Sheppard LRT Toronto

Toronto city council endorses LRT for Sheppard East

Rob Ford suffered another dramatic defeat at city council today, as his colleagues voted 24-19 in favour of an LRT-based transit plan for Sheppard East. Doug Ford called it a "sad day for Toronto," while the mayor vowed to keep fighting for subways. What exactly the nature of that fight will be remains unclear, as today's vote should finally kill Ford's dream — let's be honest, it was never a "plan" — for a subway along Sheppard East.

"People hate the St. Clair...they hate these streetcars," Ford angrily shouted during today's debate. "You can call them what you want. People want subways folks. Subways, subways." But for all the ire he expressed earlier in the session, the mayor was calmer in his final address to council and when he briefly scrummed with reporters post-vote.

By that point he must have realized that there wasn't much point in putting up a fuss. And besides, as he and his supporters have said all along, this is the type of "loss" they believe they can build a future campaign on. That might sound paradoxical, but Ford will still be able to say to Scarborough residents that he fought tooth and nail for a subway, even if all he did was blow hot air.

Given the divisiveness of the whole subways vs. LRT debate, it's almost hard to believe that the issue has been resolved once and for all, but the reality is there is very little recourse that subway proponents have to alter the decision made today. Toronto has given the province the mandate that it demanded, and it's for LRT-based transit expansion.

Can we just get down to building now?


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