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"Scarborough Subway": Public meetings,
January 31, February 2

Scarborough subway logo.png“Subways, subways, subways” — that was the mantra of former Mayor Rob Ford in his steadfast effort to increase underground rapid transit options in Toronto. And so the debate on how — or even whether — to provide more rapid transit in Scarborough became the dominant theme of the past four years of municipal politics in Toronto.

Finally, in October 2013, City Council confirmed its support for a project to extend the TTC’s 2 Bloor - Danforth subway further into Scarborough and, eventually, demolish the aging 3 Scarborough rapid transit line. Both the federal and provincial governments are on board with the plan, both contributing funding for the project. For its part, Council determined that the City’s taxpayers will help foot the bill by paying extra property taxes for the next 30 years.

Now, the City of Toronto and the TTC are starting to examine the details of this plan, which will, the City says, “contribute to an integrated and comprehensive rapid transit network that will improve transit service in Scarborough and across Toronto.”

They propose extending the current subway northward beyond Kennedy Station to Sheppard Avenue East and eliminating the unpopular transfer at Kennedy Station. The City and TTC expect the new line to carry from about 9,500 to 14,000 passengers during rush hours in the peak direction. It will also let passengers connect with other rapid transit in the area, including the future Sheppard East light rail transit line.

But where will the City and TTC build the new line? Will it extend through tunnels under Danforth and McCowan Roads or under other nearby streets? Where will the stations be? And how many stations does the line need to effectively serve its passengers? The partners are now starting to study the proposal in detail to determine the answers to those and other questions.

An essential part of planning new transit is consulting with us — the future passengers. That’s why the City and TTC are hosting two upcoming public meetings to get our ideas on where the line should go and what it should include.

We’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the study and provide feedback at two public meetings. The City and TTC are specifically looking for feedback on:

  • The study terms of reference and public consultation plan;
  • The project objectives;
  • The evaluation criteria;
  • All reasonable station location and corridor options.

You can learn more about these topics and provide your feedback through the project website, here. Even better, attend the public meetings, Saturday, January 31 (afternoon) and Monday, February 2 (evening).

You can also visit:

  • the City of Toronto’s project page, here.
  • the TTC’s project page, here.

Scarborough subway study area (colour).jpg

From the Transit Toronto archives, read:

  • a history of “The Scarborough Rapid Transit Line” by James Bow, here.
  • a history of “The Scarborough Rapid Transit Exension (1990s proposal)” by Peter Drost and James Bow, here.
  • a history of “The Network 2011 Plan — To Think of What Might Have Been”, by James Bow.
  • “A History of Subways on Bloor and Queen Streets”, by James Bow, here.

Public meetings

Saturday, January 31

From 10 a.m. until noon
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
959 Midland Avenue

Getting there by public transit:

  • TTC’s 2 Bloor - Danforth subway or 3 Scarborough rapid transit lines to Kennedy Station. Transfer to a northbound bus operating along the 57 Midland line. Exit the bus at Broadbent Avenue, just north of the school.
  • Southbound TTC bus operating along the 57 Midland route to Broadbent Avenue. Cross Midland and Broadbent Avenues at the signal. Walk south half a block.
Monday, February 2

From 7 until 9 p.m.
Scarborough Civic Centre
150 Borough Drive

Getting there by public transit:

  • TTC’s 3 Scarborough rapid transit line to Scarborough Centre Station, beside the civic centre.
  • TTC buses operating along the 9 Bellamy, 16 McCowan, 21 Brimley, 38 Highland Creek, 43B Kennedy via Progress, 129 McCowan North, 130 Middlefield, 131 Nugget, 132 Milner, 133 Neilson, 134 Progress, 169 Huntingwood, 190 Scarborough Centre rocket and 199 Finch rocket routes to Scarborough Centre Station, beside the civic centre.
  • GO Transit buses operating along the 51 Pickering / York U, 92 Oshawa / Yorkdale, 93 Durham College / UOIT / Scarborough and 96 Oshawa / Finch express routes to Scarborough Centre GO Bus Terminal, beside the civic centre.

What happens next?

Between now and 2016, the City and the TTC will work together to plan the subway, determining the route, the station locations, the construction methods and any steps to increase benefits and decrease potential negative impacts. At the end of this study, TTC and City staff will present recommendations — which, hopefully, our input will have helped shape — to the Toronto Transit Commission and City Council to approve.

The partners are just starting Phase 1 of the Scarborough Subway Project Assessment Study. During this phase, they’ll introduce the study objectives and start to understand conditions in the study area that they need to consider throughout the planning process. They’ll also identify corridor options for potential routes (or “alignments”) for this rapid transit extension and possible station locations.

But, before they choose the alignment and station sites, they must first identify a preferred corridor to focus their studies. A corridor is a broad band of land in which they’ll develop specific alignment options.

They’ll consider corridor options that:

  • Connect major transit points, such as Kennedy Station and Scarborough Town Centre;
  • Coincide with major cross-streets, such as Lawrence Avenue East, where they can increase access through connecting buses;
  • Coincide with where the City proposes to concentrate development.

They’ll select a “preferred corridor”, which they’ll then further study through Phase 2 to identify a “short list” of station location options and possible alignments.

During Phase 3, they’ll analyze the short list of station locations and possible alignments to better understand the potential environmental impacts and the measures that they could take to reduce those impacts. This analysis will result in the partners choosing the preferred alignment and station locations.

At the end of Phase 3, they’ll prepare a draft Environmental Project Report, identifying the recommended station locations and alignment. They’ll ask the Toronto Transit Commission and City Council to approve starting the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) for final project review.

Phase 4, the TPAP, will satisfy the conditions of the provincial Environmental Assessment Act. In this phase, the partners will summarize and review the project assessment, finalize the environmental project report, and seek authority from City Council and the Province of Ontario to proceed building the subway extension.

The TPAP likely will begin in early 2016. This process will provide more opportunity for us — the members of the public — to review the plans and provide input. Our comments and ideas will help the TTC and City to finalize the Environmental Project Report, which they, in turn, will submit to the Ontario Minister of Environment and Climate Change for him or her to review and, hopefully, approve.

After the City and TTC have completed the TPAP and the minister has issued an order to proceed, the TTC will lead the detailed engineering design and construction phases of the project.

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