|Annual report of the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board (Toronto)
Procedure File No. 746
Ontario Railway and Municipal Board
Waddington and Winter
The Toronto and York Radial Railway.
On the 23rd June last this matter was adjourned until the 11th September to give the City of Toronto and the Town of North Toronto an opportunity to carry out the proposed annexation of the two municipalities and secure the double tracking of the Metropolitan Division of the Toronto and York Radial Railway. The Board decided that the double tracking would be such an advantage and convenience to the public that it would be worth while waiting to see if it could not be carried out. The Board stated, in their judgment of that date, that if the City and the Town of North Toronto unfortunately failed to agree on annexation, or if they did agree and double tracking was not provided for without delay, the Board would approve of the requisite number of switches and turnouts rendered necessary by the Board's Order of the 8th of March last for a five minute service on this line of railway. Annexation was defeated and double tracking has not been secured.
The Company have filed their plan showing the location, length and construction of the switches and turnouts that are required to enable them to run the cars necessary to give the service which the Board has ordered and now ask for our approval of it. The evidence and our Engineer's report are decisive in support of the approval of the plan and we accordingly approve. Mr. Drayton and Mr. Hellmuth addressed very forceful arguments to the Board in support of their contention, that under the agreements and legislation we have no power or authority to approve of a plan that alters and enlarges the existing switches and turnouts, even if such alterations and enlargements are necessary to enable the Company to give the service ordered by the Board. Mr. Drayton urged that the Board were by law required to restrict the switches and turnouts to the Company's requirements for a passenger service and for freight of a limited character. We do not subscribe to their contentions. To do so would be to make the operation of this railway impossible and render a difficult situation, which we are endeavoring to remedy, more complicated and inconvenient to the public. It must be borne in mind that this Railway is a public utility. That the Company are common carriers. They owe a duty to the public. The complainants, as part of the public, are asserting their right to a better service, and it is our duty, as a Board having regard to all the circumstances, to make such order as to it may seem reasonable and expedient, and which the law will allow us to make in the public interest.
Mr. Gibson, Counsel for North Toronto, at the close of his argument, made a sensible suggestion that the Company and the Town should, if possible, agree upon the double tracking of the road.
A reference to the Board's opinions in other matters connected with this Railway and to the report of our Engineer, and to the opinions of every Engineer, who has spoken upon the subject, makes it clear that double tracking is the solution of the difficulties between the Town and the Company. The parties should endeavor to settle this matter, the Company not taking their pound of flesh from the Town, nor the Town squeezing the last dollar out of the Company. Mr. Gibson suggested that this Board should help in securing a settlement.
If the Board can be of any assistance to the parties in arriving at a settlement, we shall be glad to do anything reasonable that lies in our power. Mr. Wilson, in answer to the Chairman, stated that some of the switches are 11 feet centres and some 13. He says that all the new switches shown on the plan, are to be put in at 13 feet centres. Mr. Wyse, the Board's Engineer, will see that the switches are properly constructed, and that the Company pave the highway, in accordance with the contract.
We make no Order for costs, except that the Company shall pay $20 for a stamp on the formal Order and our Engineer's fees to be fixed by the Board. Further consideration and direction reserved until the questions of law raised by Counsel, are settled.
Dated this Second day of October, 1911.
(Signed) James Leitch,
Railways: T. & Y.Rad.Ry.