Today, it's the east end's turn. Following Yesterday's introduction of four new GO stations in Toronto's west end, new transit was announced for the city's east end earlier today. Joined by Mayor John Tory, local Councillor Paula Fletcher, local MPP Arthur Potts, and GO Transit / Metrolinx representatives, Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca announced four new GO stations east of the Don Valley. 

Stephen Del Duca speaks at the Unilever / East Harbour site, image by Craig WhitStephen Del Duca speaks at the Unilever / East Harbour site, image by Craig White

The new stations will be built at First Gulf's East Harbour Site (new branding for the Unilever lands, a concept rendering of which is shown below), Gerrard and Carlaw, Lawrence East, and Finch East. Located along the Lakeshore East / Stouffville corridors, the new stations would serve both the SmartTrack "service concept" and GO RER, bringing the total number of potential new stations built for SmartTrack to six—though SmartTrack trains will also stop at existing stations along the route. With questions regarding SmartTrack's service frequencies and fare integration remaining unresolved, however, the differences between Tory's campaign promise and GO RER are increasingly difficult to quantify.

With a Relief Line stop also planned, the East Harbour site could become a vitalWith a Relief Line stop also planned, the East Harbour site could become a vital transit hub, image courtesy of First Gulf

Along with the four new stations announced yesterday, the eight new Toronto stops form the majority of the 12 GO stations proposed across the GTHA in a Metrolinx 10 Year Plan report released Tuesday which will go before its Board on June 28. Of these 12, six stops are set to be part of SmartTrack service, all four from today plus yesterday's announced stops at Liberty Village and St. Clair West. These stops may or may not also see regular GO Trains stopping at them. Notably, the new plan removes the previously proposed Ellesmere Station—where projected ridership totals were comparatively low—from consideration. (The Ellesmere stop was planned as one of seven stations on the "optimized" Scarborough transit plan presented by City Planning in January). Don Yard, seen below, is also out of the list in favour of Unilever (East Harbour).

The new Toronto-area stations are highlighted in blue, image courtesy of MetroliThe new Toronto-area stations are highlighted in blue, image courtesy of Metrolinx

The recent announcements move the SmartTrack / GO RER plans a step forward. However, with the majority of Toronto's longterm transit plans remaining unfunded, the future of the network is still far from finalized. While the gradually reduced scope of SmartTrack service could reduce its cost, many of Toronto's other transit priorities—most notably the Scarborough Subway Extension—have sharply increased in the price, leaving the City facing an increasingly urgent funding crisis

We will keep you updated as the SmartTrack / GO RER plans continue to take shape. In the meantime, make sure to check out our associated Forum threads for both SmartTrack and GO Transit. Want to share your thoughts? Join in the Forum conversations or leave a comment below this page.