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When concerns about Metrolinx are ignored

Toronto’s aging transit system can’t serve the city’s growing population, but rail line plans threaten to drastically alter tight-knit communities

Before we dive into this week’s must-read stories, pardon this brief bit of ~good vibes~ in Narlandia.

With two days to spare, we blew past our target of adding 194 new members by Oct. 31. That’s right: a whopping 241 readers dove head-first to support our work on an ongoing basis. Here’s why some of our newest members said they joined:

“I love your journalism and I love our environment. I want to be informed and act on what I learn.”

“We need a model of journalism that provides value to audiences, not their attention for advertisers.”

“I care about independent journalism that actually treats the climate emergency as the emergency it is.”

We are beyond grateful. The support from our now 3,700-plus members helps ensure our investigative journalism remains accessible for everyone, not just those who can afford to unlock a paywall.

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Now, on to our latest coverage…

It’s no secret that Toronto’s aging transit system can’t serve the city’s fast-growing population. So when new projects come along with the promise of alleviating congestion and reducing emissions, cheering them on may seem like the obvious choice.

But what happens when those proposed routes threaten to drastically alter tight-knit communities and concerns from residents are ignored?

That’s exactly what people in two neighbourhoods on the city’s east side say is happening, as provincial agency Metrolinx pushes ahead with plans for the Ontario Line rapid-transit route.

Photo: Christopher Katsarov Luna / The Narwhal

Reporter Megan Robinson began digging into the growing mistrust back in July, speaking with local residents who say they were blindsided by the plans. At risk is everything from a park that serves as a community hub to the displacement of a mosque and dozens of businesses. There’s also worry that increased noise and vibration from the trains could make some homes uninhabitable.

“I think Metrolinx’s general attitude is to find a way to get around the community,” transit advocate Steve Munro told Megan.

For its part, the agency says it plans to help local businesses relocate, but for longtime residents, there is worry that essential pieces of their neighbourhoods will disappear forever.

Go here to read Megan’s in-depth piece, which features captivating photos by Christopher Katsarov Luna, whose name will be familiar to fans of The Narwhal’s visual storytelling.

Take care and don’t take the easy way out,

Arik Ligeti
Audience engagement editor


The Narwhal in the world

kathryn sitting on a bench laughing
Photo: Taylor Roades / The Narwhal

Who knew database management could be fun? Well, at least in the eyes of Kathryn Juricic, our membership and events manager.

“I didn’t know that I liked anything to do with databases until rather recently and I’m trying to really be okay with that,” Kathryn said with a chuckle in this Q&A.

Kathryn has been part of our pod here at The Narwhal since the beginning — and we’re thrilled she finally joined us full-time this fall.

Whether it’s chatting with our members, volunteering as a Big Sister or captaining the Narbhals soccer team, Kathryn’s passion for community-building is evident in everything she does. Check out the full profile to learn all about the engine that keeps our systems running.


This week in The Narwhal

The ‘glaring gap’ in B.C.’s new climate plan

By Ainslie Cruickshank

Environmental groups say while the province has made important gains in new roadmap, it’s still not clear how B.C. will tackle emissions from fracking and LNG. Read more.


Gitxaała Nation takes B.C. to court over lack of Indigenous consent in mining laws

Banks Island off the coast of B.C. as seen from the air

By Matt Simmons

A Supreme Court challenge by the northwest B.C. First Nation could set legal precedent on how the province must take into account the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Read more.


Four ways people are trying to protect Canada’s natural landscapes

two people crouching in a forest at work

By Josie Kao

Canada is home to a vast amount of carbon-rich ecosystems. Protecting them is crucial to fighting the climate crisis. Read more.


What we’re reading

He wanted to build a ski yurt. Others wanted to log. Ecological concerns killed only one of the proposals.
African Elephants Evolved Tusklessness Amazingly Fast

dogs running in a park

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