Aug. 2, 2016

Facebook Faceoff - My Proposed Toronto Beltline Subway

Here is the latest version of my proposed beltline subway for Toronto - Same idea; new graphic

This version shows existing subway lines, new lines and extensions and new extensions in progress, and my proposed new lines

NOTE: I am not taking credit for most of my proposed new lines; most are obvious or have already been proposed by others

Phil Prentice's
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Dimitri Maragos Awesome. With connecting LRTs from Square One and Sherway
John
 Duncan
John Duncan Any reason for the particular route you're proposing? Jane has some densely populated spots, but is mainly a hilly road (some stations would need to be very deep) with green spaces at major intersections. You specifically miss out on the opportunity to interchange with GO/UPX or the St. Clair streetcar, and avoid serving Jane & Finch or Weston.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Good points - I could reroute it to connect with Weston GO, but my proposed MBTD Express LRT would do this too - I'll look at it - Someone else suggested Kipling or Highway #27 which I wouldn't be opposed to either - Waiting on more feedback
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Phil Prentice
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Morgen
 Peers
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice I've always had Jane Street in mind, but am certainly open to suggestions - I am just starting to take a look at the west end - My focus has been on Scarborough up until now, as that is the part of the city I am most familiar with - What do you suggest?
Phil Prentice
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Adam
 Ess
Adam Ess A peripherique!
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice
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Morgen
 Peers
Morgen Peers This is very plausible. Already the system is beginning to mature into a system of loops. The question in the west is the hardest to answer, since McCowan and Sheppard are obvious axis. Why Jane or where else could be the western N/S?
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Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice I've taken a quick look at Kipling and it works for me - Moves the north-south axis further west thereby providing better subway access for more people - Perfect for a new UP Express stop (I believe the city is already looking at this) - Also perfect for an east-west subway between Mississauga Centre and the Kipling Subway - Thanks to input from John DuncanMorgen Peers and whoever it was that suggested Kipling - So Jane ..... an LRT for you it is - SmartTracks for the west end coming soon!
Morgen
 Peers
Morgen Peers it's a very tricky planning matter. no easy answer.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Tricky, but I think Kipling works - The city has plans for an LRT along Jane Street - I'm good with that, so I think we're good there
John
 Duncan
John Duncan An LRT along Jane was included in the initial Transit City proposal, but won't work on the surface because the right-of-way is too narrow for much of its length.

Please look at population, demand and physical conditions before drawing lines on a map.
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad LRT on Jane will best run north of Eglinton and down along Weston Rd to Mt. Dennis. This is where the density is.

Kipling is not dense enough south of Eglinton either.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice John Duncan I would think the city planners took these factors into consideration when they proposed an LRT along Jane Street - Besides; I don't there are many obstacles that can't be overcome
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Moaz Ahmad It's not about density along the routes; it's about a network that ties everything together - I will take your comments into consideration when placing the Jane Street LRT, but I'm fairly sure that I'm still set on Jane Street proper - With regard to the idea of running the Beltline Subway along Kipling, my best guess at the moment is that I will likely have the subway running along Kipling north from Rathburn Road
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad Density of residents and jobs along the route...along with existing transit demand...are the two major factors in transit route...and network...planning.
Sean Galbraith
Sean Galbraith Moaz Ahmad Well, it used to be.
Sean Galbraith
Sean Galbraith We want evidence based decision making, but this doesn't even rise to the level of decision based evidence making... because there isn't even the pretence of evidence.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Moaz Ahmad Let me re-phrase that; It's not "just" about density along the routes
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad Ok Phil..so what weights are you giving to those different factors. Oh and let's add the third...business case feasibility. For example, we *could* build heavy rail along Eglinton because it is technically possible, but it is not feasible to do so because the $8 billion cost is not justified by a strong business case or a benefits case.
John Duncan
John Duncan Just in case it isn't clear, Moaz, Sean and myself are for greatly improved transit service and connectivity throughout the region.

Your proposals don't appear to provide that because they would eat up massive amounts of capital dollars while simultaneously ballooning operating costs.
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad Sean Galbraith there's still some attempt at a pretense of adding density to Scarborough Centre and McCowan Precinct...but the market isn't likely to take the bite.

