The man tasked with funding the Sheppard subway line is playing down remarks he made over the weekend in which he said road tolls would have to be considered as an option to generate revenue for the project.

Gordon Chong was appointed by the city to head up the Toronto Transit Infrastructure Limited (TTIL),  a long-dormant subsidiary of the TTC. It is his job to build a business case for extending the Sheppard subway.

Chong, a former North York councillor and TTC-vice chair said in a weekend interview with the Toronto Star that road tolls may have to be one of the options to fund the line, which is estimated to cost $4.2 billion. 

Those comments attracted widespread media attention, and Mayor Rob Ford called any plan to implement road tolls "nonsense."   

In an interview with CBC's Steven D'Souza (shown above), Chong said the attention given to his comments were overblown. 

"Tolls would be one of the last things that would be considered," he said.

Among the other things Chong revealed in the interview:

  • There is already "tremendous interest" from the private sector in the Sheppard line.
  • His team expects to have a business case ready to be presented to council by the fall.
  • By that time, he anticipates a commitment of some federal funding for the project.