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Scarborough or York? That is the Question.

That’s the debate that appears to be shaping up regarding the next round of subway expansion. The Star reports that a fair amount of community support is shaping up around the proposal to replace the Scarborough RT with an extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway. I’m sure that a lot depends on the final cost and alignment of the project. If the TTC decides to go with a new alignment, there might be community opposition from the houses enroute. But it is worth standing back and considering the situation even a year ago, when no subway expansions looked likely. Now, thanks to the feds and the province coming through on a major capital funding increase, we have a choice of two.

In the opinion of this editor, the top priority for subway expansion should be to extend the Bloor-Danforth subway to Scarborough Centre, replacing the Scarborough RT. The RT has to be replaced by 2015 anyway, and the money spent on the extension will not only replace a major piece of infrastructure, it will substantially improve on it. And while York University is the natural destination of the Spadina subway, service to the northern campus (and the VIVA connection) will be more than adequately served by the bus-only right-of-way being planned for next year. York University can wait another eight years or so for a subway. Then, after the York University extension takes place, it’s time to finish the Sheppard line.

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