Prepared by Lura Consulting - August 2010

This summary report was prepared by Lura Consulting.  It captures the key comments raised during the July 28, 2010 Meeting.  It is not intended to be a verbatim transcript.   If you have any questions or  comments regarding  the summary, please contact:

Leslie Barns Community Office
1258 Queen Street E., Toronto
416.981.7360
lesliebarns@ttc.ca

Jim Faught
Lura Consulting
416-410-3888 x 5
jfaught@lura.ca

1 Introduction

 

1.1 Background

New maintenance and storage facilities must be added to Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operations to accommodate new streetcars and enhance transit service for the community. One of those facilities to support existing streetcar routes will be in the City’s southeast end so streetcars can access it from the Queen Street East streetcar tracks.

In December 2009, Toronto City Council approved a settlement with the Toronto Port Authority to transfer ownership of the selected Ashbridges property to the City for TTC use and the TTC Commission approved the use of this property for their streetcar maintenance and storage facility. One hundred new, accessible streetcars will be stored at the Ashbridges Bay Fleet Maintenance and Storage Facility to be built at the southeast corner of Lake Shore Boulevard and Leslie Street. On June 9, 2010, Toronto City Council approved the Ashbridges Bay site and connection tracks on Leslie Street.

The Ashbridges facility is to be completed in 2013 in time for the delivery of the first 36 streetcars. The new storage facilities will be built to Toronto Green Development Standards, and staff will follow best practices to ensure the site is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Notice of Commencement of the Transit Project Assessment Process for the Ashbridges Bay
Fleet Mainteance and Storage Faciltiy was issued on June 24, 2010.

 

1.2 July 28 Public Meeting

The TTC hosted a public meeting on July 28, 2010 at the Toronto Fire and EMS Training Centre (895 Eastern Avenue, Toronto) to discuss all aspects of the Transit Project Assessment Process. A summary of the meeting is provided in Appendix A.

 

2 Public Notification

The following section lists the methods used to notify stakeholders about the Ashbridges Bay Maintenance and Storage Facility Notice of Commencement of the Transit Project Assessment Process and subsequent public meeting held on July 28, 2010. Copies of notifications are provided in Appendix B.


2.1 TTC Mailings / Notifications

  • The Notice of Commencement of the Transit Project Asssessment was published in the Beaches Mirror on June 24 and July 8, 2010. It was also published in The Metro on June 24, 2010.
  • On June 22, 2010, notices were mailed to all property owners within 40 metres of the site and connecting tracks on Leslie Street.
  • On June 22, 2010, an additional 18,379 notices were delivered within the area of Kingston Road and Gerrard Street to the north, Lee Avenue to the east, Logan Avenue to the west, and south to the lake.
  • On June 22, 2010, notices were mailed and emailed to all who had expressed interest in the project to date (848).
  • Additional public meeting notices were delivered first class mail on July 14, 2010, to everyone within 40 m of the project as well as to all those who expressed interest in the project to date (848).
  • Agencies were sent notices of Commencement on June 22, 2010, and additional notices of the Public Meeting on July 14, 2010.


2.2 First Nations

  • A letter was sent to the Director of the MOE regarding First Nations consultation for the project on June 23, 2010.
  • Notification was sent to: INAC – Specific Claims, LMRB, and Comprehensive Claims, and the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.
  • Notice of Commencment of the Transit Project Assessment Process for the project was given to the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, all of the Williams Treaty First Nations, the Huron-Wendat First Nation, the Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation, and the Métis Nation of Ontario.  First Nation contact information was confirmed by the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and the MOE.  Each First Nation was specifically asked to advise of any interest they may have in the project so that TTC could follow-up directly.

 

3 Comments Received from the Public Meeting

A summary of all comments received is presented below. The comments are grouped by the questions asked on the worksheet provided at the meeting, followed by comments and questions received via email between July 28 and August 6, 2010, which are sorted by category.

