Malvern is located at the north-east end of the City of Toronto with a population of 44,315. This neighbourhood has retained its rural roots by preserving mature trees, ravine woodlots and parklands. Malvern’s affordable real estate has traditionally attracted many new Canadians to this neighbourhood.
There are over 60 different cultures represented in Malvern, with the most dominant ethnic groups being Caribbean Canadians (mostly Jamaican, Trinidadian, and Guyanese) andSouth Asian Canadians (mostly Sri Lankan Tamil, Indian and Pakistani). The neighbourhood has the highest concentration of young people in Canada.
The Malvern community has been improving following Project Impact, in which hundreds of police officers from the Greater Toronto Area cracked down on known associates of the “Malvern Crew” street gang, in early morning raids across the city on May 12, 2004. During the raids, 71 warrants were executed resulting in the arrest of 65 people. Further raids, and the implementation of Project Pathfinder would result in arrests of the Malvern Crew’s rival gang, the “Galloway Boys”, in West Hill.
Other important factors have contributed to the improvement of living conditions in the community, including a major renovation of the Malvern Branch of the Toronto Public Library, the construction of new housing developments, the opening of a new park in 2004, and the opening of the Nike Malvern Sports Complex in 2006. The Toronto Zoo, the Rouge River, and the Rouge Valley Park are also located in Malvern, as was Mammoth Hall, a wooden structure that was once a municipal office, meeting hall and curling rink. Also, the Malvern Community Coalition serves as an active incorporated, non-profit, grassroots community organization which exists to promote and enhance the Malvern Community by engaging, empowering, and connecting community, organizations and institutions.
Malvern is served by several Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) bus routes (131 Nugget, 132 Milner, 133 Neilson, 134 Progress, 39 Finch East, 116 Morningside, 85 Sheppard East, and 102 Markham). In the 1980s, there was a plan to bring rapid transit to Malvern by extending the TTC’s Scarborough Rapid Transit line, but lack of government funding prevented any extension of the line. In August 2006, city councillors representing Scarborough rallied for the expansion of the Scarborough RT, or its possible light rail replacement, to the Malvern community.
The TTC is currently carrying assessing extending the RT from McCowan to Malvern Town Centre. They have also made a motion that the current study should include the addition of a station where the existing line crossesBrimley Road.
In 2006, a study was completed on the prospects of this line. It recommended upgrading the line to handle larger ART Mark II vehicles, at a cost of $360 million (2006 dollars). Extending the Bloor–Danforth line (either along the current Scarborough RT route, or along a different alignment directly to Scarborough Centre) was not considered cost-effective or justifiable.
On June 15, 2007, the Ontario government had released MoveOntario 2020, a plan that would fund 52 different transit projects throughout Toronto and Hamilton for the cost of $17.5 billion, including the Scarborough RT extension toSheppard Avenue, which would meet the proposed Sheppard East LRT line, also to be funded by MoveOntario 2020. Unfortunately, in a 2010 budget release, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty had chosen to postpone necessary funding for the project.
The Scarborough Malvern LRT line, part of the TTC’s Transit City plan, would run for 15 km, estimated to account for 14 million trips in 2021. The southern terminus of the line would be built at Kennedy Station at Kennedy Road andEglinton Avenue, with a connection to the Bloor-Danforth subway, the Scarborough RT, and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line. The whole line would be built within Scarborough. The line would run along Eglinton Avenue East until it reaches Kingston Road, then continues northeast until Morningside Avenue is reached, then continues north until Sheppard Avenue East, where it turns west, sharing the same tracks and stops as in the Sheppard East LRT line. Finally, the line turns north at Neilson Road, terminating at Malvern Town Centre.
Former mayor Rob Ford cancelled the Malvern LRT shortly after he came to office in 2010.
The Malvern LRT would cross the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. According to The Varsity, the paper for students at the University of Toronto, when students at the Scarborough campus were asked to contribute $30 million towards the construction of an Olympic class pool on their campus, which would first be used for competitions during the 2015 Pan American Games, they were promised two LRT lines would be brought to campus. The Varsity reported that the students had held up their part of the bargain and resented that the city dropped plans to build the LRT lines.
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