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Coalition asks Mayor Chow to tour Eglinton Flats; learn about ECWE impact and community concerns

April 2, 2024


Office of the Mayor

City Hall, 2nd floor

100 Queen Street West

Toronto ON M5H 2N2



Dear Mayor Chow,


I am writing to you on behalf of a coalition of grassroots groups advocating for the protection of parkland in the Mount Dennis community. Our concern stems from the proposed elevated section of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (ECWE) and its impact on the invaluable green spaces within our community, particularly Eglinton Flats and the Humber river.


In a recent CBC article covering the announcement of the next stage for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, you expressed enthusiasm for the progress in transit infrastructure across the city. You highlighted the potential for thousands of people to utilize the new stations and explore the amazing offerings of Mount Dennis and neighbouring communities. While we share your enthusiasm for improved transit, we are deeply concerned about the imminent threat posed to Eglinton Flats parkland by the proposed 1.5km elevated segment of the LRT line. The beautiful urban parkland in Mount Dennis, a diverse low-income priority neighbourhood, is what’s amazing to explore. Trees and wildlife, including Threatened and Endangered species, should be protected, not destroyed. 


Eglinton Flats, designated as greenbelt parkland and vital wildlife corridor to the Humber river system, faces destruction if the current plan proceeds. We urge you to recognize the urgency of this situation and take immediate action to protect our irreplaceable green spaces. There are alternative routing options for the ECWE that offer faster transit times, better protection against severe weather, and lower long-term maintenance costs for taxpayers. Additionally, engineers working on the project have confirmed that a fully tunnelled LRT line, as outlined in option #2 of the Initial Business Case released by Metrolinx in February 2020, is technically feasible.


It is imperative that you engage with residents, community groups, and Indigenous peoples to facilitate genuine discussions with Metrolinx about a course correction for this segment of the ECWE. The current plan not only threatens our environment but also undermines the well-being of our community. Approximately 400 trees have already been removed from our parks, and we cannot afford to lose over 1200 more. Mount Dennis residents deserve sustainable and equitable transit planning that prioritizes the protection of our urban forest.


As Mayor of Toronto, you have the power to enact change and safeguard our environment for future generations. We implore you to stand with the people of Mount Dennis and advocate for the preservation of our parkland. The City of Toronto has set ambitious goals for tree canopy cover, and we cannot allow the Ford government and Metrolinx to proceed with the unnecessary destruction of our existing mature tree canopy. Replacement trees are half as likely to survive. We cannot allow this mistake.


We respectfully request a meeting with you at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter further. This is a defining moment that will shape your political legacy, and we urge you to do the right thing by prioritizing the protection of our environment and communities.


Thank you for considering our concerns. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Sincerely,

Neiland Brissenden

Spokesperson, Save Eglinton Flats Coalition




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