Statement: Metrolinx cuts down trees without consultation

Today, many residents in Toronto Centre are horrified to learn that Metrolinx is cutting down 61 mature and healthy trees in Moss Park despite ongoing local objections from the community and elected officials. I have spoken out against this matter many times with Metrolinx leadership including with their CEO Phil Verster.

I have repeatedly asked Metrolinx to not cut-and-cover Moss Park and to immediately work with the City and community to find an alternative resolution that will have the least impact on the green space in the area. Just look at my motion from 2021 at Toronto City Council that Metrolinx chose to ignore.

Shame on Metrolinx for taking advantage of some of the coldest weather we have experienced this winter as an opportunity to clear cut trees while many residents are forced to stay indoors to keep warm.

Metrolinx promised community consultation and knew that Toronto Centre residents wanted to keep our tree canopy in Moss Park. Doug Ford and his PC government are letting Metrolinx run roughshod over Toronto neighbourhoods - from Moss Park to Osgoode Hall and beyond. Their renegade actions are throwing Toronto’s ability to trust this government’s promises for any real Community Benefits Agreements into doubt. Why should Toronto and anyone else trust Metrolinx after this?

My office will submit Freedom of Information requests to learn who authorized today’s actions without reasonable consultation or notice and hold them accountable. 

Metrolinx historically updated my office about pending road closures and construction — but not today. 

The lack of transparency and accountability from Metrolinx continues to be unacceptable. Building trust with communities is critical for the success of any public project. Community Benefits Agreements including employment benefits are still outstanding negotiations with our neighbourhood. 

The community and I will remain steadfast in our advocacy to ensure that the very best outcome can be achieved. It’s time for Metrolinx to build the Ontario Line differently. Our Toronto Centre communities already lack access to green space. And now, thanks to Metrolinx, we have even less green space today. 

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Address: 65 Shuter St, Box 81, Toronto, ON M5B 1B2