Erik – The Moderator 00:01
Hello everyone, and welcome to Metrolinx and the City of Toronto’s live Telephone TownHall and Online Meeting. The purpose of today’s TownHall is to consult on the new SmartTrack/GO Stations in accordance with the Transit Project Assessment Process. My name is Erik, and I will be co-moderating the TownHall this evening with Liz McHardy. If you are joining us by telephone, you can follow along live on your computer by visiting smarttrackmeeting.ca. There’s a presentation you’ll be able to follow along if you go to smarttrackmeeting.ca. If you are joining us online, you can choose to listen to the event over your computer speakers, or by calling the toll-free number listed on smarttrackmeeting.ca. Please ensure your computer does have Flash enabled, and if you are having an issue viewing the live presentation window, simply click on the window and press “Allow” if a pop-up appears. During this TownHall today, we will provide an update on the work underway, including environmental studies for the SmartTrack/GO Stations, and you will also have the opportunity to ask a question and provide comments about the project. To get involved and ask a question, please press 3 on your phone’s keypad at any time over the course of the event. To simply, uh, do so on the online interface, you can type your question into the question chat window online. And if you are joining by telephone, again, we want to remind you, you can follow along live by visiting smarttrackmeeting.ca. And again, if you’re joining us on the phone, you can press 3 on your phone’s keypad at any time to ask a live question. Now I’m going to introduce my co-moderator to start the event, Liz McHardy. Liz, currently we have a lot of people joining us now, so I’m going to hand this over to you to begin the event. Please go ahead, Liz.
Liz McHardy 01:40
Hey, that’s great news. Thank you, Erik. Welcome to tonight’s Online TownHall on the new SmartTrack and GO Sta– stations planned for Toronto. My name is Liz McHardy from Lura Consulting, a third-party facilitation firm. I will be co-moderating the meeting this evening, along with Erik. Tonight’s meeting will focus on two new SmartTrack Stations, King-Liberty and St. Clair-Old Weston, as well as the new Bloor-Lansdowne GO Station. We will begin with a brief presentation before we get to your questions. Our presenters this evening are Greg and Stella– or, sorry, James and Stella. Stella Gustavson, Project Manager with the Transit Implementation Unit in the city– in City Planning at the City of Toronto, will provide a brief project overview and update on station design work. James Francis, Project Manager, Environmental Programs and Assessment at Metrolinx, will focus on the Transit Project Assessment Process and environmental findings. We also have with us Scott Haskill, Manager, Project Development and Coordination Strategy and Service Planning at TTC.
Liz McHardy 02:44
The project team heard a variety of comments and questions at the last public meeting where we discussed these stations, which was March 1st at the Lithuanian House. There is general support for more rapid transit in the community and the proposed new stations. It is important for new stations to be well connected to pedestrian and cycling routes, existing as well as planned, including the West Toronto Railpath and Earlscourt Park. However, there were some concerns about specific connections that were presented. Concerns were expressed about the potential for increased noise from rail operations, including bells. There were questions about construction timing, costs, and impact, and there needs to be good connections between the new Bloor-Lansdowne GO Station and the Lansdowne Subway Station, as well as to the Bloor Station on the Kitchener Corridor. Before I turn it over to Stella and James for the presentation, a reminder that the call-in number for tonight is 1-800-457-6180, or join the meeting at www.smarttrack.to/townhall. If you have just joined us, this online town hall meeting is focused on two new SmartTrack stations at King-Liberty and St. Clair-Old Weston, and the new Bloor-Lansdowne GO station. We welcome your questions on these stations. Over to you, Stella.
Stella Gustavson 04:08
Thanks, Liz. So this map shows, uh, the proposed SmartTrack and GO stations that are planned in the city of Toronto. The dark blue line represents the SmartTrack Corridor, which runs along the existing Stouffville, Lakeshore East, and Kitchener GO rail corridors. There are six new SmartTrack stations and two new GO Stations currently being planned in Toronto. The stations we will focus on tonight, uh, as Liz and EriK have both mentioned, they’re circled in red. So King-Liberty, St. Clair-Old Weston on the Kitchener Corridor, and Bloor-Lansdowne GO Station on the Barrie line. So what is SmartTrack? The SmartTrack program builds on the Metrolinx Regional Express Rail initiative by making better use of the existing GO network to bring more rapid transit options to communities across Toronto. SmartTrack will provide more frequent service, with trains every six to ten minutes during the peak periods, and fifteen minutes during other times of the day. Fare integration is also an important feature of SmartTrack, in order to have seamless connections between GO and TTC transit service in the city. Now I’ll turn it over to James, to provide more information about the Metrolinx Regional Express Rail program.
Thanks, Stella. So Stella mentioned SmartTrack builds on GO expansion, which is the transformation of the existing GO rail system, to provide four times the number of trips outside the weekday rush hour, including evenings and weekends, twice the number of trips during the weekday rush hour, line extensions to new communities, more trains, more tracks, electrified corridors, and new stations, including the three stations that are the focus of our meeting tonight. These stations are being planned in accordance with the Transit Project Assessment Process, or TPAP, which is the environmental assessment process for transit projects. The TPAP includes a suite of technical studies to document existing conditions, assess potential impacts, and propose mitigation to avoid or reduce these impacts, and monitoring to verify the effectiveness of mitigation and help inform adapted management if required. Drafts of these technical reports for new SmartTrack stations are currently available on our website for review, and the technical reports are currently being summarized in an environmental project report, which will be made available for public review, we anticipate, on July 19th. An environmental project report addendum for new GO Stations on the Barrie Corridor, including the Bloor-Lansdowne Station, is also being prepared for public review, and we anticipate that that will be available in early August 2018.
This slide shows the TPAP timeline and where we are now. We have conducted two rounds of public meetings to date, the first in the fall of 2017, and the second in early Winter 2018. We’ve issued our Notice of Commencement, which officially starts the TPAP process for new SmartTrack stations, on March 29th, and the Notice of Completion for new SmartTrack stations is anticipated to be issued within the next month, which will then start the official 30-day review period by interested parties. We’re also targeting issuing our Notice of EPR, or Environmental Project Report, addendum for the new GO stations in early August. I’m now going to pass it back to Liz.
