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Want to have a say on transit? Join DVN Connects!

It's time for me to deliver on one of my campaign promises to you – our official Transit Roundtable!

Last fall, when candidates for City Councillor were campaigning at your door, they would often pledge to build transit along Sheppard Avenue East. When I arrived at the door, residents would tell me what other candidates had said and asked what my own plan was for Sheppard.

My plan

Whenever this came up, I would be brutally honest – I think you’ve had enough snake oil. It simply made no sense to promise anything in the last city election due to sweeping governance changes. Additionally, the future of the Sheppard Line had already been taken over by the provincial government back in 2012.

Instead, I committed to something I could actually deliver on: a transit roundtable with Don Valley North residents. And after months of planning, we're finally ready to launch DVN Connects.

I described my roundtable idea at every opportunity during the election campaign. I suggested that instead of waiting for the new provincial government to make proposals without our consultation, I would gather a broadly representative group of residents to discuss our transportation needs. The group would learn about the best options for Sheppard and other routes in a constructive and collaborative environment.

The landscape

A couple of weeks ago, Premier Ford presented a new map of transit plans for Toronto. I'll admit to ranting about it on social media – it could potentially waste a lot of money if the plan doesn't make use of the engineering studies we have already done on the Scarborough subway and Downtown Relief Line. But I am interested in the dashed lines on Ford's transit map below:

There is a line that extends east from the Sheppard subway. The line is dashed, which means it's "not currently funded" and there is no description of what type of transit the line will be. My office called Metrolinx right away and learned there is no design or plan for Sheppard for at least a few years. That creates the perfect blank canvas to begin our own discussion.

How it works

Here is how DVN Connects will work: until May 31st, you can go to my website and apply to be a part of the roundtable at

Using a name-blind process, we will review the applications and put together a group of people that includes daily TTC riders, commuters with mobility challenges, daily car commuters, business owners, retirees and youth with as much socio-economic and cultural diversity as possible. Over a series of meetings, these folks will hear from transit experts and discuss our vision on how to best move our community.

At the same time, the broader community will also get loads of opportunities to provide their feedback and ideas. Throughout the summer, whenever we have a community event, we will have a DVN Connects table where you can share your thoughts. We’ll also have a dedicated Transit Town Hall on June 17th. So, be sure to mark that date and plan to attend. Here are the details:

Don Valley North Transit Town Hall Date: Monday, June 17th Time: 6:30-8:30 PM Location: Fairview Library Theatre

By that time we will have chosen our roundtable members. Their first exercise will be to attend the Town Hall and listen to your thoughts and feedback, which will form the basis of their work from then on.

A couple of years from now, the provincial government and Metrolinx will arrive in Don Valley North to consult with us on their transit vision – they'll be surprised to find a community that is fully engaged and loaded with information on how to build our vision.


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