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Ontario passes legislation to speed up GTA subway projects

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TORONTO, ON., JULY 7, 2020 ― Ontario passes Building Transit Faster Act — Today, the province passed Bill 171, the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020. This means the province can speed up the process of expanding the GTA’s modern, and sustainable transit system for the 21st century.

The legislation enables the province to expedite the process of building Ontario’s four priority GTA transit projects, which will get people to where they want to go, reduce congestion, and drive economic growth and job creation.

The GTA projects include the all-new Ontario Line, the Yonge North Subway Extension to Markham and Richmond Hill, the improved three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension to Pearson airport.

“Getting more transit built faster will help reduce gridlock, deliver a modern rapid transit system for the province and become a major contributor to our economic recovery,” said Premier Doug Ford.

“These four priority transit projects will create thousands of jobs, provide more housing options for people, and open up countless opportunities for businesses throughout the Greater Toronto Area and beyond,” said Ford.

“During consultations and throughout debate, we heard a common theme from a wide range of people who reinforced how important it is to not only build transit quickly, but to also get it right,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation.

“That is why we’ve focused solely on eliminating the roadblocks that cause unnecessary delays, so we can deliver these major transit projects as quickly and cost effectively as possible,”said Mulroney.

This legislation supports Premier Ford’s “New Subway Transit Plan for the GTA” ― representing the largest subway expansion in Canadian history.

The Act will expedite the planning, design and construction process for the four priority subway projects by:

  • Enabling relocation of utilities more efficiently, while treating businesses fairly, and ensuring costs are not passed on to consumers;
  • Better enabling the assembly of land required to construct stations, conduct tunneling and prepare sites, while treating property owners fairly;
  • Ensuring timely access to municipal services and rights-of-way;
  • Allowing the province to conduct due diligence work and remove physical barriers with appropriate notification to property owners; and,
  • Ensuring nearby developments or construction projects are coordinated so they do not cause delays.

“Now that legislation has passed, we continue to call on the federal government to come to the table and fund at least 40 per cent of these nationally-significant subway projects that will provide a modern, efficient rapid transit system, benefiting all transit riders and taxpayers,” said Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA). “With the passage of this bill, we can get shovels in the ground sooner and get skilled people back to work as we restart the economy and recover from COVID-19.”

“The passage of this legislation gets us closer to building much-needed transit infrastructure to reduce congestion and contribute to the economic recovery and renewal of our province,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “We are committed to fulfilling our promise to get people where they want to go when they want to get there.”

Working together with its municipal and federal partners on priority transit projects, the government is building a world-class rapid transit system and developing transit-oriented communities with a greater variety of affordable housing options.

About the new subway projects

Ontario Line

The Ontario Line is a 15.5 kilometre subway line running from Toronto’s waterfront at Ontario Place/Exhibition, through downtown and eastern Toronto, running northward to the Ontario Science Centre. Current plans for the line include 15 stations, including 17 new multi-modal connections to GO Passenger Train, existing subway stations, Light Rail Transit lines,and streetcar lines.

Runs From: Exhibition Station to the Ontario Science Centre
Length: 15.5 km
Stations: 15
Projected daily ridership: 389,000 boardings

Yonge North subway extension

The Yonge North extension will continue TTC’s Line 1 to major employment centres in York Region such as Markham and Richmond Hill. The project is an approximately 7.4-kilometre extension of TTC’s Line 1 (Yonge University) to Richmond Hill.

Runs from: Finch station to Richmond Hill Centre
Length: 7.4 km
Stations: 6

Scarborough subway extension

The Scarborough subway extension is a 7.8-kilometre extension of TTC’s Line 2 Bloor-Danforth Subway, from the existing Kennedy Station northeast to McCowan Road and Sheppard Avenue. The line will include three new stations at Lawrence Avenue and McCowan Road, Scarborough Centre and a terminal station at McCowan Road and Sheppard Avenue.

Runs From: Kennedy station to Sheppard/McCowan
Length: 7.8 km
Stations: 3

Eglinton Crosstown West extension

The Eglinton Crosstown West extension will improve connectivity along Eglinton Avenue including a planned future connection to Toronto Pearson International Airport. This project is an approximately 9.2-kilometre extension of the Eglinton Crosstown (future Line 5), from Mount Dennis to Renforth Gateway with a planned future connection to Toronto Pearson International Airport, the single largest employment centre in Canada.

Runs from: Mount Dennis LRT to Renforth Gateway
Length: 9.2 km

SOURCE Government of Ontario

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