Liz McHardy 07:54
Thanks, James. It looks like there’s many new individuals who’ve joined us as well, and we’ve got lots of questions coming in. Uh, so I’m gonna pass it back to Erik to explain how to participate for those of you who are, uh, just logging in.
Erik – Moderator 08:07
Liz, thank you. Of course, thank you again to everyone for joining us today for Metrolinx and the City of Toronto’s Telephone TownHall and Online Meeting. For everyone joining us on the phone tonight, we want to remind you, you can go to smarttrackmeeting.ca right now and follow along with our presentation. The URL, again, is smarttrackmeeting.ca. You can view the presentation right now. You can also press 3 on your phone’s keypad to ask a question live over the phone, and if you’re online at smarttrackmeeting.ca, you can type your question into the question chat window. Thank you. Liz?
Liz McHardy 08:44
Thank you, Erik. Okay, back to Stella.
Stella Gustavson 08:49
Thank you. Okay, so this slide that you’re seeing shows the King-Liberty SmartTrack station on the Kitchener Corridor. It will be located just north of King Street and east of Dufferin Street. The most significant feature of the station is the large plaza that will span the rail corridor. This will provide connections to the station platform from entrances at Sudbury Street and Joe Shuster Way. The plaza will also provide a new north-south pedestrian and bike connection for the community, from the West Toronto Railpath to the south side of King Street and Liberty Village. Additional access is planned from King Street. The multiple access points to the station will allow easy transfers for riders of the King Street car. So the next station, St. Clair-Old Weston. This slide shows that station, which will be located on the Kitchener GO Corridor just north of St. Clair Avenue West, between Weston Road and Old Weston Road. The main station entrance will be located on Union Street, near Townsley Street. There will also be a second entrance at the north end of the platforms. Good access from St. Clair West is important for people who will be transferring from the streetcar and is a major consideration for street– uh, for station design. This station will also include a bus loop, uh, for several TTC bus routes. The station planning and design is being integrated with the St. Clair Transportation Master Plan and will bring transportation improvements to the area, including road extensions and new multi-use paths.
Stella Gustavson 10:30
So the third station, Bloor-Lansdowne GO, uh, which is shown on this slide, will be a new GO Station on the Barrie Corridor, just south of Bloor Street in the Junction Triangle neighborhood. The main station entrance will be located on the south side of Bloor Street. Wheel-Trans vehicles will be able to access the station from St. Helens Avenue. Additional entrances are also planned at the south end of the platform. There will be a tunnel to provide access from Dora Avenue, uh, to the east– uh, on the east, and from Sterling Road on the west. Good connections are being planned to link this new GO Station with the Lansdowne subway station on Line 2. An important feature that I would like to point out is a new multi-use trail which is being designed as part of the station. This multi-use path will ultimately connect to areas north and south of the station, and will be part of an expanded West Toronto Railpath network, linking the existing and future Railpath extensions along the Kitchener Corridor with the planned multi-use path along the Barrie Rail Corridor, which will connect Earlscourt Park to the north with the West Toronto Railpath to the south. So I’ll now turn it back to James to talk about the environmental study.
Thanks, Stella. As mentioned earlier, the TPAP, or Transit Project Assessment Process, features a suite of technical reports that assess the project. This slide provides an overview of the findings of the Natural Environment, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, and Socioeconomic and Land Use Reports. Overall, the impacts for the new stations are typical for this type of construction project. In terms of natural environment, there is potential for impact to migratory birds, which will be mitigated by scheduling construction outside the bird nesting season where possible, and where this isn’t possible, completing nest surveys prior to construction to make sure that any nesting birds are protected. In terms of archaeology, a Stage 1 Archaeological Assessment, which is a desktop study, has been completed as part of, as part of the EA, and a Stage 2 Archaeological Assessment will be completed for areas where archaeological potential has been identified. In terms of cultural heritage, the King Street Rail Bridge, 99 Sudbury, 55 Sudbury, and the St. Clair Rail Bridge, have all been identified as having local heritage significance, but not provincial heritage significance. Heritage impact assessments are currently underway to identify project impacts on the heritage attributes of these properties and mitigation measures to retain the cultural heritage, value, and interest of the properties. In terms of the socioeconomic assessment, the stations are anticipated to increase access to transit, and also improve multi-modal connectivity.
The next slide describes the results of the Noise and Vibration, Air Quality, and Traffic and Transportation Reports. These reports have identified potential nuisance impacts during construction, such as noise, dust, and traffic. Planned mitigation includes managing nighttime construction, developing a construction traffic management plan, which includes working with the TTC and notifying nearby residents, and monitoring during construction to inform adapted management. During operations, noise and vibration levels are not expected to significantly increase, air quality is predicted to be within guidance levels, and traffic impacts are anticipated to be minimal, given that the stations are being planned to integrate with local pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. The TPAP for new stations also considers climate change, in accordance with MOECC, or Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, guidance, which expects proponents to consider both climate mitigation, or the effects of the project on climate change, and climate adaptation, or the effects of climate change on the project. In terms of mitigation, we have looked at the effects the project may have, and how to mitigate, like compensation for tree removal. In terms of adaptation, we’ve looked at proposed mitigation, such as erosion and sediment control measures, to make sure that these consider predicted future stormwater flows. Lastly, for the new stations, we anticipate that trees will need to be removed to accommodate the stations, largely in the rail corridor. Currently, we estimate about 350 trees will need to be removed for King Liberty Station, about 240 trees at St. Clair-Old Weston Station, and about 300 trees at Bloor-Lansdowne Station, and we will work to compensate for the removal of these trees.
Liz McHardy 15:34
Thanks so much, James and Stella. If you would like to provide comments on the project, there are a variety of ways to do that. You can visit the project website at www.smarttrack.to and submit comments using the new interactive social pinpoint map. You can also submit comments by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or you can call us at the City of Toronto, 416-338-2848, or Metrolinx, 416-202-5586. We would appreciate receiving comments by this Friday, June 22nd, so that they can be included in the Environmental Project Report. We’re now gonna open it up to your questions. So over to Erik to let you know how to ask your questions.