 

3.1 How can the TTC best involve the community going forward (e.g., types of consultation, outreach)?

  • TTC representatives should use more visuals when answering questions.
  • Facilitation at public meetings should be improved.
  • The TTC’s Community Liaison Officer must make sure the needs of the community are addressed.
  • A definitive list of impacts to residents should be created, since it seems like homeowners are currently being left out. (Note: TTC indicated that meetings specific to homeowners’ concerns on Leslie Street were held on July 14 and 15, 2010. Minutes of these meetings are posted on the project website at http://www.toronto.ca/involved/projects/lrv/.)
  • Mitigation and communication are essential.
  • The TTC should train their presenters to be better speakers.

 

    3.2 Do you have any recommendations on minimizing community disruptions during construction of the Facility?

    • The community should be engaged through community events hosted by the TTC. Make it fun! (Note: TTC held outdoor “tent events” with representatives from each of the design teams for the landscape design competition on August 8 and 10, 2010.)
    • The TTC should offer free TTC tickets and tokens to families in the area.
    • Communication with the community regarding air quality issues during soil removal is essential. (Note: a presentation to the South Riverdale Community Health Centre regarding soil removal, including air quality testing, was posted on the project website on August 13, 2010.)
    • Use the quietest machinery available from anywhere in the world, even if it costs more.

     

    3.3 Do you have any recommendations on minimizing community disruptions during construction of the Leslie Street connection track?

    • Host a street festival.
    • Put up funky, creative signs updating people on your progress and the number of days left in project.
    • Adequate notice of any disruptions to parking or driveway access off Leslie Street should be given to residents.
    • Make parking available on both sides of Mosley and give Leslie Street residents that live between Eastern and Mosley free street parking.
    • Keep the sidewalks clear for pedestrians.

     

    3.4 Do you have additional comments/recommendations on the project (e.g., soil removal, noise, pedestrian/cyclist improvements, etc.)?

    • Show the community you care about it.
    • Be open and transparent.
    • Recruit street captains to represent their streets and provide the TTC feedback and suggestions.
    • Practice proactive monitoring over the long-term so residents don't need to harass the TTC.
    • Use marketing smarts and make Leslie Street an attractive and vibrant entrance to the waterfront and Tommy Thompson Park. Some example ideas include: innovative and delightful signs pointing the way to the waterfront, distinctive street lights, large hanging baskets, an arch at Queen and Leslie with bird motifs, and unique street signs.
    • Eccentric individuals should not be given a platform at the information meetings.
    • The Russell Yard should be decommissioned.
    • Connaught Avenue residents should be brought into the conversation as soon as possible.


    3.5 Comments and Questions Received Via Email

    3.5.1. Noise and Vibration
    ƒ Noise and vibration mitigation from the construction and operation of the connection track on Leslie Street is a primary concern to film operations on Eastern Avenue.
    ƒ A request was made for the slide from the meeting’s presentation that detailed the exact decibel levels of existing TTC equipment.
    ƒ A request was made for the maximum noise and vibration levels allowed on the new equipment and track.

    3.5.2. Other
    ƒ A request was made for information regarding the method of procurement for the project.
    ƒ Informational sessions about the Design Competition should not be held in the same week in the middle of the summer. (Note: TTC indicated they would prefer to hold public meetings in September, but that would delay all projects. All information for the design competition is posted online and available for comment until August 23, 2010.


    Questions:

    y Will mitigation measures for Connaught Avenue residents be on the meeting’s agenda? (Note: TTC indicated Transit Project Assessments are held for new Transit infrastructure. As a result, mitigation measures currently pertain only to the Ashbridges Bay Maintenance and Storage Facility and the connection track on Leslie Street. However, as soon as details are confirmed regarding any construction on Connaught and at the Russell Facility, residents will be notified and consulted.)

    y If Bombardier does not meet the maximum and noise and vibration levels for the new streetcars, what is the recourse? (Note: TTC indicated that for the new, custom-designed light rail vehicles (LRVs), all measures are being taken to ensure more rigourous noise and vibration specifications than for the “off-the-shelf” Bombardier LRVs. Specific mitigation measures will be implemented where required based on Ministry of Environment noise and vibration guidelines.)


