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Last two days to comment about Strachan bridge design

Metrolinx and GO Transit are starting a project removing the level railway crossing at Strachan Avenue and lowering the rail corridor between Bathurst and King Streets, just west of downtown Toronto. At the end of the work, Strachan Avenue will be slightly higher than it is currently — probably by no more than 2 metres.

Back on Tuesday, October 26, Metrolinx and GO hosted a community meeting about the design of the overpass. They received more than 100 comments on the Strachan Avenue Overpass design they shared with the community that evening. Your feedback is shaping the final design.

Now they’re looking for your ideas on three new strut design options. The struts are outward-facing supports for the bridge that can incorporate design elements to improve the look of the bridge and the neighbourhood.

Lowering the rail corridor requires retaining walls. The struts span across the corridor to support the north and south retaining walls from the section between Stanley Terrace and Shaw Street.

During the early desing process, planners reviewing using cables - or tie-backs - instead of struts in this section. Tie-backs are cable extensions driven into the earth at a 45 degree angle to support the retaining wall.

However, this option has significant property impacts requiring Metrolinx and GO to acquire permanent “easements” — legal rights — under the properties where they would install the tie-backs. Permanent easements would limit how land-owners could use the property above the tie-back.

With the significant depth and width of the lowered rail corridor, struts are the best option to maintain structural integrity while minimizing property impact.

You asked the designers to explore incorporating architectural elements into the struts. That way, the design would reflect the overall aesthetic of the surrounding community — someone even suggested that the design include elements of the new Fort York pedestrian bridge.

You can visit to review the strut design options and have your say. The polls close Sunday, February 27 and Metrolinx and GO will report back on your choices and the final strut design in March.

The bridge is part of the project to improve the Georgetown South rail corridor and to accommodate the future Air Rail Link trains along the line.