As part of the Transit City Initiative the TTC is proposing to take the existing Street Car track from Long Branch to Park Lawn and turn it into a dedicated Light Rail Transit line. More information has been included in a blog post here.

What do you think about this proposal? What questions would you want answered about the proposal?

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I love it! We need stronger east-west transit links for the whole Toronto waterfront. This is going to bring more people in to enjoy Lakeshore. The LRT will strengthen ties between Long Branch, New Toronto, Mimico, Parkdale and Toronto. It will make commuting along the Lakeshore much easier and relieve us from having to crowd on to north-bound buses in order to travel east on the subway. This will make it easier to commute on our main thoroughfare, and increase pedestrian customers for our Lakeshore businesses. Enhanced transit will make or neighborhoods even more desirable destinations to live, work and play, for people across Toronto.
I'm surprised we've only heard from Dave on this. On Thursday night there was a room full of people who were quite passionate about this issue.
I think it's terrific too. Public transit is the responsible way for the future for all of us. I think business owners may want to consider that as cars/gas become more expensive and irresponsible, locations with ready public transit will prosper.
The LRT sounds good in theory until you look at what is actually planned. Rather than the village atmosphere that we envision and are working towards, our Lake Shore Blvd. will be turned into a transportation corridor designed to take people downtown. The plans shown so far show a wider road with fewer opportunities to cross (or for traffic to turn), narrower sidewalks and fewer commercial buildings.

There will be 1/3 fewer stops, so you will have to walk further to get on it and you will only be able to cross legally at an intersection with traffic lights, possibly further lengthening your walk to the stop. The cars will be twice as long as the current cars, leading some to suggest that ultimately we will see a decrease in frequency as we don't have the population density to fill the cars at the current frequency.

Personally, I believe that we need to improve our transit options (both within and to/from The Lakeshore) but I don't think this is the way to do it.

I encourage everyone to find out as much as they can about the LRT as it will have a huge impact on our neighourhood. The TTC has agreed to hold two more public consultation meetings which I'm sure will be posted here when the dates are set. Please watch for these an attend if possible.
When I attended an information session on the proposed Lakeshore LRT earlier this year, one of the experts told me the transit travel time along Lakeshore from Brown's Line to Park Lawn would be improved by a mere 5 minutes. Only 5. That seems hardly worth the expense and trouble and change to the community an LRT line would bring. The expert's insistence that this was the way it was going to happen seemed to indicate that there is an agenda here that is not necessarily about what is good for the Lakeshore. This proposed line is probably more about linking Mississauga Transit with Toronto along the Lakeshore corridor than about servicing Lakeshore residents and businesses.
If you go up to St. Clair Avenue, you can see the future there. Car travel is reduced to a single lane, parking spots have been eliminated, left turns have been reduced, and it is, well, just plain ugly. Perhaps in a densely populated community closer to the core, it may have been worth it to give up what was formerly a charming boulevard for the sake of a speedier ride to the subway. But here on the Lakeshore we could speed up the transit commute and free up lanes for cars, bikes and pedestrians simply by using buses, either connected to the streetcar grid or not. Bus sevice could respond flexibly to the present and future needs of Lakeshore residents without this huge capital expenditure.
I support the existing LRT east of Park Lawn. I do not support it between Brown's Line and Park Lawn.
I like the idea of LRT service to better connect Lakeshore Village to surrounding areas, but the plans are pretty clear in that they would turn this section of Lakeshore into a transportation corridor (like another poster mentioned), which is contrary to what I envision for this area.

Adding lanes, reducing street parking, and increasing road capacity will all work against local traffic and make it difficult for local store owners to justify improving their retail store-fronts.

On the other hand... I still like a lot of other aspects of the idea.
The LRT proposal totally contradicts the concept of "The New Urbanism", where people live, work and shop in the same community. That is exactly how it was in our Lakeshore communities of Town of Mimico, Town of New Toronto and Village of Long Branch for the greater part of the 20th century.

Future population projections for the Lakeshore do not support the LRT, notwithstanding that the total population is at (or already above) the maximum capacity for the area set out in the 1970's.

Unless you want to see our quiet and livable Lakeshore built up like Hong Kong (just like the downtown waterfront), we need to protect our communities from incompatible transit proposals and development.

Anyone who advocates that their property values will increase as the result of the LRT is likely only looking to sell-out and profit from their house as an 'investment' - not as the place where they raise a family in a great community over a lifetime

We do not need our treasure by the lake destroyed because of greed.
I worry about what effect the construction will have on the local businesses. Remember the construction on the tracks a few (maybe 2 or 3) years back in Long Branch. It KILLED everything, you couldn't make a u-turn, or park anywhere, it was awful. I walk everywhere here, but I also know that its near impossible to find a parking spot when I'm driving, so lots of people will just go elsewhere, unless we can get free parking from the green P lots as some sort of incentive for coming down here despite the construction issues.
If anyone wants to see what the LRT proposal along Lake Shore Blvd. West will look like, just go to The Queensway between Ellis Ave. and St. Joseph's Hospital. The configuration will be the same, using a paved transit allowance, but with longer platforms and transit vehicles being used.

The negative impacts of the LRT on local businesses will likely result in significant increases in residential property tax rates to compensate for commercial tax losses. If you think there are too many empty stores now on our mainstreet, just wait until the LRT gets put in.
My concerns reflect much of those already posted - that we don't want Lakeshore to be turned into a bedroom community for commuters. As it is, many of our Lakeshore retailers are barely struggling to survive, there are so many closures and empty buildings. While it is impossible to please everyone, we definitely should be thinking Long Term - the reason people move to this community is because of it's "community" atmosphere. We should tread carefully, as this may be the equivalent of investors buying housing here because it is a "quaint area" only to knock it down and build some mega-home that destroys the character of the neighbourhood that attracts people in the first place.

If we could expand parking at Long Branch and other GO so people are virtually guaranteed parking there; improve TTC express service to subway stations from Lakeshore, while expanding space and reducing fees for parking at those stations, we could use existing infrastructure to much greater extent, without significantly impacting on the neighbourhood.
Mona.

It's great to see you have thought this through and have looked ahead to consider the potential impacts on our communities.

For your information on Go Transit, there is a proposal they are currently involved in that will replace the present Mimico station and adjacent property with a 20-story condo tower, new station, and expanded parking in (I believe) a 2-level parking structure.

Condos, in particular, and townhouses really detract from our established communities in The Lakeshore.
I work evenings and weekends downtown, and the existing transit costs me over an hour of time, and childcare, each way versus driving - so end up driving (albeit car-pooling) most of the time. The GO could be so much more useful as a direct corridor to downtown if it were more frequent - even just twice an hour instead of once at non-peak times. This seems to me a better use of govt funding than a "high speed" LRT which will still have to stop at intersections and be impacted by traffic. Improving bus access to the GO train might also help, although $2.75 to ride for TTC for 10 minutes is pretty steep.

I don't think condos and townhouses necessarily detract from our community - a bit more urban density might actually support some of these local businesses and call more attention to improving our transit. They don't have to be ugly eyesores. Question for Paul - what does it mean "the total population is at (or already above) the maximum capacity for the area set out in the 1970's." Why? What is it that can't support more people in this area? The roads? Maybe things have changed since the 1970's? How can there be more foot traffic for local businesses without more mid-upper income people actually living here? Wouldn't condos and townhouses encourage some people and families to move here that wouldn't otherwise? Are we trying to discourage people from moving here?

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