Construction begins on McNicoll Bus Garage in Scarborough
Construction is underway on a new TTC bus garage in Scarborough that caused uproar among a number of nearby residents and organizations for years.
The $181-million McNicoll Bus Garage on McNicoll Avenue near Kennedy Road will be able to store and service 250 buses when it’s built.
“The TTC today has eight bus garages, but they’re over capacity,” said Mayor John Tory at a ground breaking ceremony Tuesday. “We’ve had to look for temporary storage facilities and it has actually had an impact on our decision-making with the respect to the buying of new buses, the fact that we have had inadequate facilities in which to store them, and this is going to make a big difference in that regard.”
But the garage hasn’t been without controversy.
The Scarborough Mirror has chronicled the opposition to have it stopped after it was approved by both the city and the province. Concerns included potential health problems, traffic issues, location and more.
Opponents included Scarborough-Agincourt Coun. Jim Karygiannis (Ward 39), who attended the event and acknowledged the resistance, but said the facility is an “important addition” to the community.
“This is part of moving the city forward. This is part of coming together,” he told the Mirror. “We can oppose things and through that opposition we can make sure that things get changed, which they did in this area, and now we can move forward in order to make sure the community gets serviced.”
The TTC bought the land in 2005 and the plans to build the much-needed facility were approved before the 2014 municipal election. After Karygiannis was elected as councillor following a career in federal politics, he told the Mirror stopping the garage and moving it would be a top priority.
“Job number one now is make sure that this project is here, it serves the community and moves the community faster,” he said. “My promise to my constituents was that we fight to make sure that this place is a situation that reflects their needs. Certainly they had an opportunity to speak to the TTC, we had consultations and through those consultations we were able to make changes and those changes are quite huge changes.”
Karygiannis added those changes included having “a lot of the heavy work and noisy work” that includes fuel storage moved to the site’s east side when it was proposed on the southwest side near a senior’s centre.
The garage will include a repair bay with 14 hoists, two inspection pits, a paint shop, a body shop with two bays, two service lines with an exterior wash system, a degrease room with a hoist and more.
The majority of buses will access the facility during off-peak periods and buses will be able to get to its route and return to the garage quicker which results in better service for the area, the TTC said on its website.