Gerrard-Carlaw and East Harbour SmartTrack Stations and Spadina-Front GO Station

Online Town Hall

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Meeting Summary

Project Staff

Stella Gustavson, City of Toronto
Greg Tokarz, City of Toronto
Jade Hoskins, City of Toronto
Ulrica Ho, City of Toronto
David Brutto, City of Toronto
Shannon McNeill, Metrolinx
James Francis, Metrolinx
Manuela Istrate, Metrolinx
Georgina Collymore, Metrolinx
Jody Robinson, Metrolinx
Greg Pereira, Metrolinx
Kevin Rachman, Metrolinx
Scott Haskill, TTC

Project Consultants

Jim Faught, Lura Consulting
Liz McHardy, Lura Consulting
Ryan Adamson, Lura Consulting

1. Agenda Review, Opening Remarks and Introduction

Jim Faught, Lura Consulting, welcomed participants to the Online Town Hall to discuss the Gerrard-Carlaw and East Harbour SmartTrack Stations, and the Spadina-Front GO Station. Jim Faught introduced himself as the neutral-third party facilitator for the event. He then began the presentation with an overview of the feedback received in previous rounds of consultation (March 1, 2018 at Lithuanian House for Spadina-Front GO station and March 21, 2018 at Queen Alexandra Middle School for East Harbour and Gerrard-Carlaw SmartTrack Stations). He then turned the floor over to Greg Tokarz, Program Manager with the Transit Implementation Unit in City Planning at the City of Toronto and James Francis, Project Manager, Environmental Programs and Assessment at Metrolinx.

2. Presentation

Greg Tokarz provided an overview of the SmartTrack program and described the designs for Gerrard-Carlaw and East Harbour SmartTrack Stations, and Spadina-Front GO Station. James Francis provided an overview of GO expansion and the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP), and highlighted key findings from the TPAP.

Approximately 3000 people participated in the event.

 3. Questions of Clarification

A summary of the Question and Answer period following the presentation is provided below. Questions are noted with Q, responses are noted by A, and comments are noted by C.

Questions of Clarification:

C. I was curious about the cost of riding the SmartTrack line in comparison to the TTC.

A. Integrated fares between TTC and SmartTrack service is fundamental to SmartTrack. The idea is that Presto card holders would be able to travel within Toronto on the GO network for $3.00. Upon transfer to TTC services, the individual would pay $1.50 – for a total cost of $4.50.

Q. With regard to train operations, whether run by electric, diesel or another type of propulsion. I’m asking about noise pollution. Trains that runs east-west near Gerrard are currently quite loud. With more frequency near residential areas, how are you going to mitigate noise?

A. Stations will be operational on a similar timeline with electrification of the rail corridor. Details regarding anticipated electric and diesel train volumes in the study area for each new station are provided in the draft technical reports that are available on the project websites for review., Peak-hour service on the Lakeshore East corridor to Bowmanville are currently planned to be diesel, but this service may be electrified in future.Modelling results indicate that noise increases will be within one decibel of current values.

Q. Will the slide deck be available following tonight’s meeting?

A. Yes, the slide deck will be made available on the project websites. Transcripts of tonight’s meeting will also be made available.

Q. What TTC routes will serve Gerrard-Carlaw Station?

A. The TTC runs two busy routes that currently service this intersection: the north-south 72 Pape bus route and the 506 Streetcar route. The TTC plans to maintain both routes and both will connect well to the station.

Q. What is the timeline for construction and what will the resulting noise be?

A. For the Gerrard-Carlaw SmartTrack Station and the Spadina-Front GO Station, construction is expected to begin in 2020 with the stations anticipated to be operational by 2024, or early 2025. The East Harbour SmartTrack Station is on a different timeline, with construction anticipated to begin in 2019 and completed in 2022-2023. This coincides with the development at the Unilever Site. Regarding construction noise, this has been assessed in detail in the draft technical reports available on our website. Construction noise will be managed by implementing a range of mitigation measures.

