Toronto transit infrastructure

Toronto just got $9 billion to make our subway dreams come true

In a move that's as smart as it is generous, the federal and provincial governments have together pledged nearly $9 billion over the next ten years for priority transit projects in Toronto.

Hello, downtown relief line.

The infrastructure ministers for both Canada and Ontario announced during a press conference yesterday that they had signed a "bilateral agreement" that will see the feds pump more than $11.8 billion into infrastructure projects across the province.

Toronto in particular will receive $4.9 billion of these federal funds, which is something we already knew would happen – but only if Ontario agreed to fund at least 33 per cent of the cost of eligible projects.

Premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government has, for many months, been hesitant to commit the necessary funds, despite Mayor John Tory's pleading. 

It came as a surprise (and relief) to some, then, when Ontario infrastructure minister Bob Chiarelli announced that the province is stepping up to the plate to nearly match Ottawa's investment. 

Of the $10 billion in new money from the province (previously pledged funds aren't included in this sum,) about $4 billion will go directly to Toronto. The rest will be spent on transit projects in other municipalities.

"For the first time, we now have all three governments dedicated to building the Relief Line, SmartTrack, the Scarborough Subway Extension, waterfront transit, and the Eglinton East LRT," said Tory in a statement following the news conference.

"After years of delays and divisive debates, we are finally getting on with expanding our transit system, we are getting on with working together to build up our cities."

TTC Chair Josh Colle also praised both levels of government for allocating the funds on a per rider basis, "ensuring the TTC receives billions more than it would if allocated on a per capita basis."

"As I've said before, the TTC requires partnership, collaboration and innovation in order to be successful in delivering a world-class public transportation system that Toronto can be proud of," he said in a release of his own.

"This announcement is a huge step forward in achieving that goal."

Lead photo by

fotografiothiago


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