Waterfront West LRT
|Waterfront West LRT|
|System||Toronto subway and RT|
|Operator(s)||Toronto Transit Commission|
The Waterfront West LRT (WWLRT) was a proposed light rail line in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was part of the Transit City proposal announced March 16, 2007, to be operated by the Toronto Transit Commission and use existing parts of the Toronto streetcar system.
The line was cancelled by Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford on December 1, 2010 when he announced the cancellation of Transit City. While LRT lines on Sheppard East, Finch West, and Eglinton were revived through a new agreement between the City of Toronto and Metrolinx, the WWLRT was not included. An October 2015 city report recommended that the project be reconsidered in the context of other Waterfront transit projects. It is included in Metrolinx's regional transportation plan The Big Move under the 15-year horizon.
Announced on March 16, 2007, the WWLRT was part of Mayor David Miller's Transit City proposal, to be operated by the Toronto Transit Commission. As the shortest and least expensive Transit City line, it was expected to cost approximately $540 million. The line was to open in four stages and be completed by 2015 as the third of the seven Transit City lines after the Sheppard East LRT and Etobicoke-Finch West LRT (today's Finch West LRT). Unlike the other Transit City lines, this service would share infrastructure and track gauge with the streetcar system; the other LRTs would not be compatible and use larger vehicles on standard gauge tracking.
After taking office in December 2010, Mayor Rob Ford announced cancellation of the line, however this decision was never brought to City Council for approval and the line's status remains in question. Funding had not been secured for this project.
In January 2013, the project was shelved by Toronto city officials.
On October 9, 2015, a city staff report titled Waterfront Transit "Reset" said that there is a clear need for a “reset” because recent waterfront transit planning has been ad hoc and incremental, resulting in the lack of a comprehensive plan for a transit network to respond to the rapid changes occurring along the waterfront. In the report, the Deputy City Manager recommended that:
- City Council direct City staff, working with the TTC and Waterfront Toronto, to undertake a comprehensive review of waterfront transit initiatives and options, and provide a status update to Executive Committee in Q2 of 2016.
The Waterfront Transit "Reset" report also said:
- Notwithstanding the fact that both the Waterfront West and Waterfront East LRTs are ranked in the top five unfunded rapid transit proposals in the preliminary analysis of Feeling Congested?", there has been little funding allocated for waterfront transit projects.
The Waterfront West LRT line would run for 11 km, estimated to account for 21 million trips in 2021. The western terminus of the line would be built at the Long Branch GO Station in Etobicoke. The line would use an exclusive right of way along Lake Shore Boulevard West, and follow the existing right of way used by routes 501 and 508 through Humber loop, and along the Queensway. A new right of way would parallel King Street West east of Roncesvalles Avenue, and follow the rail corridor to the existing Exhibition loop facility. It was designed to operate via the existing Harbourfront streetcar right-of-way from the exhibition loop facility to Union Station, however, now it has been recommended that it operate via a new right-of-way to be constructed under the Gardiner Expressway, and along Bremner Boulevard to a new portal that will allow it to access the Union Station streetcar tunnel. This was because of concerns about operating too many streetcars through complex multi-phase intersections at intersections like Fleet St., Lake Shore Blvd. W, and Bathurst St., and about service reliability and speed.
The TTC has predicted an average daily ridership of over 40,000 on the segment that would serve the developing Liberty Village and CityPlace neighbourhoods, as opposed to approximately 2,200 per peak hour on the western segment of the line.
The TTC indicated that stops would be spaced on average 370 m apart from Long Branch GO Station to Park Lawn Road. This list does not include potential extensions of the Waterfront West LRT. The distances between these stops varies, but they are likely candidates, from west to east to Park Lawn Road:
On Lake Shore Boulevard West
- Browns Line - Long Branch GO Station (connection to Lakeshore West GO train line)
- Thirty Seventh Street
- Long Branch Avenue
- Thirtieth Street
- Twenty Seventh Street
- Twenty Second Street
- Kipling Avenue
- Thirteenth Street
- Islington Avenue
- Third Street
- First Street
- Royal York Road
- Symons Street
- Hillside Avenue
- Mimico Avenue
- Burlington Street
- Legion Road
- Park Lawn Road
Major streets and landmarks
Major streets and landmarks crossing the Waterfront West LRT (from west to east from Park Lawn Road):
Along the Gardiner Expressway and the Lakeshore West GO train line
- Carter, Tristan (25 February 2011). "Jane LRT goes off the rails". Town Crier. Streeter Publications.
- D'Cruz, Andrew (1 December 2010). "Mayor Rob Ford: "Transit City is over"". Toronto Life.
- Tess Kalinowski (28 November 2012). "TTC, Metrolinx finally sign off on LRTs". Toronto Star. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Waterfront Transit "Reset"" (PDF). City of Toronto. October 9, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
- "The Big Move". Metrolinx. 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- Mayor Rob Ford: “Transit City is over” Toronto Life December 1, 2010
- Inside Toronto: LRT planned for 2015 to run along Lake Shore Boulevard West has now been shelved by city officials
- City Of Toronto. Toronto Transit Commission. WATERFRONT WEST LRT CONNECTION TO UNION STATION: . Toronto: 2008. Print.