Transit riders gathered at church for relief

TTC held the first of four meetings discussing a proposed relief line

DRL meeting attendees study the proposed route area and post suggestions.
DRL meeting attendees study the proposed route area and post suggestions. (Nolan N. White//Toronto Observer)

Toronto residents gathered in East York to learn more about a long proposed subway project.

Members of the East York and Toronto-Danforth communities gathered at Calvary Church, on March 3, just north of Pape subway station to learn more about the proposed Downtown Relief Line (DRL).

The current version of the DRL proposal, when constructed, will travel east from Yonge Street off of the Yonge-University-Spadina line, beginning anywhere in between Wellesley and Union Stations, passing through a portion of the south-east region of the city before heading north and terminating at a subway station anywhere in between Pape and Woodbine stations on the Bloor-Danforth line in the Toronto-Danforth area, with the possibility that the line could also branch west to connect to a station on University Ave.

“I think we need to look at all our options around how we’re going to solve our transit problems,” said Mary Fragedakis, city councillor for Ward 29, Toronto-Danforth.

The DRL is one of many transit proposals being discussed at the meetings along with transit solutions that would exist through out the GTA, some of which would work with the DRL.

Toronto Transit Commission and City of Toronto representatives are taking advantage of the meetings, making use of them to gain input from residents as to where they would like to see stations placed and the possible future route layout.

An approach that some feel that while it gives a sense of inclusiveness to the public in the decision making process, it also leads to the possibility of false hope.

“The thing that bothers me here is that it’s sort of the chicken and the egg situation here, where they say ‘well we got so many place that we could put stations, but we don’t actually want to draw alignments until we know where people think are important places for stations’,” transit blogger Steve Munro said.

“Realistically there are only a certain number of ways to get from downtown to The Danforth, and that’s a function of where it’s physically possible to build. If there are major nodes that are key pieces of whatever plan, say so and tell people that these are some of the constraints. If people don’t want to agree about that being a constraint then that’s a separate debate, but at least tell people in advance that there are some places that the line really has to touch.”

The Toronto Transit Commission is holding three more public meetings to discuss the Downtown Relief Line— at Riverdale Collegiate Institute, St. Lawrence Hall, and Church Hill Deer Park between March 5 and March 12.

Exact dates, times and addresses for the meeting as well as additional information about the Downtown Relief Line can be found at http://regionalrelief.ca/.