An overflow crowd of deeply-divided residents met at the Scarborough Village Recreation Centre for a Transit Panel discussion Monday night They applauded boisterously for the panelists and frequently heckled Councilor Glenn De Baeremaeker as he delivered a sometimes melodramatic address about why Scarborough hasn’t been treated fairly by Toronto and the TTC over the decades. “You’ve all heard the badmouthing about Scarborough on the Internet. It’s a Stubway, it’s a subway to nowhere, it’s out to Scarberia, nobody lives there, if I go there I might get mugged. You’ve heard all of that stuff all over the place.” The bait pleased some but many were infuriated by it.
His remarks were booed down with one man shouting “We’re talking about moving people here.” Mr. De Baeremaeker said he wanted to see a fair transit system and lamented the Scarborough Rapid Transit (Line 3) had not led to the kind of development that occurred along Yonge Street in North York. He seemed to consider the outcome to be Toronto’s fault. Three other panelists made the case for the Light Rapid Transit plan with seven stops rather than the one-stop subway. Councillor Paul Ainslie talked about his concerns related to overestimated passenger loads and the cost of building a system that won’t stop at places like Centennial College and the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. He said the LRT scheme would run along its own right of way without infringing on roads or requiring tunneling. Another panelist, Tricia Wood, a writer and contributor to Torontoist, called the case in favor of the subway like choosing a nickel over a dime because the nickel is bigger. She told of group sessions where residents talked not of going downtown but of moving between locations in Scarborough. City Council votes Tuesday on the Scarborough subway for the ninth and apparently final time.