News   May 07, 2021
 251     0 
News   May 07, 2021
 558     1 
News   May 06, 2021
 576     0 

Ontario Line (was Relief Line South, in Design)

TheTigerMaster

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
12,962
Reaction score
5,915
Location
Best Toronto
To provide some geographic context: it's really easy to say that the MSF would be replacing some warehouses, so this shouldn't be a big deal to the community. However, the proposed MSF is located right in the heart of this community, directly across the street from East York Town Center. This is an area that is really busy with families, especially in the summer.

Some screenshots, from the perspective of someone walking west on Overlea from Thorncliffe Park Drive (Beth Nelson Drive)

1. The MSF would not front Overlea until about one block west of here. If you zoom in on the image, the MSF would begin to front Overlea just after the next set of traffic lights

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 5.30.17 PM.png


2. This is the Overlea entrance to the Costco parking lot, about a block west of the previous image. The MSF would be directly on Overlea, just beyond the Costco building

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 5.43.36 PM.png


Looking to the left at the same location, you can see East York Town Center. Again, I cannot emphasize enough how busy this area is with pedestrians and families, especially the in summer. This image really doesn't covey how busy this part of the community is.

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 5.44.36 PM.png


4. The MSF would begin to front Overlea maybe 20 metres west of here. In the second image, you can again see the East York Town Centre. Take note of the apartment buildings adjacent to East York Town Centre.

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 5.47.01 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 5.47.07 PM.png


5. This location is immediately east of Overlea and Thorncliffe Park Drive (West). The MSF would occupy the north-eastern corner of this intersection (aka, where the bus shelter is in the third location). Take note of the rather large apartment building on the south-west corner of the intersection. They will have a lot to say about this MSF.

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 5.51.12 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 5.51.17 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 5.51.21 PM.png
 

TheTigerMaster

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
12,962
Reaction score
5,915
Location
Best Toronto
To provide some geographic context: it's really easy to say that the MSF would be replacing some warehouses, so this shouldn't be a big deal to the community. However, the proposed MSF is located right in the heart of this community, directly across the street from East York Town Center. This is an area that is really busy with families, especially in the summer.

Some screenshots, from the perspective of someone walking west on Overlea from Thorncliffe Park Drive (Beth Nelson Drive)

1. The MSF would not front Overlea until about one block west of here. If you zoom in on the image, the MSF would begin to front Overlea just after the next set of traffic lights

View attachment 311623

2. This is the Overlea entrance to the Costco parking lot, about a block west of the previous image. The MSF would be directly on Overlea, just beyond the Costco building

View attachment 311624

Looking to the left at the same location, you can see East York Town Center. Again, I cannot emphasize enough how busy this area is with pedestrians and families, especially the in summer. This image really doesn't covey how busy this part of the community is.

View attachment 311626

4. The MSF would begin to front Overlea maybe 20 metres west of here. In the second image, you can again see the East York Town Centre. Take note of the apartment buildings adjacent to East York Town Centre.

View attachment 311627
View attachment 311628

5. This location is immediately east of Overlea and Thorncliffe Park Drive (West). The MSF would occupy the north-eastern corner of this intersection (aka, where the bus shelter is in the third location). Take note of the rather large apartment building on the south-west corner of the intersection. They will have a lot to say about this MSF.

View attachment 311629
View attachment 311630
View attachment 311631

MX has set themselves up for a hell of a fight here. I would not want this MSF here if I lived in any of the adjacent apartment blocks. The local councillors will in all likelihood oppose this MSF location.

Some compromise options MX should already be looking at:

1. Build the MSF underground, with either parkland or buildings on top (residential, commercial, public buildings, etc...). An underground MSF might not be as expensive as it might sound, as a simple deck over shouldn't be too expensive (relatively speaking).
2. Moving TTC's Greenwood operations to Obico Yard, and use Greenwood as the MSF for the Ontario Line.

I'd expect the underground MSF to be the quickest and cheapest option of the two. Moving to Greenwood would necessitate building two new yards and reconfiguring the neighbouring OL alignments.

Edit: Another option is moving the MSF to the north side of the rail corridor.
 
Last edited:

TheTigerMaster

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
12,962
Reaction score
5,915
Location
Best Toronto
Putting aside the obvious and valid conners around the mosques, putting the MSF in the centre of a low income community is really, really bad optics for MX. Further MX and the Province have burned so many bridges that constructive engagement on this issue is going to be very difficult.

This has all the hallmarks of a small issue with potential to derail the whole project. I hope MX knows that they're doing here. Bullying this community is not in their interest.

'Center of a low income community' is a bit of a stretch. It is on industrial zoned land alongside a rail and hydro corridor. It is on the edge of the neighborhood in an area that was never going to have mixed residential. I could argue that using this location, building the obico yard, and downsizing Greenwood would be the best path forward. The Greenwood location is much better for building higher density affordable housing.
The MSF is proposed to be across the street from East York Town Centre, which effectively serves as the community hub for the surrounding residential towers.
 

