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Can we trust Metrolinx?

The benefits of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to our city have been mentioned many times over, but what is less clear and even less welcome are the consequences to our community. The biggest issue we currently face is intensification along Eglinton, namely, enormous condominium development.

Developers are naturally pointing to “higher level transit” as their justification for proposed massive intensification.

What is even more disconcerting is the role Metrolinx may have in all of this.

Of particular concern is the McDonald’s property on the southeast corner of Bayview and Eglinton. The community had understood that this was to be the location for the LRT station and nothing more.

However, rumours began in July that instead of actually buying the property (which we were led to believe), Metrolinx had entered into an agreement with the property owner whereby Metrolinx would build the station but the property owner had the rights to build above it. While nothing has been formally proposed, the “overbuild” in the foundation is said to accommodate upwards of 20 storeys.

In early August I was contacted by a resident in the adjacent rental building to the south of McDonald’s. Her concern was that Metrolinx was attempting to buy properties south on Bayview.

When I spoke to a Metrolinx official I was assured that this was not the case.

However, I am disappointed to say that when I pressed for written confirmation the story changed and Metrolinx confirmed that they had in fact purchased the adjacent property (which is not necessary to the construction of the LRT station).

I have scheduled a meeting in the next couple of weeks to get a full and honest account of the situation.

I am concerned that Metrolinx has morphed into a developer in our community. This is extremely problematic given the fact that any development the city opposes can be appealed to the OMB.

We would be at an obvious disadvantage as one provincial agency (the OMB) would be adjudicating on an appeal by another provincial agency (Metrolinx).

I will keep you informed in the next edition of Leaside Life. In the meantime, please sign up for my e-newsletter at ward26.ca to receive regular updates