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):