One of Metrolinx’s first battles has been with the Liberty Village neighbourhood near King West and Strachan. Back in March, the transit agency made the surprising proposal to build a bridge over Strachan Ave. raise Strachan Ave. into a bridge without disturbing GO train Georgetown line (shown in the image above looking east, track running on the right of image). Local residents and the City of Toronto were pushing Metrolinx to lower the GO line to go under the current stretch of Strachan. From an urban design perspective, this option is much better as it would do little to disturb the local surroundings and potentially muffle the noise created by the trains.
The City, local residents, and even some of Metrolinx’s advisors were caught off guard by the proposal. In short, everyone freaked out which resulted in a very active letter writing campaign and lobbying. As recently as two weeks ago Metrolinx seemed reluctant to budge on the issue.
But as of today, local councillor Joe Pantalone announced a compromise has been reached:
• The super-bridge that cuts off Strachan Avenue from Douro Street and Wellington Street West is gone;
• The rail corridor will be lowered at the Wellington Street West/Douro Street intersection — Strachan Ave will be raised 1.1 metres higher (approximately one foot higher than what the City proposed). The intersection will not significantly be affected with all traffic/pedestrian/cycling turns as they are at the present time;
• To further reduce the height of the new bridge, MetroLinx has thinned the brick deck. To also address the issue of creating a cycling and pedestrian friendly corridor to the Waterfront and neighbourhoods, cycling lanes and pedestrian sidewalks now are included in the proposal.
Below is the current existing conditions (looking east to Strachan on Douro/Wellington, tracks on the right running east-west):
Below is the compromise (looking east to Strachan on Douro/Wellington, tracks on the right running east-west):
Thanks for the article, but the pics are confusing. Clear which is the present view, but the two drawings are not: only one shows tracks.
Also is this wording missing punctuation or words? “The rail corridor will be lowered at the Wellington Street West/Douro Street intersection will be 1.1 metres higher (approximately one foot higher than what the City proposed).”
Aren’t all the tracks to the right of the images shown? It looks to me like the pic is taken from the south side of Douro, looking east. Strachan is the cross-street; Wellington is the continuation of Douro on the far side of Strachan.
In that case, I don’t understand how “a bridge over Strachan Ave. for the GO train service to Georgetown” is shown in the first image. The first image seems to show Strachan as a bridge over Douro and Wellington (a bridge which presumably continues over the rail tracks).
Mea culpa: I was cutting and pasting stuff and messed up my wording which made things misleading and factually wrong. Details have been corrected.
Hey Matt L.
You’re right. The tracks aren’t shown in any of the pictures. Here’s a link to the pictures above, and more.
The second set of pics is from the south side of the tracks.
Nice photoshop: if only either picture gave me an idea of where the trains will be running so I can judge the designs for myself.
I think the point of the images is to show what happens to Strachan at Douro, not what happens to the tracks. The first one show how the streets would be disconnected when Strachan has to go over the tracks on a bridge. The second image shows the compromise the article speaks to where the streets will still intersect.
Will Metrolinx pick the community favourite design on the Newmarket line at Wallace?
One important thing is ensuring that there is enough room in whatever gets built that we can send the Downtown Relief line alongside the railtracks up to the NW, and I think the north side of the tracks is the better spot for it.
Of course, because it’s a relatively new idea to the current plans it will be uphill. But arguably we need the DRL more than the Blue22 and excess use of this precious rail corridor for simply extra GO.