West End RailPath needs a small effort from a lot of people right now

This is officially the longest  post ever on this blog and for good reason it concerns an important project that most of us in the community will use.  The Railpath. Posted as a comment by blog reader Scott, I asked him if I could place it on the blog  as a post.

Please read  it and take the time to send a  short email (the blog has provided a short sample one at the end of Scott’s text and Scott has provide a longer one for download), Scott also provides the info at the end of his text

I wanted to pass on some important information regarding the West End RailPath and ask you for a few minutes of your time. The great news is that stage 1 should open on June 20 and we are planning a party or something. The even better news is that already people are using the path. If you don’t know what Railpath is then head to Railpath.ca . In a nutshell Railpath is the conversion of old Weston Rail Corridor land to a linear park that will have a bike path, indigenous plants, and seating—stretching from north of Dupont to the lake near the CNE.

what the railpath will look like, Photo : Design by Scott Torrance Landscape Architects, from Friends of the West Toronto Railpath site
what the railpath will look like, Photo : Design by Scott Torrance Landscape Architects, from Friends of the West Toronto Railpath site

In terms of stage 2 which would take the path south from Dundas to the Lakefront by the CNE there is some work to be done and Railpath Volunteers are very busy in this process. As you may know there is currently a public consultation and an Environmental Assessment (EA) being done by the MetroLinx that entails plans for an rail link to the airport and expanded GO service in the rail corridor that runs along side Railpath. Many people were startled to discover that Metrolinx seemed to know nothing about Railpath (!) and there was some alarm about seeing stage 2 built if there was going to be new rail traffic in the corridor.

To its credit Metrolinx has quickly met with Railpath and City officials and there are more meetings coming up. To keep the story brief, there has been a good exchange of information and it seems a real interest on the part of Metrolinx to see stage 2 of the Railpath built. Yes there are a few technical problems that exist in the last few blocks of stage 2 but at least the plans are out and people are trying to find solutions. It may turn out that we can only get stage 2 to Sudbury street which is still pretty good but at this point everybody is working on a full to the lack solution. Metrolinx has become very receptive to Railpath issues and is trying to make sure room is left for completion to happen.

Here is where a few minutes of your time would be of help. Metrolinx got a fairly large amount of feedback from the community in the stage 1 AND in stage 2 areas stating that people wanted completion. It would still be good for them to hear from as many people as possible about how valuable people feel a COMPLETED Railpath would be to the entire West End of the city. Remember, a completed Railpath and expansion of the use of the rail corridor are NOT exclusive of each other; they should and can co-exist. In fact Railpath augments or compliments the increased use of rail instead of cars. It will just take them making sure that some space is left for stage 2 to happen. The City has already sent a letter expressing the importance of a completed Railpath so there is “official” support in place. If you could, could you take the time to send an email, even if it is brief, to Brian Peltier the Executive in charge of the EA for Metrolinx to let him know that you feel completion is important and that you would like to see Metrolinx be part of this completion. All emails to him will be noted and recorded as part of the EA and remember that Metrolinx has been receptive and helpful. THIS MUST BE DONE BY MARCH 15. (Include real your address in the email)

Brian Peltier, Executive Lead

Metrolinx has a very detailed look at the EA and what they want to do on their website ( http://www.metrolinx.com). Railpath.ca is not the best website ever made but you can find some good info and pix if you dig deep. As we get closer to opening stage 1 look for the site to finally get revamped.

If you have any questions let me know and the whole West End will thank you for helping completion happen. We are really close and every email will help. If you know people who live in the stage 2 area (think Dufferin and Dundas/Queen/King Dovercourt, Lansdowne, Parkdale) pass this email on and encourage them to email as well.

sample email… extrapolated from Scott’s text. (of course add all the more that you think would help :-))


Dear Brian Peltier,

Executive Lead- Metrolinx

I am writing to you about the West End RailPath project.

As resident in the area I  feel completion of this important community enhancing path is of great importance.  With this email I would like you to know  that I would  like to see Metrolinx be part of this completion.

Thank you,

your name

your street address

email to brian.peltier@metrolinx.com

cut ——————————————————————-

UPDATE: Scott has provided a fuly rounded out letter which you can use also {click here to download it}

1 Comment

I was on the City of Toronto committee in the Culture Department to select the designers for this project. It was years ago now. I'm pretty surprised at how long it's taken to green a small strip of land for pedestrian & cyclist use….

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