BY SANDRA FARINA
Metrolinx is moving forward with its plan for a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system along Finch Ave. On July 9, Metrolinx hosted a public open house at the Julius Banquet Centre at 2201 Finch Ave W in order to present its plans for the proposed light rail vehicle maintenance and storage facility (MSF) to be located on a 20-acre parcel of land east of Hwy 400 on the north side of Finch Ave, between Norfinch Dr and York Gate Blvd.
The Emery Village Business Improvement Area (EVBIA) staff attended the open house on behalf of the business community along with some business owners to express concerns with the current design of the LRT and to advocate for the EVBIA’s position to bury a portion of the LRT.
Should the proposed MSF be built according to the plans, the EVBIA wants assurances that it will not impede the ability to build a portion of the LRT underground between the CPR bridge, just east of Weston Road, to Jayzel Rd.
The EVBIA is opposed to the current design of the LRT because it will increase vehicular traffic congestion and travel times and is therefore advocating for a change to the design. The EVBIA’s efforts thus far have not gone unnoticed and we thank all of you that have attended meetings and written to Metrolinx, your MPP and local Councillor in support of our position.
Metrolinx staff has acknowledged the concerns of the EVBIA with respect to the current design of the LRT and has made a commitment to work with the EVBIA to mitigate those concerns while working within the allocated $1 Billion budget.
While this is a positive step forward, the EVBIA is not confident that any mitigating measures other than burying a portion of the LRT under the Finch Ave and Weston Rd intersection will satisfactorily address the issue of traffic congestion in this community without compromising the effective movement of goods and services to and from one of Canada’s largest industrial parks. And for this, more provincial funding is required. For this reason, we will continue to advocate strongly in favour of an underground LRT at this intersection and encourage all business owners and residents to join us.
Visit the EVBIA website at www.emeryvillagebia.com to send a strong message to Metrolinx and our local politicians. If you have questions or wish to become more active with our advocacy efforts, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (416) 744-7242.