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Since September 26, I have been a volunteer with the Miller for Mayor campaign. Articles before that date represent my decision-making process and all articles on this site represent my views only. Join the campaign; we need your help.
The St. Clair LRT Proposal 4
08/10/2003

I've written a few times before about the proposal to convert St. Clair Avenue's streetcar line into a dedicated right-of-way, like what we now have on Spadina.

The process is slow, but there are some significant public meetings coming up.

Via James Bow, from his excellent Transit Toronto website:

Those in favour of installing a private right-of-way for streetcars along St. Clair are encouraged to attend two public information hearings on the project. It is important to have your voices heard, even as the St. Clair Business Improvement Association raises concerns about the project. The public meetings take place at the following date and times:

Thursday, October 16, 2003
Joseph J. Picininni Community Rec. Centre, Gymnasium
1369 St Clair Ave West (West of Lansdowne Ave)
Open House Displays :5pm-7pm.
Presentation 7:00pm (followed by a facilitated discussion period).
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Brown Community Centre, Gymnasium
454 Avenue Road (just south of St Clair W)
(open house 5-7pm)
persentation 7:00 pm (followed by a facilitated discussion)

If you wish to speak at these events, please call the public consultation co-ordinator 416 397-0831

As James notes in his comments, there is some push-back against this idea. The Toronto Star reported a week ago that the St. Clair West Revitalization Committee is opposed, and have concerns about the dedicated line "cutting off the street".

The Revitalization Committee is mentioned prominently in a June 2002 City of Toronto press release about improving the area. The committee held meetings and conducted focus groups, and ended up with five revitalization themes:

  • Connecting St. Clair West by encouraging strong community ties
  • Beautifying St. Clair West by improving public spaces
  • Making St. Clair West a shopping destination by enhancing the retail strip
  • Creating jobs and economic opportunity by providing jobs and attracting investment
  • Facilitating movement within the community by improving transportation

I happen to think that the St. Clair LRT project would work towards all these goals. Better transit will allow more people in the area to live a pedestrian-and-transit lifestyle, which is a neighbourhood- and community-focused lifestyle. It will also allow people from the rest of the city to access the area more easily, therefore enhancing the retail strip and economic opportunity.

The streets of Toronto are already clogged, and the only way to increase their throughput is by increasing their efficiency. There's no way to dramatically increase the throughput of cars, but the St. Clair LRT plan can help the TTC move many more people much quicker. (Although the streetcars may seem like only a small portion of the traffic, they actually are moving half the people on St. Clair already.) To me, the LRT plan sounds like the only real way to bring growth to the community.


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