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Opponents of McNicoll Bus Garage to continue fight against planned facility

TTC’s Environmental Project Report now available for public viewing

Scarborough Mirror Mike Adler

Hopes of stopping the Toronto Transit Commission’s McNicoll Bus Garage – what little there is of it – now rest with the province.

Hundreds of people living in the Mon Sheong Foundation and other seniors residences around the McNicoll Avenue and Kennedy Road site have fought the $190-million project.

On May 21, the TTC announced it had completed an Environmental Project Report on the garage, that could store and service up to 250 buses, and how it would mitigate its environmental effects.

Issuing the report – available for viewing at projects.ttc.ca and at the Agincourt, Bridlewood, and Steeles Toronto Public Library branches – means people had 30 days to register objections with the province if they want the garage stopped.

Toronto Council gave the garage a green light and an assessment by Toronto Public Health department concluded all the environmental effects “would be minimal” said Jim Karygiannis, a Scarborough-Agincourt councillor who made stopping the project part of his election campaign last year.

“I don’t have the votes to re-open it,” Karygiannis conceded this week, adding even if he could force a new council vote, no other councillor would want the garage in their ward.

The TTC, which bought the industrial land in 2005, says it’s desperately short of facilities for storing and repairing buses in the city’s east end, and hopes to have the garage finished by 2019.

The project will also activate a planned but long-delayed southward extension of Redlea Avenue to south of Passmore Avenue.

In its notice, the TTC last week suggested the province’s environment minister, Glen Murray, can delay or impose conditions on a project which “may have a negative impact on a matter of provincial importance that relates to the natural environment or has a cultural heritage value.”

The garage’s opponents, however, aren’t giving up yet.

On Monday, a representative for the Coalition Against the McNicoll Bus Garage confirmed the group will host a “town hall meeting” and press conference at the Brighton Convention and Event Centre on McNicoll on June 2 at 10:30 a.m.