On July 5th 2018 Metrolinx, the provincial organization that operates GO Transit, held an open house at Mimico Presbyterian Church to discuss their intentions to renovate their two stations in south Etobicoke, Long Branch and Mimico, and the possibility of a new station at Park Lawn Road on the site of the Old Mr. Christie’s factory.
Long Branch and Mimico stations are two of the last stations that GO Transit has that are not accessible stations. The proposal for Park Lawn is still early in its design process.
There were several slides discussing each station:
For Long Branch station:
For Mimico station:
For the proposed Park Lawn station:
It was interesting open house. However, I do have some questions:
Firstly, Long Branch and Mimico stations were supposed to be made accessible by the end of 2016, according to an article from the Toronto Star in 2013. However, work is not even due to start at Long Branch until 2020, with a completion date of 2023. This effectively means a delay of seven years from the original date anticipated. For the passengers using these stations, it can be frustrating to have to wait another five years from the date of this open house. However, once completed the work will be a benefit to the communities of Long Branch and Mimico.
Secondly, both stations, at least according to the slides provided, appear to be losing parking spaces. The is more significant at Long Branch where a new station will be built at the east end of the parking lot and the current station (at the west end of the parking lot) will be demolished but the access to the current tunnel will remain with a new entrance which appears to take up a couple parking spots.
While it will be nice to see both stations made fully accessible, I do have to wonder if the removal of several parking spots is a good thing. For the passengers who use both stations already have difficulty finding parking spots now. I am currently unaware of what Metrolinx’s plan is to deal with the reduction of parking spaces.
The proposal for a new station at Park Lawn Road is interesting. It would be located on the site of the old Mr. Christie’s bakery on the east side of Park Lawn Road. However, the property is owned privately, so some sort of deal with the owner of the land would be required. Also, the stop appears to have its platforms run over Park Lawn Road. With the TTC’s Humber Loop just to the east, it made me wonder if it were possible for Metrolinx to place the station towards the east end of the Mr. Christie’s property, and then put a pedestrian connection over to Humber Loop. While it is not very likely that this idea would work, I would hope it would be something that Metrolinx could at least consider, especially as the station is still in its early stages of design and no property has been purchased as of yet.
Metrolinx is also looking at electrifying the GO Transit’s Lakeshore West Line, and would like to improve service along the line from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes between Burlington Ontario and Union Station, as well as better service west of Burlington. However, while Metrolinx owns the tracks between GO Transit’s Burlington station and Union Station, they relay on operating along tracks owner by CN and CP west of Burlington and into Hamilton.
Overall, it is good to see that the transit hubs in South Etobicoke are being improved on.
I am surprised that it’s not on the Park Lawn station diagram, but there is a plan for a new streetcar loop on the east side of Park Lawn immediately south of the station. However this might be a City project and therefore not shown on the Metrolinx plans.
As one is Metrolinx and the other is TTC, I doubt it was considered as part of the plan.
Park Lawn demonstrates an issue I have with transit planning in the GTA – it seems like each organization acts independently of each other. This is the perfect chance for the TTC and GO Transit to work together and develop a co-ordinated transit hub that benefits passengers.
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