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Ontario vows to expedite all Toronto subway projects


Fresh on the heels of Tuesday’s announcement by, Metrolinx explaining that Transit users in Toronto will have to wait until “well into 2022” before they can ride the Eglinton Crosstown subway, the Ontario government announced new transit legislation at Queen’s Park yesterday, with a goal to streamline and accelerate new subway projects.

Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation emphasised that the legislation will help deliver Ontario’s four priority subway projects on-time and on-budget.

These projects include the all-new Ontario Line announced in April 2019. Its northern terminus would be at Eglinton Avenue and Don Mills Road, at Science Centre Station, where it would connect with Line 5 Eglinton. Its southern terminus would be at the existing Exhibition Go Station on the Lakeshore West Line. Three other Toronto subway projects on the go are a three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension; the Yonge North Subway Extension; and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

Proposed Ontario Line. The Ontario government estimates the cost at CA$10.9 billion for this 15.5-kilometre (9.6 mi) line and hopes to complete the project by 2027. Diagram from wiki commons.

The proposed legislation asserts that Ontario recognises the importance of delivering transit faster for the people in the Greater Toronto Area, reducing congestion, and connecting people to places and jobs.

“In order to keep up with the tremendous growth in the region, we have to build modern, efficient rapid transit,” said Minister Mulroney. “It will not only generate years of employment, it will allow us to better connect a world-class city and develop transit-oriented communities.”

The Building Transit Faster Act would provide the province with the tools to expedite the planning, design and construction process that has delayed major projects in the past. If passed, the legislation would remove roadblocks and give the Province the ability needed to deliver projects faster by:

  • Relocating utilities more efficiently while treating businesses fairly, and ensuring costs are not passed on to consumers;
  • Ensuring 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 Ontario to inspect and remove physical barriers with appropriate notification to property owners;
  • Ensuring nearby developments or construction projects are coordinated so they do not delay the four priority subway projects.

The projects include the all-new Ontario Line, the Yonge North Subway Extension, the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, and will address the increasing demand for safe and reliable transportation options.

“Not only will this proposed legislation get people riding the trains earlier, but it will ensure that the province is best positioned to attract new business and keep our best and brightest here in Ontario,” said Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA).

Ontario remains committed to partnering with the City of Toronto to remove roadblocks, engaging with local residents and businesses on each project, and consulting with Indigenous communities to ensure Aboriginal and treaty rights and interests are considered in the decision-making process.

The proposed changes support the government’s commitment to making public transit an attractive, affordable and low-stress alternative to get people where they want to go, when they want to get there.

Quick Facts

  • In April 2019, the province announced its historic new transportation vision, with an estimated cost of $28.5 billion. This includes four priority transit projects: the all-new Ontario Line (proposed opening – 2027); a three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension ; the Yonge North Subway Extension (both proposed to open between 2029-30); and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (2022) .
  • In June 2019, the Getting Ontario Moving Act was enacted to enable provincial ownership of the subway extensions and new lines envisioned in Ontario’s new subway transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
  • The proposed legislation includes steps to make the relocation of utilities, such as gas or electrical, more efficient by requiring their infrastructure to be moved within a set timeframe and introduces a structured and consistent process for engaging and coordinating work.

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