    4 Questions and Answers


    The following is a summary of the questions, answers, and comments that arose during the meeting. They are categorized by topic. Questions are indicated with a Q, answers with an A, and Comments with a C, and do not necessarily appear in the order they were asked or stated. Answers were provided by the members from the Ashbridges Bay Maintenance and Storage Facility project team. Answers provided by the project after the public meeting are shown as notes in italics.


    4.1 Soil Contamination

    Q: Are dust control measures taking into account the fact that the soil being removed is contaminated?
    A: Yes. There will be ongoing monitoring of the soil removal process, which will include dust control and air quality monitoring.  Soil data, including all contaminants at the Ashbridges site, will be publicized on the project website for the the community. (Note: A specific soil summary presentation was requested by the South Riverdale Community Health Centre and was posted on the project website.)


    Q: How much soil is being removed, and what material will be used to cap the remaining soil after the removal process is complete?
    A: We are removing soil to approximately grade-level. Remaining soil will be capped, followed by concrete encasement for the tracks. The capping depth will be approximately 1.5 metres, which exceeds the standard capping guideline requirement of 0.5 metres.


    Q: Is it correct to assume that no shovels will be in the ground until the risk assessment on soil contamination is complete?
    A: Soil removal will not begin until submission and approval of an Environmental Project Report. The Environmental Project Report will contain information from

    the Phase II Environmental Site Assessment about subsurface investigation of the soil and groundwater below the mound as well as a waste characterization study that has been completed to assess the quality of the soil in the mound.  The tender for soil removal does not yet exist. Soil removal will not begin for approximately another 4 or 5 months.


    Q: Will there be threshold in the risk assessment for contaminated soil removal that, if surpassed, will force the facility to be located elsewhere?
    A: Preliminary data show that the contamination is well within the risk margins.  We will post soil contamination data publicly and use industry standards for strict dust control and air quality monitoring during construction. A significant investment is being made.


    C: When the eastern section of the Gardiner Expressway was removed, it was known that the removal of contaminated soil was necessary. A monitoring committee was set up in July 2002. The committee has been meeting with City staff ever since, even though they often drag their feet. To the TTC’s credit, the committee will be meeting with the TTC in the next few weeks. The committee has been trying to get signage on the northwest corner of Lake Shore Boulevard and Leslie Street to tell people about the contamination. (Note: Members of this Committee invited TTC to meet at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre on August 11, 2010 and the presentation is posted on the project website.)


    4.2 Noise and Vibration

    Q: You have stated that no prototype light rail vehicle (LRV) yet exists, so are we to assume that you will be testing the first one in our neighbourhood?
    A: Although a prototype does not yet exist, Bombardier has built many FLEXITY vehicles that are currently operating in Europe. We gathered preliminary data from these vehicles since the LRVs that TTC will use are similar to the FLEXITY vehicles. The specifications for the LRVs ordered by the TTC are such that they should be even quieter than current FLEXITY vehicles due to more rigorous specifications for noise and vibration.


    Q: You have stated that the LRVs should be quieter, but what are the maximum noise and vibration levels that the TTC will allow?
    A: The TTC has preliminary noise and vibration data gathered from current streetcars and also from Bombardier FLEXITY vehicles operating in Europe and Vancouver, which will be similar to those operating in Toronto.  The new LRVs have four levels of suspension, will be operating on rubber-mounted tracks, and are fitted with rubber-mounted axels. Essentially, they are going to be as quiet as a rail vehicle can possibly be. The specifications in the contract with Bombardier ensure that they will be as quiet as or quieter than current TTC vehicles and that they meet Ministry of Environment (MOE) standards.


    Q: What happens if noise thresholds are exceeded?
    A: The prototype vehicle will arrive in 2012, at which point we will test its decibel levels. If the vehicles add more than 5 decibels to ambient background noise levels, mitigation will be implemented.


