Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale

Government of Ontario

Open Letter to Metrolinx re: Siting of GO transit layover facility in the Don Valley

Published on February 1, 2022

We are so lucky to have the Don Valley ravine system running through University Rosedale.  It's our job to protect it. 

In response to community concerns, I am writing a public sign-on letter to transit agency Metrolinx to call on the agency to work with community members to find an alternative location for the GO transit layover facility in the Don Valley. 

My goal is to share this letter before Metrolinx's next board meeting on Thursday February 17.  In order for this letter to have the most impact, I am requesting that individuals and associations publicly sign their name to this letter as well.  If you would like to sign on please fill in the form below by February 12.  

As the former executive director of TTCriders and now as an MPP, I have been advocating for many years to improve Metrolinx's performance as a transit agency.  The agency has a track record of not listening to communities and small businesses impacted by transit construction, recklessly overspending money, and making secretive and unaccountable decisions that are not always in the public interest. I believe Metrolinx needs to be reformed so it's board and staff operate in a more accountable, transparent, and democratic manner.  It's board members must have expertise in transit planning and transit operations, and be given the authority to properly oversee the agency and its activities. The public should be able to speak at meetings, and easily access accurate information about projects and funding.  And transit projects should be publicly delivered and built to serve the public.   

You can download a pdf of the letter here

Metrolinx Board of Directors
Donald Wright, Chair
97 Front St W
Toronto, ON M5J 1E6

Phil Verster, CEO
97 Front Street West
Toronto, ON M5J 1E6

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Re: Siting of the GO transit layover facility in the Don Valley

Dear Mr. Phil Verster and Mr. Donald Wright, 

We, the undersigned, request Metrolinx work with the City of Toronto, the Federal Government and Torontonians to find an alternative location for the GO transit rail maintenance facility currently slated to be placed in the Don Valley, the heart of our City’s ravine system. 

It has taken decades of political advocacy, community organizing, and legal action to reverse the industrial pollution in Toronto’s precious ravines. We are concerned that Metrolinx’s plan to site a maintenance facility in Toronto’s urban ravine system will threaten all the work that has been done to restore this urban park that is frequented by Torontonians from all four corners of our city. Any development that takes place in this fragile ecosystem has to be done with the utmost caution and care. 

We are requesting two actions from Metrolinx. First, we request Metrolinx attend a meeting hosted by us so the community can give feedback and receive the latest information on the project. Second, we wish to work with Metrolinx to look for an alternative location to minimize damage to this ecologically sensitive park. 

Building transit is vital for our region, however, transit must also be built right and it must be built to serve the public interest. We look forward to your prompt response.


Jessica Bell

MPP, University–Rosedale
Official opposition critic for housing, tenant rights, and urban planning

CC: Hon. Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation