Mayor Rob Ford has been meeting with prominent Toronto property developers to gain support for the Sheppard subway extension, though it's unclear what the funding model might be.
Council will decide on a transit plan for Sheppard on March 15, when an advisory panel will make recommendations to a special council meeting — to either extend the Sheppard subway or build above-ground light rail.
Ford wants a subway extension and said the developers he met with Wednesday agree with him.
"I said if you're against it, let us know. Not one person, not one developer said we're against it," Ford said after the 90-minute meeting with about 20 developers. "As a united group, they came out and said, 'We want subways in the city. You're on the right path, and we can afford it.' "
Developers not willing to pay more
No formal agreement came out of the meeting. Developers also dismissed paying steeper development charges to build closer to the transit line.
Ford has said he's also open to parking levies and tax increment financing, but he's yet to provide a financial plan for extending the line.
Gordon Chong, a former city councillor who wrote a report on the extension's feasibility , said the developers feel the subway could be financed "if we're prepared to look at all the revenue tools that are available."
The revenue tools mentioned in Chong's report include road tolls, parking fees and other forms of taxation.
Coun. Josh Colle and Coun. Karen Stintz, the TTC chair, said earlier this week that they're looking for a sound business plan from the mayor if he expects them to support his vision.
Sources told CBC News they hope the developers will use their influence in the next two weeks to convince skeptical councillors that extending the Sheppard line is the right choice, even if only by one or two stops.