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Residents Who Fear Losing Their Homes Vent Anger At Metrolinx

Weston residents at a meeting with Metrolinx officials on Oct. 28, 2010.

A public meeting meant to bring together Weston homeowners and Metrolinx officials quickly went sour Thursday night.

The residents fear a high-speed GO link from Union Station to the airport – including a tunnel through their Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue neighbourhood – could cost them their homes.

On Monday, nine homeowners received letters from Metrolinx telling them, “Your property is one that will be impacted by the construction of the Weston tunnel and will need to be acquired.”

“I am so disappointed because really they don’t care about the community,” said resident Juan Gutierrez.

But Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne said there are other options, which weren’t properly explained in the letter.

“If the communication, the way the letter was written was not clear enough in terms of laying out options, we take responsibility for that,” Wynne said in parliament Thursday.

“We will make sure that going forward that it’s much clearer what the options are.”

Those options, according to the project’s executive director Stephen Lipkus, could involve temporarily relocating and moving back when construction is done.

“The difficulty in constructing the tunnel three or four feet away from where their home is would require us to temporarily relocate them,” he said. “There likely may be damage to the home as a result of vibrations or debris.”

The rail link is expected to be completed by 2015, but construction next to the affected homes will begin late next year.