Property values top GO Transit forum

A Toronto real estate broker says with the Georgetown Rail Expansion underway in northwest Toronto, property values along the corridor will decline.

On April 14, Humber College public relations students and the Clean Train Coalition (CTC) staged an information session at Innis Town Hall at the University of Toronto. Discussion covered the fluctuation of property values along the GO Transit Toronto-Georgetown rail link, that could carry as many as 400 passenger trains per day.

Real estate broker Brian Torry told the meeting that this rail link will not be beneficial for homeowners along the corridor.

“Values fluctuate according to the proximity of the tracks to the property,” he said. “Values will also drop if those trains do not serve the communities (they) travel through.”

The panel included Mike Sullivan, CTC chair; Gary McNeil, GO Transit managing director and Metrolinx executive vice president; and Brian Torry.

Bosley Real Estate broker Torry assured the audience that properties from Wellington Place to Kingsview Village will be affected.

Torry added that declining property values did not automatically mean lower property taxes. Taxes for homes along the corridor will not increase as much as properties farther away from the tracks, he said.

“If the city has to have ‘x’ number of dollars and they are getting less from one area, it’s going to have to made up from another area,” Torry said.

He expects that homeowners along the corridor will end up paying lower taxes than those residents closer to the centre of the city.

Scott Langdon, public affairs instructor from Humber College, said these issues of property value would encourage Torontonians to sit up and take notice of the corridor expansion. He blamed Queen’s Park for the lack of information.

“There needs to be more discussion,” he said. “It’s the (Ontario) government’s fault for not explaining these issues to the public, but it’s also the public’s fault for not knowing.”