Transit Update - Ontario Line and TTC Upload

If there is one thing I’ve learned over a decade of endless transit debates in Toronto it’s that announcing new transit is easy, but actually building new transit is hard. Over the last 6 months, our city’s transit planning has been plunged into chaos by the Provincial government, who announced a planned upload of the city’s subway system and a new transit expansion with the Ontario Line, instead of the previously planned Relief Line.

This week, City Council supported the plan put forward by the province and city staff to move forward with the Ontario Line instead of the previously planned Relief Line, while simultaneously cancelling plans to upload to the TTC to the province. 

While some aspects of the new line remain the same as the Relief Line, there are changes and additions to the Ontario Line within our Ward 10 communities, including: 

  • Changes to the previously planned Relief Line stops between the Don River and Yonge Street;
  • The intention for underground stops at Queen and Bathurst and King and Bathurst;
  • Above ground sections in two areas in Ward 10:
    • East of the Don River in Ward 14 continuing to west of the Don River; and 
    • From somewhere west of Bathurst and near Front Street (the exact location is unclear and yet to be determined) to Exhibition Place/Ontario Place. 

Let me be clear: new transit for our rapidly growing neighbourhoods is a good thing. Inter-governmental commitment of funding for relief for Line 1 (including the expansion North of the Danforth) is welcome news. It’s desperately needed. The cancellation of the upload is a good thing - the proposed Doug Ford takeover of Toronto’s subway system was always a terrible idea. Thank you to everyone who spoke out over the past 8 months pressuring the Premier and provincial government to take action to reverse this decision.

However, I remain concerned with the details of the plan, and with the many unanswered questions, including regarding final routes and alignments, technology, fare integration, future operations and funding, community consultation, above-ground sections, and more. 

Together with Council colleagues, I was able to add consideration of many of these questions to our conversations and next steps with Metrolinx, the Provincial transit agency responsible for the planning and construction of any new Ontario Line. These include: mitigating potential local impacts and reviewing potential impacts of the above-ground sections (including constructability), ensuring full and affordable fare integration between all lines and technologies - especially critical for our Liberty Village and Fort York communities - prioritizing affordable housing as part of any transit-oriented residential development, and more.

As next steps become clearer, I will continue to share information with you. 

For more information, click here.