Erik – Moderator 16:27
Thank you, Liz. I’m going to let everyone know how to ask a live question, or by going to the online interface. If you’re joining us on the telephone, press 3 on your phone’s keypad at any time, and you’ll have a chance to ask that live question. We also want to let you know that you can go to smarttrackmeeting.ca right now to follow along with our presentation. Uh, so again, press 3 on your phone’s keypad to ask a question live. If you are online at smarttrackmeeting.ca, you can type your question into the question chat window, uh, on there. Now we’re going to go to our first, our first question. This is our– a live question. It’s going to be from Bernadette. Bernadette, welcome, you’re joining us live on the line. Please go ahead.
Hi, thank you. Hi. My question, uh, for the group– and this is in particular to the area of, uh, St. Clair and Old Weston Road Station. Uh, the City of Toronto is planning and working with the developers to build at least three to four condos in that general area, and St. Clair Avenue between Keele and Old Weston Road is being widened. I’m hoping that the development of the, uh, SmartTrack is also considering, uh, the mayhem of traffic that will be going on as a result of this. So I’m wondering, uh, what impact you anticipate, and how are you gonna work your way around it?
Liz McHardy 17:48
Okay, great, thank you, Bernadette. Uh, so question on, uh, traffic and impacts. I’m gonna pass this to Gary. Gary, if you could please introduce yourself.
Gary Papas 17:57
Great. Thanks for your question. My name is, uh, Gary Papas. I’m a Senior Transportation Planner with the City of Toronto. So, um, concurrent with the SmartTrack program, uh, there’s also the St. Clair Transportation Master Plan that is proposing new road improvements around the station, which would include the widening of St. Clair’s, uh, four travel lanes between Keele and Old Weston, extending Gunns Road east from Weston Road to Union Street, extending Keele south of Lavender to connect the Gunns Road extension, and extending Davenport west from Old Weston over to St. Clair to connect with Union Street. So together, these, uh, these road improvements will help, uh, facilitate traffic, uh, to move in and out and around the station. And of course, we’re cognizant of all developments within the area, so we’re gonna make sure that, um, everything works well and efficiently.
Erik Moderator 18:53
Bernadette, thank you very much for that question. Now, we’re going to go to another live question. Quickly, for everyone joining us, press 3 on your phone’s keypad if you want to ask a live question. If you’re joining us online at smarttrackmeeting.ca, you can type your question into the question chat window online. Now, this is an online question, and, uh, the question is as follows: “What will be done to minimize construction impacts on local residents?”
Liz McHardy 19:20
Okay, great, uh, thank you for that question. That is actually a question we heard many times during the consultation around, uh, construction. James, I’m gonna ask you to answer that question.
Thanks Liz, and, and, and thank you for the question. Uh, and so in the, in the environmental assessment process, in the Transit Project Assessment Process, we, we look in, in, in a fair amount of detail at both construction impacts and operational impact. Uh, and, and we, we, we are working to minimize construction impacts, uh, using a whole host of measures. We’ll be looking to mitigate, uh, dust, noise, vibration, and traffic, for example, by limiting nighttime construction, while also balancing the need for, for an expedient construction schedule. Uh, we’ll be looking to minimize visual impacts, such as, uh, screening enclosures. Uh, we’ll be working with the TTC and the City to minimize traffic. We’ll be developing a traffic management plan. And we’ll also be working to, to manage air and dust using a whole suite of dust management practices, uh, including mud mats and use of dust suppressants. And if there is any interest in, uh, in specific mitigation measures to mitigate specific, uh, construction impacts, uh, those are available on our website. And so we have station-by-station technical reports that go into, into great detail, uh, about anticipated construction impacts and what we’re planning to do to mitigate those impacts. Uh, so I’d encourage you to visit, visit our webpage, take a look at the reports, and if you do have any follow up questions, uh, to please send those, send those by email, or send them on Social Pinpoint, and we’re, we’re happy to follow up.
Erik – Moderator 20:57
Thank you very much for that online question. Now, of course, I just want to welcome some new people who are just joining us. Thank you again to everyone for joining us today for Metrolinx and the City of Toronto’s Telephone TownHall and Online Meeting. To get involved and ask a question, please press 3 on your phone’s keypad at any time, or simply on your que– uh, type your question into the question chat window online. And if you’re joining us by phone, you can follow along live by visiting smarttrackmeeting.ca. So we’re going to go to another online question, and this question is: “What is the timeline for construction and operation of the stations?”
Liz McHardy 21:34
Okay, fantastic. Uh, no surprise that there are questions around timeline. Uh, I’m gonna ask Manuela to answer that question. And Manuela, when you do, could you please introduce yourself?
Manuela Istrate 21:43
Sure. Manuela Istrate, Metrolinx. Um, so construction at the station sites will start in early 2020, and all stations will be operational by end of 2024 or very early 2025.
Erik – Moderator 22:01
We have another web question. We’re going to go right to it. This one’s going to be coming up from Marilyn, and Marilyn wants to know, um, “We want trees replaced, and not just removed.” Can you, uh, speak to this?
Liz McHardy 22:14
Hey, thank you, Marilyn. Uh, great question about trees being replaced, not just removed. Uh, I’m gonna pass that over to James.
Yes, and thank you, thank you for the question. And we’ve been, we’ve been hearing interest in, in tree and vegetation compensation across our network, uh, as we’re, as we’re e-embarking on, on GO expansion. And yes, we, we will be, uh, replacing trees, we will be compensating for tree removal. We’re currently working with the, the conservation authorities and then municipalities across our network to develop a vegetation compensation protocol, uh, for all of our projects. And, and that will detail the specific approaches to be used for compensation. We’re looking for, for replacement, replacement trees, replacement vegetation, in a way that ensures the long-term success of those replacement trees and replacement vegetation. And so, uh, we continue to work with our municipal partners and conservation authorities, uh, to identify exactly how we’re going to go about that, to make sure that we’re having, uh, long-term benefit, uh, based on, based on ecological value. Uh, and so, uh, we are taking quite a, like, a system-based approach to this, so it’s, it’s not, not just even for, for the new stations. It’s, uh, it’s, it’s across the board. And we certainly will be, will be working, uh, to compensate.
