>At issue is an above-ground section of an existing track that runs from
Riverside to Leslieville. The group alleges that the provincially-run
Metrolinx has moved construction plans from the east side of that rail
corridor to the west side “without consulting, or even informing, the
“This will effectively destroy Bruce Mackey Park, Saulter St. Parkette and
Gerrard Dog Park. It will also have a dreadful impact on homes along the
rail corridor,” a news release issued by groups Save Jimmie Simpson and Lakeshore East Community Advisory Committee reads.
The groups held a rally on Saturday in opposition to the proposed change
and presented a plan for an underground route, which they say is feasible
and would reduce the impact on the community.
Speaking to those at the rally, CTV News Toronto learned that the advocacy
groups were only made aware of the changes through Coun. Paula Fletcher, who
Fletcher was at the rally Saturday and asked why the project can’t be
“We already have a preapproved design for an underground relief line
running almost along the same area with a station on Queen...I don’t know
why they are so resistant,” she said.
For Metrolinx’s part, they say proposed changes to the $11 billion project
are “normal” and that none of the tabled modifications are set in
“We haven’t quite finalized the plan, but when we do, in a couple of weeks,
we’re taking that back to the community to tell them about the new ideas
that we have,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said in an interview
with CP24 Saturday.
“This won’t delay the project, it won’t hurt their parks and their green
space, we know that, but we need to finalize it and bring it back to
The future of Bruce Mackey Park, located just off of De Grassi Street north
of Queen Street, is the subject of significant concern due to it’s cultural
significance to the city, advocates say.
Bruce Mackey lived on De Grassi for decades and played a major role in the
development of the internationally-syndicated TV show Degrassi.
According to a plaque that stands in the park, Mackey offered his home to
the show’s creators in the 1970s to shoot the first episode of the
Aikins said that while Bruce Mackey Park and the other aforementioned sites
will be “protected,” parts of the parks may be used to temporarily store
cranes and other construction material.
Shovels are scheduled to go into the ground in 2023.