Q. What are the key dates to have the stations completed?

A. For the Gerrard-Carlaw SmartTrack Station and the Spadina-Front GO Station, construction is expected to begin in 2020 with the stations anticipated to be operational by 2024, or early 2025. The East Harbour SmartTrack Station is on a different timeline, with construction anticipated to begin in 2019 and completed in 2022-2023. This coincides with the development at the Unilever Site.

In terms of key dates for the TPAP, we are currently in the up to 120-day TPAP phase, with Notice of Completion planned for July 19, 2018. That will be followed by a 30-day review period by interested parties. We welcome your comments on our draft technical reports, currently available on the project websites, and the Environmental Project Report, which will be posted once at Notice of Completion. Following the 30-day public review period, there will be a 35-day review period by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. We anticipate the Statement of Completion to come in Fall 2018.

Q. I understand that the current pedestrian overpass at Pape will be replaced with an underpass that provides pedestrian and cyclist walkways. Will there also be bike lanes installed on Pape Avenue north of the track?

A. Bike lanes on Pape Avenue are currently included as part of the City’s cycling plan; however, the City notes that Pape Avenue is a relatively quiet residential street. The City will be reviewing the ten-year cycling plan and will provide information on new infrastructure to inform that plan.

Q. What is the overall cost of the implementation of the Project? Is it covered by the provincial, the federal, or municipal government?

A. In April 2018, City Council approved the contribution to build the SmartTrack Stations which will be funded one hundred percent by the City, at $1.463 billion. An additional $268 million will be contributed for station connections to integrate the stations into the surrounding community. The actual cost of the stations will be determined following the procurement process. Funding for the project will come from Federal government contributions, development charges, incremental municipal tax revenue from new development along the SmartTrack corridors and City Building Fund allocations.

Q. Does the construction timeline include timing for electrification?

A. Yes, the anticipated completion timing of 2024-2025 includes the construction for electrification and the addition of the fourth track.

Q. Can passengers from Spadina-Front Station board SmartTrack or are these two separate systems?

A. The Spadina-Front GO Station is on the Barrie Rail Corridor and the SmartTrack stations are on the Lakeshore East/Stouffville Rail Corridors. As such, you will have to transfer trains. However, based on the 2018 provincial budget announcement (all fares within the City of Toronto to be $3.00), you will be able to transfer to other GO lines without paying an additional fare.
Note: This answer has been modified in this meeting summary to reflect more accurate information.

Q. What is Metrolinx and what is SmartTrack?

A. Metrolinx is the provincial transit planning agency, and is involved with planning, constructing and operating transit projects across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. SmartTrack involves six new transit stations within the City of Toronto that are planned to provide more access to the existing GO network for Toronto residents. It takes advantage of the RER service with electrified trains and more frequent service. The other component of SmartTrack is fare integration. SmartTrack also involves fare integration. There is currently a discounted fare agreement meaning that there is a discount when transferring from TTC to GO. It is anticipated that it will also only cost $3.00 for GO Transit trips within Toronto.

Q. Where will Wheel-Trans serve the Gerrard-Carlaw Station?

A. All new stations will have good connections for Wheel-Trans service. We anticipate at the Gerrard-Carlaw station there will be a layby on Carlaw Avenue north of Gerrard Street. At the other stations we anticipate that there will be dedicated areas for accessible services for Wheel-Trans. We anticipate that there will be good access directly from Wheel-Trans to the station platform.

Q. For the Gerrard-Carlaw Station, are there any houses that will need to be expropriated?

A. Property requirements for this station do not include any residential acquisitions.

Q. What will be done to minimize construction impacts on local residents?

A. In the TPAP we look at construction and operation impacts. Detailed information about specific potential construction impacts and associated mitigation measures is available in the station=specific technical reports that can be found online on the project websites. We are working to mitigate dust, noise, vibration and other construction impacts such as traffic. This includes limiting nighttime construction, minimizing visual impacts, developing a construction traffic management plan and implementing measures to monitor dust and air quality.

