Ontario Line: Metrolinx wants to cut nearly 2,800 trees in Toronto

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Ontario line: Metrolinx wants to cut nearly 2,800 trees in Toronto

Metrolinx says the cutting of hundreds of trees is necessary for the construction of the Ontario subway line. (File photo)

Provincial agency Metrolinx, which once made headlines about cutting down century-old trees in downtown Toronto, now says it plans to cut 2,787 trees in the Don River Valley for the construction of the new Ontario subway line.

Metrolinx says in a statement that cutting is expected to begin this month at three different sites near future Thorncliffe Park subway stations and Flemingdon Park.

“This work is necessary to clear space for infrastructure and assess ground conditions.

— Metrolinx (News Release)

Metrolinx explains that a bridge will be built in the area to allow subway trains to cross the valley and connect the part north of the line.

The provincial agency specifies that nearly 700 of the targeted trees belong to invasive species or are vulnerable to diseases.

Provincial agency Metrolinx says cutting trees at Osgoode Hall is needed to build a new subway station.

The provincial agency made headlines earlier this year after deciding to cut down century-old trees near Osgoode Hall courthouse in downtown Toronto for the Ontario Line, despite opposition from many.

Phil Pothen of the Environmental Defense group says cutting down trees to build a new urban subway line is inevitable.

It is therefore not surprising that this is the case in the valley of the Don. It has a caveat, however.

“Metrolinx has not demonstrated how they would restore [the natural habitat after construction ] and counter erosion.

—Phil Pothen, Ontario Program Manager, Environmental Defence

Metrolinx argues in its statement that for every tree cut, it plants 1 to 50 new ones. trees.

The provincial agency and the City of Toronto have not yet responded to our request for comment.

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