport if he or she considers that the proposed railway work would prejudice personal safety or safety of the property. However, there is no reciprocal requirement for municipalities or developers to notify railway companies of proposed development near the railway corridor.

    In 1992, Transport Canada issued the Standards Respecting Railway Clearances pursuant to the Railway Safety Act. These engineering standards apply to all tracks owned or operated on by a railway company and include minimum clearance requirements for structures over or besides a railway track.

    Canada Transportation Act

    The Canada Transportation Act was amended in 2007 to authorize the Canadian Transportation Agency, a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal of the federal government, to resolve complaints regarding noise and vibration caused by construction or operation of railways under federal jurisdiction. A railway company is allowed to create only such noise and vibration “as is reasonable,” taking into account its obligations under the statute, operational requirements and the area where the construction or operation is taking place. The Agency is authorized to investigate any noise or vibration complaints. If the Agency determines that the noise or vibration is not reasonable, it may order the railway company to undertake any changes in its construction or operation. The Agency must publish guidelines for making such determinations and must consult with interested parties, including municipal governments, before issuing any guidelines.

    […continues at length in legal examination at the provincial level…]

    I’m an interloper on this, but questions abound…

    Steve: The Railway Association of Canada paper in question Guidelines for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations was a joint project of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Association. Metrolinx is a member of that association and is listed as a stakeholder consulted in the paper’s presentation. Although there is extensive discussion of new development around existing rail corridors, the issue of existing corridors, and in particular a ver substantial change in use of such corridors is not addressed.

    That said, the proposed standards for new builds show how different the situation is for existing corridors.

    An important consideration in viewing these proposals is that they address a combination of concerns: noise and vibration is one group, but also safety from the effects of major accidents such as freighth train derailments.

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  4. It boggles my mind that a few employees at a publicly funded organization are able to make all the decisions, then force feed their plan to the public. The call for greater accountability needs to be heard by our politicians. Thankfully the crew at Metrolinx is doing a fine job of exposing the reasons why they shouldn’t be trusted.

    Thank you Steve for your detailed articles, it’s helping us to strategize on the frontlines. I’d be interested in strategy talks with other community groups. We are battling the MSF in Thorncliffe at the moment. Misinformation is a theme we have picked up on as well…

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  5. The fundamental problem with Metrolinx (Mx) is that they lack the fundamental mission statement to dedicate the organization to public service. So much of Mx’s activity is contrary to serving the public, notoriously that Mx paid $30k to social media influencers to create a favourable spin for the Ontario Line and that Mx’s CEO spent time trying to suppress the disclosure of this information.

    The counter-public interest activity that bothers me the most was the fact that Mx staff deliberately obfuscated the Business Case Analysis of the SSE where spending $5.5 billion for 103,000 daily trips should have concluded that it was bad business case.

    That Mx uses taxpayer money on staff who deliberately misdirect Ontario Line issues is a clear failure to respect the public interest. It is difficult enough to honourably serve the public interest. Mx would do well to hold town hall meetings but don’t.

    Metrolinx needs to focus on serving the public interest with meaningful public information and stop wasting money on manipulative messaging.

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  6. Most people are familiar with the inverse square law, the intensity varies with the square of the distance from the source. Every time you double the distance from a point source of light you quarter its intensity. However roads and rail corridors are not point sources, they are line sources and the intensity varies inversely with the distance, double the distance half the intensity, not a quarter. Rail lines, especially 6 track lines at peak service hours are almost a continuous source of noise.

    When I was a grad student at U of T I programmed a simulation of the projected noise from Maglev, then the Scarborough RT. I came up with noise levels about 10 dB higher than the government said would happen and the reality was even higher. I just did a first-order approximation using the data nicely provided by the Urban Transportation Development Corporation. One of the major sources of noise on the RT used to be the reaction rail because it was a series of laminated metal laid on top of each other. As it aged it started to loosen and hum like a bad fluorescent light ballast. I don’t know if they have fixed this problem or not. I think it was worse near stations because the current to start and stop it is higher near the station and they put in more and thinner laminates.

    We don’t know yet what the equipment is for the Ontario line but making the equipment smaller may reduce the noise per train unit increasing the number of trains may increase overall noise levels. Another source of noise if trains can travel at 90 mph would be wind noise and with 12 car GO trains that are a noise source at 1020 feet (310 m) long they will definitely be line sources and not point sources.

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  7. Metrolinx has proven itself to be a bad actor acting in bad faith which it has demonstrated time and again; Ontario line being the latest chapter. Using public coffers for social media astroturfing campaigns is straight out of Putin’s playbook.

    Gentle reminder here that Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster was involved in a bribery scandal overseas before he fled to Canada.