On the other hand...a friend of mine mentioned being shown a 3 bedroom penthouse condo overlooking STC that was selling at around $400,000.
Sean Galbraith
Sean Galbraith That's a looooooooooong term investment
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice First of all; heavy rail is out of the question; it would have to be tunneled now; the land has already been sold as surplus (for peanuts probably considering the costs and obstacles we are facing now) - There is no chance for east-west heavy rail toda...See More
Phil Prentice's photo.
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad I work in Markham. My wife might be able to transfer her job at Simons to their STC store. Plus, the city will have to invest in public amenities in the area...and I'll have the SRT and the 401 and the Rouge River Valley.

I would hate to give up Credit Woodlands though...and my proximity to the lake...but at the same time seeing where Sq1/MCC is now suggests some hope for STC in 10-15 years.
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad You know what STC needs? An iconic pair of buildings chosen by an international design competition....but they must be located at 1km away from the civic and retail amenities and a minimum 500m unpleasant walk from the area's limited non-retail jobs.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice John Duncan Jeeze; I'm outnumbered - My plans are just ideas - I have no misconception that anyone is going to actually listen to me, but; I do know that they have heard me - I will be satisfied if I can just sway a vote or two, or plant a seed in someones head - I have attended many of the public meetings; discussed my ideas and debated the issues with some of the city's planners and politicians; and contacted many of them by e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter - I think most of my ideas have merit - I enjoy debating the issues and appreciate the input (I listen and on occasion change my plans) - Now Sean Galbraith, isn't it past your bedtime?
Sean Galbraith
Sean Galbraith The streetlights are broken so I can stay out longer.
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad Personally, I'm always open to a fun discussion. Transit network planning decisions aren't going to be made because of input from a Facebook group, and criticism can always be expressed positively....critically but postively.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice As a long-time Scarborough resident I know what it is to spend almost 3 hours a day on public transit - I understand the needs in Scarborough very well - I am going to have a tough time "creating" plans for the west end of the city; that is part of the reason I am here, feeling things out - I will also study the city's plans and reports and of course use some of my own knowledge and intuition - After I post my first draft, I will use the feedback to tweak or adjust my plans - I am on the 5th draft of my SmarterTracks plan for Scarborough - Again; I know that it's a huge stretch to expect my plans to be done within the timelines I would like to see (we are decades behind), but; it is important the city plan many decades in advance - It will save billions if they know where they are going decades from now
Phil Prentice
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Morgen
 Peers
Morgen Peers i just posted this to New Suburbanism's account. hopefully what Institute for New Suburbanism will start adding to discussions is creative technical takes on the metroscape itself and its nuances and how these mould community planning across Toronto. for example with the Belt Line and our subway lines in general we'd like to bring greater strategic focus to the different Station Areas and present the suburban Super Stations as having a unique role and destiny that's distinct from urban area stations.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice I agree with whatever he said ;-)
Phil Prentice
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Morgen
 Peers
Morgen
 Peers
Morgen Peers These large distances between stations aren't the sole reason why these stations are super in size and functions - but it's a factor. Stations along say Sheppard East could be more frequent and this wouldn't exclude their being a Super Station between Don Mills and Sheppard/McCowan with other smaller stations at say Warden, Kennedy etc.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Yes; I'd like to see more subway stations along a new Sheppard subway extension, as well as the new Scarborough Subway Extension - The stations don't have to be as closely spaced as along Bloor-Danforth; they just need to be more strategic - I would also like to see SmartTrack scrapped and more stops added along the new Scarborough Subway Extension
Dale Barbour
Dale Barbour Run it above ground so that if it doesn't work we can turn it into bike paths
Sean Galbraith
Sean Galbraith And make it an LRT and basically scrap it. :-)
Morgen
 Peers
Morgen Peers LRTs will be a nice compliment to a strong city built with fast intra-regional rail.
Phil Prentice
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Terry Mills
Terry Mills That beltline looks like London's Circle Line and other circumvavigating rather convergent transit lines (like Yonge-Bloor). It makes for a significant difference in getting more people to where they want to go.
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad Toronto had a belt line once. It didn't last. Find out why.
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Morgen
 Peers
Morgen Peers whether or not there is a N/S link in the west, subway Downsview to STC will get built. loop completion needed.