Erik – Moderator 23:36
We have another online question coming up. And again, for everyone joining us, press 3 on your phone’s keypad to ask a live question if you’d like to, or you can simply type your question into the question chat window online if you’re on smarttrackmeeting.ca. This is a web question, and this question is from Adam. Adam wants to know: “Why aren’t there entrances to St. Clair-Old Weston on St. Clair, similar to the UP Express entrances at Dundas-Bloor?”
Liz McHardy 24:04
Okay, great, thank you. Uh, so, I’m gonna ask Manuela to answer this question on station entrances.
Manuela Istrate 24:10
Right, so, um, St. Clair-Old Weston Station is, uh, responding to the environmental context. Uh, and it is, uh, it is slightly further from, uh, offset from St. Clair for reasons of, uh, of rail connectivity and con– uh, and in context of the West Toronto Diamond, which is in place. And because of that, uh, the platforms cannot be right adjacent to St. Clair West Avenue– St. Clair Avenue West. Uh, therefore, uh, we are doing the best connectivity possible, uh, via ramping to the station entrances, both, um, on the east and west side of the rail corridor, uh, and providing the best connectivity, uh, we can that way. It is, uh, a challenging urban context that is, uh, fully built up, and in order not to disturb too much, uh, we are managing it this way.
Erik – Moderator 25:17
We have another online question, and this question is as follows: “Where will Wheel-Trans serve at the stations?”
Liz McHardy 25:26
Okay, great question about Wheel-Trans. I’m gonna pass this, uh, to Scott. Scott, if you could please introduce yourself before you answer the question.
Scott Haskill 25:34
Yeah, thanks, Liz. It’s Scott Haskill from the TTC’s Service Planning Department. Uh, all of these draft station designs have spaces specially set aside for TTC Wheel-Trans, and for other accessible, uh, drop-offs and pick-ups. So at the St. Clair-Old Weston Station, for example, uh, the accessible drop-off and pick-up will be right adjacent to the main entrance. Uh, at, uh, the Bloor, uh, Lansdowne Station, uh, there’ll be a special driveway off of St. Helens Avenue that will take, uh, buses, uh, Wheel-Trans buses right up to the main entrance. And then at the King-Liberty Station, it’s expected that the Wheel-Trans buses will serve, uh, special bus stop for Wheel-Trans, uh, right on Sudbury Street at the north side of the new plaza. So in all cases, there’ll be good step-free access from TTC Wheel-Trans buses, uh, from the street all the way to the, to the, the train platforms.
Erik – Moderator 26:25
We’re going to go to another web question. Now, this one is coming up from Jared. Jared wants to know, “What is the construction start date for the King-Liberty SmartTrack Station?”
Liz McHardy 26:37
Okay, great, thank you for that question around construction start date. Uh, Stella, I’m gonna ask you to answer that question.
Stella Gustavson 26:43
Uh, sure, thanks, Liz. Uh, as Manuela pointed out, uh, a little while ago, the timeline for all of the new stations is construction will begin, uh, the anticipated timeline for that is 2020, with, uh, the, uh, delivery scheduled for 2024, 25, uh, time frame for all the stations to be up and running.
Erik – Moderator 27:11
We’re going to go to another question in just a second. I quickly want to remind everyone joining us that we want you to participate. You can go to smarttrackmeeting.ca right now and follow along with our presentation. You can also press 3 on your phone’s keypad to ask a live question, and if you’re online at smarttrackmeeting.ca, then you can type your question into the question chat window. So we’re now going to go to another online question. And, uh, this question is as follows: “How would TTC streetcars serve the King-Liberty Station?”
Liz McHardy 27:47
Uh, okay, thank you. This question’s about streetcars, so naturally, it would go to Scott from the TTC.
Scott Haskill 27:52
Yeah, thanks, Liz. So, uh, yeah, the, the main service, uh, to– between TTC and, and the new station at King-Liberty is the King streetcars at the 504 King and the 514 Cherry streetcars. They run, obviously, east-west on King Street, and they would actually serve the station, uh, at the existing stops on King Street at Atlantic, uh, which would largely remain in the same locations there are. So a customer could get off a King streetcar, for example, and then cross the road, and then, uh, enter into the station from the, the special access right near the King, uh, Atlantic, uh, e-e-entrance. Uh, the, the second location they could also do that from is from the King streetcar stops of King at Joe Shuster Way, where you could walk a fairly short distance up Joe Shuster way to the main, uh, entrance to the station. So pretty good connections to the station from the King cars, a-at two different stop locations along King Street.
Erik – The Moderator 28:45
We’re going to go to another question. This is actually a live question. And again, for everyone joining us, press 3 on your phone’s keypad to ask a live question of your very own. We’re going to go to, uh Azeal. Azeal, welcome. [inaudible] live.
Hi there. Good evening, folks. Uh, I think the question was answered a little earlier, but I’m occupying the business across the street from the St. Clair station, and again, it concerns timing as well. We do live loading and offloading during the course of the day, and the concern is impact on operations during construction. Can someone speak to that, please?
Liz McHardy 29:24
So, A-Azea– u-uh, sorry. But, no, uh, that’s fine. So, uh, that is an interesting question. Um, I’m gonna ask Stella to start, and then we’ll see if someone else will, uh, answer the question.
Stella Gustavson 29:36
Yeah, sorry. Hi Azeal. Uh, this is Stella Gustavson with the City of Toronto. So we, we do recognize that you have a business operating right there, and, uh, for– the need to bring your truck in and out of your business. And so, uh, I think that that’s something that we’re going to need to visit further with you on, uh, you know, uh, uh, uh, during s– with some one-on-one conversation. Uh, because obviously, we do need to, uh, respect the fact that your business needs to continue to operate while we’re making plans for the station to be there as well. So, uh, let’s plan on having some follow-up conversation. But the, uh, as it stands right now, the construction timeline, uh, would begin in 2020, with the stations operational by 2024, 25.
