Toronto City Council has voted in support of moving forward with transit expansion with the Government of Ontario.
“This is a deal that is good for our city and one that is consistent with the direction given by City Council a year ago when we were faced with a very challenging situation,” said Mayor John Tory. “As a Mayor who was elected to finally get on with building transit and who was elected on a promise to work with the other governments, I believe this is our very best way forward.”
The vote allows City staff to negotiate and enter into agreements with the Province of Ontario on future transit projects for Toronto. Now, with Council’s support, City and TTC staff will work with the province to advance the Ontario Line, a three-stop Line 2 East Extension further into Scarborough, the Eglinton West LRT, and the Yonge North Subway Extension.
The key elements of the arrangement between the City and Province include:
- The City retains ownership of the existing subway network;
- TTC retains operations of the transit network;
- funding from the Province, with the help of the federal government, for almost $30 billion in transit expansion projects;
- the City’s $5 billion – the funding that would have been Toronto’s required share of expansion funds – will go towards state of good repair for the existing transit system and other city priority transit projects like the Eglinton East LRT and Waterfront transit;
- the Province and the City agree to work together to get the four projects built as quickly as possible;
- costs the City has incurred planning transit up to this point will be covered by the Province along with staff costs incurred in building out the new lines;
- the Province will cover any cost overruns of its four priority projects; and
- a commitment to work together as partners to address local issues along these routes so that neighbourhoods are protected and residents listened to when they raise concerns.
Further recommendations direct staff to negotiate more detailed agreements regarding operations and maintenance of the four projects for future Council consideration, and to report back to Council with semi-annual updates on discussions with the Ontario government.