Crosstown

Tree Removal along Eglinton Avenue

The Crosstown LRT project includes a combination of underground stations and street level stops. Along the eastern route of the project, this transition between the underground and surface sections happens between Brentcliffe Road and Leslie Street through a structure called a portal.  

After the Eglinton Crosstown light rail vehicles (LRVs) emerge from the East Portal at Brentcliffe, the vehicles will be travelling in dedicated lanes in the middle of Eglinton Avenue.

To accommodate the addition of a dedicated right of way for the rapid transit service it is necessary to widen the City’s roadway for eastbound and westbound lanes between Leslie Street to Brentcliffe Road.  Part of Eglinton Avenue has been shifted to the north to ensure that two lanes of westbound traffic are provided that will feature a new sidewalk and bike lane when completed. 

To safely accommodate the road widening, a retaining wall north of Eglinton is required.  Building the retaining wall requires re-grading the slope leading into Serena Gundy Park and a safe and stable embankment must be ensured.  During the re-grading of the slope, tree removals were required.  Metrolinx and its constructor take the need for tree removals very seriously and work closely with TRCA and the City of Toronto during this removal process. 

The next step is construction of the retaining wall and restoration of the embankment.  It is recognized that embankments are ecologically sensitive areas that have to be treated appropriately.  Building next to and on embankments is a complicated task that must find a balance between ensuring stability of the slope and re-naturalizing it. 

The restoration strategy proposed a mass shrub planting, with the desired outcome of that the plant material to still reach 15-20 feet in height which would provide some visual buffer for the neighbours of Thursfield from Eglinton Avenue. This approach was proposed based on maximizing the stability of the embankment, which will only accommodate a different depth of soil now that it has a different slope angle.  Recommendations from environmental specialists identify that a geogrid solution is the most appropriate in this instance and is a standard approach currently used. 

Metrolinx understands that the community would prefer to see the embankment restored with trees. We are working closely with our constructor and the City of Toronto to consider restoration options that would meet best practices for embankment plantings. 

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