Following is email message from Meri Newton <Meri.Newton@toronto.ca>
We are closer to constructing the West Toronto Railpath Extension between Dundas Street West to just south of Queen Street West. Staff are now focussed on completing the final multi-use trail design in 2018. Discussions about a construction schedule are currently underway with Metrolinx.
Implementation of the Railpath Extension is being carried out by both the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services and Metrolinx. Most of the Railpath Extension will be located within the Metrolinx owned rail corridor. As a result the design will need to be coordinated with other planned Metrolinx works. Currently, Metrolinx is in the design phase for a track expansion of the rail corridor to service the Regional Express Rail (RER) and future electrification of the Kitchener and Barrie GO rail corridors. For more information about these related Metrolinx projects, visit: www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/rer/
What needs to happen before construction can start?
The environmental assessment study established a final trail design. The Railpath Extension will be wider than originally anticipated and will be retained within the rail corridor or immediately adjacent to the rail corridor to Sudbury Street.
In addition to finalizing the trail design, there have been many technical challenges which required planning, coordination and time including:
• finalizing the consultant team to undertake detailed design
• negotiating a shared use land agreement with Metrolinx
• negotiations with affected private properties
• negotiations with existing utility infrastructure owners regarding relocations
• working with community stakeholders and local councillors who have been critical in this problem solving exercise and process
What is Detailed Design?
Detailed design will include: asphalt pavement surfaces, fencing, lighting, urban design and plantings. Refining four pedestrian-cyclist bridges over the Barrie GO Rail Corridor and over Lansdowne Avenue, Brock Street and Queen Street are included within the detailed design scope. This phase will also produce detailed design drawings including construction standards and specifications, a Construction Management Plan, Environmental Monitoring Plan and Trail Operations and Maintenance Plans.
A number of permits and approvals will be secured prior to trail construction. Acts, regulations and City by-laws that may need to be adhered to will be incorporated into the design, including the Migratory Birds Convention Act, Ontario Heritage Act and Noise Control By-law, amongst others. In addition, where the proposed trail route intercepts public utilities, review and approvals will be required from Metrolinx and utility companies including Hydro One and Enbridge Gas.
Opportunities to Get Involved
There will be two planned public events to provide project updates and receive feedback. The first event will take place during design and the second will be hosted prior to construction.
Several meetings will be scheduled with key stakeholders including property owners, community organizations and residents to discuss topics such as access points to the Railpath Extension, safety, lighting, and planting. We will keep you updated as the dates are finalized.
The City will also be seeking advice from the Design Review Panel (DRP) whose mandate is to assist City Council in fulfilling Official Plan objectives by providing City staff with professional design advice on public and private developments. The project team first presented to the DRP on September 18, 2013. The City and Metrolinx will be going back to the DRP to seek advice on the multi-use trail design for the Railpath.
Dufferin Bridge Connection Completed
You may notice an exciting connection to the future Railpath Extension which has recently been completed at Dufferin Street. An access ramp, seating areas and future Railpath bridge across Dufferin Street were completed in June 2017 in combination with the railway bridge expansion. The seating area will open shortly, and the ramp and observation area on the bridge will open as soon as the new Pessoa Park on the East side of Dufferin is completed in the spring of 2018.
Railpath and Metrolinx Track Expansion (north of Dundas) Update
As many of you know, Metrolinx RER track expansion on the Kitchener corridor will affect the existing Railpath, which runs north from Dundas Street West. The City of Toronto is currently evaluating the proposal by Metrolinx to ensure minimal impact to the Railpath. Metrolinx will present their plans at a public meeting. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
For more information about this project, contact:
City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry & Recreation – Project Coordinator Landscape Architect
You can contact City staff anytime with questions or comments about the Railpath Extension project.
Sr. Public Consultation Coordinator
We will continue to keep you posted as the project schedule progresses along with opportunities for public input.
Here is the updated project web page with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) which you may find of interest:
Don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any further questions about this project or another municipal matter.
Councillor Gord Perks
Ward 14, Parkdale High-Park
100 Queen Street West, Suite A14
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Any project where community input has a chance of being heard is a source of inspiration for me, and I believe for other residents also (but I cannot speak for anybody except myself; I am offering my own sense of how things work).