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Metrolinx says it will not build substation in Guelph’s Margaret Greene Park

A GO Transit train passes a rail crossing in Toronto's east end. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Metrolinx says it has ruled out Margaret Greene Park in Guelph as a potential site for a power substation as part of a plan to run electric GO trains on the Kitchener line.

The plan to build a traction power substation on a 50-by-75-metre piece of land in the park next to the tracks angered many residents last summer.

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An online petition had received nearly 3,500 signatures against the project with many residents also turning up to a community meeting at the park to voice their displeasure to the agency.

Even the city said it didn’t want the infrastructure in the park.

“We said that a city park is not the right place for this infrastructure,” Mayor Cam Guthrie said in a statement following Metrolinx’s announcement. “They heard us.”

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Metrolinx had actually looked at nine sites including the park but announced on Thursday that none of them would work.

Some were not large enough, some were slated for future development while some are being set aside for future highway plans.

“Unfortunately, we have been unable to identify a suitable site that meets our technical requirements with minimal impacts to communities,” the agency said in a post on its website.

Metrolinx said the plan to bring two-way, all-day GO service from Toronto to Kitchener is continuing but has put its study to electrify the corridor on hold.

It added that the feedback the agency has received so far will be used whenever it decided to try electrification again.

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The City of Guelph said it will continue to work with Metrolinx to prepare for increased service, while noting that it is a priority in their future plans.

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Ward 4 Coun. Christine Billings said Thursday’s news is a win for the neighbourhood after several meetings, letters as well as some emails.

“This was a united effort,” she said. “With this news today, that effort has paid off.”

 

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