Liz McHardy 30:24
Okay, great, thanks, Stella. Uh, we also have Brian, who can add on to the answer to this question. And Brian, I’d like you to also introduce yourself.
Brian Matthews 30:33
Oh, hi, I’m Brian Matthews from the acquisition group at Metrolinx. Uh, it’s still a bit early for us to be speaking directly on property impacts, and we certainly– a-as the TPAP process proceeds and gets completed, this is when we start dealing individually with owners. We look forward to doing that and working with everybody a-as this process moves forward.
Erik – Moderator 31:01
We, we have another question ready to go, and this is a web question. Uh, the question is coming up from Jared. Jared wants to know, Jared wants to know, “In regard to the King-Liberty SmartTrack Station, Sudbury Street is currently quite narrow. Is there any plan to potentially widen the road to accommodate additional drop-off traffic the SmartTrack will bring? There, uh, are current businesses located at 99 Sudbury Street that– what will process– uh, sorry. What will the process be in regard to these local businesses? Lastly, will pedestrians be able to walk over the plaza without paying a fare? Thank you.”
Liz McHardy 31:41
Okay, great. Uh, couple of questions there. I’m gonna ask, uh, Manuela to answer this question.
Manuala Istrate 31:46
So I will start the question, and maybe somebody will help fill in some of the questions. Uh, basically, Sudbury Street is not being widened. There is a localized drop-off that will be accommodated, uh, through a localized widening at, uh, the station side, at the building side. Um, and, um, so that’s part one of the question. Part– and I will answer the third part of the question, which was to do with crossing the corridor, uh, without a fare. Uh, that is indeed the intent. The intent is for the, uh, ride connection at Joe Shuster, uh, and 99 Sudbury to act as a community connectivity element as well. Um, I’ll pass it on to Brian, if he can talk about the property impact.
Liz McHardy 32:39
Okay. Uh, Brian, a couple, a couple minutes, a cou– seconds on the property impact?
Brian Matthews 32:44
Uh, similar to the previous question, uh, we’re still early. As we work through this, we’ll get a better idea when the [inaudible] is closer to being finalized, and how we, uh, address each with individuals.
Erik – Moderator 33:00
Thank you very much, Jared, for that question. We have another li– uh, this is another web question coming up. And quickly, I do want to remind everyone joining us that to ask a question of your very own, you can go to smarttrackmeeting.ca right now and follow al-along with the presentation. You can press 3 on your phone’s keypad to ask a question live, and if you’re online at smarttrackmeeting.ca, you can type your question into the question chat window. Our next question is a web question from Kent. Kent wants to know, “What will Metrolinx do to reduce noise caused by ringing of the bells when trains enter a station?”
Liz McHardy 33:36
Okay, uh, fantastic question on noise and bells. Uh, I’m gonna pass this over to Laura to answer that question. Laura, if you could introduce yourself first.
Laura Durie 33:45
Hi Kent, that’s a great question. Uh, I’m Laura Durie, I’m the Community Relations, uh, Specialist with Metrolinx. Currently Metrolinx, uh, operating crews follow the Canadian Rail Operating Rules, which are overseen by Transport Canada. In the interest of safety, these rules require operators to sound the bell when they’re entering and leaving a station, or passing through. We have taken steps to respond to concerns related to bells, including hardware adjustments on [inaudible] and, and additional spillover noise. We’re currently working with the federal government, and will continue to work with the federal government, towards bell alt-alternatives. We’re investigating additional steps and– that could achieve equal or better safety outcomes. These steps include a f– a feasibility study for bell alternatives at stations, and conducting a review of practices to limit unnecessary bell noise, including speeds.
Erik – Moderator 34:54
We have another web question coming up. This one is going to be from Colongio, and he wants to know, “How will fares work between GO, TTC, and SmartTrack for a trip that may use all three?”
Liz McHardy 35:08
Okay, thanks for your question, Colongio. Uh, question about fares. I’m gonna pass it over to Stella to answer that question.
Stella Gustavson 35:16
So, um, the City, TTC, and Metrolinx have entered into a discounted fare agreement in January 2018, uh, whereby Presto card users would receive $1.50 discount or credit on their fare upon transferring between TTC and GO or UP Express. In the Ontario Budget of 2018, the province announced additional measures that will improve access to the GO rail network, which would include SmartTrack, including all GO transit trips within Toronto, uh, that will cost, uh, Presto card users just $3 per trip. Hope that answers your question, Colongio.
Erik – Moderator 36:00
We have another web question coming up. This one is going to be from Matt, uh, Matt Hopkins, who wants to know, “What are the anticipated timelines for the start of construction, uh, as well as completion?”
Liz McHardy 36:15
Okay, great. Another question about, uh, timelines. Obviously, people are very interested in this. Uh, I’m going to pass this to Manuela to answer that question.
Manuela Istrate 36:23
Sure. So, um, as stated previously, all station construction is anticipated to start in early 2020 and be complete by the end of 2024 or early 2025, by which time the stations would be operational.
Erik – Moderator 36:44
Matt, thank you very much for that question. We have another question coming up, and this is another online question. And the question is as follows: “What does a Stage 2 archaeological assessment involve? What would happen if you found something on my property?” This is an online question from Social Pinpoint.
Liz McHardy 37:02
Okay, great. I’m happy to hear that Social Pinpoint is being used, uh, to submit questions. Uh, I’m gonna pass this question about archaeological assessment to James.
Yes, thank you, and it’s a, it’s a good question. And so archaeological assessments are completed in stages, numbered stages, uh, from Stage 1 through, through Stage 4. So as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process, to date, we’ve completed Stage 1 assessments, which are desktop assessments. Uh, they look at the historical context and geographic– the, the geographic context of the stations to determine if areas have potential for archaeological resources or artifacts. And so in some areas, we’ve identified potential for archaeological resources, and these areas, um, we, we are planning Stage 2 archaeological investigations. A Stage 2 involves field work, uh, and this typically includes test pits. So these are excavated manually, and then the soil that, that’s exca– excavated from the test pits is then screened through mesh. Uh, any artifacts that are identified are then, are then characterized, and any future need, uh, for archaeological assessments, such as a Stage 3, is identified, or the Stage 2 may be the completion of the archaeological assessment process. Uh, for any properties where, where we’ve yet– where we’ve identified the need for a Stage 2, uh, we will be in touch with property owners, and, uh, and, and working to, to establish next steps.