44 North

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
3,525
Reaction score
1,922
Location
Ward 28
I still think this is the best location. Maybe something interesting could be to stack the yard to reduce its acreage. But otherwise this general area seems ok for a yard.
 

toronto647

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
184
Reaction score
354
To be fair, Metrolinx just put up a blog post announcing this yesterday. I'm certain we'll hear far more about this in the next weeks.
Let's see how long it takes for the major news outlets to pick this up. To expropriate 2-3 mosques and vibrant community cultural hubs should be reported on within 48-72 hours imo. MX wouldn't have dared doing this any other affluent area.
 

tsm1072

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
82
Reaction score
234
The MSF is proposed to be across the street from East York Town Centre, which effectively serves as the community hub for the surrounding residential towers.
Yes, it definitely is near the center of the community, but it is being built at the edge, not in the center. I think they need to avoid expropriating the Mosque at 20 Overlea, and should ensure the MSF is setback from Overlea enough that businesses or a park can fill the gap. Based on their drawing, it seems like it will be setback enough for that. Both the Greenwood and Davisville yards are proof that an MSF near a community is not an issue. It's not like the buildings will be much taller than the warehouse-style buildings that already occupy the site.

There isn't much industrial land adjacent to the line to fit an MSF, this is the unfortunate trade-off with any new urban transit project.
 

W. K. Lis

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2007
Messages
19,128
Reaction score
8,101
Location
Toronto, ON, CAN, Terra, Sol, Milky Way
Yes, it definitely is near the center of the community, but it is being built at the edge, not in the center. I think they need to avoid expropriating the Mosque at 20 Overlea, and should ensure the MSF is setback from Overlea enough that businesses or a park can fill the gap. Based on their drawing, it seems like it will be setback enough for that. Both the Greenwood and Davisville yards are proof that an MSF near a community is not an issue. It's not like the buildings will be much taller than the warehouse-style buildings that already occupy the site.

There isn't much industrial land adjacent to the line to fit an MSF, this is the unfortunate trade-off with any new urban transit project.
They could incorporate the (larger) mosque, community centre, and MSF offices, along with expanded housing, if done right.
 

TheTigerMaster

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
12,962
Reaction score
5,915
Location
Best Toronto
Yes, it definitely is near the center of the community, but it is being built at the edge, not in the center. I think they need to avoid expropriating the Mosque at 20 Overlea, and should ensure the MSF is setback from Overlea enough that businesses or a park can fill the gap. Based on their drawing, it seems like it will be setback enough for that. Both the Greenwood and Davisville yards are proof that an MSF near a community is not an issue. It's not like the buildings will be much taller than the warehouse-style buildings that already occupy the site.

There isn't much industrial land adjacent to the line to fit an MSF, this is the unfortunate trade-off with any new urban transit project.
The edge of the community also happens to be the centre of the community.

A geographic overview of the community:

1. Red is essentially the extent of the community, as far as its residents would be concerned (the City may have a different definition). The main road is Overlea Blvd, with major businesses and community facilities located on the north side of Overlea, and East York Town Centre to the south (EYTC). The area to the south is entirely high-rise residential.
2. East York Town Centre (the centre of the community) is highlighted in blue
3. Places of worship are marked with the pins. Again, notice that they're all north of Overlea, despite it being on the "edge" of the community.
4. The MSF location is in green. Notice that it is immediately adjacent to East York Town Centre.

We can debate all day whether the MSF is in the edge or centre (hint: its in both), but regardless, community members are going to be justifiably upset about this development, and MX is going to have to navigate that if this project is to proceed.

I would strongly urge MX to consider putting the MSF underground with a park overbuild. This would make the MSF a net positive for the community. A traditional MSF (say, similar to the ECLRT MSF) is going to be a slap in the face to residents here. Especially given that if this were a more affluent community, I doubt MX and others would be fine with the MSF location, even if it were at the "edge" of the community.

Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 8.20.50 PM.png


Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 8.20.33 PM.png
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 8.06.17 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 8.06.17 PM.png
    2.5 MB · Views: 14
Last edited:

W. K. Lis

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2007
Messages
19,128
Reaction score
8,101
Location
Toronto, ON, CAN, Terra, Sol, Milky Way
The edge of the community also happens to be the centre of the community.

A geographic overview of the community:

1. Red is essentially the extent of the community, as far as its residents would be concerned (the City may have a different definition). The main road is Overlea Blvd, with major businesses and community facilities located on the north side of Overlea, and East York Town Centre to the south (EYTC). The area to the south is entirely high-rise residential.
2. East York Town Centre (the centre of the community) is highlighted in blue
3. Places of worship are marked with the pins. Again, notice that they're all north of Overlea, despite it being on the "edge" of the community.
4. The MSF location is in green. Notice that it is immediately adjacent to East York Town Centre.

