Toronto transit plans get boost as council approves key recommendations

Mayor John Tory called it a great day for transit in Toronto after city council approved several recommendations including a preferred corridor for the downtown relief line on Thursday.

Move brings all transit projects, including SmartTrack, into one plan

City council approved several transit-related recommendations on Thursday, including a proposed route for the downtown relief line. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Mayor John Tory called it a great day for transit in Toronto after city council approved several recommendations including a preferred corridor for the downtown relief line on Thursday.

By a large margin, council voted to go forward with the executive committee's recommendations on the following files related to the relief line, Tory's SmartTrack plan, the Scarborough subway as well as transit on the waterfront.

"This plan brings together all transit projects currently under study into one plan," Tory tweeted on Thursday evening.

The proposed downtown relief line has been under discussion off and on in Toronto for decades. It's supposed to provide another route for commuters from the suburbs into Toronto's downtown and provide much-needed relief to the overcrowded Yonge-University-Spadina line.

A city document laying out the recommendations said they set the stage for upcoming discussions on funding and financing new transit in the city.

Among the approved recommendations, council voted to:

  • Approve a preferred corridor for the downtown relief line that will run downtown from Pape station, along Queen/Richmond Streets and wind up at city hall. There will also be more study done on potential stations and alignment of the route.
  • Move toward finalizing the SmartTrack plan by focusing on key parts like the Eglinton West LRT extension to Pearson and creating two SmartTrack/GO Transit integration stations that the city said will boost urban service frequency.
  • Complete the reviews of the Scarborough subway route, including an potential Eglinton East LRT link to the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.
  • Give an update on the first phase of work on the Waterfront Transit Reset study by June. 

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