June 19, 2015 – Letter to Minister Murray Re: TTC Proposed Bus Garage
June 19, 2015
Honourable Glen Murray
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
11th Floor, Ferguson Block
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2T5
As the Toronto City Councillor representing Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt, I am writing to advise you of the very serious concerns residents have with respect to the proposed Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) McNicoll Bus Garage and the impact it will have on the quality of life of our community.
Health and safety issues are chief among the concerns being expressed by individual residents and community groups who are opposed to the TTC’s proposed project.
The TTC is proposing to build is a transit garage to maintain 250 buses, at the northeast corner of Kennedy Road and McNicoll Avenue, in Scarborough.
The 19 acre site is adjacent to the Mon Sheong Scarborough Long-Term Care Centre and Mon Sheong Seniors’ Home. It is situated west of the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care and the new location of the Carefirst Long-Term Care Centre on McNicoll Avenue; east of Villa Elegance on Kennedy Road, a condominium where approximately 200 very elderly, frail, at-risk seniors reside; Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School with a student population of more than 1,000 students; and, L’Amoreaux Community Recreation Centre, a very busy community hub.
The proposed garage will:
- introduce hundreds of buses on our streets and add more unwanted pollution in our area; and,
- exacerbate existing traffic congestion which will create gridlock in this busy, vibrant neighbourhood.
As the Councillor-elect for Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt and as the elected Councillor, I have met, on numerous occasions, with residents and residents’ groups to discuss their concerns about the proposed project. Their concerns include pollution from diesel fumes; vibrations; and, the increased danger of accidents for seniors and others crossing nearby roadways.
I further engaged area residents with respect to this matter and asked them to sign an e-petition as another way to express their views. Some 1,200 residents took the time to send their responses – emails which I presented at the November 2014 meeting of the Toronto Board of Health. The majority of residents opposed the bus garage. In response to a ‘voice drop’ message, close to 1,000 area residents told me they are not in favour of the proposed TTC Bus Garage.
I believe the voices of our community need to be considered in the review of the TTC’s Environmental Project Report (EPR) under Ontario Regulation 231/08 (Environmental Assessment Act).
This proposed public transit project will critically change the nature of our community forever.
Hon. Jim Karygiannis
Councillor Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt
CC: Soo Wong MPP
Residents Ward 39