Relief Line option looks likely for Corktown

Siobhan Geary–

A small, dedicated group of Corktowners assembled on March 1, undeterred by the unexpected snowstorm, to discuss connections with the Good Shepherd Ministry and the TTC’s Yonge Relief Line’s potential impact on the neighbourhood.

Plans for the relief line are quickly taking shape. The currently favoured plan will run right through Corktown, and will consequently have a pronounced effect on the neighbourhood.
Corktown representative Ole Calderone shared his report on recent stakeholders’ meetings, pointing out that the project is now in its final consultation phase.

“They’re getting to the point where they’ll move into environmental assessments and engineering work that would reclude a lot of community involvement,” said Calderone.
The currently favoured B1 route would begin at Pape and Danforth, extending down Pape and along Queen, eventually providing access to city hall and connecting with the Yonge-University line.

The B1 route will likely include a subway stop on Queen between River and Parliament, aiming to give better subway access to Regent Park and Moss Park. Depending on its location, this station could potentially benefit a much wider range of communities.

“They’re not really serving Corktown. They’re looking for a station in our area to serve Regent Park,” said Calderone, “We can serve Regent Park and at the same time potentially serve the Distillery District or the West Don Lands, sites that are arguably in as much need. “

An update from the Good Shepherd Ministry was also on the agenda. Sunil Issac, the local homeless shelter’s community engagement manager, spoke on potential connections and collaborations between Corktown and the Ministry, emphasizing the value in forging a bond between neighbours.

“We want to see a vibrant, inclusive and caring Corktown. It’s our vision as a community,” said Issac, “We need to work together to make Corktown more vibrant and in the process, we’ll give people who are less affluent a platform for their skills, talents and abilities.”

Issac asserted that Good Shepherd aims to be a good neighbour and encouraged the CRBA to engage with them in order to make this goal possible. Most residents were receptive to building connections with Good Shepherd and some suggesting organizing a neighborhood tour of the facility.

“Sunil started working there [Good Shepherd] about a year ago, and since then, we’ve had a lot more coordination between the CRBA and the Good Shepherd,” said CRBA president Michelle Cummings, “It’s so great that he’s involved now and he’s really making an effort to reach out to the community. I think it’s a positive thing.”