    He’s fortunate a global pandemic intervened this last year which allowed for him and his organization to retreat from the public eye enabling him to do what he does best, and that’s planning in the backrooms with politically connected donors.

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  8. Loved this: “Many of Metrolinx problems are “own goals” where their lack of prior consultation, secrecy and arrogance leave affected parties distrustful if not downright hostile. This is a huge contrast to the way consultations were handled by the City of Toronto for the Relief Line.”

    It’s amazing to me that a much-needed multi-billion dollar transit line could be so unpopular. It’s not just NIMBYISM. I was at lots of public meetings for Transit City and the Relief Line and people were overwhelmingly really receptive and thoughtful. By being transparent it was easy for people to understand the projects and provide meaningful input. The fact that the projects were revised to reflect that input made them stronger.

    Whatever merits the Ontario Line has are buried under arrogance, secrecy and empty marketing. In their efforts to manage, control and persuade the public, Metrolinx is effectively harming their own projects. It’s an own goal of the first order.

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  9. Steve: Your reference to the publication I couldn’t find to link is correct. I had used it to show for a Guelph friend and landowner how ‘onerous’ Guelph Junction Railway’s required setbacks to even spurs are as a presentation for a planning application. They are still using “the old CPR standards” as noted in City of Guelph local planning regs for residences, all the while using newer ones for high-rise if a concrete wall or berm is erected. Thanks for that reference, as I get frustrated with my eroding ability to sort and index information.

    Fortunately, the reader responses pick-up on a few dangling threads.

    Rob’t Wightman writes:

    Every time you double the distance from a point source of light you quarter its intensity.

    Rob’t continues on to describe how projected sound levels and actual measured ones often don’t jibe.

    Consider the “acoustic lens”:

    The manipulation of sound waves has led to critical technologies such as ultrasound imaging. Acoustic lenses focus sound in much the same way optical lenses focus light.

    This is used in many aspects of sound engineering. As a natural phenomenon, think of hearing persons crystal clear across a mile wide lake, albeit that is due to another aspect of sound ‘clinging’ (coupling) to a flat surface.

    And unintended propagation:

    When trying to focus sound waves into as small an area as possible, scientists run into a fundamental limit called the diffraction limit. That is, when sound waves are focused into a region smaller than one wavelength, the waves begin to bend and spread out.

    And:

    Acoustic Lens Turns Sound into Sonic Bullets

    The manipulation of sound waves has led to critical technologies such as ultrasound imaging. Alessandro Spadoni and Chiara Daraio of the California Institute of Technology have now developed a new type of acoustic lens to make sound waves even more powerful.

    Acoustic lenses focus sound in much the same way optical lenses focus light. Instead of using glass and mirrors, the duo designed an acoustic lens using 21 rows of 21 stainless-steel spheres. But instead of firing sound waves at the lens, they actually strike the first sphere in each row “so that we send a compressive wave down each stack or row,” Spadoni explains. The researchers effectively tune the focal point of the lens by changing how hard they strike the lens (affecting the waves’ amplitude) and the size of the spheres (affecting wavelength). The waves are then transmitted into an object, such as a human limb, where they focus down to a point.

    This is discussed in detail here:

    Sound Radiation from Acoustic Apertures

    Any time dense traffic passes by buildings with a gap between them, that gap acts as an aperture for the acoustical pressure, and pronounced propagation is the likely result.

    Riverside is most likely about to get a cacophony Metrolinx will claim is a concert. Tickets are free.

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  10. Very pleased with this post and comments: much is rotten in the Carontop region, and while some good folks are at Mx, as Bill R points out, there’s no mission statement and it’s clearly NOT been in the public interest, like much other transit, for a longer time, though yes, it can be complex and costly both technically and politically. But we really should be having far more open process and thought, and room for new/old ideas for the billions. Shaving off 1% for actual citizen oversight/advocacies would be of immense value to transit riders and taxpayers.

    For instance, maybe we need two projects here: a triage of N/S, and not worrying about giving transit boost to a developer on DonLands right now and saving countless transit-person hours by a more direct way to likely destinations and 2) a longer, more direct line that’s more aligned with many earlier plans that go much further west, but also go east, and then up to Danforth and beyond. (The one good thing about the OL ‘take-over’ has been reaching it up to Eglinton, (and if only we’d begun/done that EA as noted in the last Metro OP to connect from Eglinton up to Oriole GO, and then actually did it!).

    And it really is CRAZY to blow $2B in burying the Eglinton W. LRT whilst cheaping out and trying to do the near-impossible on the tight corridor, if that proposed route is actually better vs. say surface transit on the DVP up to near-Thorncliffe, or something sub-regional/quick, and far more quickly done too.

    Citizens’activists should be VERY disappointed in the federal Liberals for basically signing on to both wa$te and abuse of communities/citizens by the Ford government, though they say there are some limitations to the $upport, which feels like the signs posted for speed etc.