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad It's not a loop. It's two subway lines that intersect.
Morgen
 Peers
Morgen Peers i think what's neat is that in practice Pape to Don MIlls via DRL and Sheppard Subway Line (SSL?) to STC could enable a looping back around. That would be one Sub-System Loop. St George to Yonge to Sheppard to Dowsview and back to ST.G could be another Sub-Loop. Perhaps different sections will provide for continual motion of the train (eg Don Mills to STC and down to Kennedy/Pape, other "Loops" or "Beltlines" would be so in practice/usage by TTC riders.
Morgen
 Peers
Morgen Peers Another Sub-System/Loop would be Queen/Yonge via DRL to Dundas West? and back along Bloor to Y/B and down back to Queen. Conceptual, functional and possibly physical Daily Life Loops
Morgen Peers
Morgen Peers correspondingly these loops grow in scale as you extend into the "Yorkspace" ie York County plus neighbours.
Morgen Peers
Morgen Peers Waterfront, Queen, Bloor, Sheppard, Steeles, Highway 7
Morgen Peers
Morgen Peers These are E/W Corridors and Rungs in the Loop Ladder
Morgen Peers
Morgen Peers whether or not Jane is suitable for a subway or LRT remains to be seen. should be evaluated in light of larger Core Network structural proposals. Sheppard Subway STC to Downsview and to Jane presents a strong case for running subways down Jane as a last act of generous peripheral planning that sets the scene for full inclusion and regionally relative prosperity. The Jane Rung may have an LRT N/S line coming down from Finch to Eglinton. That would be Rung 1. After Jane is the York/Spadina Line to Union, the Yonge Line, the to be DRL, and though more of a 45degree thing, the Scarborough Line from VP to McCowan/Sheppard will be Rung 6. Ideally plans can come after or with the Jane line to hit Highway 7 with the SSE in Markham. This would make for 6 N/S Rungs and about 6 E/W rungs.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Moaz Ahmad No; it's not a loop; but it should be
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Morgen Peers Hey Morgen; you're not supposed to notice that - It weakens the argument for my bigger and better beltline ;-)
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Morgen Peers A Jane LRT will not be necessary all the way to Highway #7 once the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension is complete - The TYSSE runs along Jane Street between the 407 and Highway #7
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Terry
 Mills
Terry Mills As part of the network in the past, Toronto's Radial Railway ran one line all the way out to Guelph Ontario. It ran through downtown Georgetown, but nothing remains except fragments of its alignment which provides walking trails in the countryside - and it explains why the Georgetown municipal offices used to be housed in a 66-foot wide building on Main Street, which had been repurposed from the RR. The right of way was chopped up and discarded where it could be advantageously sold. Similarly, the beltline was similarly discarded in parts, some of which became the Beltline Park in Midtown. Of interest, Sydney Australia has always appreciated the value of abandoned rail line's linear properties, and kept them for posterity - enabling them to be put back into service. Today, Toronto is confronted with the extraordinary challenges of aquiring the land to accommodate new transit offerings.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Yes; like disposing of the land reserved for the Crosstown Expressway along Eglinton West limiting the city's options for rapid transit and thus increasing the costs exponentially - http://torontoist.com/2016/06/the-truth-about-smarttrack/
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Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad You know what is funny...we still have the remnants of one of the radial railways that served Toronto...it's the 501, which follows part of the route of the Port Credit RR. More interesting is that LRT or streetcar along Lakeshore Rd. East is part of Mississauga's vision for the Lakeview and East Port Credit lands redevelopment.
Terry Mills
Terry Mills It makes sense what you mention Moaz Ahmad about the coincidence of Mississauga's future vision being reliant upon its legacy backbone. Looking at Toronto... the whole city is humped on top of the old city. That's why it's so pathetic when you see pas...See More
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad Essentially, people don't change that much and neither do cities. The technology and the fashions change but the actions & activities rarely do.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice The Toronto Belt Line Railway failed because almost 90% of the route went through undeveloped rural land - It was more of a novelty than a serious passenger line - It traveled in a circle and basically took you right back where you came from - The fare (25 cents) was too high for the day (sound familiar?), and there was a depression during the time - It started operation in 1892 and lasted less than two and a half years - It was an idea that was 125 years ahead of it's time!
Phil Prentice's photo.
Terry
 Mills