We can debate all day whether the MSF is in the edge or centre (hint: its in both), but regardless, community members are going to be justifiably upset about this development, and MX is going to have to navigate that if this project is to proceed.

I would strongly urge MX to consider putting the MSF underground with a park overbuild. This would make the MSF a net positive for the community. A traditional MSF (say, similar to the ECLRT MSF) is going to be a slap in the face to residents here. Especially given that if this were a more affluent community, I doubt MX and others would be fine with the MSF location, even if it were at the "edge" of the community.

View attachment 311682

View attachment 311681
They could also put up signs (in almost all the languages) asking for people to sign up for employment on the building project. If they don't sign up, look elsewhere and don't complain about lack of jobs.
 

TheTigerMaster

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
12,962
Reaction score
5,915
Location
Best Toronto
They could incorporate the (larger) mosque, community centre, and MSF offices, along with expanded housing, if done right.
This is the centre of one of Toronto's densest communities, which will have incredible access to rapid transit. Exploring intensification over the MSF is absolutely the right move.

(Now I'll point out that the last time that MX offered a community centre in exchange for MSF, MX unilaterally canceled that community centre, and only reversed course in exchange in response to community outcry. After that awesome display of integrity from MX, who knows how trusting people will be this time around).
 
Last edited:

Coolstar

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
1,147
Reaction score
2,059
Location
Toronto
An interesting find from Metrolinx's OL newsletter. According to them, construction on the MSF begins in 2023. And Metrolinx will work with the impacted property owners to relocate them somewhere else.

1618020662512.png
 

superelevation

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
188
Reaction score
374
Quick estimate of impact. Takes out several large industrial buildings along Banigan Drive, a self storage facility along Beth Nealson, as well as the abandoned former Leaside rail station. I wonder how much of the original Art Deco structure is left under the horrible renovations.

Agreed this is looking like a PR disaster in the making. Should have stuck it at their original location on the east side of Beth Nealson, which is away from community assets and kills only a handful of businesses.

View attachment 311462

Why did MX move away from the MSF location on the east side of Beth Nealson?
Look at the Hydro Lines and Valley, remember Kipling Station?
Just for clarification, That's exactly what they did! Here's some context.

View attachment 311606
From 2012-2015, the mosque owners were scouting for another location for the mosque. They believed that the smaller mosque (4 Thorncliffe) won't be able to fulfill the needs of the community and surroundings for the current and future generations, so with fundraising and support, they were able to purchase the property on 20 Overlea Blvd for 11.3 million dollars in 2018. This was previously a cosmetic factory, and in 2020, they had it up with safety protocols and running with the community/sport facilities still under development. From their website:

EXPANSION PROJECT: In Feb. 2018, we purchased a new property in the Thorncliffe Park area (20 Overlea Blvd.) located very close to our current location, which will serve as an expansion to our current Prayer facility, Madrasah & School and will also serve as a new community Center for the growing Muslim population in the Thorncliffe Park, Flemington and St. Dennis area. This facility will also be providing youth in our community with a much needed sporting facility.

The community has outgrown its current facility and currently run programs 7 days a week, day and evening, however we still have an increasing demand for space, in the existing facility for congregants, School, Madrasah and basic Community needs.


So this is not just a mosque, it will become a significant hub in the Thorncliffe area, actually, it already is. You know how sad it is to fundraise, negotiate and just barely purchase the property, and construct the mosque only to have it be all gone. Metrolinx must work with the community to find a solution that can work with us. This ain't no riverdale controversy, it's a gut punch to our vulnerable and important community and we deserve better.
Your map shows the new bright green building not conflicting with the yard? So they take the old building but not the new one?
 

superelevation

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
188
Reaction score
374
Reading all this, I think Metrolinx must be aware of the optics of taking these places of worship they do have decent comms people (AMA replies to people on Twitter all the time). It seems from the map provided by H4F33Z that the new location won't be expropriated but will be south of the yard?
 

toronto647

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
184
Reaction score
354
Reading all this, I think Metrolinx must be aware of the optics of taking these places of worship they do have decent comms people (AMA replies to people on Twitter all the time). It seems from the map provided by H4F33Z that the new location won't be expropriated but will be south of the yard?
Based on his map 2/3 mosques will be expropriated but not the new one. However, imagine a whole new train depot the size of "24 Soccer Fields" being built beside your mosque. Plus they may also require some of the space for a bus station loop which still hasn't been positioned on the map. It will likely require the parking lot of the new mosque at minimum. i.e. the space behind the number 2 on the map.
thorncliffepark.jpeg
thornc.png
 

Top