Toronto city council approves Ontario government’s subway plan
The province will contribute $11.2-billion, while hoping the federal government, the City of Toronto and York Region would chip in the rest
Toronto city council has voted to move ahead with a transit project that includes a major proposal put forward and partially funded by the Ontario government.
Councillors voted 22-3 in favour of the joint plan, which the provincial government announced earlier this month as it backed away from an earlier promise to take control of the city’s transit system.
The deal marked a reversal for the government of Premier Doug Ford, which passed legislation in April to allow it to upload transit from the city.
But the plan approved by council contains other features of Ford’s transit vision, such as a subway extension dubbed the “Ontario Line” as well as three additional stations that would bring subway service to the city’s eastern suburbs.
Toronto Mayor John Tory described the newly adopted deal as good for the city in a twitter posting shared after the council vote.
Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney and Ford released statements applauding council for adopting the plan.
“Our comprehensive program of priority subway projects will dramatically improve connectivity across the (Greater Toronto-Hamilton area) while also delivering significant relief to critical congestion,” Ford said in a statement.
“The people of Ontario deserve rapid, world-class transit services and our plan will deliver exactly that.”
In April, the premier announced his public transit plan would include the so-called “Ontario Line.” The downtown relief route would be twice as long as a stretch Toronto was considering, be built two years earlier and cost billions more.
It also included a three-stop extension of the existing Bloor-Danforth line to the region known locally as Scarborough, a light rail extension to the city’s west-end and future plans to extend the Yonge subway north to York Region.
All the projects were unveiled as part of a $28.5-billion plan the Progressive Conservative government said would move the province’s aging public transit system into the 21st century.
At the time, the province said it would contribute $11.2-billion, while hoping the federal government, the City of Toronto and York Region would chip in the rest.
Ford called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newly re-elected government to make good on its commitments and increase its share of the funding for a project he described as having “national importance.”
The Ontario government said it hopes to have all four projects completed by 2031.