Erik – Moderator 38:33
We quickly want to remind everyone joining us that if you have a question, you can follow along on smarttrackmeeting.ca and ask that question by typing your question into the question chat window. And of course, if you’re joining us on the telephone, at any time you can press 3 on your phone’s keypad to ask your question live on the even this evening. We’re going to go to another question, and this is an online question. And the question is as follows: “Can the St. Clair-Old Weston Station design handle an increase in TTC service in the future?”
Liz McHardy 39:05
Uh, this is a question we’ve heard a few times through the consultation. Uh, it is focused on the TTC, so I’m going to focus that to Scott.
Thanks, Liz. Um, yeah, it’s a good question. Uh, the, the current plan for that, that station, St. Clair-Old Weston Road, has a, has an off-street bus terminal, uh, and that currently is sized big enough for us to run at least three bus routes into there. We’re anticipating, at this point, that we would run the 41 Keele, the 71 Runnymede, and the 127 Davenport bus routes into that off-street bus terminal. I-It’s big enough to handle those routes now, and it’s also big enough to handle an increase in service on those routes in the future. In addition to that, uh, the 168, uh, Symington, uh, bus route would run nearby, as it does now, on Old Weston Road, and that would continue to do so. And of course the 514 St. Clair streetcar would run east-west along St. Clair, and it has, uh, four pretty large-sized passenger platforms at the stops on St. Clair at Old Weston Road, and also, uh, on St. Clair at Weston Road, uh, Keele Street. So between all those, there, there, there’s a lot of room for additional TTC customers coming to and from the station, in addition to the station itself, which can handle quite a large number of customers on the GO service.
Erik – Moderator 40:20
We have another online question. We’re going to go right to it. And w– uh, this person, uh, would like to know, “Can someone explain what ‘crime prevention through environmental design principles’ are, and how they will be applied to the station designs?”
Liz McHardy 40:34
Oh, that’s an interesting question. I’d like to know what that is too. Um, Manuela, you, you can answer this question.
Manuela Istrate 40:41
Sure. So, um, as the name indicates, crime prevention through environmental design, it is a matter of using design in order to minimize and prevent, as much as possible, crime. So it starts with planning, uh, with careful planning of the connections of the public realm, of the building element, platform element, any spaces inside and outside, so that it positively influences human behavior, and, uh, s-s– i-in an– in order to prevent, um, any, uh, crime, in order for people to feel same, welcome, and to take ownership of, uh, their immediate environment. So at Metrolinx, we strive to maximize these, uh, forms of natural surveillance, uh, of good planning, and then, later on, all other safety elements. Safety is, uh, a top priority for us.
Erik – Moderator 41:44
We have another question. And of course, if you’re joining us over the telephone, please press 3 on your phone’s keypad at any time to ask your live question, or simply type your question chat– er, your question into the question chat window at smarttrackmeeting.ca. We’re going to go to another, uh, online question, and they would like to know, “What is the status of the West Toronto Railpath Extension?”
Liz McHardy 42:08
Okay, I’m gonna ask, uh, David from the city to answer that question. And David, if you could introduce yourself as well.
David Brutto 42:15
Thanks, Liz. I’m David Brutto with the City of Toronto Transportation Planning. Um, so this is a great question, and definitely an exciting topic. Um, so the Detailed Design of the West Toronto Railpath Extension is currently underway, from Dundas and Sterling, which is the southern terminus of the existing Railpath, to Sudbury and Abell, whi– where the design is actually being coordinated with the Liberty Village Station. Uh, public consultations on the Railpath extension are planned for later this summer. Uh, completion of Detailed Design is anticipated by quarter two of 2019, and this is anticipated to make the project shovel ready. The Railpath extension, including the timeline for construction, is continuing to be coordinated with the Metrolinx Barrie ra-rail corridor expansion and electrification.
Erik – Moderator 43:08
We have another web question we’re going to go directly to, and this question is: “Will the transportation network in the area around St. Clair-Old Weston Station be improved?”
Liz McHardy 43:20
Okay, great, thanks for that question about the transportation network. Uh, I’m going to ask Gary to answer that question.
Gary Papas 43:27
Great, thank you. Um, so as I noted, uh, previously, um, wi-with the caller, yes, uh, there’s, there’s a St. Clair Transportation Master Plan that is currently being planned, and a– the-there’s four road network improvements that they are recommending. So one is the widening of St. Clair Avenue, another is to extend Gunns Road, another is to extend Keele, and finally, there’s another one to extend Davenport. Together, these four, um, road improvements, uh, will provide greater access for all modes of travel, and improve bus connectivity to the SmartTrack station.
Erik – Moderator 44:07
We have another web question coming up, and here it is. Uh, “What are some mitigation measures to reduce the amount of dust in the air during construction?”
Liz McHardy 44:17
Thank you, that’s a good question around air quality. Uh, James, I’m gonna ask you to answer that question.
Yes, dust, dust management is something that we, uh, we look at in, in, in a great amount of detail in the EA. Uh, and we are planning, uh, a wide range of mitigation measures to, t-to manage dust, including the use of dust suppression measures. Uh, this, for example, would be application of water, or use of non-chloride chemical dust suppressants. Uh, we’ll be looking to use dump trucks with retractable covers. We’ll expect our contractors to wash their equipment and use mud mats at the construction site exits. This helps to limit migration of soil offsite, uh, soil that can then dry and, and turn into dust. We’ll be looking to stockpile materials in locations that are less exposed to wind, uh, and, and, for example, building barriers around these stockpiles, uh, like a, like a wind fence, and also stockpiling materials away from residences. We’ll be looking to implement speed limits on our construction site, which we find helps minimize dust. Uh, as we head into post-construction or, or, or completion of an element of construction, we’ll be looking to stabilize any exposed soils as soon as possible, uh, through r– through re-vegetation. Uh, and, and finally, during periods of high wind, uh, and, and we’ll be monitoring for this, we’ll be looking to minimize dust-generating activities, to keep, to keep dust to a minimum.
