toronto transit

Even more transit lines are on the way for Toronto as part of Ontario's giant new plan

The Government of Ontario has released an enourmously ambitious plan for some huge infrastructure upgrades across the GTA in the coming years, including two controversial new highways and a ton of transit lines that will cost tens of billions.

Connecting the GGH: A Transportation Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe outlines what the next 30 years will look like in Southern Ontario as far as transportation is concerned, with some ambitious goals to improve connectivity between regions with new subway lines, extensions and LRT lines.

As part of what is being touted as the "largest transit expansion in Canadian history," Premier Doug Ford and his team are focusing on the following new builds:

  • Ontario Line Subway
  • Eglinton Crosstown West Extension
  • Yonge North Subway Extension
  • Scarborough Subway Extension
  • Finch West Light Rail Transit
  • Hurontario Light Rail Transit
  • Hamilton Light Rail Transit

The first is the most expensive, ambitious and contentious, with years of back-and-forth and complaints about above ground portions of the line, the loss of parkland, the potential noise and years of road closures at the city's busiest intersections.

Those who live near the proposed route are facing a slew of new realities, including having to get permission from Metrolinx to build on their own property, and even potential expropriation.

Like the Ontario Line, the three extension projects of existing or planned Toronto lines are also well on their way to becoming a reality in order to help cope with the city's ever-growing population.

And as the downtown keeps taking the word "unafforability" to new heights, GTA suburbs are growing (and getting more expensive) at a record pace, too, creating greater need other rail connections on the list, as well as a proposed line connecting Burlington all the way to Oshawa, and a loop between Pearson Airport, the Ontario Line and the Richmond Hill Centre.

GO Transit will be seeing some changes, too, with more frequent service (two-way, all-day, every 15 minutes) that will serve as just one of "over 100 immediate and near-term actions" that the province is making to transit in the area.

Passenger rail service between various Golden Horseshoe cities, as well as local bus service within them, will also be ramped up if things go as planned, though details at this point are scarce.

It's a big picture initiative that will take decades to fulfill, but at least there is some sort of plan to better connect people to other parts of the region as we continue to be priced out of not only Toronto, but also nearby cities and towns.

Like many have noticed, in typical Ford fashion, the plan unfortunately places a perhaps anachronastically heavy emphasis on drivers and roads, as big as the public transit part of the plan is.

As such, many are not fans.

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