Q. What would I be charged if I travelled on TTC, then I transferred onto a GO Train and then transferred onto TTC again?

A. At TTC we have a policy that’s called TTC Times Two. If you take TTC then GO and then TTC again you only pay one TTC fare.

Q. What is the anticipated timeline for construction and will all stations be under construction at the same time?

A. It is anticipated that all stations will be in some phase of construction at the same time. The only exception is that the East Harbour SmartTrack Station will begin construction in 2019 and will be completed earlier than the other stations in 2022-2023.

Q. Will Gerrard-Carlaw Station take over Riverdale Plaza and Gerrard Square?

A. As far as station design, the station building will be on the corner of Gerrard and Carlaw. It won’t take over the plaza. There will be a tunnel under the Gerrard underpass and there will be entrances on the east and west sides of the underpass. We are working to minimize the impacts of those entrances. The entrances won’t overtake parts of the plaza, but we will require staging lands for the construction process. We may require lands from the plaza temporarily, but that will be negotiated with the property owner.

Q. What other transit projects are being proposed near East Harbour station?

A. In addition to the station, there will be an extension of Broadview Avenue that will include new streetcar service north-south along Broadview Avenue. The station design will allow space for the streetcars to enter into the station to unload and pick up passengers. In addition, we are anticipating that in future there will be the new Relief Line Station at this site to accommodate passenger traffic. There will be a lot of transit service in that area with the ability to expand service into the future.

Q. My question is concerning the use of transit by blind and visually impaired people. What will be done to keep them safe?

A. We have made many improvements regarding accessibility. We have implemented wide safety tactile strips as well as cane detectable tiles at our stations. We also consult frequently with our accessibility committee. We have also done work on lighting, wayfinding and designated waiting areas. You can contact GO Transit for further information at any time.

Q. What does a stage two archeology assessment involve?

A. Archeological assessments are conducted in stages. We have completed stage one and the reports are available on our website. In stage one we looked at the historical context around the station and previous archeological assessments conducted in the area. We also examined indicators that might indicate archaeological potential. In stage two we begin to explore these sites through manual excavation. Stage two will either identify the need for further archaeological work or will indicate that all necessary archaeological work has been completed.

Q. What is the status of Rail Deck Park?

A. City staff received direction to proceed with resolving design, technical and real estate issues around Rail Deck Park. We are currently working on resolving those issues, including integrating the GO Station with Rail Deck Park. We will report back to council on our findings in 2019.

Q. What are some mitigation measures that will be put in place to mitigate the effects of dust during construction?

A.We will develop an air quality management plan, which will spell out the specifics of mitigation and monitoring measures that will be implemented. This includes dust suppression measures such as the application of water, dump trucks with covers, the washing of machinery before leaving the construction site, mud mats and other measures.

Q. What is the precise location of the Gerrard-Carlaw Station?

A.The main entrance will be on the Northeast corner of Gerrard and Carlaw between the rail corridor. There will be an underpass of the rail corridor to the east that will provide a second entrance at the corner of Carlaw near the LCBO building. South of Gerrard and west of Carlaw there is a park. In that park there will also be an entrance. There is another planned entrance the south side of the rail corridor further down Carlaw that may act as a drop-off for buses. There are two entrances on Pape where the pedestrian overpass currently exists.

Q. There are three proposed sites for three separate stations. Where are they?

A. We are talking about three proposed stations at this meeting. The first station is at Gerrard-Carlaw, and the second is East Harbour, which is at Eastern Avenue and Broadview Avenue. The third station is at Spadina and Front.

 4. Wrap Up and Next Steps

Jim Faught thanked participants for their input and time and advised that an additional Online Town Hall is scheduled for the St. Clair-Old Weston, King-Liberty SmartTrack stations and Bloor-Lansdowne GO station on Thursday, June 21st. Participants were invited to submit comments via Social Pinpoint (smarttrack.to/socialpinpoint); by email to newstations@metrolinx.com or SmartTrack@toronto.ca; or, by phone to City of Toronto 416-338-2848 or Metrolinx 416-202-5586.