Toronto

Mayor Tory vows Scarborough subway will be built, despite what David Miller says

Mayor John Tory says the one-stop Scarborough extension will bring a "new day" to the city’s east end. And despite what naysayers believe, including former mayor David Miller, it will be built.

John Tory fires back after former mayor blasts plan to extend Line 2 to Scarborough Town Centre

Mayor John Tory says he's pleased to stand up for the one-stop subway extension in Scarborough. (CBC)

Mayor John Tory says the one-stop Scarborough subway extension will bring a "new day" to the city's east end, and despite what naysayers believe, including former mayor David Miller, Tory says the $3.35-billion-dollar project will be built.

"We're going to build a subway to Scarborough because Scarborough needs to have a connection between its city centre and the rest of the city," said Tory, speaking to CBC Toronto on the phone from India, where he's on a 10-day trade mission.

His comments come after Miller said he doesn't belive the extension will ever be built during an interview with Matt Galloway on CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

"I've watched these projects in my political career of over 25 years. I've voted for subways, I've supported subways. I've watched them get cancelled time and time again, because they are so horrendously expensive," said Miller.

Miller told Galloway he expects "at some point" the projected cost of the Scarborough subway extension will be more than $4-billion and "the government will be faced with the decision, 'Are we really going to spend that kind of money for one stop that doesn't serve the needs of commuters ...?''

The former mayor says much of the expense will be due to the builders having to "drill through bedrock," and he would prefer to see Scarborough connected to the rest of the city via several less costly LRT lines that will have more stops and serve more people.

When CBC Toronto asked Tory for his reaction to Miller's comments, the mayor got somewhat testy. He said the former mayor's statements aren't that surprising, and he pointed to Miller's own track record on building subways.

"He's the man who managed to get a subway to Vaughan. That was his priority, building a subway right out of the city before one even got built to Scarborough," said Tory, calling that project — part of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension —  a "mess."

Tory says he's pleased to stand up for the Scarborough project.

"This will save a lot of time for a lot of Scarborough residents and, just as important, it will attract all kinds of jobs and investments to the city centre of Scarborough, which is going to bring a brand new day for Scarborough," said Tory.

Nine of 10 Scarborough councillors also threw their support behind the project in an open letter Tuesday afternoon.

"After almost 40 years, Scarborough transit is finally on track," the letter reads. "But standing up for better transit for Scarborough continues to be a tough fight. In a city that is united and truly 'One Toronto', transit projects must progress in all areas, including Scarborough."

The long-debated extension goes before Toronto city council again next week.

With files from John Rieti

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