    Q: Why are the decibel levels for the current streetcars not posted?
    A: TTC advised that this information is posted online from the specific presentation given to Leslie Street residents on July 15. (Note: Subsequent to the meeting, TTC indicated the direct website link: http://www.toronto.ca/involved/projects/lrv/pdf/leslie_street_mitigation.pdf.)


    Q: I am worried that vibration from the LRVs will negatively impact my residence’s foundation on Leslie Street over the long-term. What assurances do you give to help mitigate these problems over the long-term? Don’t forget about us!
    A: A motion was passed through the Toronto Transit Commission to designate Leslie Street a priority area for track maintenance. Additionally, vehicle maintenance will be more rigourous for the new LRVs even though they will be more reliable than current streetcars. LRV wheels will be measured and tested every six months. The TTC is paying a premium for the new wheels in order to minimize noise and vibration impacts. The LRV design is such that weight is better proportioned across the vehicle. Specific noise and vibration testing will be carried out for Leslie Street. Overall, our maintenance plans do consider the long-term.


    4.3 Landscape Design

    Q: What is the width of the greenspace around the site?
    A: The landscape competition area extends from the curb to the retaining wall. If you’re looking along Leslie Street, this width is about 18 metres. Along Lake Shore Boulevard, the width is about the same, between 15 and 18 metres. (Clarification note: The width of landscape area north of Commissioners Street from the retaining wall to the curb edge is approximately 40 m. From the retaining wall to Martin Goodman Trail along Leslie Street, the width is approximately 18 m.)


    Q: Will landscaping occur at the Russell / Connaught Yard?
    A: As stated by Councillor Bussin, issues regarding the Russell Yard will be addressed separately and at a later time than those related to Leslie Street, but they assuredly will be discussed as soon as possible.


    Q: How are jury members for the landscape design competition going to be held accountable for their decisions?
    A: The City of Toronto Urban Design division is overseeing the jury process. They will ensure the jury reviews all public comments submitted in a report before they make any decision.


    Q: Can Queen Street be incorporated into the landscape design competition as Leslie Street was?
    A: Queen Street is out of the project scope. (Note: TTC is pleased to confirm the winning design firm will be hired by TTC to examine streetscape improvements for Leslie Street as far north as Queen Street. This was the most common recommendation received from residents at our last community meeting in May, 2010.)


    4.4 Public Consultation Concerns

    Q: Can we still take our case against the site location chosen for the facility to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)?
    A: The project is undertaken according to the Transit Project Assessment Process. Once the Environmental Project Report is complete, there will be a 30 day period in which the public will be able to comment on it directly to the Minister of the Environment.  The Minister will look at comments related specifically to the natural environment and culture and heritage features. After the comments have been reviewed, the Minister can make one of three rulings. First, the minister may tell the TTC it can go ahead with the project with no revisions. Second, he may require the TTC to do further study and consultation. Third, he may give approval to the project but subject to certain conditions.


    There are no applications with respect to this project for third party appeal opportunities to the Ontario Municipal Board.  The site has been designated. The only application that has to be made, the site approval application, is as-of-right. The TTC secured a preliminary project review from the City of Toronto before starting with this project several months ago.  The TTC wanted to make sure the City had total compliance with the zoning law.


    Q: If the site location cannot be changed, why is the TTC even bothering to host this meeting?
    A: Although the process cannot incorporate public input into all aspects of the project, there are many cases where public input has influenced the direction of the project. At the very outset of the project, an Eastern Avenue location for the Facility was being investigated. Residents and businesses located near the Eastern Avenue site unanimously raised disapproval to this location, which was dropped.  Additionally, landscaping was originally allocated to only the greenspace surrounding the Facility and was to be designed in-house. The landscape design competition was a key recommendation from the community and the winning firm will now be hired to extend design improvements on Leslie Street to Queen Street.


    Access to Leslie Street properties was also a major public concern early in the project.  Following intial consultations, the TTC’s dedicated right-of-way option was taken off the table in direct response to residents’ concerns to ensure access to Leslie properties is maintained. Overall, TTC certainly recognizes there are still concerns but is trying to provide many opportunities for the TTC and the community to work together to improve the project.


