“Mayor John Tory voted in favour of allowing residential homes to be built next to a GO Transit maintenance yard at the urging of allied Etobicoke councillors, ignoring the chief planner’s warning that the move threatens the mayor’s own signature SmartTrack transit plans.
“Both senior city staff and officials from the provincial transit arm Metrolinx warned council that changes to allow residential development on a sliver of employment lands (zoned for industrial, commercial and institutional use) next to the rail facility in south Etobicoke would affect provincial plans for expanded, electrified GO service known as Regional Express Rail (RER).
“Those expansion plans are directly linked to Tory’s own chief campaign promise to create a localized heavy-rail service using existing GO rail tracks, with additional stations in Toronto, which he calls SmartTrack.
“The Willowbrook yard is a critical, critical facility for delivering on RER and SmartTrack,” the city’s chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat told council Wednesday. “In the absence of the opportunity to expand that facility, it is very difficult to, in fact, expand the transit uses along our heavy rail corridors in the region.” …
Contact your Councillor and the Mayor about their ruling for developers over building transit infrastructure.