This article continues a series begun with Ontario Line Sept/21 Consultations: Western and Northern Segments to summarize Metrolinx open houses for the Ontario Line.
The fourth session on the downtown segment, originally scheduled for September 30, has been deferred to October 7. A new consultation to deal with the just-released Draft Early Works EAs for East Harbour and the Joint GO/Ontario Line Corridor has been scheduled for October 5.
Updated Sept. 28 at 6:30 pm: A small section of text that was still in rough draft form when this article was published has been updated to “fair copy”.
Updated Sept. 28 at 11:30 pm: Minor revisions and sundry typos corrected.
This meeting was complicated by having two major reports land only a few hours before it started, and that skewed a lot of attention to material that community attendees were not able to read and digest in time, not to mention some confusion by Metrolinx itself about some of the fine details. Metrolinx keeps scoring “own goals” like this by claiming to want debate and discussion, but acting in a way that precludes this happening.
As if that is not bad enough, some of the key issues the community expected to hear about such as tree clearing along the corridor are still under study and there is not yet an inventory of what will be affected. With the billions available to Metrolinx, this late delivery suggests that it was a recent add-on to their workload, not something they could have undertaken months ago.
Needless to say, Metrolinx really does not want to talk about the “hybrid” scheme to route the Ontario Line from East Harbour Station to an underground alignment that would travel north on the already-approved Relief Line Carlaw-Pape route. More about this later.
According to the two Early Works documents, the combined scope of work is:
- reconfiguration of the existing Lakeshore East GO tracks to accommodate station facilities and future Ontario Line tracks;
- construction of station facilities such as platforms and entrances;
- replacement and expansion of the existing Eastern Avenue rail bridge to accommodate four Lakeshore East GO tracks and two future Ontario Line tracks; and
- site preparation activities such as grading, demolition of existing structures where required, and utility relocation or protection.
Joint Corridor: Eastern to Pape
- Reconfiguration of existing GO tracks to support future Ontario Line infrastructure;
- Replacement of the existing rail bridges at Queen Street East, Dundas Street East and Logan Avenue;
- Construction of new bridges at Dundas Street East and Logan Avenue to support future Ontario Line tracks;
- Construction of the foundations for GO Overhead Catenary System (OCS) poles and supporting infrastructure to accommodate future fourth GO track;
- Construction of retaining walls; and
- Construction of noise barriers, including east of Pape Avenue.
Reconfiguration of existing GO tracks involves more than just side-to-side realignment to fit in four where there are now three. Metrolinx plans to change the elevation of the rail corridor so that there will be a consistent 5m clearance under all of the bridges. This requires not just new bridges, but a change to the level of the railway between the bridges. The change is greatest at Eastern Avenue reduces gradually north to Gerrard.
An important note about the “Early Works” reports: With the exception of an Operational Noise and Vibration Study that looks at post-opening conditions for expanded GO and Ontario Line service, the Early Works reports consider only the effect of those specific works, mainly the construction activity, not of the permanent change to the neighbourhood or the effect of future GO or OL construction. That information will not show up until the final Environmental Assessment by which time it will be almost impossible to alter the plans.Continue reading