Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility
|Location||Industry Street, Mount Dennis, Toronto, Ontario
|Operated by||Metrolinx plans to contract with a third party to operate the maintenance facility|
|Structure type||Flexity Freedom vehicle maintenance and storage facility|
The Eglinton LRT maintenance and storage facility will be required by Toronto, Ontario, for its Eglinton Crosstown light rail line, currently under construction. The site will have storage for 162 Flexity Freedom LRT vehicles and have extensive maintenance facilities. The carhouse is planned to be built near the line's western terminus at Mount Dennis LRT station, on lands formerly occupied by Kodak's Toronto campus.
The site was chosen because it was a sufficiently large "brownfield", immediately adjacent to one terminus of the line. At first Metrolinx wasn't open to input from neighbouring residents, but in May 2013, they announced that they would organize a mechanism for taking feedback.
In 2013 Metrolinx announced that they would contract with a private company to operate the facility. It would not be operated by the TTC.
The facility's footprint will be 23 hectares (57 acres).
The Eglinton line will use Flexity Freedom standard gauge rolling stock, and will not be connected to the TTC's current lines, which all use TTC broad gauge. The TTC's existing light rail and streetcar lines all use older Bombardier rolling stock, which are being replaced with TTC Flexity Outlook LRT rolling stock.
The October 2015 design for the facility incorporated two artificial ponds, and green tracks, so its landscaping would better integrate with the adjacent parkland, in the Black Creek valley. The facility will have a "green roof".
Crosstown backup power
For the first several years of development, plans called for the northwest corner of the site to contain a natural-gas fired power plant to be used mainly as a back-up generator. It would have had the capacity to run the entire Crosstown system to avoid peak demand times on the provincial power grid or in a power outage, and save about 40 per cent on the price of electricity. The plant was to have been 25 metres wide, 62 metres long and 9 metres tall. Some local residents, and environmental activists, were critical of Metrolinx's plan to use a backup generator powered by fossil fuel.
In January, 2016, the Mount Dennis Community Association prepared a petition, calling for the backup power system to use technology that would not generate local pollution. A copy was presented to Laura Albanese the local member of Ontario's Provincial Parliament. On July 23, 2016, Albanese and local Toronto City Council members Frances Nunziata and Frank DiGiorgio met with members of the Association, and assured them that Metrolinx would look into alternate methods to provide back-up power.
On March 28, 2017 Albanese and Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced that instead of providing backup power with a standby gas generator, backup power would be provided by an "innovative" system of batteries. Del Duca promised that the battery system's operating costs would not be greater than the operating cost of a gas backup power system. The system is said to be able to power the line for four hours, if outside power is lost.
- "Keele Street to Jane Section and Black Creek Maintenance & Storage Facility Environmental Project Report Addendum Online Consultation". Crosstown. 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-07-25.
Ultimate storage yard capacity of 162 vehicles;
- John Lorinc (2012-11-23). "Down (but not out) Mount Dennis area pins hopes on Metrolinx". Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
A sprawling storage and maintenance facility for the light-rail vehicles will be built on the Kodak site within a few years.
- Rahul Gupta (2012-12-12). "Meeting to provide details on LRT station in Mount Dennis". York Guardian. Archived from the original on 2013-03-29.
The Mount Dennis underground stop at Weston Road would serve as the line’s western terminus point, said Metrolinx spokesperson Jamie Robinson on Friday, Dec. 7.
- Steve Munro (2010-02-17). "Eglinton LRT: Trouble Brewing in Mt. Dennis (Update 2)". Archived from the original on 2015-03-04.
Some speakers addressed the use of the Kodak lands for the proposed carhouse, and asked that alternative schemes be considered. Part of this relates to a proposed “big box” development on the land. However, Council approved the acquisition of this property, by expropriation if necessary, in December.
- Roy Murray (2012-07-09). "Feedback on maintenance yard needed". Weston Web. Archived from the original on 2013-03-29.
- Tess Kalinowski (2010-02-16). "Residents ask TTC for LRT tunnel through Mount Dennis". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2013-03-29.
In addition to the $4.6 billion the province has committed to the Eglinton LRT, the centrepiece of Toronto's Transit City plan, the TTC also wants to build a carhouse on the old Kodak lands in Mount Dennis.
- John Thompson (2016-03-08). "Eglinton Crosstown under way, underground". Railway Age. Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
This includes the maintenance and storage facility on the former Kodak Canada property, just east of Weston Road, which has been an abandoned brownfield for more than a decade.
- Patty Winsa (2013-05-06). "Weston-Mount Dennis residents look to Metrolinx to create jobs when it builds Crosstown LRT". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
The massive 23-hectare industrial “brownfield,” empty since the film manufacturer closed in 2005, will get a second chance when it’s redeveloped as the maintenance and storage facility for vehicles on the new LRT line.
- Patty Winsa (2013-05-08). "Weston Mount Dennis residents will have input into Crosstown LRT storage site". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
“The fact that they put in this huge facility has a devastating kind of impact. Kodak used to be one of the major suppliers in York. They provided around 3,000 jobs,” said local councillor Frank Di Giorgio. “Now all of a sudden you get a huge maintenance facility there and maybe 500 jobs.
- Tess Kalinowski (2016-01-09). "Crosstown gas-fired power plant has Mount Dennis residents fired up: The electrical substation would be a backup facility, but the community wants Metrolinx to use greener technology". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
The community doesn’t object to putting a hydro plant on the old Kodak lands, where the light rail vehicle maintenance and storage facility is to be built. It just wants the province to look at greener technology, said Simon Chamberlain, of the Mount Dennis Community Association.
- Stefan Novakovic (2015-10-07). "Plans Revealed for Mount Dennis Crosstown LRT Facility". Urban Toronto. Archived from the original on 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
Although the building's purpose will be mechanical and quasi-industrial, care has been taken to minimize its impact on the surrounding area, much of which is dominated by greenery and park space.
- Roy Murray (2016-01-15). "Kodak Lands Generator – the issues and a solution". Westonweb.ca. Archived from the original on 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
There was dismay when Metrolinx announced that the site was to be a storage yard for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. More recently further disappointment was the response to the surprise announcement that an electrical generating station would be built on the lands.
- Lisa Rainford (2016-07-23). "Mount Dennis residents call for renewable energy to provide backup electricity for Eglinton Crosstown LRT". Inside Toronto. Archived from the original on 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
Metrolinx’s initial proposal for a gas-powered backup facility, an 18-megawatt generator as part of its maintenance and storage facility on the former Kodak lands, concerned local residents prompting them to sign a petition circulated by the Mount Dennis Community Association (MDCA).
- Ben Spurr (2017-03-28). "Metrolinx scraps Eglinton Crosstown gas plant for ‘innovative’ battery solution". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
Under the new plan, the battery energy storage facility would be connected to the existing hydro grid and be charged during off-peak periods when energy is cheap, such as overnight.
- Laura Howells (2017-03-28). "'This is a dream': Residents welcome Metrolinx decision to cancel gas plant in Mount Dennis: Residents concerned about potential pollution pleased with new battery-powered system". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
The minister said the new system will decrease emissions, reduce costs and increase the line's reliability. He said the new battery-powered system will be capable of providing electricity to the LRT for up to four hours during an outage.
- Aaron D'Andrea (2017-03-28). "Metrolinx planning to build battery backup system for Crosstown LRT: Battery backup system to replace plans for natural gas plant". Inside Toronto. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
Del Duca couldn’t comment on how much the system would cost to build, but added the battery will charge during off-peak hours when hydro prices are cheaper, and distribute power throughout the day.
- Maintenance Storage Facility - Official Crosstown project website