Scarborough-Malvern LRT Plans

Scarborough-Malvern LRTTwo open houses were recently held for the Scarborough-Malvern LRT line. I was unable to attend either open house, but there is a good write up on Steve Munro’s website. I have saved a copy of the display panels here (1.6 MB).

I won’t go into explaining all the details of the route, as you can check out the display panels for that. As this line will not be going to Malvern, a name change for it might be in order, perhaps the West Hill LRT?

I will comment on the connection with the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. The line makes a dog leg to connect with this major trip generator and one nice thing about this is that the line will leave a median right of way on Morningside Avenue south of the Highland Creek bridge. It will run on the east side of the road and over its own new bridge and remain on the side of the road up Morningside and along Ellesmere before returning to a median up Military Trail to Morningside and then up Morningside in a median. Hopefully, this alignment will take advantage of the lower cost ballasted tie construction and not be encased in concrete the whole way.

I do think that a better alignment would be to veer away from Morningside starting with the bridge over Highland Creek and cut through the woods. Here is the image from the display boards with my alignment added in yellow:

3 Responses to “Scarborough-Malvern LRT Plans”

  1. Leo Petr Says:

    1. You are severely underestimating the grades involved. Ellesmere is graded. The woods are not, plus the really tall hill you are going up is subject to severe erosion. UTSC put a giant wooden gazebo on that hill in the 90s, which it then had to condemn and demolish because the foundations eroded.

    Here’s what your route looks like in Google Earth with elevation exaggeration of 3:

    2. You are underestimating property impacts. Your route goes up the stairs between the H-wing and the S-wing of the main university building. That’s a pretty central location. There is also a major basement level underneath.

    Cal’s comment: The grading issue is minor compared to the environmental issue with mature trees. Also, my yellow line was not intended to be a specific alignment for the tracks, but rather an approximation to show a path that could take the line closer to where its users may want to go.

  2. Kevin Says:

    The line looks good a on papaer but it would be difficult to construct such a line. The entire route would have to be elevated high over the forest. This would be expensive to say the least. It would also lead to the cutting of many mature trees which wouldnt sit well with environmentalist.

    Cal’s comment: Since first suggesting this, I have found that there really is a big issue with anything related to the mature forest. At least it seeds discussions as there ought to be a better way to serve the campus and hopefully avoid such an acute turn at Military Trail.

  3. JJ Says:

    This alignment makes a lot of sense. I fear though it’d only be worth the investment were this to be a subway line (likely an extension of the B-D Line if the S(L)RT’s truly here to stay) and UTSC were made to be the terminus (though going one station beyond, may be preferrable to reduce bus traffic on campus grounds and directly serve Centennial). Dissecting the underground passageway Leo speaks of is actually the primo, ideal spot for such a station because it’s central to all major campus buildings and wings (under a minute or two’s walk from the Science Wing, Humanities Wing, Bladen Wing, Management building, north and south residences, Arts and Admin building, the Meeting Place and the Student Centre). I’m sure realigning said walkway is a small price to pay for the huge gains in campus accessibility it’d provide. It’s also far enough away from any actual classrooms as not to disrupt lessons from the noise/vibrations.

    Cal’s comment: An extension of the B-D subway is simply too expensive to justify for the demands needed. My alignment suggestion is a problem because of the forested area it cuts through, but tunneling might be an idea. That would drive the cost up, but we are talking about a tunnel about a kilometre long (from the north side of the valley to Ellesmere) with one station.