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Current Work

At its meeting in July 2016, City Council approved the preferred alignment for the Relief Line from Pape to Downtown via Queen/Eastern, subject to assessment of an additional alignment west of Pape within a local segment from immediately north of the GO tracks on Pape Avenue to south of Queen Street.  An alignment option within this local segment along Carlaw Avenue has been developed and evaluated. The results of the evaluation will be presented at the public meeting on April 5.

Local Segment Alignment Options Evaluated:

1. Subway running under Pape from Queen to Danforth, with stations near Queen and Gerrard; and
2. Subway running under Carlaw from Queen to the GO Rail Corridor, then running diagonally under commercial and residential properties to connect to Pape near Riverdale Avenue, with stations near Queen and Gerrard.

Planning and design for Relief Line and SmartTrack is being coordinated to provide for a good interchange connection. Discussions with Metrolinx are underway.

 Local Segment Map

Technical Work Completed for Local Segment Options

Geotechnical/ Seismic Analysis - Field analysis to map geological conditions (e.g. soils, bedrock) will be used as input for noise and vibration analysis.

  • Boreholes drilled along Pape and Carlaw in Fall 2016
  • Results from boreholes drilled along Pape and Carlaw in Fall 2016 confirm bedrock location and soil composition:
    • 14m - 24m below Pape
    • 12m - 18m below Carlaw
  • This information is used for the design and analysis work (e.g., noise and vibration, tunneling methodology, utility plan, etc.)

Existing Subway Noise and Vibration Testing - Noise and vibration data from the Bloor-Danforth Subway was compared to data from the Sheppard Subway to confirm the significant reduction in vibration has been achieved as a result of depth and new track design.

Vibration levels for Sheppard Subway and Bloor-Danforth Subway were measured to compare differences. Sheppard is much more comparable to Relief Line since it is deeper than Bloor-Danforth.

Key Conclusions

  • The deeper the tunnel, the greater the reduction
  • Bedrock absorbs vibration better than soft soils
  • Contemporary track design for Sheppard results in reductions

Implications for the Relief Line

  • Relief Line is more comparable to the Sheppard Subway as it will be deeper than Danforth, and possible even deeper than the Sheppard line (~18-25 metres).
  • Tunnel will be mostly in bedrock
  • Relief Line will be built with state-of-the art tunnel design (floating slab)
  • Depth combined with geotechnical conditions and newer technologies will help to reduce potential for vibration/noise.

All subway projects must now be designed to meet or exceed TTC and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s stringent noise and vibration standards.

Analysis of Potential Real Estate Impacts - Study potential real estate impacts on existing residential properties of construction and operation of the Relief Line along Pape or Carlaw, focussing in the area from Queen to Gerrard.

  • In general, transit has a positive impact on real estate markets in terms of demand and pricing.
  • After construction of the Relief Line is complete:
    • Both Carlaw and Pape options likely to experience net positive real estate impacts within the area in general
    • Net positive real estate impacts expected for most low-density property values,especially within walking distance of a station
    • Some homes immediately adjacent to a station may have limited negative impacts, which could include a lower value or weaker price appreciation. Through more detailed station design, techniques would be explored to mitigate potential impacts.
    • Apartments/condos can expect to display a strong value premium
  • During construction of the Relief Line:
    • Potential for temporary negative impacts to the value of a property and to the ability to sell a property during construction
    • Living conditions may be more stressful
    • Real estate market is still expected to display strong demand characteristics

Local Segment Real Estate Study

Underground Building Constraints Investigation -  Examination of building permit drawings to identify potential underground constraints for subway construction (i.e. deep foundations, underground parking).

  • Tunnels will be deep enough to avoid conflicts with building and bridge foundations for either Pape or Carlaw options
  • There are a few underground parking garages near stations that would need to be considered during the design process

Utility Constraints Investigation -  Detailed investigation to identify potential constraints of existing and planned underground services and utilities (e.g. water, sewer, hydro).

