In this issue:

  • Ministry of Environment and Climate Change decision on the Metrolinx Overpass TPAP
  • BIG on Bloor: A successful weekend at the Festival
  • Key takeaways from the first meeting of the Metrolinx Community Advisory Committee

On August 2, the Davenport Diamond Overpass project received a "Notice to Proceed" from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. This notice is not subject to any conditions, nor does it call for any further consideration of impacts to the human environment. It simply gives Metrolinx permission to proceed, on the presumption that they will eventually resolve all outstanding community concerns with the project.

To many, this Notice to Proceed is not just disappointing news, but a continuing reflection of the Province's disregard for community concerns in decisions surrounding this project. It also highlights the need to continue to hold Metrolinx and the Province to account on all concerning aspects of the project.

From our petition this June outlining community concerns and priorities that garnered over 2000 signatures; to communications with key project decision-makers, including our local elected government representatives and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change; to engaging on the issues as a community at the BIG on Bloor festival; to participation on the Metrolinx Community Advisory Committee: 

All of these are proof that our community is not going to let this project go ahead without a fight for what matters to us.

Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this fight, and continues to be as we move forward. It takes a community!

With best wishes,
The Options For Davenport Team

Options co-founders Sam and Laura, on behalf of Options for Davenport, accepting an award of community service from Councillor Ana Bailao at the 2016 BIG on Bloor Festival. 

BIG on Bloor: A successful weekend at the Festival

On July 23/24, our group hosted a table at the annual arts and culture festival BIG on Bloor. Over the weekend, we had the chance to speak with hundreds of visitors about some of the most pressing issues relating to the overpass project as it currently stands, including:

  • noise and vibration mitigation;
  • commitments from Metrolinx to invest in a connected network of multi-use trails (there is potential for a network up to 15km, but their current plan is only for 1.5km);
  • design excellence considerations; and
  • an unconditional approval of the promised GO station at Bloor/Lansdowne (currently, the approval is contingent on the City building a weatherproof connection from the station to Lansdowne subway). 

If you were one of those visitors- thanks for stopping by!

Thanks to those who supported our fundraising efforts to cover our operating expenses (printing, renting the festival space, etc) through our raffle- and congratulations to our winners! Thanks also to the local businesses who generously supported us through in-kind donations, including:
  • Cafe Neon (donated a gift card prize for our raffle)
  • D-Beatstro (donated a gift card prize for our raffle)
  • Brock Sandwich (donated a gift card prize for our raffle)
  • Town The Store (donated a gift bag of goodies for our raffle)
  • Paris Bakery (for donating delicious custard tarts for us to share with visitors to our table)

We were also honoured to receive an award of recognition for our work in the community, presented to us by Councillor Ana Bailao. We appreciate the recognition, and will certainly keep striving to provide a voice for the community on the development issues that matter to us here in Davenport.

Key takeaways from the first meeting of the Metrolinx Community Advisory Committee

On July 14, Metrolinx hosted the first in a series of 5 meetings of their Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The key objectives of the CAC, as outlined by Metrolinx, are to build a shared understanding of project opportunities and constraints, and to develop the project with input from the community. The meeting was a chance for CAC members to introduce themselves and to shape the agenda for future meetings.

Key takeaways from this first meeting are as follows:

  • Francois Baillorge from Ubisoft raised concerns about noise and vibration mitigation, and these became a major topic of discussion as multiple other meeting attendees raised related concerns. Metrolinx agreed to bring in an expert to describe what noise and vibration mitigation technology exists for the overpass, and to describe how it works.
  • Kevin Putnam of the Junction Triangle Rail Committee voiced a demand for an international design competition. Metrolinx explained that the design for the bridge will be a tender to the public, based on a qualification-based procurement process, and that the CAC will have a role in holding the designer to agreed-upon deliverables (based on community input).
  • Metrolinx explained two key design limitations for the overpass:that it must be concrete, and that it must be able to carry freight traffic in the event that CP needs to use the line in an emergency.
  • Laura Zeglen from Options for Davenport asked about funding for the public realm aspects of this project, and Metrolinx confirmed that the $210M budget for the project combines both the bridge and public realm, and that they do not plan to create a separate budget for the public realm.
  • Robyn Doolittle asked for clarification on the numbers we are working with when we discuss design possibilities, and Metrolinx agreed to bring these numbers to the next meeting.

The draft agenda for the next meeting of the CAC includes discussion of the design brief, programming of the public realm, and possible partnerships and stewardship models for the public realm space. Options for Davenport plans to gather community feedback on these pieces before and after this meeting, to represent the community voice on these pieces.

The Metrolinx CAC is made up of the following members:
Options For Davenport (Laura Zeglen; alternates Erin Pleet and Sam Barbieri)
Junction Triangle Rail Committee (Kevin Putnam; alternate Richard Mongiat)
Davenport Village Community Association (Matt Park)
Bloor Improvement Group (Marjolein Winterink)
Cyle TO Ward 18 (Rodney Merchant)
Dupont Improvement Group (Donna Cowan)
Friends of the West Toronto Rail Path (Scott Dobson)
Green Line/Park People (Jake Tobin Garrett)
Toronto Community Housing Tenant rep (TBD)
TPS 11 Division (Constable Steven Moniz)
Metrolinx Davenport Diamond Residents' Reference Panel members (James DeMonte, Immie Manthei)
Bloordale BIA (Liza Lukashevsky)
Ubisoft (Francois Baillorge)
Bloor West Annex Homeowners Association (Rob Gomes)
Foundry Lofts Condo Board (Suzanne McKeag)
At large public members (Robyn Doolittle, Andrew Hladkyj, Ferris Grant)

Options For Davenport is a grassroots organization run 100% by volunteers. Our mandate is to engage our community around proposed local developments, including the Metrolinx Davenport Diamond Rail Overpass. We welcome your thoughts and ideas- and we are always looking for volunteers to join us!
Copyright © 2016 Options for Davenport, All rights reserved.

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Options for Davenport · 104-30 Elsie Lane · Toronto, Ontario M6P3N9 · Canada

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