Today the Federal Government announced that it has approved $30,549,000 in PTIF funding (Public Transit Infrastructure Fund) for projects within the City of Toronto. PTIF was created by the Federal Government to be their delivery mechanism for transit projects across Canada, ranging from minor upgrades to large-scale infrastructure projects. According to the government, PTIF will "provide short-term funding of $3.4 billion to help accelerate municipal investments to support the rehabilitation of transit systems, new capital projects, and planning and studies for future transit expansion to foster long-term transit plans".
Below is a list of the 11 projects that were approved for PTIF funding. It should be noted that the City of Toronto is also contributing funding to these projects, though those amounts haven't been specified. It's also interesting to note that the start date of every project on the list is in the past, indicating that these projects began either began in anticipation of PTIF funding, or have had their scopes expanded as a result of obtaining PTIF funding. Unfortunately, information for many of these projects is scarce.
The Union Station complex seems to be a particular focus of this recent round of PTIF funding, with 5 projects being approved. The first of note is $200,000 for signage and wayfinding improvements. It's unclear if this is merely an expansion of the existing wayfinding system into newly-constructed areas of the station, or whether this is for modifications to the existing wayfinding system.
The second of note is $464,000 for the Northwest PATH extension. The project is currently undertaking a Municipal Class EA Addendum, which is scheduled to be completed and approved by Council in Spring 2018. The primary purpose of the EA is to identify which of the four corridors (shown below) will be selected as the preferred extension of the Northwest PATH corridor, the first phase of which opened between Union Station and the northwest corner of Front St & York St in 2015. It is anticipated that another round of public consultations will be taking place for this project later this year.
King Street is also receiving a fair bit of attention in this round of PTIF funding. The King Street Modelling Study ($200,000), according to the King Street Pilot Study website, is being "undertaken in parallel with the Pilot Study that will assess impacts of various options on auto traffic on the broader street network surrounding the King Street corridor. The Modelling Study will both inform and be informed by the Pilot Study."
A significantly larger ticket item however is Transit Priority Measures, which total $10 million. It is unclear whether this entire amount is intended for the King Street Pilot Study, or if a portion of the funding is for other, smaller transit priority projects.
Another main street that is getting some attention is Yonge Street, specifically the section from Sheppard Ave to Finch Ave in North York ($2,000,000). Reimagining Yonge Street is an EA that is currently underway, with the goal of creating "an attractive and consistent streetscape with design appropriate to the civic goals of the North York Centre that will serve people of all ages as they travel in and around the area for work, school and leisure". Public consultations were recently held, and the online comment period is open until October 24th.
The largest item on the list is for "Surface Way Building Replacement" ($16,585,000), which is upgrades to the TTC's Hillcrest Complex. According to a TTC Staff Report, the funding will allow the TTC to "proceed with the construction of the Streetcar Way Building within the Hillcrest Complex... The building has a total area 2,700 square metres, with space for Streetcar Way staff facilities in their daily operations including rail bending." The project is expected to take two years to complete and has a total cost of $27,747,150, meaning that this PTIF funding covers nearly 60% of the total construction cost. The proposed site plan is shown below.
The final item of note is the $300,000 for the Exhibition Place/Ontario Place Land Bridge Study. As part of the plan to transform Ontario Place, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport is examining the feasibility of building a "pedestrian land bridge that extends across Lake Shore Boulevard into Exhibition Place, strengthening connections between the two places as well as to the city". The bridge would also serve as a gateway to the new Trillium Park.
If you would like to share your thoughts on this latest round of PTIF funding, you can do so by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page.