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smallspy

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It's gross incompetence and deception. To top it off, they completely avoided the whole topic that the railway had previously had a trestle through there, and had filled it with the environmentally damaging embankment in the first place. I hope the old trestle is in better shape than they seem to think, and instead of boring through it, they push the entire embankment to failure.

That has been an embankment for well over 100 years - I've seen photos that proclaimed that they were from the 1880s of the area, and there is no sign of any trestles through there. Any trestle that did previously exist has since become part of the embankment.

For the record, the same technique was used to raise the tracks into Union Station from the east - that was done in the 1920s, and there is no sign of any of the wood from that construction.

Dan
 

crs1026

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That has been an embankment for well over 100 years - I've seen photos that proclaimed that they were from the 1880s of the area, and there is no sign of any trestles through there. Any trestle that did previously exist has since become part of the embankment.

For the record, the same technique was used to raise the tracks into Union Station from the east - that was done in the 1920s, and there is no sign of any of the wood from that construction.

Dan

The Grand Trunk began double tracking the Toronto-Montreal line in 1887. Perhaps that's why and when any trestles were filled in.

The oldest aerial photos in the City Archives are from 1947, and there was no trestle then. 75 years is a long time to back up.

Metrolinx' response to the community over Smalls Creek was downright shabby, but I don't see reverting to a trestle as technically feasible today.

- Paul
 

Northern Light

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The Grand Trunk began double tracking the Toronto-Montreal line in 1887. Perhaps that's why and when any trestles were filled in.

The oldest aerial photos in the City Archives are from 1947, and there was no trestle then. 75 years is a long time to back up.

Metrolinx' response to the community over Smalls Creek was downright shabby, but I don't see reverting to a trestle as technically feasible today.

- Paul

I don't know about a trestle, but I think the tracks could be 'bridged' over the creek, re-opening the connection between the north and south ravines, and daylighting the creek beneath the tracks.

Its an expensive project and disruptive and would really have made sense to do right now, when all the vegetation has been removed and the trees cut down, when its most feasible and part of the necessary work has already been done as it was needed for any variation of what might have been done here.

Now, should that ever be seriously considered, it will mean having to deal with removing all the vegetation (again) and even some of the new infra embedded in the embankment and will be that much more unpalatable and expensive.

Its not one of those world-beating priorities for nature or quality of life; just a nice-to-have, that may have been easier and more justifiable during this work project that at any point before or since.
 

nfitz

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That has been an embankment for well over 100 years - I've seen photos that proclaimed that they were from the 1880s of the area, and there is no sign of any trestles through there. Any trestle that did previously exist has since become part of the embankment.
Dan, I've searched extensively for any photographs before the 1920s, and I'd be very interested in seeing what you've seen! As far as I know, the last major work on that embankment was in 1926 (see picture below, looking east from the southwest side of the Smalls Creek).

For the record, the same technique was used to raise the tracks into Union Station from the east - that was done in the 1920s, and there is no sign of any of the wood from that construction.
There's a good photographic record of that work - as far as I can tell, that work was done about the same time as these photos were taken. From around Pape to Union they appear to have built a trestle explicitly for building the embankment, dropping the soil from railcars, to fill the embankment. (which makes me wonder how good the compaction is).

I'm surprised there'd be no trace left of the wood after about 100 years. I've done drilling before downtown south of Front Street, and hit large pieces of timber, which must have been of a similar age, and below the water table. I'd think the old trestle, mostly above the water table, would be better preserved.

The Grand Trunk began double tracking the Toronto-Montreal line in 1887. Perhaps that's why and when any trestles were filled in.
Ah, that's interesting - perhaps related to Dan's 1880s photos. Yes, it could have been done then. Though that's an awful lot of soil from that early - though it's just about the time of the advent of steam shovels - I'm not sure when they started to be used locally.

Metrolinx' response to the community over Smalls Creek was downright shabby, but I don't see reverting to a trestle as technically feasible today.
I spoke to some railway engineers (not that type of engineer!), and I was pointed to some work in the USA recently, where after a trestle failure, an embankment was quickly built through a floodplain, when was then replaced by a trestle without further interrupting traffic on the railway. Not as easy as building one without rail traffic - but quite doable.

What do you see as the constraint - other than cost?

1670603290055.png
 

nfitz

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Great find!
There's over 600 photographs of the 1920s viaduct (embankment) construction online in the Toronto archives - Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 79

The subseries is called "Waterfront viaduct photographs". The 1926 Small's Creek photographs are part of this series - though obviously built before 1926, given the vegetation (which is now covered with trees - or at least was before Metrolinx started the recent work).
 

crs1026

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What do you see as the constraint - other than cost?

Nothing that can't be cured with money and time, but....

By technically feasible - I mostly meant that it would be a fairly major project and would result in a longer and more painful construction presence at that site.

Just doing the engineering would likely push up against the timeline for the whole GO quad-tracking. If it meant taking more trackage out of service, or taking significantly longer to add the fourth track, then I would say there are good reasons to not roll some sort of bridging into the current work.

