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Beach Triangle Residents Association

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The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

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Waterfront News

By Chris Blythe

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The past thirty years of waterfront rejuvenation has focused primarily on downtown. Now the focus is expanding. The Beach will see many changes over the next 20 years as a result.

Lake Ontario Park

Not the least of these plans includes Lake Ontario Park: A huge development extending from the South Portlands all the way to the RC Harris water filtration plant.

Plans developing over the past several years have Leslie St. South of Lake Shore being redeveloped into a formal park gateway – as evidenced by the work carried out last season reconstructing and formalising the bike and pedestrian infrastructure South of Lake Shore Blvd. This plan, however, may be severely upset by the new TTC Maintenance Yard now under development on the South East corner.

TTC Yard at Leslie and Lakeshore

Removal of waste treatment berm has begun and appears to be moving quickly. This whole project and the connected plans to use Queen East between Leslie and King St. E. as a shunting yard (over 300 trips per day of 100 foot-long streetcars) seems to be unstoppable.

One hundred of these huge new streetcars will be housed at Leslie and Lakeshore. An additional fifty will be housed at the existing Russell Yard at Connaught and Queen. That’s 150 cars total.

Over 90 percent of these cars will make one trip out and one trip back per day. Most will ALSO participate in rush-hour, meaning one more trip out and back for many of the cars. Rounding that to two return trips per day for 80% of those cars, that’s effectively 384 streetcars on Queen East between Leslie and points West – not including scheduled service! And remember, each of these new streetcars is fully twice as long as the current double-cars.

Now imagine trying to drive, bike or walk Westward through the intersection at Lakeshore and Leslie or Eastern and Leslie.

It's not too late to call Councillor McMahon or the Mayor to voice your concern.

Gardiner East Stakeholders Advisory Committee

Progress on the waterfront has brought us to the point where it is time to decide the Gardiner Expressway’s place in Toronto’s future. Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto are therefore undertaking an integrated environmental assessment and urban design study focused on the area from approximately Lower Jarvis Street to Logan Avenue.

Early 2009, as a part of the public consultation portion of this process, the BTRA participated in two public consultation workshops. Subsequently, in March 2010, the project organisers formed a more formal Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee (SAC). The BTRA was invited to participate and has subsequently provided two representatives.

But, after a promising start, the SAC has been totally inactive for almost a year. And the project’s consultation Web site is now pretty-much two years out of date. What information is available is sparse: primarily an official statement that the SAC will meet again once all the available data has been compiled and the new City Council has been briefed. Personal contact with the project organisers remains inconclusive. At this time all we can do is wait and see what direction the new council takes. Councillor McMahon has been informally briefed in the matter.