  • Some utility conflicts have been identified which would need to be considered during the design process:
    • 3m (10’) Combined Sewer along Gerrard located approximately 20 metres underground which both options would need to avoid
    • 1.8m (6’) Combined Sewer along Carlaw which would require reconstruction/ relocation prior to or as part of Relief Line construction

Underground Utility Constraints Investigation

  • Some utility conflicts have been identified which would need to be considered during the design process:
    • 3m (10’) Combined Sewer along Gerrard located approximately 20 metres underground which both options would need to avoid
    • 1.8m (6’) Combined Sewer along Carlaw which would require reconstruction/ relocation prior to or as part of Relief Line construction

Underground Geotechnical Constraints Investigation

  • Boreholes drilled along Pape and Carlaw in Fall 2016
  • Results from boreholes drilled along Pape and Carlaw in Fall 2016 confirm bedrock location and soil composition:
    • 14m - 24m below Pape
    • 12m - 18m below Carlaw
  • This information is used for the design and analysis work (e.g., noise and vibration, tunneling methodology, utility plan, etc.)

 

 Evaluation Framework  Pape  Carlaw

 CHOICE 

Connectivity to Surface Transit Routes 

 

 

  •  Unable to connect with existing north-south transit demand (bus 72)
 
  • Follows the existing movement of people, transit, autos
  • Coincides with high ridership on high-frequency bus 72

EXPERIENCE 

Travel Time

Both alignment options offer nearly identical travel times  

SOCIAL EQUITY 

Improving Service to Neighbourhood Improvement Areas

Supporting Equity in Mobility by Gender, Income, Family Status, and Age Class 

 Social equity benefits are almost the same for both options. 

 SHAPING THE CITY

Serving Areas of Planned Population Growth

Compatibility with City Planning Policies

Supporting City-Building Opportunities

Partnership Opportunities for Transit-Oriented Development

 
  • Good city-building opportunities at Gerrard station
  • Limited opportunity to support city-building opportunities at Queen-Pape

 

 
  • Good city-building opportunities at Gerrard station
  • Additional city-building opportunities at Queen-Carlaw, offering a station in the growing Carlaw and Dundas area

HEALTHY NEIGHBOURHOODS

Compatibility with Existing Neighbourhoods

Opportunities for Context Sensitive Integration of Station Facilities with Surrounding Neighbourhoods

Impacts on Cultural/ Heritage/Archeological Features

Eliminating Barriers within Neighbourhoods 

 
  • Main disadvantage is the impact to the neighbourhood around Pape-Queen
  • Station at Queen-Pape to bring a high level of activity to a tight, low-scale residential environment

 

 
  • Main advantage is the compatibility of both stations to be integrated into the existing urban fabric
  • Station at Queen-Carlaw would invite a high level of activity that would support the emerging higher density, mixed-use Carlaw+Dundas area

PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

Noise and Vibration Impacts during Construction

Noise and Vibration Impacts during Operation 

 After Construction is Complete
  • Subway operation is not anticipated to result in noise and vibration impacts.  All TTC subway projects are now be designed to meet or exceed TTC and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s stringent noise and vibration standards

During Construction

  • Normal temporary noise and vibration impacts associated with excavation and tunneling to be expected near station areas, tunnel boring machine launch and extraction sites, and over top of the tunnel boring machine.
 
 
  • The presence of more ground-related low-rise residential uses along this alignment will increase impact felt by residents. 

  • Generally, commercial, industrial, and non-ground related residential (condos) that characterize Carlaw between Queen and Gerrard are less susceptible to noise and vibration impacts during construction.

 

AFFORDABILITY

Engineering Feasibility

Minimize Property Acquisition Costs

Construction Impacts (vehicle, transit, access)

Utility Impacts

 
  • Main cost risk is the complex station construction at Gerrard/Pape beneath rail corridor
  • Main cost savings are fewer utility conflicts, reduced traffic/transit impacts during construction

 
  • Relocation/reinforcement of 1.8m sanitary sewer on Carlaw will be required which will increase costs
  • Potential increased cost associated with construction of a deeper station at Gerrard to avoid mid-Toronto interceptor sewer
  • Main cost savings are fewer easements and property requirements at Queen 

SUPPORTS GROWTH

Serving Areas of Planned Employment Growth

Supporting and Strengthening Existing Businesses and Industry 

 

  • Station at Gerrard supports redevelopment of Gerrard Square and Riverdale Shopping Centre
  • Station at Queen serves a lower concentration of projected future employment with less direct support of existing businesses 
  • Station at Queen serves a higher concentration of projected future employment and better supports existing businesses