As many of you are now aware, I have been working alongside a coalition of 9 different community groups and other elected representatives in advocating for the best possible community outcome from Metrolinx's proposed Davenport Diamond project. On Tuesday it was announced by the Province that a GO Train station at Bloor and Lansdowne on the Barrie GO Line is a part of their new station plans.
This is a strong victory for our community and it wouldn't have been possible if not for the work of many community members who came together and helped to advocate for our community. Thank you to everyone who has engaged on this issue and to the Province for making this announcement. While a station has finally been committed, there is a lot more work to do in order to ensure that our community fully benefits as part of this project.
Through our collective efforts over three weeks in May and June, my office alongside these 9 community groups managed to collect over 2,000 signatures in support of a petition that calls on the Government of Ontario and Metrolinx to:
- develop a comprehensive vision that includes a design competition;
- address noise, vibration, and safety issues and concerns;
- create a multi-modal station at Bloor;
- establish cycling and walking connections throughout including connections to the West Toronto Railpath, the Green Line, and an elevated connection to Earlscourt Park;
- devise a long-term maintenance plan and endowment fund for community programming;
- resolve concerns relating to Dupont St;
- provide the community with a date commitment to electrify the corridor; and
- guarantee that no more than the proposed 36 trains per day will be in use until electric trains are operational on the corridor.
MPP Cristina Martins has read the petition in the Ontario Legislature and added her name to it as well. You can read the petition in full by clicking here.
A new City staff report on the Davenport Diamond has also been released and it contains the following staff recommendation that City Council will be debating and voting on:
That the City continue negotiations with Metrolinx to secure a new multi-modal GO Station at Bloor Street, a Community Improvement Plan for the study mitigation area, a multi-use path and connection south to the West Toronto Railpath, a design solution and mitigation strategy for the rail corridor intersection at Dupont Street, and to participate in the project Community Advisory Committee.
The report can be viewed in full detail here: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-94293.pdf
Finally, the 30-day review period as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process is ongoing and is scheduled to be completed on June 27, 2016. As part of this process Metrolinx has released their Environmental Project Report (EPR). The EPR and more information on the 30-day review period can be found on the Metrolinx project website here: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/rer/davenport.aspx
Once again, thank you to all of the community groups for working with me and so many others in presenting a real and achievable community vision for this project. I truly believe that when our community comes together, we can accomplish so much. I look forward to updating you on our work in the near future.