    Q: The public consultation for this project seems to be just a one-way conversation. Can the public actually effect change? Can the TTC publish exactly where decision points are, where the public has had input, and how the input has been incorporated into the process?
    A: We can clearly demonstrate where public input has made a difference. As noted, one example is the fact that the site was not placed on Eastern Avenue due to overwhelming public opposition to this idea. Another example is that the TTC originally proposed a right-of-way on the Leslie Street connection track, an idea that has been abandoned because it would have adversely affected access for residents on Leslie. Some concerns have certainly been addressed, but others remain (e.g., there are residents in opposition to building the site at Lake Shore and Leslie). The process is not perfect, but we are trying to be as transparent as possible. This is not a scientific process, but we must work within the confines of the project to incorporate feedback wherever possible.


    C: This situation is uncomfortable for everyone.
    (Note: Comment noted by the TTC.)


    C: Public consultation for this project has been unsatisfactory. Money should be allocated to local groups for legal funding, since local groups are not empowered enough to go up against the TTC and the political panel that influences it. (Note: Comment noted. The changes to the project based on public feedback were highlighted. TTC recognizes that there are residents who do want the Facility at all and is making efforts to integrate it into the neighbourhood in a sensitive manner.)


    C: The notification flyer for tonight’s meeting called it an “information meeting”. There is a lack of defined ways for citizens to be engaged and understand their rights and responsibilities.
    (Note: The purpose of the meeting was to gather input on specific concerns and bring them to the attention of the planning team. Part of the presentation outlines the Transit Project Assessment

    Process and planning context. Previously, staff notified all residents prior to the City Council process to ensure they could depute directly to elected officials before a decision was made on the site. Motions were made at Council to ensure mitigation will be implemented where it is required and to ensure the project is integrated into Martin Goodman Trail and Leslie Greening.)


    4.5 Site Location

    Q: Will the new facility function like the Hillcrest Yard?  If so, why not retrofit Hillcrest to accommodate the new LRVs?
    A: Hillcrest is used for overhauls, not regular maintenance. Hillcrest will maintain its function once the new LRVs arrive.  The Ashbridges facility will function like the Roncesvalles and Russell Yards do now, in that it will be used for regular maintenance and LRV storage purposes. Thus, the Ashbridges site is necessary to accommodate the new LRVs. There is also insufficient room at Hillcrest.


    Q: Tours of the Hillcrest, Roncesvalles, and Russell Yards should be provided to interested members of the community to let us understand what is being built in our area.  The air quality outside of Hillcrest was awful today. I walked around it and it emitted many volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If similar pollutants are going to exude from the Ashbridges Yard, people using the Martin Goodman Trail will be adversely affected. Will you allow the community to have a tour of Hillcrest?
    A: Historically, Hillcrest has not provided tours, but we will check again to see if this might be possible.
    (Note: The request was once again made and staff were advised by the General Superintendent of Rail Cars that tours are not given at Hillcrest. The following information was also provided:


    Hillcrest — specifically Harvey Shop — is a backshop operation providing support for major overhauls and/or repairs on TTC’s streetcar and bus fleets. TTC does not operate revenue service out the Hillcrest facility due to the lack of space, its location, and the significant vehicular traffic in and out of the yard.


    With the arrival of the new low floor LRVs the operation will change slightly due to the size of the new cars. Our current fleet is made up mostly of LRVs that are 15.3 meters in length; whereas the new LRVs will be 30 meters in length. These new cars will not fit in the existing maintenance bays at Harvey Shop (at Hillcrest), nor is the height of the existing building suitable for maintenance of the roof-mounted equipment on the new cars. Major and minor components will be removed from the cars at the Roncesvalles, Russell, and Ashbridges Bay facilities and then transferred to Harvey Shop for overhaul or repair.


    As far as the suggestion that VOC emissions at Hillcrest are not meeting MOE standards, TTC is well within the required limits, as overseen by the Safety Department’s Environment Services.)

