TTC-hating is so three months ago. The new bandwagon: Metrolinx-hating

TTC-hating is so three months ago. The new bandwagon: Metrolinx-hating

It’s hard to stay interested in whinging about the TTC when the complaints never change: poor service, high prices, too little innovation (we get it, it’s as bad as cable TV). Metrolinx, on the other hand, is something new and interesting that we can hate on. The worst-case scenario for the TTC is waiting in the cold while the bus driver takes a coffee break. With Metrolinx, the worst-case scenario is threatening to take people’s houses.

According to the Toronto Sun:

The letter says that its purpose “is to notify you that GO Transit has identified your property as one that will be impacted by the construction of the Weston Tunnel and will need to be acquired. A member of our real estate team will be contacting you shortly to discuss the property acquisition process and to review the details and next steps.”

Metrolinx later insisted that it’s not an expropriation letter and that homeowners may have the option of just moving out temporarily, but the agency still believes the best and safest course of action is to acquire the houses.

This quickly got embarrassing for the government, which is why Transport Minister Kathleen Wynne was sent out to explain that when they said people’s houses “will need to be acquired,” they didn’t mean to use the words “need” or “acquired.”

Kidding aside, the TTC is able to get into property-acquisition SNAFUs without any help from Metrolinx, but amazingly, these expropriations always seem to end up threatening the homes of hardworking immigrants who’ve done nothing wrong. Do transit planners have some kind of controversy-seeking smart bomb for this stuff?

• Callous letter from Metrolinx [Toronto Sun]
Ontario softens on airport link expropriations [CBC News]
• Toronto residents fear expropriation of homes to build airport tunnel [Globe and Mail]