Tolls won't fund Sheppard subway: Ford

Toronto mayor Rob Ford pours cold water on any thought of turning to toll roads to pay for the Sheppard subway line extension.

Toronto mayor Rob Ford poured cold water Monday on the idea of using toll roads to pay for the Sheppard subway line extension.

The idea of tolls was first floated last week by Gordon Chong, a former city councillor and the man the mayor put in charge of finding a way to fund the line. 

In March, the mayor promised a Sheppard subway extension to be built without city funding, only provincial and federal money. At the time of the announcement, Ford said the private sector would cover the balance, but did not provide specifics.

Gordon, a former TTC commissioner, said tolls are something the cash-strapped city should consider.

"Tolling of any sort is one tool in the tool box," he told CBC's Steven D'Souza. "The rest of it is development charges, tax-incremental financing."

Tolls for subway are 'nonsense'

Some experts say tolls are inevitable to pay for massively expensive subways but on Monday, the mayor left no doubt where he stands.

"It's nonsense, I don't support road tolls and there's no road tolls going in," he said.

His brother, Coun. Doug Ford, said road tolls are "not on the table."

Coun. Gord Perks said the debate over tolls points to flaws in a subway funding plan he said is vague at best.

"It's unfortunate he's chasing basically fairy dust and misleading the public into thinking we're going to get a [Sheppard] subway when we're not," said Perks.

But Chong said that if presented the right way, there can be a proper discussion about highway tolls.

"Tolls would be one of the last things that would be considered but that's a policy decision. That's not in my hands," he said.