With the looming addition of light rail to Eglinton Avenue, MPP Mike Colle is looking to residents and shareholders to help shape the future of the street.
Colle, who represents the riding of Eglinton-Lawrence provincially, will lead a walk through the middle of the city, hiking along Eglinton from Kennedy subway station to the Mount Dennis Library at Weston Road.
The walk is part of Colle’s Eglinton 2020 initiative, which is looking for ideas from residents from Black Creek to Kennedy as to the future of the thoroughfare.
The goal of the walk is to spark conversation on how to make Eglinton the vibrant street it should be by the time work on the LRT along the busy thoroughfare is complete in 2020.
In so doing, Colle said he hoped the street would be given new life and serve as a destination for those who live nearby, as opposed to merely being a convenience for those who live right on what the MPP called a “too-long neglected” road.
“We want life on the street so people walk to Eglinton for something interesting,” he said. “We want to encourage people to shop locally, live locally, to say ‘I can get almost anything I want on Eglinton.'”
While transit construction will take years to complete, Colle noted that discussions have to start sooner rather than later in order to ensure change along the street is steered in the right direction.
“We’ve got to start visioning now to determine what we want to see,” he said. “It’s important to get a holistic look at Eglinton as a continuous corridor.”
Colle said he would like to see more business and community hubs along the street and would support a mid-rise streetscape, with possible higher-rise buildings at busy transit stations. He said he wants to avoid repeats of the streetscape in portions of his riding, where strip malls dominate, and make Eglinton more vibrant by making it more welcoming to all.
“We want to make it work for cars but also have it so you can cross the street without risking your life,” he said.
He said he would also like to see more interaction between neighbouring segments of Eglinton Avenue, which sometimes have similar problems.
“The people at Yonge and Eglinton don’t talk enough to the people at Avenue and Eglinton, and it’s the same with Bathurst and Eglinton, when they’ve got some of the same issues,” Colle said.
While he has his own vision, Colle noted the upcoming walk will give anyone who wants to join a chance to make themselves heard. He will also talk to merchants and local organizations along the way to get as many ideas as possible.
Those ideas will be taken into consideration and discussed in greater detail in the future.
Other local politicians, such as midtown councillors Karen Stintz and Josh Matlow, will join for part of the walk.
The walk will kick off at Kennedy subway station at noon Wednesday, Aug. 17 and is expected to end at 5:20 p.m. Local residents and stakeholders are invited to join in at various points along the way. For more information, visit www.eglinton2020.ca
To read this article at insidetoronto.com, please click here