Erik – Moderator 45:49
We have another question ready to go. And quickly, for everyone joining us, if you would like to ask a live question, simply press 3 on your phone’s keypad, and that’s to ask a live question on the event this evening. And you can also go to smarttrackmeeting.ca right now and follow along with our presentation. And if you’re online at smarttrackmeeting.ca, you can type your question into the question chat window. So we’re going to go to our next question. This is a web question. It’s coming up from Ken. Uh, “For the Bloor-Lansdowne GO Station, did the diagram shown have an entrance off Wade Avenue?”
Liz McHardy 46:27
Okay, great, thank you. And I– we’ve pulled the, uh, we’ve pulled the slide back up for this, uh, this question. So, Stella, I’m gonna ask you to answer it.
Stella Gustavson 46:36
Right, thank you. So the station design, as currently shown, does not have an entrance from Wade, but with the extension of the West Toronto Railpath, that would provide good connectivity to allow people, uh, to ac– uh, access the station entrance from Wade.
Erik – Moderator 47:02
We’re going to go to another web question. This question is coming up from, uh, from the online interface on smarttrackmeeting.ca. The question is as follows: “Will the City of Toronto have completed their plan to ease the congestion in the St. Clair…?”
Liz McHardy 47:23
Okay, great, thank you for that question on congestion. Uh, I’m going to ask Gary to answer that question.
Gary Papas 47:30
Um, yeah, so there’s a lot of questions on St. Clair. Um, let me just remind all the listeners that we are hosting public meetings for the St. Clair Transportation Master Plan this Saturday and Monday. Um, so the work is ongoing. They are developing, um, a traffic analysis for the entire St. Clair study area, and it’s not finalized yet, but once it is, it will be made available to the public for their review. But again, there will be two public meetings, one this Saturday, which is located– one second. Which is located at, um, 150 Symes Road. It’s at– between 1 to 3 PM. And then on June 25th, it’s at 6 to 8:30 PM at Joseph, uh, Piccininni Community Center, which is at 1369 St. Clair Avenue West.
Erik – Moderator 48:30
Now, we do have another online question. And I want to remind everyone that if you’re following us online, you can type your question into the question chat window online, or press 3 on your phone’s keypad at any time to ask a live question. We have another web question, and this person would like to know, “Will additional trees be planted to replace the trees being removed?” This is another online question from Social Pinpoint.
Liz McHardy 48:56
Okay, thank you. Uh, again, I’m happy to hear that Social Pinpoint is being used for questions. Uh, another question about trees. I’m gonna, uh, send that over to James.
Yes, and, and, and thank you for the question. We do, we do get questions, uh, about, about, uh, vegetation, uh, across, across our network. And, uh, we are, we are planning to compensate for, for removals. Um, and we are working with, with the city and our other municipal partners and conservation authorities throughout the region, uh, so that we’re, so that we’re compensating and replacing the trees in a way that ensures the long-term success of the replacements.
Erik – Moderator 49:37
We’re going to go to another web question, and this is a question coming up from Key. Key wants to know, uh, “Please clarify fares. If I take the TTC to a SmartTrack station, am I paying $3 on the TTC and then another $3 at the SmartTrack station?”
Liz McHardy 49:55
Okay, thank you, Key, for that question. Certainly, fares are definitely top of mind for many people. Uh, Stella, I’m gonna ask you to answer that question.
Stella Gustavson 50:02
Okay. Uh, Key, so integrated fares between, uh, the SmartTrack program and the TTC service is a fundamental principle, uh, in order to better serve the city residents and businesses. So this is something that is, uh, you know, really important to SmartTrack. So the idea would be that, uh, and based on the work that’s been done so far, and the announcement in, uh, the Ontario Budget 2018, that, um, uh, people with Presto cards would be able to, um, access the GO rail network, and i-inclu-including all GO transit trips within, in, uh, Toronto, for just $3 per trip. And, uh, based on the city/TTC/Metrolinx fare agreement that was in January of 2018, Presto users receive $1.50 discount or credit on their fair upon transferring between those services.
Erik – Moderator 51:08
Key, thank you very much for that question. Now, we actually have another live question, uh, coming up right now. And for everyone joining us, press 3 on your phone’s keypad to ask a live question of your very own. This one is going to be coming up now from Norman. Norman, you’re joining us live on the line. Please go ahead with your question.
I was looking on your website for a, uh, for information about the Bloor-Lansdowne, uh, Station. I couldn’t find anything. It wasn’t noted there, yet all the other stations were listed. Uh, question number two is: will all of the different access points to different stations be accessible for disabled people?
Liz McHardy 51:58
Okay, great, thank you for your, uh, thank you for your two questions, Norman. Um, I’m gonna ask James to answer the first question about where the, the map– er, information is on the website. And the second question around accessibility, to Manuela.
Manuela Istrate 52:14
Great. Yes, and thank you, thank you for the question, and I think it’s, uh, it’s, uh, probably of interest to a number of folks who are, who are on the, on the meeting tonight. And so, uh, materials for King-Liberty SmartTrack Station and St. Clair-Old Weston SmartTrack Station, the draft technical reports for those stations are available, uh, they’re on the Metrolinx website and, uh, we are just in the process of putting those up on the SmartTrack website, and they– they’ll be available for review. The Bloor-Lansdowne GO Station is, uh, being assessed, uh, on a slightly different timeline, and so it’s being assessed as one of the new stations coming on the, the Barrie GO Corridor. And we anticipate having the draft reports for those stations available shortly. Uh, in terms of the design, we will be posting our materials from tonight to our website very shortly, uh, within, within three days. Uh, so, so, you know, early next week. And the design for Bloor-Lansdowne, um, is available on the meeting materials from earlier in the year, so if you’re interested in taking a look, that’s on the SmartTrack website, and also on the Metrolinx website. And for, for item number two, about access points to the new stations and, and accessibility, I’m going to look to my colleague Manuela.
