Scarborough subway would 'stimulate much needed jobs and investment,' John Tory says

Mayor John Tory is firing back at those arguing against the Scarborough subway plan by saying it's time to invest in the east end of Toronto.

'Not every bit of development can happen downtown,' Toronto mayor tells CBC Radio

Toronto Mayor John Tory says it is "patently false" that the province would cover the operating costs of a proposed LRT versus a subway extension in the city. (CBC)

Mayor John Tory is firing back at those arguing against the Scarborough subway plan by saying it's time to invest in the east end of Toronto. 

"Not every bit of development can happen downtown," Tory said Monday morning on CBC Radio's Metro Morning

"I believe Scarborough has been short of investment and short of jobs. It's a fact. It's been stagnant economically. We have to change that."

He added the transit development is necessary to "stimulate much needed jobs and investment in Scarborough."

Those against the plan say the city can built two separate LRT lines for the same cost of a one-stop subway extension into Scarborough.

"There's been this mythical claim made by those who support the LRT ... that the province has promised to pay the operating costs of that LRT, which is patently false," Tory said. "People assume the original plan is just there."

Yes, it costs money, but none of this is free.- Mayor John Tory on Scarborough subway

The mayor stressed the need to bring forward a transit plan for Scarborough that includes SmartTrack, an express subway and an LRT to the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. 

"It's a package deal, it's smart — I'm moving forward to implement it," Tory said. "Yes, it costs money, but none of this is free."

For Tory, Scarborough being the lone borough in the city without a civic centre subway connection is just not acceptable. 

"I think 25 years from today, people will be sitting here saying: 'I'm glad they made all of those investments together.'"

'The money is there'

In June, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne voiced her support for the revamped subway plan that would extend the TTC's Bloor-Danforth subway line northeast to connect with Scarborough Town Centre. 

The news of Wynne's support came days after it was revealed that the cost of the subway extension was now at $2.9 billion.

The premier said last month that she would like to see the city expedite the plan to avoid further delays.

"The more often we change direction, the more often we scrap a plan and start all over again, the more expensive that is, and the more time it costs," she told reporters.

Original estimates called for the extension to cost $2 billion. However, the mayor has argued that the original plan that included three stops in Scarborough would have cost more than $4 billion.

All three levels of government are contributing toward the transit plan, Tory said last month.

"The money is there," Tory said in June.

Clarifications

  • An earlier version of this story reported Mayor John Tory was considering a four-stop LRT. In fact, the mayor said four community improvement areas would be served by extending the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
    Jul 11, 2016 12:42 PM ET