This new station is an important development for our neighbourhood. It will improve access to jobs located downtown, improve quality of life for commuters, and enhance the value of our neighbourhood.
The ride on the GO train from the new Downsview Park station to Union station will only take 15 minutes, significantly less than the time it currently takes to commute the same distance on the subway (40-50 minutes, based on my daily experience over the past three years).
This (Barrie) train line has been identified for track upgrades (in progress) and electrification (over 10 years) that will eventually provide 15-minute all-day service.
Unfortunately, the station has no plans for a parking lot. I sent several emails to Metrolinx to request a parking lot, and the responses were:
1. The land adjacent to the station is not available.
2. The land around the station is owned by Downsview Park, which is managed by the Federal Government.
3. “We are not considering the addition of parking spaces at this station, as Downsview GO will be an urban station with excellent connections to the subway,” and
4. “We will not be considering adding parking to this station once construction is complete as there will be a number of bus routes available to connect commuters to the TTC’s subway system.”
While these are valid points, why not include a small parking lot to give people in the neighbourhood another way to get to the train?
Our community needs to convince Downsview Park to allow a small portion of the land around the station to be used for GO Train parking. Today, there are unpaved parking lots beside the new station used by contractors working on the station. These existing lots could simply be paved over to be used by commuters once the station opens. GO and the TTC could charge parking fees to recover the cost of the parking lot over time.
Further, I spoke with the TTC, who told me the only bus routes to the new station will be the 101 Downsview Park, the 107 Keele, and the 84 Sheppard. Those routes do not cover all of the areas in the surrounding community.
Adding a parking lot to Downsview Park Station is a simple proposal that will maximize the impact of the Province’s investments on the Barrie GO line and in Downsview Park. It will get people where they need to go sooner, and will allow commuters to spend less time on transit and more time with their families. If you agree that you would like at least a small parking lot at the new Downsview Station, contact the following people:
Bruce McCuaig, President & CEO, Metrolinx
Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension
Monte Kwinter, MPP
Maria Augimeri, City Councillor