    Q: Would it be possible for the new council (following the municipal election in October) to review and reconsider the decision to build the maintenance and storage facility at the Ashbridges Bay site?
    A: Given that there is a twelve month window in which Council may overturn a decision, altering the decision is possible but highly unlikely. This is a necessary facility, and there is little will to change the location. (Note: The other location at Unwin that received public support in the June 2009 meetings was not selected for many reasons such as multiple railway crossings and the need for a new bridge to replace an existing one-lane bridge.)


    C: Ashbridges Bay is an inappropriate location for the facility.
    (Note: Opposition to this site is recognized and TTC is trying to do what it can to address concerns. TTC has to construct similar facilities across Toronto for future Transit City expansion and it is very difficult to locate such facilities that are needed to support transit.)


    4.6 Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant

    Q: Missing from the list of impacts in your presentation is the fact that this facility is going to take away land from the Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant (ABTP). You will be misinforming the province by omitting this fact from the Environmental Project Report. Why have you omitted this important impact?
    A: Toronto Water has indicated publicly that it does not need the land for plant expansion.  (Note: A community meeting was held on this specific topic on April 19, 2010, the minutes of which are posted on the project website. The General Manager of Toronto Water confirmed that the land adjacent to the ABTP for the future TTC facility is not needed for future wastewater capacity at the ABTP. The proposed TTC facility would not affect plant operations and all future needs can be accommodated without that parcel of land.)


    Q: How will the Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant meet its odour requirement at the new maintenance facility where the impacts are likely to be high? Will it cost more to mitigate the odours?
    A: The question of odours will be confirmed by Toronto Water. (Note: Toronto Water has subsequently indicated that there will be no additional costs to meet their odour requirements.)


    Q: How will the Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant be concealed after the berm is removed?
    A: The maintenance building will be approximately 14 metres high, which is approximately the same height as the berm, so the Facility will block the view of the plant in a similar way to the berm.

    4.7 Connaught / Russell Yard

    Q: Residents on Connaught Avenue presently have the same problems that will affect Leslie Street in the future. There is no dust control in place right now, and we have to clean our windows daily. There are no mitigation measures in place. We have to constantly advocate for ourselves. The air quality on Connaught is poor, so I fear for Leslie. Why have Connaught Avenue residents not been included in the mitigation plan and process? Can we be included? Will the TTC commit to being proactive on this issue?
    A: The TTC went door-to-door to ensure Connaught residents became involved in this project before the route for the connection track was chosen and Connaught Avenue was being considered. There was much opposition to using Connaught Avenue and it was important that Connaught residents were able to raise these concerns at the April meeting. We will talk to City Services regarding cleaning the dust. The Ashbridges Bay project is new infrastructure and that is why it is undergoing a Transit Project Assessment as compared to Connaught Street. The process for installing mitigation measures is different for new facilities and existing facilities, so the situation on Connaught is different than that on Leslie. That said, the concerns are important and we will follow-up to confirm when new tracks will be installed on Connaught to reduce noise and vibration on your street. (Note: Councillor Bussin added that Connaught Avenue residents will go through a similar mitigation process but at a later date, and that this she had made a motion to this effect at Council.)


    Q: Will noise be mitigated at the Russell Yard?
    A: This issue will be examined at a later date. Replacement of the tracks is the first step.


    4.8 Construction

    Q: Was it indicated in your presentation that vegetation removal will begin August 1? A: No.  To clarify, it was indicated that due to the Migratory Birds Act, vegetation removal will be only be allowed between August 1 and April 14 in any given year.TTC will not begin any soil removal until the Transit Project Assessment is completed.


