TTC puts second entrance to Donlands station exactly where it wanted to in the first place

TTC puts second entrance to Donlands station exactly where it wanted to in the first place

Sign at Donlands Station (Image: Danielle Scott)

Those with long memories for somewhat obscure controversies might remember a little kerfuffle ensued when the TTC planned to add a second entrance to the Donlands and Greenwood subway stations. What’s the problem? The TTC proposed to condemn several homes in the neighbourhoods around those stations and assimilate them into the new entrances, Borg-style. There was a community outcry, and, predictably, the TTC offered a round of public consultations. The result? Unfortunately for the locals around Donlands, not much has changed according to the Globe and Mail:

Despite months of discussions and a consultant’s study that pointed to several less-disruptive locations, TTC officials have settled on the same plan that prompted the outcry in the first place – to raze two homes on Strathmore Boulevard and partially expropriate another 10 properties to make way for the exit.

The $8-million project, to begin in 2013 and take about two years, is meant to improve emergency safety at Donlands Station, one of several single-exit subway stops slated for the measure.

“We looked at a whole range of options and all the issues that come with them to try and find a way to not have to take these two houses,” TTC spokesman Brad Ross said in an interview Sunday. “Unfortunately we were unable to come up with one because of various constructability issues, engineering issues and ultimately, cost.”

Okay, this looks bad—almost as if the TTC had never planned to take the public seriously in the first place. But we’re actually tempted to cut the TTC some slack for once because of the very similar story at Greenwood that turned out differently: the TTC worked with an engaged public, found a solution and went ahead and implemented it.

We vaguely remembered the story of Greenwood from the election (Rocco Rossi worked it into a debate once or five million times, we think) and confirmed it with Brad Ross via e-mail today. “We found an alternative, i.e. different home, that works and where the owner is prepared to negotiate with us. Always better than expropriation.” While the story of Donlands looks bad—and the results clearly don’t make anyone happy—it doesn’t look like the TTC wasn’t trying. The residents of Strathmore say they’ll take this all the way to the mayor’s office—and good for them—but sometimes you have to settle for the least-bad solution.

Second Donlands subway stop exit done deal [Globe and Mail]
TTC Slams Door on Donlands Area Community Input []
TTC Will Move Forward With Controversial Donlands Subway Exit Plan [CityNews Toronto]