About 250 residents joined the Rally for Clean Trains Now! on a rainy day in October to send a message to Metrolinx and the provincial government that now is the time to switch tracks and build an electric air rail link between Union Station and the airport.
The community parade assembled at the West Toronto Railpath at Wallace Ave. and took to the sidewalks along Bloor and down Roncesvalles, heading toward Sorauren Park for the rally and festivities.
Speakers included federal, provincial, municipal and school board elected officials (no representatives of the Liberal or Conservative parties showed up) and numerous community activists, including Saba Ahmad, the lawyer who has been leading the court action against the decision by Metrolinx to put diesel trains on the air rail link without studying the feasibility of electrification.
Many local musicians performed a seemingly endless array of train songs, along with some excellent original compositions in favour of electric trains. The event was ably hosted by City Councillor Gord Perks and CTC board member Louise James and featured a compelling call to action by Rosie Long Decter, a high school student from Humberside Collegiate. Information booths were well stocked with news and views and a reasonably successful amount of fundraising was generated.
Just as the parade arrived at the park, the sun broke through the overcast skies, a sign taken by all that we are on the right track and must keep our spirits high as we continue fighting the good fight to protect the health of our communities.
Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time and contributed to making the rally a great community event!