    4.9 Streetcars versus Buses

    Q: Streetcars are not the best option for public transit. Electric buses are superior due
    to the facts they can circumvent obstacles, they are far less expensive than LRVs, and they will likely run more frequently than LRVs. Why are electric buses not being considered?
    A: Buses do not attract the same ridership as LRVs. LRVs have a much higher passenger capacity than buses. On high-density routes, you would need many buses
     

    to match the passenger capacity of LRVs, including a greater number of drivers. To install by-pass lanes to allow buses to pull over would likely require permanent removal of parking spaces on downtown streets. In the long-term, LRVs are more cost-effective than buses. Vehicle “bunching” will be reduced with the new LRVs. In sum, there is a whole series of advantages for LRVs compared to buses.


    Q: Electric buses are one-twelfth the cost of LRVs, not including infrastructure costs.
    Why are electric buses not being considered on a purely fiscal level?
    A: Analysis shows that LRVs are a cheaper option in the long-run.  (Note: Equally important is that LRVs draw more ridership than buses can.  It would also take multiple buses on the road to match the capacity of one LRV, so the operating costs for LRVs are more efficient.)


    4.10 Environmental Project Report

    Q: Who is writing the Environmental Project Report (EPR)? A: The EPR is being written jointly by AECOM and the TTC.


    Q: When and where will the EPR be made available?
    A: A notice of completion will be widely posted and distributed once the EPR is complete. It will be available on the project website, at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, and at various libraries.  If you have other suggestions as to where hard copies should be made available, please let us know.


    Q: What is addressed in the EPR?
    A: Five main topics are addressed in the EPR: natural environment (e.g., soil, water,); air quality (e.g., mitigation during construction, monitoring, dust control); traffic and transportation (e.g., detailed traffic reports, mitigation through signal changes); socio- economic and land use environment (e.g., property values, cash-in-lieu options); and noise and vibration (e.g., current noise and vibration data, commitments from the TTC for mitigation throughout the project).


    Q: Will the report be explained to us through public consultation?
    A: We will prepare a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address common questions and concerns. The EPR will have an executive summary to help facilitate the understanding of its contents. If you have specific questions about the EPR, you are encouraged to contact Lito Romano, the Community Liaison Officer, and/or go into the TTC office where we would be pleased to talk to you about the report directly.
     

    4.11 Design Considerations

    Q: I am pleased about the landscape design competition, as the aesthetics of the site are important.  In the same vein, the building in the facility should not be utilitarian, but should rather be iconic. Will there be a design panel to review the building design, and if not, why not?
    A: The TTC is committed to design excellence. The plans are going to the City of
    Toronto’s design review panel for their input in September.


    Q: How is public input helping to ensure the design of the building is iconic?
    A: The building has been designed by Strasman Architects to be modern, state-of-the- art, and iconic. It will incorporate unique wave forms, lots of glass, and one section will replicate the aesthetics of an early type of streetcar. It will be built to Toronto Green Development Standards.


    4.12 Traffic

    Q: Has the traffic study looked at increased traffic on Knox Avenue due to hindered access on Leslie Street?
    A: Knox Avenue is not currently included in the traffic study. We will look into this, but please recall that the majority of the LRV traffic will occur outside of normal rush hour periods.


    C: The traffic impact will be substantial. The last traffic study conducted in the area is from 2005. Council voted on this project without enough information about traffic impacts.
    (Note: A draft Executive Summary which included preliminary findings from the traffic study was
    presented to Council before the vote on June 9, 2010.)


    4.13 Other

    Q: Streetcars on the 501 route often short-turned instead of going to Neville Park. Will this problem be remedied with the new LRVs?
    A: We will pass this concern on to the TTC’s service planning group.  (Note: TTC Service
    Planning subsequently provided the following update: The new LRVs will allow TTC to better regulate service on all of the existing streetcar routes, including 501 Queen, which will reduce the number of short-turns required to maintain scheduled service. However, because the 501 route operates in mixed traffic and is subject to traffic delays and events (e.g., non-TTC construction) which interrupt regular service, we expect there will continue to be a requirement for some degree of short-turning on the route after the arrival of the new LRVs.)
     

    C: I attended and recorded the Council debate on this project, and you may be interested to know that Councillor Bussin voted in favour of placing the facility at the Ashbridges Bay site.