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Toronto Zoo Developments

Northern Light

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#16
Very good questions! There was once a proposed Highway 48 bypass (sometimes known as Highway 448), but that was planned for an alignment further west. Traces of it can be seen in Malvern and Morningside Heights; it would have intersected the 401 at an interchange near Conlins Road, and continue north into Markham following 9th Line (the Donald Cousins Parkway follows some of that alignment). Apart from ROW protection, there wasn't any work towards it; that would have been a provincial project.

I've never seen any plans for major expansion of Meadowvale Road. The diamond interchange might have been built to accommodate traffic queuing into the zoo parking lots; sometimes it's still useful for that purpose despite lower zoo attendance. Traffic can easily be diverted to overflow lots by staff or police, better than if there was simply a left turn into the main entrance.
Highway 448, or variously the Morningside expressway was to follow the Morningside Avenue alignment/proposed alignment which would have skirted the western side of the Rouge Valley.

I can't see any obvious reason for the interchange other what you have postulated.

It's too far south for a straight-line Finch that was once contemplated.

I can't see an obvious east-west corridor than Zoo Rd. might have been plugged into, nor any use for further widening/grade-separating Meadowvale.
 

Johnny Au

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#18
Looks like the Swiss Challenge RFP went unanswered, so the zoo is moving ahead with Magnovate's proposal. Interestingly enough, Magnovate is part of a consortium with Stantec, so expect their designs here if it goes ahead.

https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/zb/bgrd/backgroundfile-121837.pdf
Magna International is part of the consortium.

It would be interesting that if the Maglev operation becomes successful, Magna could begin constructing rail vehicles. Magna would bring Bombardier Transportation to its knees.
 

Tulse

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#19
What's silly is that maglev is completely unnecessary overkill for this particular application. I suppose it's fine if the Zoo gets the system built for free, but it's a bit like if they made their zoo shuttle buses out of Lamborghinis.
 
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#20
I can't see why anyone except train fanatics would pay for the train ride on top of the zoo admission. I think it would work better by just raising the zoo price by $5 for everyone. I wonder if this would also mean that the Canadian Domain wouldn't be moving afterall.
 

Richard White

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#21
As someone who has walked down the Monorail track a few years ago I can say there are a few areas where the monorail is advantageous. The monorail was designed to take people through inaccessible areas of the zoo.

As a child, I took the Monorail through the zoo and saw things you would not see anymore. The Bison pen for example is only accessible by Monorail much like the moose and grizzly bears.

I can see people paying to ride the train if the price is right and you follow a similar format to the original monorail.
 

Big Daddy

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#23
The zoo is probably five times the size of Southcore and Cityplace. It may be bigger than the Portlands. There's a good reason it is where it is.

I miss elephants the most.
Agreed, one of the biggest reasons I went to the zoo was to see the elephants. I haven't been back since they left.
 

Richard White

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#24
Agreed, one of the biggest reasons I went to the zoo was to see the elephants. I haven't been back since they left.
I was there in the summer and it was a waste of money. Most of the animals were off exhibit in the pavilions and there was not much to see in terms of what was left.

The Zoo was better 20 years ago. Now they are so low on funds it is only a matter of time before it closes.
 

44 North

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#25
I was there in the summer and it was a waste of money. Most of the animals were off exhibit in the pavilions and there was not much to see in terms of what was left.

The Zoo was better 20 years ago. Now they are so low on funds it is only a matter of time before it closes.
I hadn't been to the zoo since I was a kid, and knowing lowering attendance trends was expecting a sorry state. Had actually grumbled about this as a reason why I didn't want to go for years. Well this summer was pleasantly surprised - seemed in excellent condition and it was money well spent! And the animals were way more visible that I remembered.

I'm more reserved on being excited about the Magnovate proposal. The Zoo was designed around a train system, and the existence of some kind of Domain Ride seems integral to its success. But I also don't know if this is actually happening, or it's a plan to *maybe* happen pending later approval.
 

Richard White

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#27
even if it does happen, at $12 a ride, it'll just be a boutique attraction, not a core way to move around the zoo.
I think it will be a way to move around the zoo. Keep in mind there are still various stations spread throughout the zoo. Main, Americas, Africa and Domain I believe. The Domain station along with the main station are still accessible while the Americas and Africa stations are not.

The trackbed is cut off near Africa though, it is severed and runs into the dirt. There are still animal care stations located in the valley too.

See here for an article on the monorail that I co-wrote with James Bow: https://transit.toronto.on.ca/spare/0022.shtml
 
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#28
I think it will be a way to move around the zoo. Keep in mind there are still various stations spread throughout the zoo. Main, Americas, Africa and Domain I believe. The Domain station along with the main station are still accessible while the Americas and Africa stations are not.

The trackbed is cut off near Africa though, it is severed and runs into the dirt. There are still animal care stations located in the valley too.
There were three: Main Station (which is now used for Zoomobile loading), Americas (which still exists, though is inaccessible to the public now), and Weston Station in the Canadian Domain (the public can still access part of the station, though the platform is chained off). The guideway is gone for much of the section between Main and Americas stations, though some of it is now a service road, though most elevated sections remain intact.
 

maxt797

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#29

Richard White

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#30
There were three: Main Station (which is now used for Zoomobile loading), Americas (which still exists, though is inaccessible to the public now), and Weston Station in the Canadian Domain (the public can still access part of the station, though the platform is chained off). The guideway is gone for much of the section between Main and Americas stations, though some of it is now a service road, though most elevated sections remain intact.
Realistically however they would need to rebuild the infrastructure. I walked along the guideway in 2012 and it is deteriorating in spots. All the electrical bits have been removed and I believe the guideway was built to work with the trains. It is an RT style trains where you would need trains to fit the guideway if you wanted to reuse it.