Snapshot

Most of the 9.2km Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (ECWE) LRT line will be buried underground, except for a 1.5km elevated segment through Eglinton Flats in the Mount Dennis neighbourhood: one of Toronto’s most culturally diverse and economically-disadvantaged m areas. Constituents in the neighbouring affluent Etobicoke riding were consulted in 2018 and successfully lobbied Metrolinx for the ECWE to be tunneled. Residents of Mount Dennis were never consulted and the current design of the ECWE threatens the Greenbelt-protected Humber River and will destroy irreplaceable urban green spaces. This loss would be devastating to some of the most at-risk populations in Toronto.

The greatest determinant of outcomes is our postal code, revealing an unjust and undemocratic system at play. Evidence now shows that access to nature strongly correlates not only to improved mental health, but reduced risk of mortality and cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

Furthermore, the canopy of 1,500 trees slated for clear cutting are home to Species at Risk, both Threatened and Endangered, who live in an irreplaceable wildlife corridor to the Humber River system.

To be clear, we support the ECWE and believe our community should have world-class transit and our greenspaces. Metrolinx and the Ontario Government could build this 1.5km segment underground like the rest of the line, or along the road which would save time and money.

Help us fundraise for our legal claim, and set a strong precedent in Canadian law against agencies targeting BIPOC and lower income/socioeconomic status neighbourhoods with less desirable aspects of public services. We all deserve access to a healthy environment, spaces to connect to nature and find refuge in the city, and to be meaningfully consulted in development planning.

Please donate today!

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Help Fight Environmental Racism and Protect Urban Nature in Toronto’s West End

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Jessica Murray
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Story

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Most of the 9.2km Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (ECWE) LRT line will be buried underground, except for a 1.5 km elevated segment in the Mount Dennis neighbourhood: one of Toronto’s most culturally diverse areas. This neighbourhood is also a heritage site as Toronto’s first Chinese-owned farm during the time of Canada’s Chinese Exclusion Act in 1923. The ECWE is partly federally funded, with a requirement to consult with local residents. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Mount Dennis neighbourhood there has been no consultation on where to build the 1.5m segment, and communication has been a one-way declaration rather than a collaborative process. Residents in the priority neighbourhood of Mount Dennis are facing the loss of their irreplaceable urban green spaces and urban forest.

By contrast, constituents in the neighbouring affluent Etobicoke riding were consulted in 2018, and they successfully lobbied for the ECWE to be tunneled. Why is it that this wealthy riding was provided so much notice, when Mount Dennis residents were never consulted?

OUR GREEN SPACES

The 1,500 trees slated for removal are home to Species at Risk, both Threatened and Endangered, who live in an irreplaceable wildlife corridor to the Humber River system. Despite the protection of the Humber River under the Greenbelt Plan, species’ protection under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), and local urban Indigenous continuing to access these urban forests in line with their ancestral practice, Metrolinx still intends to continue with their plan to destroy our parks and urban forest. Cutting has already begun.

At risk is also our community recreation park land. As a neighbourhood with a significant number of lower income and single-parent families the parks are an invaluable resource. The loss will be devastating to some of the most at-risk families in Toronto.

SUPPORT OUR LEGAL CLAIM AGAINST METROLINX AND THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT

We need your support in our fight for environmental justice. We want to empower local communities to end environmental racism and protect urban forests and parkland.

Lawyers and activists in this space agree that this is a case of environmental racism given the preferential treatment to the more affluent neighbourhood of Etobicoke. We believe Metrolinx and the Ontario government have failed to meaningfully consult the BIPOC community in Mount Dennis. These experts have agreed to help us once funding has been secured.

The greatest determinant of outcomes is our postal code, and this reveals an unjust and undemocratic system at play. Evidence is now showing that access to nature strongly correlates not only to improved mental health, but reduced risk of mortality and cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Help us as we work to set a strong precedent in Canadian law against agencies targeting BIPOC and lower income/socioeconomic status neighbourhoods with less desirable aspects of public services. We all deserve access to a healthy environment, spaces to connect to nature and find refuge in the city, and to be meaningfully consulted in development planning.

Please donate today!

 

In Partnership with Save Eglinton Flats – a grassroots coalition fighting to protect the Humber River watershed, parks, and urban forest in Toronto’s west end.

Name Donation Date
Anonymous $250 February 5, 2024 1:33 pm
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Barbara Stone $100 January 20, 2024 12:53 pm
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Courtney Truong $25 January 10, 2024 2:24 am
Natalija Vojno $50 January 9, 2024 3:55 pm
James Abbott $30 January 8, 2024 7:56 pm
Grainne ODonnell $100 December 31, 2023 11:00 pm
Anonymous $20 December 30, 2023 2:22 pm
Cornelia Schuh $105 December 20, 2023 3:23 pm
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Lidija Nikolic $105 November 29, 2023 4:22 pm