The new Cherry Street streetcar line will provide residents and visitors with convenient and environmentally friendly ways to get around the neighbourhood.
As with all of our new blue edge communities, Waterfront Toronto is working to ensure that the West Don Lands is a transit-first community, with transit access within a five-minute walk of all residences.
A Transit Environmental Assessment (EA) was completed and approved in 2008 for the development of a new streetcar line on Cherry Street.
The new line will run on the east side of Cherry/Sumach Street, south from King Street through the West Don Lands to the CN rail corridor just north of the Gardiner Expressway. Initially the line will run between King Street and the rail corridor, but eventually it will connect to the planned streetcar line on Queens Quay Boulevard and provide service to the Port Lands.
The design determined through the EA is a new street design for Toronto, which prioritizes transit users and pedestrians. Streetcars will travel in their own transit corridor on the east side of Cherry and Sumach streets beside the eastern sidewalk.
Transit planning for West Don Lands started as a larger integrated transit EA planning process for the entire waterfront redevelopment area. As the planning process evolved, the EA was divided into separate EAs for each precinct.
The West Don Lands Transit EA study was undertaken to determine transit requirements to service the long-term needs of the area and to achieve Waterfront Toronto’s, the City’s and the TTC’s objectives for high quality, reliable transit services, quality design and environmental excellence.
An EA process typically seeks to first solve the engineering and technical problems related to transportation and infrastructure, and then
considers aesthetic and urban design improvements within the boundaries defined by the preferred design concept.
The West Don Lands Transit EA took a decidedly different approach by considering the urban design quality of the corridor from the outset. From the beginning of the process, the public realm and design and environmental excellence were considered together with traffic and transit infrastructure needs. The study approach considered the street as an urban place, not simply a corridor for movement. The alternative design concepts were developed and evaluated using a set of principles to guide and direct the urban design aspect of the corridor.
The level of public consultation went beyond the level required in EA legislation to ensure that the community had the opportunity to properly advise and comment on the direction of the preferred alternatives.
The EA study was approved by City of Toronto Council in January 2008.