Manager, Environmental Programs and Assessment
Pre-Construction Service, Metrolinx
10 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2R8
Re: Metrolinx Go Expansion Program – Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) – New Track and Facilities – Don Valley Train Layover Facility (DVTLF)
Dear Ms. Osojnicki:
This is in regard to the Environmental Project Report (EPR) which was prepared in accordance with the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) as prescribed in Ontario Regulation 231/08 – Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings (made under the Environmental Assessment Act). The EPR is available for a 30-day public review period ending January 28, 2021.
The Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (FoNTRA), is an umbrella organization of over 30 resident associations in Midtown, North Toronto and North York. Relative to the project location, several of our member RAs are situated on the west flank, above the Don Valley, and are well aware of its values for transportation (highway, GO Transit, active transportation), utilities, recreation, and of course its important, and sensitive, environmental values.
We will briefly summarize our position relative to the DVTLF:
- Our resident associations are in principle supportive of GO Transit expansion and recognize the operational needs of the transit system;
- However due to the technical nature and complexity we are unable to assess in a meaningful way most of the information made available for this project. We are therefore in a position of having to ”trust you” with regard to the rationale for and the scope of the project;
- We note the shift of location of the proposed Facility to north of the Viaduct and the reduction of the footprint of the project in an effort to minimize its environmental impact;
- We note the location of the facility straddling the former Don Branch line and we wonder whether Metrolinx has consulted with the federal government and VIA Rail regarding its plans for High Frequency Rail (HFR) in the Ottawa to Toronto corridor and whether the Don Branch figures into this plan?;
- We understand that Metrolinx has consulted with Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) regarding additions/improvements to public facilities close to/serving the Don Trail.
Finally we request that you keep us informed as this project proceeds. We are late participants to the process and we request that Metrolinx make the effort to reach out to, and actively engage residents associations on both sides of the Don Valley.
cc: Councillors Jaye Robinson, Mike Layton, Krystin Wong Tam, Paula Fletcher