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Leslieville residents unhappy with plans for new TTC facility

Last Updated: Friday, February 19, 2010 | 11:48 AM ET

CBC News

The new light rail vehicles are expected to start arriving within the next three years. The new light rail vehicles are expected to start arriving within the next three years. (TTC)

Residents of Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood are the latest to express anger over the TTC’s expansion plans.

The public transit commission wants to build a series of light rail transit lines in the outer regions of the city, part of its Transit City initiative. But residents of the east-end neighborhood claim they were never told the TTC was planning to build a maintenance facility for the new fleet of streetcars in their backyard.

At an open house on Thursday night some residents were outraged over the proposal to build the facility near Lakeshore Boulevard East and Leslie Street, claiming they felt duped.

“If you want to get into a neighborhood and not create a fuss you hold this kind of meeting and get in the back door,” said resident Gus Sandusky.

The TTC says it needs to build a maintenance facility for its 200 new light rail vehicles. But people who live in the area say the noise will be unbearable.

Caron Court was concerned when she found out the plan was to run the light rail vehicles right past her house.

“What has me so upset is they’re planning to build streetcar tracks down Leslie Street in front of my home — less than 20 feet from my bedroom .. and we only found out six days ago,” she said.

Court said later she is not objecting to the maintenance faclity. Her concern is the number of streetcars that will be going up and down Leslie Street every day — information that was only released in the past few days.

She wants the TTC to look at other options, such as Coxwell Avenue for the new vehicles to use, before making a final decision.

In June 2009, the TTC said it was considering the Leslieville site, as well as five other sites for the new maintenance yard.

The site of the proposed Leslieville facility was to have been a box store development, but residents fought hard at the Ontario Municipal Board to have that project stopped.

They won, but a few months later the TTC proposed building the maintenance yard nearby.

The TTC says the new facility will employ 540 people and create an economic base for local businesses.