Toronto Mayor John Tory announced this morning that City staff have negotiated an agreement with the Government of Ontario that gets the City onboard with a provincially planned rapid transit line in exchange for the Province shelving a plan to upload the ownership of subway infrastructure. Today's agreement—which is still subject to City Council approval—among other things, will advance the Ontario government's proposed Ontario Line subway. The terms of the agreement are summarized as;
- The City retains ownership of the existing subway network
- The TTC retains operations of the transit network
- The Province funds and builds transit expansion projects and supports the City, putting its expansion funds towards state of good repair and City priority projects like the Eglinton East LRT and Waterfront Transit.
- The Province and the City agree to work together to get the Ontario Line, the Scarborough subway, Eglinton West LRT, and Yonge North built as quickly as possible.
These terms can be celebrated as a win for both levels of government involved, with the province gaining City support for a politically-important transit line and the City benefiting from continued control of the TTC plus an almost $30 billion investment in new transit.
"The detailed report released today from our City and TTC staff professionals makes the case for why City Council should pursue this plan, why it’s a good deal for Toronto residents, especially those who use transit, and for the City's long-term finances," said Mayor Tory. "It also explains clearly that the Province has agreed to leave the existing subway system as part of the TTC — owned by the people of Toronto. This was a key requirement of Council when we entered into these discussions."
The Ontario Line generated controversy when initially proposed by the then-newly-elected government, with critics pointing out that the line was at least partially a political rebrand of the existing Relief Line proposal, which had already committed millions of dollars toward its planning. Those in favour of the revised and rebranded Ontario Line point out that the route would service more neighbourhoods and increase the line's overall connectivity with other transit routes.
You can get in on the conversation by visiting our thread dedicated to the Ontario Line, or you can leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
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