Have you travelled along Eglinton East, in the stretch east of Brentcliffe and west of Leslie lately? You may have been surprised by the view north. What was a treed ravine slope has been transformed into a clear-cut. These two photos above and below are “before” (March 30) and “after” (April 17) views (though even the “before” view is not strictly “before” as it was taken after the first trees were removed – when the LRA became involved).
It’s the first stage of constructing a retaining wall to allow room for the travel lanes, bike lanes, and sidewalk in the area of the Portal, where the LRT trains will emerge from/enter into the tunnel for the underground portion of the line.
No question the retaining wall is a valid project needed for the Eglinton LRT, but who knew the project, and in particular the tree removal, was happening?
Well, that’s a good question. The LRA is represented on the Metrolinx Liaison Committee for the Leaside (Bayview) and Laird Stations – and they met on March 9 – and this committee was not advised.
The neighbours above on Thursfield Crescent were provided with little information – a crude diagram and map that did not show their property lines. Work started on March 24, but horrified neighbours intervened and work was shut down, ultimately for over three weeks, until April 16 when the tree removal work re-commenced.
The LRA was contacted by Thursfield neighbours, who in addition to the epidemic-related stress that all of us are dealing with right now, were losing (and have now lost) the treed skyline, a big part of the “peace and enjoyment” of their property.
The LRA worked with the neighbours to get proper information from Metrolinx, and helped to compile “20 Questions” to Metrolinx regarding all aspects of the project. These questions were partially answered but In the end the tree removal was total and occurred without an on-site meeting with Metrolinx and contractors present to interpret and explain the tree removal plan – which in the end involved clear cutting right up to the fence lines.
The LRA and Thursfield neighbours thank Kathleen Wynne MPP for her assistance in arranging and moderating a teleconference meeting with Metrolinx.