I wonder (as a non-engineer) if there are construction techniques that could be applied over a longer timeframe without taking tracks out of service and without enlarging the construction footprint other than timewise. The horizontal pile-jacking technique that was used at the 409/401 tunnel is top of mind, but as I say I'm not an engineer so that may be a fantasy idea.

I can understand why GO wanted to just get on with things (which doesn't excuse the foot dragging, obfuscation, and truth evasion in the community response - had they tackled the challenge when the issue first arose, maybe it would have been doable by now). If the community is willing to accept a second construction exercise, then I would certainly further work as a Phase II.

- Paul
 

drum118

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Nothing that can't be cured with money and time, but....

By technically feasible - I mostly meant that it would be a fairly major project and would result in a longer and more painful construction presence at that site.

Just doing the engineering would likely push up against the timeline for the whole GO quad-tracking. If it meant taking more trackage out of service, or taking significantly longer to add the fourth track, then I would say there are good reasons to not roll some sort of bridging into the current work.

I wonder (as a non-engineer) if there are construction techniques that could be applied over a longer timeframe without taking tracks out of service and without enlarging the construction footprint other than timewise. The horizontal pile-jacking technique that was used at the 409/401 tunnel is top of mind, but as I say I'm not an engineer so that may be a fantasy idea.

I can understand why GO wanted to just get on with things (which doesn't excuse the foot dragging, obfuscation, and truth evasion in the community response - had they tackled the challenge when the issue first arose, maybe it would have been doable by now). If the community is willing to accept a second construction exercise, then I would certainly further work as a Phase II.

- Paul
First of all, what is the 100 year flood plan look like for this creek?? This will determined what is needed to deal with that flood water.

I don't know of any construction method of putting footing in place without shifting the tracks.

I feel ML thinks this tunnel will deal with the 100 year flood issues as well the cheapest way to deal with it as well allowing a 4th track to be added at a future date.
 

crs1026

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First of all, what is the 100 year flood plan look like for this creek?? This will determined what is needed to deal with that flood water.

I don't know of any construction method of putting footing in place without shifting the tracks.

I feel ML thinks this tunnel will deal with the 100 year flood issues as well the cheapest way to deal with it as well allowing a 4th track to be added at a future date.

Yes - However, the creek flow is already there, and a simple culvert is all that has been needed for the last umpteen years..
But in principle, I would think the footings and underpinnings for any project involving running a creek and a walkway under a four track railway embankment would have to be pretty substantial

- Paul
 

Northern Light

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First of all, what is the 100 year flood plan look like for this creek?? This will determined what is needed to deal with that flood water.

I don't know of any construction method of putting footing in place without shifting the tracks.

I feel ML thinks this tunnel will deal with the 100 year flood issues as well the cheapest way to deal with it as well allowing a 4th track to be added at a future date.
Yes - However, the creek flow is already there, and a simple culvert is all that has been needed for the last umpteen years..
But in principle, I would think the footings and underpinnings for any project involving running a creek and a walkway under a four track railway embankment would have to be pretty substantial

- Paul

The flow rate here of Small's Creek is not a material or determinative issue.

The desire for a connection between the two ravines is primarily for the enjoyment of people; for a convenient mid-block connection from Danforth to Gerrard between Coxwell and Woodbine, and to a lesser, but material degree to improve conditions for wildlife.

The TRCA doesn't even have this ravine on the regulatory flood map (as being at risk of flood)


1670625612266.png


(flood risk appears in blue)
 
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drum118

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The flow rate here of Small's Creek is not a material or determinative issue.

The desire for a connection between the two ravines is primarily for the enjoyment of people; for a convenient mid-block connection from Danforth to Gerrard between Coxwell and Woodbine, and to a lesser, but material degree to improve conditions for wildlife.

The TRCA doesn't even have this ravine on the regulatory flood map (as being at risk of flood)


View attachment 444179

(flood risk appears in blue)
Ok since I have no knowledge of the area. Since there is no flood issue, then ML has chosen the right option for the creek.

This another location where the RR is a barrier to everyone and a pedestrian tunnel would be a cheap option to go under the corridor to connect both sides. Anything less than is is too costly and will have an impact on everyone, especially rail service. Even trying to put in a small bridge is out of the question because of cost and disruption to everything/one
 

PL1

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Ok since I have no knowledge of the area. Since there is no flood issue, then ML has chosen the right option for the creek.

This another location where the RR is a barrier to everyone and a pedestrian tunnel would be a cheap option to go under the corridor to connect both sides. Anything less than is is too costly and will have an impact on everyone, especially rail service. Even trying to put in a small bridge is out of the question because of cost and disruption to everything/one
There's a school and park with outdoor skating rink just south of Gerrard. The railway is a barrier to people on the north going there by foot. I'd love to see a large enough culvert/tunnel for people to be able to go through. Yes, this was blocked off probably close to 100 years ago. But it is a barrier to enjoyment of our city.

I don't expect that they will do that, but it would be good if they did
 

ShonTron

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Metrolinx doesn’t give a damn about making their rail corridors easier to cross safely. They’d rather install more and more barriers than build a few new pedestrian crossings, like at Floral Parkway/Bridgeland or across the Kitchener Corridor.
 

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