A TTC plan to build a 22-acre streetcar complex on the eastern lakefront is making waves among residents and film industry workers concerned about the impact on their neighbourhood and their jobs.

Transit officials say they need the streetcar garage and holding track, expected to cost about $350 million, to accommodate the city’s new fleet of 204 light rail vehicles. The new models, on order from Bombardier, are about twice as long as the current models that travel on the 11 existing streetcar routes.

The TTC has named six potential sites for the new complex. But its first choice is just north of the Ashbridge’s Bay sewage treatment plant. The second is on Eastern Avenue, where a big-box retail development was nixed by the Ontario Municipal Board earlier this year.

The sites are among the few available in the city large enough to accommodate the TTC’s needs, including storing about 100 cars at a time. Those two locations also would require the least deadheading — time spent shuttling cars to and from their service routes — according to TTC project manager Sameh Ghaly.

The TTC’s old carhouses on Queen Street and Roncesvalles Avenue would still provide light maintenance, mostly cleaning, said Ghaly.

The alternative, 629 Eastern Ave., is a mothballed film studio now owned by Smart!Centres and Rose Corp. Some film workers want it reopened for small and mid-sized productions. It is the last one in the city suitable for TV and smaller feature productions, according to set decorator Cal Loucks.

She’s worried that putting a streetcar garage there — with attendant construction, noise and vibration — could also drive other studios out of the area.

But Coun. Paula Fletcher (Toronto-Danforth) says the TTC facility would be good for the area.

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