Metrolinx will be holding an online consultation on Tuesday, June 29, for its Don Valley Layover scheme. There is a lot of misinformation on this proposal coming from Metrolinx, but as with so many of their schemes, they are bulling ahead.
Full disclosure: I live immediately adjacent to the proposed storage and servicing facility on the east side of the Don River north of the Prince Edward Viaduct. I have a direct interest in the effect of Metrolinx plans and the effect they will have because of the potential for noise and light pollution.
First, it is important that readers understand Metrolinx plans and the supposed function of what they wish to build.
Updated June 29, 2021 at 8:00 am: Additional drawings regarding sound level measurements have been added as well as a commentary on peak versus averaged sound levels.
GO Transit New Facilities
The plans are part of the GO Transit New Track and Facilities scheme which includes new layover yards in various locations around the system. This plan already has Ministerial approval and could proceed at any time to detailed design and construction.
GO Transit plans two new facilities in what they broadly refer to as the Richmond Hill Corridor. The purpose of the two are sometimes confused in Metrolinx presentations with the result that the debate becomes tangled thanks to one plan’s being confused with the other.
As the corridor leaves Union Station, it runs along the north edge of the rail embankment and then swings north along the west side of the Don River. This corridor actually contains two separate railways as they then were.
- One is the former Canadian National Bala Subdivision. This takes a meandering path north and is owned by Metrolinx to the point where it crosses the CN York Subdivision, the east-west freight route parallel to Highway 7. North of that junction the line is still owned by CN. The Richmond Hill GO service uses this route.
- The other is the former Canadian Pacific Don Branch which linked Union Station to the CPR’s main line at the former Leaside Station. The line was abandoned decades ago for rail service, but it was bought by Metrolinx. It splits off from the rail line on the west side of the river roughly at Rosedale Valley Road, crosses to the east side, and runs beside the DVP to Pottery Road where it crosses on a high bridge.
The map below shows the corridor from the south end of the Don River (left) to Pottery Road (right). (For a high resolution version of this plan, click here.)Continue reading