What's Coming Down the Tracks?
It Could be Up to Us
Do the risks of the rail traffic through our neighbourhood worry you? Would you be even more concerned if plans were being made to very significantly increase that rail freight movement? Such plans are being proposed. GARA is indeed concerned and so we are working towards effectively addressing the issues with the appropriate levels of governments.
Strong support appears to be growing to the west and south of our area for a proposal known as the Missing Link. For example, this editorial in the Toronto Star clearly supports it. The report developed by Milton Council is linked here. Initially there has been absolutely no sign of any analysis of the implications for neighbourhoods like ours which would inherit of all rerouted traffic. That traffic would include cars carrying toxic and volatile substances. Substances which, in case of accident, would create very serious risks.
The proposal involves building a new rail connection in the Highway 410 area of Peel between the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific rights of way. This is proposed to move all rail freight off the more southerly CP line on to the CN line. That CN line is the very one that crosses a few hundred metres from so many of our homes as well as Henderson Avenue and E.J.Sand Public Schools and Thornhill High School. Arguments are made that this would allow better GO train service in the western part of the GTA and remove freight traffic from the neighbourhoods in mid town Toronto. Until now, there appears to be almost no thought to the resulting burden placed on communities such as ours.
York Region Council and Markham Council have responded asking that Metrolinx and the Federal government consider the impact of these plans on the neighbourhoods such as ours that it will likely seriously disadvantage. Here is the letter from Mayor Scarpitti sent to local residents about the project outlining his position.
GARA’s executive is very concerned about these plans and their potential impact on our community. We are working to connect with other affected Residents Associations including The World on Yonge RA and SpringFarm RA of Vaughan to ask for a thorough impact assessment. To make that happen we NEED your help.