Manuela Istrate 53:25
Sure. So, uh, accessibility, universal accessibility is quite important to Metrolinx. All stations will have redundant universal access, barrier-free access. And, uh, as it is planned, uh, in, in the current, uh, design, all stations– oh, all access points will be accessible, uh, barrier-free accessible.
Erik – Moderator 53:51
Norman, thank you very much for that question. We’re going to go to another web question. This one is coming up from Sa– uh, Sandra. Sandra wants to know, “How much parking will be created around St. Clair-Old Weston Station?”
Liz McHardy 54:05
Okay, great, thanks, Sandra. Um, definitely questions about parking through the, the consultation did come up. I’m gonna ask Gary, uh, to answer this question.
Gary Papas 54:14
Great, thanks for your question, Sandra. Um, the short answer is, there’s gonna be no parking. But, um, these, these eight new stations are not your typical suburban GO Stations, which include commuter parking lots and large passenger pick-up and drop-off facilities. These are urban stations that are designed to encourage the use of alternative modes, namely transit and active transportation. We’re designed these stations to create seamless connections to TTC bus and streetcar routes, and improving pedestrian and cycling infrastructure for communities to access these stations.
Erik – Moderator 54:50
We have another question ready to go. Now, this question is going to be coming up from Paolo. Paolo wants to know, “How will the King High Line be integrated into the King-Liberty Station design?”
Liz McHardy 55:04
Okay, great, thanks for your question, Paolo, around, uh, connection, as well as the Railpath extension. I’m gonna pass this over to Stella to answer that question.
Stella Gustavson 55:14
Okay, thank you. We’re pulling up the King-Liberty SmartTrack Station slide here. Um, so the, one of the important features of the station, uh, is that large plaza in the middle. And let’s go through these, uh, images again. So the large plaza in the middle, uh, do you have that available? Okay. And, uh, as well, uh, let’s just click through ’till we see that, the arrow, the long arrow. Um, so what that shows is actually a pedestrian cycling connection that will allow people who are walking and people who are cycling to, um, you know, actually travel through the station plaza from, uh, one side to the other, from Sudbury over to, uh, Liberty Village, south of King Street. So that is, is a fundamental component of that station design. Um, it’s, it, you know, we recognize it’s really important for the community to have that improved, um, uh, conne– you know, connectivity, that, uh, is, ar– across that, uh, the barrier that’s presented right now by the rail corridor.
Erik – Moderator 56:32
Thank you very much for that question, Paolo. We have another online question. And this question is, “What is the cost of SmartTrack?”
Liz McHardy 56:42
Great question. Uh, over to Greg. Greg, if you could introduce yourself.
Greg Tokarz 56:48
Hi, uh, I’m Greg Tokarz, I’m a program manager in, uh, Transportation Planning and City Planning at, uh, City of Toronto. Um, so, that’s a, that’s a good question. Um, the total cost of the SmartTrack station program is $1.195 billion, uh, for the base station costs, and $268 million for city-initiated station requirements, for a total of $1.463 billion. So just to explain that a little bit, the, the base station costs are all those things that GO Transit needs to operate the station, and that includes things like the platforms, uh, the station building, all the fare in-infrastructure, and the entrances, getting people in and out of the building. The, um, city-initiated, uh, infrastructure are all the things that, um, the city, uh, needs to connect people from the community to the station. That’s things like the public realm around the stations, the, uh, multi-use paths, um, uh, bus facilities, uh, and pedestrian and cycling infrastructure that, that’s connected to the station. So, um, that’s what that is. You c– if you really want to see some more detail, you can go to, um, uh, the City of Toronto website, and go to Council Reports, and it’s, um, Council Report EX33.1. There’s a lot of really good information in that. Um, and, uh, you can, if you wanna read some more about it.
Erik – Moderator 58:20
We have another web question ready to go. This one is coming up from Ross. Ross wa– uh, Ross wants to know, “Will the presentation be available for download as a PDF following the TownHall event?”
Liz McHardy 58:33
Thanks very much, Ross. That is a great question. Um, I’m gonna pass that over to Jade. And now, Jade, could you introduce yourself before you answer the question?
Jade Hoskins 58:42
Yeah, sure. My name’s Jade Hoskins. I’m with the Public Consultation Unit at the City of Toronto. And to answer your question, Ross, yes, the presentation will be available to download as a PDF after this TownHall. It should be on our website, which is smarttrack.to, early next week. Um, transcripts from this meeting, as well as meeting summaries, will also be available. Hope that answered your question.
Erik – Moderator 59:13
Now Liz, we are just about reaching the end of the Telephone TownHall and Online Meeting. Did you or the panel have any closing thoughts or remarks as we close out the evening?
Liz McHardy 59:23
Yep, just very quickly, Erik, thanks so much for that. Um, thanks all– thank you all for participating. It looks like we had over, uh, we had about 46,000 people join us tonight, and close to 100 questions, uh, that have come in, both online and over the phone. Um, if you didn’t get a chance to have your question asked, uh, you can still submit feedback to us. Uh, you can visit the project website at www.smarttrack.to, and submit comments using the new, interactive Social Pinpoint map, and I can tell some of you are already using it. You can also submit comments by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or, of course, you can call us at the City of Toronto, 416-338-2848, or Metrolinx, 416-202-5586. A-again, we would appreciate receiving comments by this Friday, June 22nd, so that they can be included in the Environmental Project Report. Uh, fro– from myself and the team, thank you again for all, all of you for participating in this event. Uh, and I will pass it back to Erik.
Erik – Moderator 60:34
Thank you very much, Liz, and thank you to everyone for joining, uh, joining us this evening. As Liz mentioned, there are a variety of ways that you can provide us with your input on the project. You can visit the project website, smarttrack.to/socialpinpoint, and submit comments using the new, interactive map. You can also sign up for email updates and view all project materials on the website, smarttrack.to. You can submit email comments by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Lastly, you can call us at the City of Toronto, 416-338-2848, or at Metrolinx, 416-202-5586. Thanks to– uh, thank you again to everyone listening and participating. Have a great night.