Toronto may take on 5 transit projects over 15 years, but only 1 is funded
Estimated cost of Scarborough subway extension now up to $3.16B
Toronto city planners revealed Tuesday their vision of how the city's transit network should evolve over the next 15 years, a vision that includes complex new subway, train and light rail lines, but — for the most part — they didn't spell out a way to pay for it all.
Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat and Deputy City Manager John Livey laid out a report with recommendations for five new or ongoing developments: the Scarborough subway extension, SmartTrack, the Downtown Relief Line (DRL), and light rail lines along Eglinton Avenue West from Mt. Dennis, and on Eglinton Avenue East from Kennedy Station.
The LRT line from Mt. Dennis would run west into Mississauga and end at Pearson airport. The LRT line from Kennedy station would run east, and then north, ending at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus.
Of these projects, only the Scarborough subway extension, which will cost an estimated $3.16 billion, is funded. The remainder of the projects, which will cost up to $11.7 billion, have no "financing strategy," the report said.
The report also says the cost of the Scarborough subway extension will be greater than $3 billion if the estimate includes extending the life of the Scarborough RT while the one stop is being constructed and decommissioning the RT once it is no longer needed. Mayor John Tory said last week the cost of the subway extension would be $2.9 billion.
The meeting Tuesday evening, which also served as a public consultation, gave the public a look at the routes the city would prefer for both the Scarborough subway extension and the DRL.
Planners are recommending that the Scarborough subway run under McCowan from Kennedy Station to the Scarborough Town Centre.
The final recommendation for the relief line is beneath Pape Avenue to Eastern Avenue, west along Eastern to Queen Street, then under Queen to the Yonge-University line.
The stations on the relief line would be:
- Pape Station (Interchange with Line 2)
- Broadview-Eastern (potential SmartTrack interchange at Unilever)
- Queen- Sumach
- Queen-Yonge (Interchange with Yonge line)
- Queen-University (Interchange with University line)
Keesmaat said this alignment was preferred because it allows planners to place a station near the Unilever site, by the foot of the Don Valley Parkway, which will soon be developed into a bustling new neighbourhood.
All of the staff recommendations go before Mayor John Tory's executive committee next Tuesday, then on to city council for debate in July.
Keesmaat said the city and the province must work together to come up with a fare system that will allow commuters to use all three transit systems — SmartTrack, GO Transit and the new TTC lines — seamlessly, without having to pay two fares.
When it comes to planning which neighbourhoods will get stations on the DRL, Keesmaat said it was important for planners to keep in mind the city's "social equity goals, such as having a station at Moss Park."
The Eglinton West LRT from Mt. Dennis to Pearson would include 8 to 12 stops. In the east, the report recommends that the Eglinton LRT extension from Kennedy to UTSC include 17 or fewer stops.