    And Steve had a very important point on his Twitter c. June 3: that NDP parties seem very happy to have any type of ‘job’ and who cares about quality, or what else could be done elsewhere with the same $$$$, so they’re not saints either, and what is the NDP position on the Suspect Subway Extension?? (And yes, we do need to spend in Scarborough).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Metrolinx, being a provincial agency, is not bound by the same rules and legislation that municipalities are, and it does not operate at arms length from Queen’s Park. Though Mx always says it will abide by existing and well-established approval processes in the various municipalities, the knowledge that it doesn’t have to is always lurking in the background. As projects progress, this blanket exemption from local processes and input, regardless of value, inevitably creeps in despite the best intentions that individual Metrolinx staff may have.

    Transit governance in Ontario is fundamentally flawed — rather than reducing political interference in transit planning, the province has managed to increase it exponentially. Hang onto your hats because the Ford-birthed Ontario RT Line (I refuse to call it a subway) is just the beginning.

    Steve: Stay tuned for an article in progress on “transit corridor lands”.

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  12. Mary-Ann George said: Transit governance in Ontario is fundamentally flawed — rather than reducing political interference in transit planning, the province has managed to increase it exponentially.

    As Mary-Ann George is a respected (retired) transit expert, I sense that she is suggesting that politicians don’t come up with the greatest transit plans. The public is far too gullible and believe politicians have transit answers. I recall that Mayor Tory won one election based on the promise of “SmartTrack” and believes, as does Ford, that the Scarborough Subway Extension is the solution for Scarborough (I personally disagree). Del Duca, head of the Liberals was the Minister of Transportation who stuck Scarborough with a 4 lane Eglinton East Ave Crosstown and was arranging the Kirby GO station for private interests. The NDP have offered no transit plans for Toronto.

    I have great respect for yesterday’s transit experts like Mary-Ann George and Ed Levy. Toronto’s municipal government structure has no strategic transit planning staff. The woes we experience today (over-crowded Yonge Subway, crowded Bloor/Danforth, long bus routes in the suburbs) are due to planning failures of City government 20 years ago. The current City Hall punted on strategic transit planning for the Official Plan in 2019. Toronto needs a department of strategic transit planners (whether municipal or within Metrolinx) of the calibre of George and Levy to solve its transit nightmare. The provincial political parties aren’t capable.

    We get the government we deserve, but we’ve been dealt a terrible hand.

    Steve: And now the city has a Transit Expansion Office, but nobody is quite sure what it does.

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  13. There is nothing wrong with surface rail in Riverdale or elevated structures in East York. I feel that any NIMBYism is only going to add to delays in this much needed project.

    Steve: There problem in East York is the location of the maintenance yard. This is not a question of NIMBYism, but of a desire that that the yard (not the carhouse) be shifted to other nearby lands so that a commercial strip and, effectively, a community hub will stay where it is.

    As for Riverdale, Metrolinx has misrepresented their project so many times that it’s impossible to trust what they say. They have yet to produce a detailed plan showing exactly what properties will be affected, nor have they produced a noise and vibration study for the consolidated operation of the OL plus expanded GO service. They routinely answer questions by responding to other issues giving the impression that they are being transparent, but only to an outsider who does not know the details of the issue.

    Meanwhile, on Eglinton West, they are spending a few billion to shield the good folks of Etobicoke from the sight of streetcars where there is far more available space than in Riverdale and far less planned service. The cost of undergrounding in Riverdale, by their own estimate, is less than half of what they are spending on Eglinton West.

    It’s the double standard that demolishes their credibility.

    BTW I see you have yet another alias.

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  14. Steve said: BTW I see you have yet another alias.

    I have noticed that certain comments have a “misdirection” messaging, eerily consistent to the nature of the Metrolinx (Mx) blog post. Some of the names used were hints, but that has changed. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mx staff that had paid influencers of social media are working on this blog.

    Steve: There are posts, some much nastier than the ones I let through, that commonly come from pseudonyms but have a very consistent style and message. Most of them are from a Scarborough Subway troll, but there are Ontario Line trolls too. I only publish to the extent that they are within bounds of decency, and make a point worth a rebuttal rather than simply being deleted.

    To those who might argue that I suppressing “free speech”, I would remind you that there is no such right on a private blog. Sending a letter to the editor of the Star does not automatically guarantee publication, and the same applies here.

    Metrolinx cheerleading is fairly easy to spot, and they should know better than to try that tactic.

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  15. Hang onto your hats because the Ford-birthed Ontario RT Line (I refuse to call it a subway) is just the beginning.

    I quite like that. The Ontario RT, child of the Scarborough RT, from the same father. The same lofty expectations and empty promises…

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