Terry Mills My favourite legacy element remains indelibly etched across Toronto's urban matrix. When the city was established, Yonge street was to be considered the cardinal concession line, with all other north-south concession roads conforming to its alignment - and street numbering emanated outwards in east and west directions. Then it was decided to construct a road (a trail) to a lake later called Simcoe. In this fashion the inland waterway that had served the indigenous population for centuries and was later adopted by the French as the primary transportation system got linked to Toronto. The expedition got to a foreshore that was to become Holland Landing. They then blazed the trail back towards Toronto. It crossed Yonge Street obliquely at Heath Street just north of St.Clair (see circle on diagram). They could have done like Manhattan which let the historical trail (know today as Broadway) escape the road gridiron that was established in 1811. Instead Toronto continued to refer to Yonge Street - and you can see all the other lines in concert adopt to Yonge's new alignment when they reached Eglinton. Even Hwy.401 parallels Yonge Street's kink. There was a period when lots were parallelograms conforming to Yonge's kink, and then there are older building that follow the original Yonge Street orientation although they are located north of Eglinton. OMG, a transition was taking place that took decades before the old alignment petered out. Duplex south of Eglinton is the tale end of Yonge's old alignment. But today, no body knows, no body remembers, and no body cares.
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Phil Prentice
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Erin Vulpecula
Erin Vulpecula so the greenbelt of path running there now would run over the subway, right?
Terry
 Mills
Terry Mills Yes, that's the black bridge you see on Yonge - between Sy.Clair and Davisville.
Erin
 Vulpecula
Erin Vulpecula it'll be a 40 year hit to the urban tree canopy in that area.
Terry
 Mills
Erin
 Vulpecula
Erin Vulpecula how many mature trees on the beltline could survive a subway installation? their removal and replacement will take decades to recover. young trees only grow so fast.
Terry
 Mills
Terry Mills The Belt Line has been chopped to pieces only remnant parts exist. The loss of trees is the least of the problems.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Erin Vulpecula My proposed beltline does not follow the same route as the 1892 Toronto Belt Line Railway at all - The Toronto Belt Line Railway was just my inspiration for a Toronto Beltline Subway - For the most part, my beltline subway would run unde...See More
Phil Prentice
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Morgen
 Peers
Morgen Peers Perhaps the DRL is the Jane Street Subway.
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Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice That was my thinking, but I'm now convinced that Kipling would be a better route for my proposed beltline subway, so; I'm going to place the LRT along Jane (which is already on the agenda), and I will be extending the Relief Line along Dundas Street We...See More
Adam
 Ess
Adam Ess What's the ridership downtown from east vs West? I have a feeling it's greater from Scarborough so the DRL should go east (either that or I'm biased).
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Adam Ess Yes; this 2012 reports indicates that the ridership between Sherbourne and Kennedy is about 16% greater than between Bathurst and Kipling - The city is focusing on the Relief Line East first, and will then be looking at the Relief Line West - I think both lines are important and should be given precedence over most other rapid transit projects in the city - Most other transit improvements currently in progress are going to do more to feed the city's problems than they are to resolve them - It is unfortunate that the politicians have their own personal agendas and don't seem to be listening to the planners
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Phil Prentice
Adam Ess
Adam Ess There's planning for better transit. But there's also planning for better development and tax revenue. Planners are considering both I suppose.
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Adam Ess Planners consider both; not so sure politicians do
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad This is quite possible ... given that demand and densities on Jane are very low south of Eglinton (with the exception of the Jane-Woolner-Rockcliffe -Syme area), it makes more sense to run any subway or LRT along Weston through Mount Dennis, then south...See More
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Moaz Ahmad I was pro-expressway - Not so sure now, but I do wish they built the Scarborough Expressway - There would be no talk or reason to widen the Don Valley Parkway (I think that's a dead issue now too?)
Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Moaz Ahmad I will consider your Weston Road alignment when preparing my plans - Still need to study key destinations and the network as a whole
Moaz Ahmad
Moaz Ahmad After living in Malaysia and driving through the Smart Tunnel, and seeing the Kranji expressway and it's tunnel (longest in SE Asia as I recall), and the Penang Bridge...I think we should be more adventurous with our infrastructure.

But then I think of the Big Dig and what happened to Big Bertha and I shudder to think of what living through that will be like.
Igor Dragovic
Igor Dragovic The loop is something I've also thought about for a while! Good to see it on paper. I agree with Moaz Ahmad on the alignment along Weston Road, or maybe Islington. There is quite a lot of density along Dixon Road, and also around Weston/Lawrence.
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Phil Prentice
Phil Prentice Thanks Igor Dragovic - I was pretty well set on Dundas Street West to Kipling Avenue for the beltline with a spur west to Mississauga Centre - This would have put the most number of people within a short bus or LRT ride of a subway; but I am finding challenges - The main issue is that Kipling Station already covers much of the area I am working with