Etobicoke councillor calls for new subway station
Milczyn to ask for environmental assessment
Sep. 8, 2006
A new subway station could be in the cards for the East Mall/Dundas Street West area if local Ward 5 Councillor Peter Milczyn (Etobicoke Lakeshore) gets his way.
Milczyn will be asking city staff to cost out an environmental assessment (EA) for a subway extension of the Bloor-Danforth line from Islington Station to a new East Mall station. The updated EA would be the city's first step in the long journey toward extending the subway deeper into Etobicoke.
But Milczyn insists that the subway extension, which is not high on the TTC's list of expansion projects, has more going for it than that because of two massive developments being proposed near the intersection combined with SNC-Lavalin's impending purchase of the Islington Station on which to build its new headquarters.
That means, said Milczyn, that the city will have to spend about $45 million to build a new regional bus terminal at Kipling Station by 2011 or 2012. Combine that with the fact that two major landowners in the East Mall/Dundas area are submitting redevelopment proposals totalling about 5,000 units, and are offering up land on which to build a subway station, and Milczyn said the plan to extend the subway just a short distance starts to look a lot more viable.
"These applications are willing to dedicate lands to the city for a subway right of way - obviously an exchange for density is what they want, but that's a huge part of the expense in building a subway - land acquisition," he said.
"So you can acquire the land for free, and we're going to the province in the next two or three years asking for $45 million to pay for a new bus facility; it makes sense to nail this down so we can go to the province and instead of asking for $45 million we can ask for $145 million."
Milczyn will be asking for a price tag on the EA at the Wednesday, Sept. 13 Etobicoke and York Community Council meeting, and he's hoping to have an answer by Toronto Council at the end of the month.
If council debates the subway request, it will be the third subway plan that councillors have considered this year.
The TTC is poised to begin building a subway extension to York University and beyond with provincial and possibly federal help. And last month, councillors in Scarborough studied and ultimately rejected the possibility of replacing the aging Scarborough SRT with a full-scale subway.
Milczyn pointed out that the Etobicoke subway extension is relatively modest compared to those two proposals.
"But in terms of the impact it would have in Etobicoke, it's massive," he said. "Hundreds of Mississauga transit buses would be off our roads, potentially hundreds of other commuter vehicles would be off our roads - it would have a big impact on those communities in Etobicoke," he said.
"It would spur development and intensification and let us start to implement the province's smart growth plan."