Metrolinx Plans for the West Toronto Railpath and Adding a Fourth Track on the Kitchener GO Rail Corridor
January 30, 2018 Update - I have obtained a copy of Metrolinx's conceptual design and layout which outlines the existing and new corridor, pathway and parkland. Please click here (large PDF) to download it.
Metrolinx recently hosted a community meeting to share their plans to add a fourth track on the Kitchener GO Rail Corridor, which forms the western border of Ward 18. As part of the meeting, they also outlined impacts and proposed improvements to the West Toronto Railpath and Bloor GO Station.
In order to accommodate the fourth track, there are sections of the Railpath that Metrolinx is proposing to narrow, with the most significant section from just north of where the Henderson Brewery and Drake Commissary is to Ernest Avenue. The pavement width of the trail would remain the same but would have to be shifted in places, resulting in some areas with less green space. Please click here (large PDF) for a copy of their presentation from the meeting.
As Metrolinx was developing their plans, the City worked together with Metrolinx to ensure that they significantly reduced the amount of land needed.
The Railpath is a cherished asset in our community and disruption from construction will never be easy but there are also some positive aspects of the plan. Some of these include:
- A land swap so that the City can acquire the necessary land to extend the Railpath southwards;
- Green Walls that our community has been advocating for years;
- An underground connection via an elevator and stairs to Bloor GO Station and Dundas West TTC Station from Randolph Ave;
- A new park and other features.
Throughout this process I will be vigilant and work with the Friends of the West Toronto Railpath and stakeholders to ensure that the impacts are as minimal as possible and that there is a long-term benefit for the West Toronto Railpath and our community as a whole.
I'm pleased to let you know that I moved a motion at the December 2017 City Council meeting to include integrating the future north-west extension of the West Toronto Railpath in the Environmental Assessment and design elements of the St. Clair-Old Weston SmartTrack Station and St. Clair West Transportation Master Plan. This is crucial so that we can plan and protect for this future connection to the north to benefit and connect our communities for generations to come.
The first mural of our community's Create Your Path public art project is now complete! Created by renowned artists Bacon and Que Rockford's the artwork is inspired by Indigenous culture and Street Art language. I encourage you to check it out along the north side of the underpass near Dupont and Dundas.
The Create Your Path initiative is about transforming the West Toronto Railpath through new public art and the next set of murals will be painted in 2018 at the Wallace Station Lofts and the Canadian Red Cross Building, where crews have already primed the wall in anticipation!
We will be hosting more meetings in 2018 to discuss the next set of murals. I want to thank everyone who has been involved and shared their feedback on this project. I look forward to sharing more updates with you!
I am pleased to share with you the latest West Toronto Railpath Extension Update. You can access it by clicking here.
I have also been working hard to advocate for the creation of an inter-connected series of trails and parks in Davenport to provide more cycling and recreational opportunities for more residents.
That is why the proposed multi-use trail as part of the Metrolinx Davenport Diamond project must extend south from Bloor to Dundas to connect to the West Toronto Railpath. It must also connect north to the Green Line and Earlscourt Park.
There is more work to be done, but by working and advocating together, we can achieve this vision and so much more for our community.
Future Railpath Extension updates will be posted at: http://www.toronto.ca/westrailpath.
As you might be aware, last summer we secured federal funding for up to 50% of the costs of the West Toronto Railpath Extension. Since then, Metrolinx is making progress on completing the Dufferin Bridge expansion project (just north of Queen), which is being built to accommodate an additional track on their Kitchener Corridor. The bridge expansion project will also help facilitate the future extension of the Railpath into the West Queen West community and will feature a connection to the new Pessoa Park.
City staff are working closely with Metrolinx to move forward on the completion of 100 per cent detailed design for the extension of the Railpath from Dundas St W to Abell St. Following the completion of detailed design, City staff will work with Metrolinx on capital coordination for the construction of this important piece of community recreation and cycling infrastructure.
This is necessary because Metrolinx presently owns much of the property in the preferred alignment for the Railpath extension and any work would need to be coordinated with Metrolinx's Regional Express Rail project. As a result of this reality, I moved a motion at last month's City Council meeting that would authorize City staff to enter into agreements with Metrolinx for the design and future construction of the Railpath extension. I will be sharing further updates with you as they become available.
I am excited to announce a new community arts initiative to capture and share the unique identity and histories of our well-loved West Toronto Railpath (WTR), the underpass and the neighbourhoods that surround it. The "Create Your Path" initiative will bring together our community's ideas, stories and vision for the WTR through unique art installations along the railpath.
