The new corridor for the relief line from Queen to Pape stations has been officially approved by City Council during Thursday’s meeting. Preferred alignments and stations will be presented on June 28 for recommendation.
The City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have been consulting on the “motherlode” transit plan, which consists of a 15-year transportation plan for the city, including the relief line. The relief line will be be a rapid transit subway that connects to central downtown area to the Bloor-Danforth Subway in a U-shaped route. The new subway line would link to the Bloor line in the east at the Don River between Broadview and Coxwell avenue and in the west corridor as well. A further extension in the east quadrant will connect the relief line to the Eglinton Crosstown extension.
The planning process includes a study to review station locations and route alignment for the relief line. The first step will consider the eastern corridor of the project and a secondary study will look at the area for the western quadrant. The city emphasizes the importance of public participation in the progression of the new subway line. Funding for the planning, project assessment, and public consultation is about $4 million and has been included in the TTC budget.
The City is currently in Phase 1B of the relief line, which will introduce the project and explain it, conduct the technology analysis, and also administer a naming contest for the subway line. Phase two will develop a list of options and evaluation criteria including station locations, terminus points, and alignment options. Phase three evaluates options and then creates a short list. Phase four will then identify draft recommendations and complete the environmental assessment.
In the “motherlode” transit report, the City and Toronto Transit Commission evaluated four possible study areas for the eastern corridor of the relief line. Corridor B1 was officially chosen as the preferred area in the assessment because it would service high volumes of people and construction on Queen would have a possibility to build an LRT, saving costs.
The considered areas were Corridor A that would run from Queen to Broadview; Corridor B1 would ride from Queen to Queen/Broadview and up to Pape; Corridor B2 would also begin at Queen, but then would follow to Unilever and up towards Pape. Corridor D1 and D2 follows the same routes as the previous corridors except that they would connect at King rather than Queen Station.
The next phase will include creating and deciding upon preferred alignment options for the chosen study area. More public consultations are planned before June 28. Plans for the relief line are finally pushing forward and it will be exciting to see the plan come to life.
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