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Brimley Road RT station needed for the future: councillor

Scarborough Community Councillors make case for new station

BY DANIELLE MILLEY
April 9, 2008 03:43 PM

The TTC shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to make transit easier for thousands of people who will call the Brimley Road area home in the coming years, said one Scarborough councillor.

Ward 38 (Scarborough Centre) Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker said when the Scarborough Rapid Transit line is updated in the next few years a station should be built at Brimley Road, just north of Ellesmere Road. He said the station should have been included when the line was first built.

“A Brimley station should have been built 25 years ago. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice,” he said.

De Baeremaeker brought forward a motion at Scarborough Community Council April 8 to direct appropriate staff to attend the next TTC meeting to express support for the station.

“I want us to send a signal that we think it’s time that we get an RT station,” he said.

When De Baeremaeker, a TTC commissioner, brought up the idea at a TTC meeting last month commission staff warned putting a station so close to the Scarborough Centre station wouldn’t be justifiable.

De Baeremaeker contends with the current developments along Brimley Road north of Ellesmere Road and with the thousands of units approved for the Brimley Road and Progress Avenue area, a new station is justified.

“We’re basically building another Yonge and Sheppard there. The condos are coming, the question is will there be light rail transit for them,” he said.

Ward 36 (Scarborough Southwest) Councillor Brian Ashton questioned staff on whether there is proof supporting the station.

“We do feel a station at Brimley is warranted,” said Dipak Dhrona, program manager, transportation planning. “It’s too far off (to Scarborough Centre) in terms of walking distance along the Brimley Road frontage.”

The station is the only way to keep these thousands of new residents out of their cars, De Baeremaeker said.

While a Brimley station would be only 700 metres west of the Scarborough Centre transit hub, the distance would be enough to deter many people from walking, he said.

He added the new station isn’t only about saving people a 10- or 15-minute walk, it’s needed to alleviate the overcrowding at Scarborough Centre.

“It will come to the point where you won’t be able to fit people on the platform,” De Baeremaeker said.

The station would come with an estimated $20 million price tag, but when you consider a subway replacement would cost in the billions of dollars, De Baeremaeker said adding $20 million to the $500 million cost of a new Scarborough rapid transit line isn’t that significant. (Two years ago Scarborough Community Council made the decision to stop lobbying for a subway to replace the aging SRT.

De Baeremaeker said he doesn’t buy the argument that the money could be better spent elsewhere. Giving Scarborough a Brimley SRT station, as well as a Sheppard light rapid transit line and other transit improvements is about giving Scarborough “its fair share of transit” dollars, he said.

“It’s not a question of this or that,” he said. “I’m saying build them all.”

Ashton also questioned how the station would affect employment lands in the area.

“It would be an attraction. It would spur off development activity,” Dhrona said.




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