Toronto City Council voted unanimously to receive $226 million in provincial funding for the delivery of the SmartTrack Stations Program.
Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie announced that the funding had been secured from the Province of Ontario. Following Council’s request in March, the City and the Province successfully negotiated construction funding terms, signalling a commitment for the SmartTrack program (No. 48 on ReNew’s 2023 Top100 Projects report) and ensuring the transit initiative can proceed to construction as soon as possible.
The revised SmartTrack Station Programs budget is $1.689 billion, including $878 million from the City, $585 million from the Government of Canada and $226 million from the Province of Ontario. The Program represents a collaborative approach from all three orders of government to transit expansion and is one of several major transit expansion projects underway and planned for Toronto.
“This $226 million-agreement with the Province of Ontario is great news for transit in Toronto. Council’s approval of this provincial funding protects funding commitments already made by the City of Toronto and the Government of Canada,” said McKelvie. “Most importantly, it moves SmartTrack forward. By transforming Toronto’s existing rail infrastructure from a regional commuter service into an urban rapid transit network, we will greatly benefit Toronto residents and increase their transit options.”
With additional funding in place, the City and Metrolinx are working to prepare various sites for SmartTrack construction and will proceed with a design-build contract award for the Bloor-Lansdowne station. The SmartTrack Stations Program scope consists of five stations: Bloor-Lansdowne, East Harbour, Finch-Kennedy, King-Liberty and St. Clair-Old Weston. SmartTrack is a significant investment for the City to improve transportation options within Toronto and expand transit access by leveraging existing transit infrastructure. Combined with Metrolinx’s GO Expansion Program, SmartTrack will leverage heavy rail infrastructure in Toronto used for regional commuter service into an urban rapid transit network.
Market conditions within the construction sector have changed considerably since the initial budget development. Several factors including supply chain uncertainty, continued cost inflation and instability in market participation and labour supply conflated to exert significant pressure on SmartTrack Stations Program delivery. As a result, additional funding is required to deliver the SmartTrack Program. Today’s approval of funding from the Province of Ontario will ensure that the SmartTrack Stations program can proceed to construction.
Featured image: (City of Toronto)