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Mulock Drive GO Rail Station gets the green light (perhaps)

A new GO rail station at Mulock Drive is a real possibility.

The Chief  Executive of Metrolinx, Bruce McCuaig, will be recommending to the Metrolinx Board on 28 June 2016 that a new station at Mulock Drive be included in the Regional Express Rail 10 year expansion program.

McQuaig wants Newmarket (and, of course, the other municipalities where new stations are proposed)

“to provide resolutions to Metrolinx by November 30, 2016 indicating their agreement to the station location and demonstrating their commitment to implementing transit supportive land-uses around stations, and sustainable station access.”

Five new stations are proposed for the Barrie corridor at Spadina (at Front Street); Bloor-Davenport (Bloor Street near Lansdowne Avenue); Kirby (near Keele Street); Mulock (near Bayview Avenue) and Innisfil (at 6th line).

McQuaig tells the Metrolinx Board that Mulock is being included because there is:

“Reasonable potential to add new GO ridership; overall net travel time savings and benefits.”

He adds:

“A grade separation at the location as well as further Metrolinx analysis is required.”

The new station – if we get it - will still be straddling a single track. Now is the time to push for twin tracking north of Aurora to at least East Gwillimbury. This brings with it the possibility of a fast and frequent service to Union Station.

The GO Rail Station location

The property at 402 Mulock Drive, which appears on York Region and Newmarket maps as a possible suitable site for a new GO rail station, has apparently been sold but a check of the land registry tells us the sale has not closed yet. (The land is shown in the photo on the left of the track.)

I do not know who has bought the land but, as I have said before, I would be astonished if it were the Town of Newmarket.

Tony Van Bynen, the Town’s cautious retired banker/Mayor, would never take such a gamble, spending money on an off-chance rather than a racing certainty.

The Implications for Silken Laumann

The inclusion of Mulock Drive on the list of new GO stations raises questions about the Silken Laumann planning application to build 28 Townhouses on protected meadowland within a stone’s throw of the rail track. The windows of the Townhouses would have to be sealed to protect those inside from excessive noise from the railway.

At the OMB Hearing on 28 September 2015 I drew the attention of the adjudicator,  Jan Seaborn, to the very real possibility that a new GO rail station could be built on land close to the proposed Townhouse development. The senior planner present, Dave Ruggle, made no comment on this and neither did the Town Solicitor, Esther Armchuk, who told the OMB that, in her view, the proposed Townhouse development represented “good planning”.

As she must know, this was all complete tosh.

Even though the Town was utterly silent at the OMB Hearing on the possibility of a new GO Rail Station at Mulock, a little over one month later, on 9 November 2015, Van Bynen, in a Damascene conversion, was telling Metrolinx the proposed station at Mulock Drive was now “a priority” for the Town.

We shall see.

The Town will now have to address the possibility of a new GO rail station at Mulock and that means coming off the fence – the uncomfortable place where so many of our councillors prefer to sit.

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