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Government of Canada to fund
Toronto transit projects

Yesterday, Tuesday, August 23, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne announced an agreement to provide more than $2.97 billion in combined funding — by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and municipalities — for transit and other infrastructure projects across the province.

Canada is providing Ontario with $1,486,680,000 under the new Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. This amount covers as much as 50 per cent of the funding for the projects that the agreement supports.

The City of Toronto has already submitted a preliminary list of potential projects for funding to the federal government and the Government of Canada news release announcing the agreement listed these. The government has allocated Toronto $840 million, using a formula it’s based on the number of transit riders in each municipality.

The preliminary list for Toronto amounts to more than $948 million in project costs, eligible for a federal contribution of $474 million. The City will submit a final list this fall.

The preliminary list of priority projects includes:

TTC - repairing, renewing and modernizing
  • Preliminary federal contribution: $360 M
  • repairing, renewing and enhancing buses, streetcars and subway trains;
  • transforming stations;
  • rehabilitating and replacing tracks;
  • installing new elevators and escalators in TTC stations;
  • improving bus stops;
  • buying new Wheel-Trans vehicles;
  • modernizing systems and making them more efficient, including computer-aided dispatch; and
  • maintaining TTC / City bridges and structures.
Transit expansion - Planning and designing
  • Preliminary federal contribution: $40 M
  • integrating SmartTrack with GO Transit’s regional express rail;
  • planning the Eglinton West light rail transit line with eight to 12 stops between Mount Dennis and Renforth;
  • conducting a detailed review of the design and options for building the Scarborough subway;
  • planning and designing Kennedy Station, realigning Military Trail and planning the next phase to Malvern for the Eglinton East light rail transit line;
  • studying the impacts of building and tunneling for the Relief Line subway;
  • continuing plans for waterfront transit, including the preliminary design for a line connection Exhibition and Dufferin Gate loops;
  • expanding the northwest PATH (pedestrian access tunnels) from Union Station and improving security infrastructure and wayfinding and signs at the station.
Transit expansion - Capital
  • Preliminary federal contribution: $25 M
  • enabling early work on the Finch West light rail transit line, including the City’s share of costs for relocating utilities.

The program also supports other transportation initiatives in Toronto.

Improving on-street signals
  • Preliminary federal contribution: $0.7 M
  • collecting and analyzing data on ways to reduce delays on major routes;
  • installing more real-time transportation information screens;
  • renewing transit signals as part of the city’s congestion management plan); and
  • providing illuminated prohibited turn signs on more streetcar routes.
Improving cycling infrastructure
  • Preliminary federal contribution: $42 M
  • installing more bike parking at 40 more TTC stations;
  • expanding the bike-share to 50 more TTC stations;
  • expanding the cycling network expansion including the Eglinton Avenue, the West Toronto Railpath, East Don Trail, Burnhamthorpe Road, York University, Flemingdon Park / Thorncliffe Park, Dufferin Street and Midland Avenue.
Improving pedestrian safety
  • Preliminary federal contribution: $6 M
  • Improving access to transit stops;
  • expanding and upgrading automated pedestrian detection signals;
  • adding more mid-block crossings;
  • re-timing traffic signals;
  • installing more, and better, pavement markings.

City staff drew up this preliminary project list from the City’s $33.5 billion 2016-2025 tax and rate capital budget and plan, which City Council approved earlier this year and from a list of necessary but unfunded projects, including the transit network plan to 2031, totalling another $33 billion.

The City, in consultation with the TTC, will start negotiating with the Province of Ontario on an Ontario-Toronto contribution agreement, which will govern the flow of funds to the City.

This fall, City staff will update Council about the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and obtain any necessary Council approvals. Staff will ask Council to approve individual projects, if necessary, as part of the 2017 budget process.

Under this program, Canada will fund as much as 50 per cent of eligible projects, with the City providing matching funds.

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