toronto transit plan

Here's what everyone is saying about Ontario's new Toronto transit plan

Big transit plans are in the making for Toronto as the Ontario government announced today four long-term, rapid transit projects set for the city and beyond.

The new map unveiled today shows extensions in every direction, including north to Richmond Hill, east toward Scarborough, west to Pearson and the Ontario Line travelling from the Science Centre to Exhibition Place.

The Ontario government kept everyone on ice the past few days over its $28.5 billion dollar plan, before outlining that these new lines would be built using both above ground technology and underground tunnels.

Plans for a relief line were replaced with the Ontario Line spanning Ontario Science Centre to Exhibition Place that will cost $10.9 billion and open by 2027, two years earlier than originally projected.

Views on the plans are divided, with many of those in the regions targeted for expansion grateful for the connection to the downtown core, while others aren't sure just how feasible the whole thing is.

Some Yonge-University Line commuters expressed some relief for the new Ontario Line that will cut across the downtown core.

But one glaring criticism remaining was for Doug Ford himself, who, in the past, has demonstrated a spotty record for transit building.

Toronto is expected to toss $5 billion dollars on top of the pile, which some are calling into question given that the city may no longer be in ownership of its own transit moving forward.

Some were quick to point out the plans to build a station near Ontario Place were obvious, given the province's plans to transform the space.

The fate of Mayor John Tory's promised one-stop Scarborough subway is still unclear, with the province looking to add three stops to the exisitng line at $5.5 billion dollars by 2030.

Transit advocates also criticized Ford's plan for delaying new lines and existing plans by starting all from scratch in a press release.

"Sending projects back to the drawing board will cost us more and delay new lines," TTCriders spokesperson Shelagh Pizey-Allen said. "We can’t afford to go backwards." 

Brenda Thompson, of Scarborough Transit Action, said Ford wants to "tear up" Toronto's transit plans, and is leaving eastern Scarborough off the map.

"The Eglinton East LRT is ready to build this year, but is unfunded. We are outraged that we are being kept waiting for a rapid public transit network," Thompson said.

The transit plans unveiled today did not incorporate any of the mayor's SmartTrack plans, either. 

The plan also still relies on federal funding that's yet to be approved. The Ontario government has so far pledged to cover $11.6 billion of the total cost.

Lead photo by

Bruce Reeve

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