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There ‘won’t be expropriations along Pape,’ chief planner says of downtown relief line

The city’s chief planner saysthere won’t be expropriations along Pape” as planning for the so-called downtown relief line moves forward, despite concern from local residents about the new route potentially running directly under their houses.

Jennifer Keesmat, the city’s chief planner, said part of the consultations and planning for the line have included how to maintain “healthy neighbourhoods,” including looking at how deep the subway could go so as not to disrupt the houses above.

But until the route is finalized, it remains unclear how many houses will be impacted, she told CBC’s Metro Morning on Friday.

“There won’t be expropriations along Pape. But there will be people who didn’t have a subway running underneath their house before who will now,” Keesmaat said.

“And it’s important to know that there are very stringent guidelines from the ministry of environment around noise and vibration that of course we will be adhering to.”

Preferred route revealed

Downtown Relief Line

In the preferred alignment, the new subway line would run south at Pape, turn west at Eastern Avenue, then connect to Queen and Osgoode Stations. (TTC)

The long-awaited relief line came back into the news this week, as city staff identified the desired route for the line, which would run south from Pape and Danforth before moving west into the downtown core.

A day later, the provincial government pledged more than $ 150 million for planning and design work on the line.

While details on exactly how that money will be spent were not made clear during a news conference announcing the cash, provincial and city staff are expected to meet in the coming weeks.

TTC chair and Coun. Josh Colle said Wednesday he believed some of the funds would go toward planning where stops should go, including studying any geotechnical challenges that could come with burrowing under the city.

The relief line has long been on the wish list for subway commuters who deal with the daily headache of overcrowding during rush hour, particularly on the Yonge-University-Spadina line.

Keesmaat acknowledged that the relief line isn’t happening as quickly as many commuters would like.

But, she said, “the reality is when you stop something for 30 years and you try to start it up again, which is what we’re doing on transit planning and transit investment, it takes a while to get the wheels going.”

CBC | Toronto News

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