doug ford ttc

The Ontario government wants to take over the TTC

As promised during his spring election campaign, Ontario Premier Doug Ford is moving forward with plans to "upload" Toronto's subway system to the province.

Ford confirmed to reporters at Queen's Park on Wednesday that his PC government still intends to take ownership of Toronto's subway infrastructure, and use it as part of a regional transportation system they intend to create.

“When we take over something as large as transit, I think it's nothing but a benefit to the city of Toronto," said the Premier.

"We're taking this off their shoulders," he continued. "The reason we're doing it, as I've said all along, for 12 years we just can't seem to get transit built in the city of Toronto."

Toronto Mayor John Tory isn't as optimistic about the idea. 

"We must not see a repetition of what we saw with the city council," said Tory earlier this week after meeting with provincial Transportation Minister John Yakabuski.

"That's not something that I'm prepared to countenance," Tory said, noting that he would only approve such a move if it were a "good deal for the people of Toronto."

The Mayor also made clear that he would expect some "robust consultation" this time around, as opposed to what happened when Ford's government slashed Toronto City Council in half without warning.

"They need to consult in advance," he said. "It's our TTC, it's our subway, paid for largely by Toronto taxpayers and customers over time and we would expect to be fully consulted."

In response to Tory's comments, Ford assured that his government would work "hand-in-hand, with not just Mayor John Tory if he is the mayor in October, but other mayors in the region" to create a provincially-controlled transit system.

If everything happens as laid out in the PC Party's election platform, Ontario will take responsibility for building and maintaining all new and existing subway lines.

The city would still operate Toronto's subway system and keep any revenue it generates, but would no longer have control over infrastructure projects such as the newly-built Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension or future Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

Lead photo by

Lisa de Jong


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