TTC officials are looking to the future with their proposal for the upcoming Chaplin LRT station. But residents in the area say they want to preserve the look of the past.
A public consultation was held by the TTC on April 25 at Forest Hill Collegiate to let people know about the proposed station and to garner their feedback. The station will be part of the Crosstown LRT line that will be built along Eglinton.
Most people who spoke with the Town Crier said they were happy with the initial design of the station and are pleased to see it will have three separate entrances. One entrance will be located in what is currently Toronto Fire Station 135, at the southeast corner of Eglinton Avenue West and Chaplin Crescent. Several residents in attendance said they wanted the design of the fire station to be retained when the TTC takes over the building.
“That’s my main thing, don’t just stick a modern façade on to the old fire house,” said local resident Jennifer Henry. “Make sure that you try to match it brick for brick.
“Make it look like it was part of the structure. Don’t just attach some new thing to this beautiful old building. That would be disappointing.”
Anna Pace, TTC director of strategic partnerships, said steps would be taken to ensure the design of that secondary station entrance would resemble the current fire station.
“We have to make sure that the entrance works for transit but we are preserving the building,” she said. “At the next consultation we’ll be showing a lot more in terms of how the aesthetics, how the architectural treatment fits with the fire station and with the rest of the station elements.”
Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow was at the consultation and said the construction of the new station entrance may actually be the fire station’s saving grace.
“Currently, the fire hall is being held up by metal stilts so there needs to be some work on it,” he said. “This can be part of the work to actually retain the heritage component rather than destroy it.”
Matlow said that, unlike the St. Clair right-of-way project, a clear and focused strategy is needed for the Crosstown LRT. He noted the effect construction may have on small businesses along Eglinton.
“It will affect businesses less given the fact that it’s going to be boring rather than cut and cover,” he said. “That being said though, no one should pretend that this isn’t going to create a disturbance and some frustration to some local businesses.”
The station’s main entrance is to be constructed at the northeast corner of Eglinton Avenue West and Chaplin Crescent. A smaller, third entrance is to be located just outside of a residential building at 321 Chaplin Crescent.
The current plan also calls for an area to lock up bicycles with easy access to the Beltline Trail, a plan that was very popular among many of the residents at the meeting.
Those who did not attend the meeting will be able to participate in an online consultation until May 9 at thecrosstown.ca.
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