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Residents in Scarborough have their say on SmartTrack plan

Residents in Scarborough have their say on SmartTrack plan

Mayor John Tory wants the public to get back on track with the talks of SmartTrack, announcing six new stations, including two in Scarborough.

SmartTrack was a marquee promise during Tory’s election campaign in 2014. He initially said shovels would be in the ground within two years.

Public consultation is underway this week, with the first held on Tuesday night at the Scarborough Civic Centre.

In a presentation, the city unveiled part of its plan which would see all-day, two-way service with trains every 6-10 minutes during peak periods and every 15 minutes during off-peak periods

The trains will also be electric, quieter and faster.

The idea is to use the existing GO rail corridors, which would see rapid transit along the Kitchener, Lakeshore East and Stouffeville lines as well as Eglinton Ave West.

However, some in attendance couldn’t help but voice their concerns over the project. They include worries about parking, noise, location and overall design

“They call this a meeting but it’s not a meeting” says Peter Thachuk, a concerned resident. “There’s no party at the table, no representative from communities at the table. They need to properly consult with communities”

And he’s not the only one – some members of City Council feel the same way.

“Their minds are made up” said Jim Karygiannis, who was surprised to see initial plans for parking at some of these stations altered.

“When they say here is a drawing with parking and then come back and say “oh there’s no parking” what consultation is that?”

For their part, the mayor and Metrolinx told CityNews everything discussed at the meetings will be taken into consideration.

“The only thing our minds have made up is that we are going to build SmartTrack and a subway extension” said Mayor Tory.

“The details of how things will happen, parking issues, noise issues are all on the table for discussion, that’s what these meetings are about”