As you will recall, Metrolinx communicated to the community on Thursday November 12, 2015 their decision to move forward with the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) for the Davenport Community Rail Overpass in January 2016. This was contrary to the information that I received from the City's Chief Planner regarding Metrolinx's agreement to pause the TPAP Notice of Commencement until Spring 2016.
City Planning has prepared an urgent report that was just submitted to today's Planning and Growth Management Committee Meeting and it will be heard by the committee later today. The report recommends that:
"1. Planning and Growth Management Committee direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division, to further engage Metrolinx representatives to seek clarification with respect to the commencement of the Davenport Rail Grade Separation TPAP process in January, 2016, rather than commencement in Spring, 2016, as originally committed by Metrolinx, and report directly to the December meeting of City Council on the outcome of those discussions and any further action as may be appropriate."
You can read the report submitted here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2015.PG8.13
It is clear that after reviewing this report and in order to ensure the best possible outcome from this proposed project, more time is needed to complete this review and to work with the local community to achieve a balanced solution.
Additionally and separate from this process, the City of Toronto has undertaken a study with Mississauga, Milton, and Cambridge to "determine the feasibility, costs and business case of constructing a bypass route north of the City for freight rail on the CP line." The Chief Planner has reported that there is a compelling case to, "engage Metrolinx, CN, CP and the concerned municipalities in further discussion of this initiative." Building this "Missing Link" could "dramatically alter train activity at the Davenport Diamond and hence the need for a rail grade separation at this junction". This bypass route would also have the benefit of making our communities safer by potentially eliminating freight train traffic (including oil tank cars) from traversing through our community.
This is a project that will impact our community for the next 100 years and beyond. Recognizing this impact, I have consistently advocated for our community to have the arguments and information needed to make a sensible decision for our area. I hope that Metrolinx will work with the City and the community in achieving a project where everyone benefits. Our community deserves no less.