Metrolinx is getting a head start on tree planting along the route of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, helping to keep the community green as this critical new transit project is built. Take a look at some of the tree planters in action.
Metrolinx is growing the tree canopy around Eglinton Avenue West as transit planning continues on one of several crucial subway expansions.
On Oct. 20, teams from Metrolinx joined Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in planting 400 trees in Scarlett Mills Park.
This planting is part of an agreement between Metrolinx and TRCA, the first for the Metrolinx Subway program, to plant trees along the future transit route before construction in those areas even begins.
This means that these trees will have ten years to grow before the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension even opens, which will help preserve and strengthen tree cover in the community.
The planting in Scarlett Mills Park is just the beginning.
Future plantings under this agreement will see many more trees planted along the route of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, which will extend the Eglinton Crosstown LRT another nine kilometres from the future Mount Dennis Station to Renforth Drive.
Metrolinx is also working with TRCA to create similar agreements for the other subway projects, including the Ontario Line, and the GO Expansion program.
Although some trees will need to be removed to safely build and operate the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, the project teams will strive to keep the number to a minimum.
To find out more about the trees along the route, a thorough tree inventory and arborist report is currently underway and is expected to be complete later this year. These studies will look at whether or not trees are invasive, diseased, or dead, and will help the team determine plans for protection or removal.
The goal for all Metrolinx projects is to plant more trees than are removed for construction, in the areas where they are being removed, and to make sure trees and other vegetation are planted as early as possible.
In 2020 alone, Metrolinx funded and coordinated the planting of more than 22,100 native trees and shrubs (8,079 trees and 14,050 shrubs).
As planning for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension continues, the community can expect to hear more from Metrolinx through regular open houses, and community meetings, where the team will sharing the latest updates and seeking feedback.
The next virtual open house is scheduled for November 3. To register, visit Metrolinx Engage.
Story by Kimberly Murphy, Metrolinx senior advisor, subway program