John Tory's op-ed in favour of Scarborough subway draws backlash from Torontonians

The Toronto Star may no longer have a comment section on its website, but that didn't stop some angry Torontonians from voicing their displeasure with Mayor John Tory's op-ed for the paper in which he states his support for the Scarborough subway extension.

'Many of the subway's loudest critics do not live or work in Scarborough,' Tory writes

Toronto Mayor John Tory, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, use power tools on a TTC subway car undercarriage at the Greenwood Subway Yard in Toronto on May 6, 2016. Tory says in a newspaper op-ed the Scarborough subway extension would be best for Toronto. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

The Toronto Star may no longer have a comment section on its website, but that didn't stop some angry Torontonians from voicing their displeasure with Mayor John Tory's op-ed for the paper in which he states his support for the Scarborough subway extension.

In the piece, bluntly titled "Why I support the Scarborough subway," Tory says Toronto is "decades behind when it comes to transit" and cites an analysis by chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat and her department which "favoured an express subway extension" over an LRT line.

Toronto had previously proposed and moved to create a light rail line in Scarborough, with both the capital and operating costs paid for by the province, but it was scrapped at a cost of $85 million.

Tory argues "many of the subway's loudest critics do not live or work in Scarborough, where more than half the population is born outside of Canada," and that veering away from a subway extension would "delay transit for those who need it, introduce new problems, new costs and a weakened position for our city."

Reaction to his piece, like just about everything in Toronto's transit debate, was heated.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

Some were disappointed that Tory's stance on the subway line is the same as the Ford brothers.

Former mayor Rob Ford and his brother Doug Ford, a former city councillor and Tory's rival on election night in 2014, were in favour of a Scarborough line.

Issue not black or white, or any colour 

Tory's remark that many who oppose the line aren't from the area, which is famously multicultural, made some people see red.

Many accused the mayor of painting those against the subway extension as anti-immigrant.

Stop the gravy train

​Some criticism of Tory was strictly fiscal, particularly the idea of the city spending more than $3 billion in taxpayers' money for a single subway stop.

Subways, subways, subways, please!

Despite the backlash against Tory's article, many expressed the need for a subway extension in Scarborough.

About the Author

Justin Li

Senior News Writer

Justin Li is a senior news writer. Prior to joining CBC News, he worked for the Toronto Star and wrote for various magazines in Toronto, where he's always lived.

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