Some of the artworks will be installed later this fall and I'm excited to hear your ideas to create inclusive and attractive spaces along this unique path!
The Community Engagement portion of the project is designed and facilitated by Crazy Dames and GladkiPlanning Associates (GPA) and you can find more information on this project by clicking here. If you have any questions or wish to leave your feedback with me, you can email me at [email protected] or call my office at 416-392-7012.
Metrolinx is carrying out work to expand the north side of the Dufferin Street Bridge at Queen Street which carries the Kitchener GO Transit Corridor. Expanding the bridge will support the ongoing work to bring electrified SmartTrack and GO Regional Express Rail transit service to the West Queen West community. This work will also accommodate the space required for the proposed southward extension of the West Toronto Railpath. Metrolinx expects to complete this project by June 2017.
In order to ensure the safety of the public and construction crews, and to complete the bridge expansion in a timely manner, Dufferin Street will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians from Queen Street West to Peel Avenue from September 12, 2016 to December 31st, 2016. During this closure, traffic will detour via the old "Dufferin Jog" route of Peel, Gladstone and Queen.
During this work, residents and businesses in the area can expect an increase in noise and construction activity. Crews will also need to conduct work in the evening and overnight periods when trains are not operating for safety concerns. Overnight lighting will be focused away from homes when possible and noisier work will be undertaken during the daytime to reduce evening disruptions. This accelerated work schedule aims to mitigate community impacts and reduce the duration of work.
Metrolinx will be hosting a community drop-in session at the Carnaby Condominium at 10 Minowan Miikan Lane (formerly 11 Peel Avenue) on September 29, 2016 from 5pm to 7pm with representatives present to answer your questions about this project. You can read the complete project notice for this project by clicking here.
As this work is carried out, I will keep our community informed of any updates to this work. As this is a Metrolinx project, I encourage you to contact Jennifer Capan, Community Relations and Issues Specialist at Metrolinx for any questions or concerns via telephone at 416-202-4732 or through email at [email protected]
Today’s investment of up to $840 million from the Government of Canada to the City of Toronto as part of their Public Transit Infrastructure Fund will go a long way to repair, renew, enhance and expand our public transit system. This investment will also help the City build new active transportation infrastructure across Toronto including providing funding for up to 50% of the cost of extending the West Toronto Railpath, our much loved multi-use trail for walkers, runners and cyclists.
Today’s announcement also builds on the recent Provincial announcement that the Dufferin Street Bridge will be expanded in order to accommodate future Smart Track/GO RER service and the future expansion of the Railpath into the West Queen West neighbourhood.
Over the years, I have been working hard to build support for the expansion of the Railpath among all levels of government and these recent announcements help to advance our efforts. There is still more work to be done and I will be continuing my efforts to ensure that the Railpath gets extended for the benefit of our community and city. I look forward to providing your further updates on this important topic in the coming months.
Earlier this month, I was pleased to welcome Mayor John Tory and the Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca to the West Queen West neighbourhood as the Province announced the commencement of construction on the Dufferin Bridge Widening Project (you can learn more about this project by clicking here). The expanded bridge will be constructed to accommodate the space required for the proposed southward extension of the West Toronto Railpath to the West Queen West Community and will connect to the park that the City is constructing at Dufferin and Peel St.
I welcome the endorsements of Mayor Tory, Metrolinx and Minister Del Duca for the Railpath extension as an important step forward, which supports the City of Toronto's approved West Toronto Railpath Extension EA and our community's success in securing the incorporation of an extended Railpath into the design of the future 99 Sudbury development. I look forward to working with Metrolinx and all levels of government to secure the extension of this important piece of community transportation and recreational infrastructure.
I have great news for those who love the West Toronto Railpath as much as I do! The Notice of Completion and the 30 day public review period for the West Toronto Railpath Environmental Assessment was issued last week on Thursday January 14, 2016. What this means is that the City has completed a study to determine a route for extending the Railpath south from Dundas St W, along the Kitchener GO corridor to beyond Strachan Ave and the planned Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle bridge.
The recommended solution consists of a multi-use trail that will be aligned in the rail corridor under the Dundas St W bridge to Dufferin St and on street and adjacent to the rail corridor from Dufferin St to Abell St. Currently there is no recommendation for a route between Abell St to the planned Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge as more study and public consultation is needed to fully under the impacts and opportunities for this section. For more information and to read the Environmental Study Report (ESR) please visit www.toronto.ca/westrailpath. I look forward to working with the Friends of the West Toronto Railpath and other stakeholders to make this extension a reality for Ward 18.