Metrolinx heads into the valley with the Mount Dennis Community Association

The Humber Valley is a place of refuge in the heart of Etobicoke, where people can experience nature right in the midst of a bustling city. It’s a place with a long history – and a bright future. Read on to learn more about how the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will fit into the community around the Humber River. 

Metrolinx is working with residents in west Toronto to make sure the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension fits into their community.  

This past Saturday (Sept. 25), Metrolinx joined the Mount Dennis Community Association for their “Into the Valley” community walk.

Around 50 people came out to experience the sights and sounds of the Humber Valley for themselves. The Mount Dennis Community Association members led the hike, which highlighted the rich history of the area.

Metrolinx staff were on hand to talk about what the future could look like with the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. Although the new transit line will operate mostly underground, there will be an elevated section of tracks running 1.5 kilometres between Scarlett Road and Jane Street, which will span clear across the Humber River. This approach avoids the risks associated with building underneath the flood-prone area, which in turn will simplify construction and operations.

Underground stations at Scarlett Road and Jane Street would require excavating approximately 30 metres under the Humber, which would be twice the depth of the other underground stations.

This would cause more significant construction impacts for the local community and would also increase the time it would take to get from street level to the trains, and vice versa.

Artist's rendering of the elevated guideway over the Humber River, showing the piers outside the riverbed.
Artist’s rendering of the elevated guideway over the Humber River, showing the piers outside the riverbed. (Metrolinx image)

Standing near the site of the future guideway (the train bridge over the river), Metrolinx staff explained how the project team would approach the design of the elevated section of track.

“There are a few design principles that the team is working with to preserve views of and access to these green spaces,” said John Potter, manager of design standards at Metrolinx.

“We want to treat the underside of the guideway as part of the larger landscape.”

Potter says his team is focused on ensuring there are public realm improvements to open spaces and streetscapes, both beneath and next to the elevated section of the project.

Participants from the Into the Valley event ask their questions about the plans for the elevated guideway. 
Participants from the Into the Valley event ask their questions about the plans for the elevated guideway. (Metrolinx image)

There were also some questions from the attendees about how the guideway would impact park space, which is of particular concern to the community – including park amenities, like the baseball diamonds, cricket pitches, and gardens.

By running the guideway just north of Eglinton Avenue West, as close to the existing roadway as possible, no park space will be needed to build or operate the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, which means that hikes, picnics, baseball games, and cricket matches will continue uninterrupted well into the future.

The Metrolinx Community Relations team is always available to answer questions from the community – visit the project website for the latest project information.

Story by Kimberly Murphy, senior advisor, Metrolinx subway program