York Urbanist


October 14th, 2011

Where?  Highway 7 between Keele and Jane Streets, Rutherford and Highway 7.

What? An uncountable number of rails that pierce the urban fabric of the City of Vaughan, in a way looking like the heart
of the city, MacMillan is proud to say this is the largest in Canada.

Why? It is critical to a city to have a vibrant transportation system.  Rail is our heritage, and apparently our future. Built when Vaughan did not matter, a mere urban fringe, the CN could find land inexpensively for its expansive marshalling space in the 1950’s.

How is this an Urban Place to Detest? But Vaughan did grow.  And the need for rail delivery did continue.  The clash leaves  a hole in the urban fabric, fragmenting a street grid created by Lord Simcoe and leaving a significant blight on the landscape of the City.  Its existence required the construction of the bleak Highway 7 overpass. Appropriately, it led to the industrial development of Concord. Both rail yard and industry are the economic engines of the city, but could it have been more integral?  Could someone with vision have anticipated the rail yard’s blemish and planned for its physical, visual and functional presence?   Vaughan so loves the rail that the corner of Rutherford and Highway 50 is emulating the space, but in not so bleak a fashion.

How could it fit? A rail afficianado would revel at the opportunity to see the bevy of locomotives.  If only the public had a venue at which to watch the trains marshall.

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