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Government of Canada contributing $10.4 billion to support Toronto and York Region rapid-transit projects

Ontario transit plan.jpg

^ Image, Metrolinx. Click to enlarge.

Today, Tuesday, May 11, the Government of Canada announced that it was supporting the Government of Ontario’s investment in Toronto and York Region rapid-transit projects by contributing $10.4 billion to support the Ontario plans.

In April, 2019, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced “an historic investment” of $28.5 billion in four priority projects for Toronto and area, including:

  • The Ontario Line subway, costing $10.9 billion and opening in 2029;
  • The Yonge north subway extension, costing $5.5 billion and opening “soon after the Ontario Line”;
  • The Scarborough subway extension, costing $5.6 billion and “delivered before 2030”; and
  • The Eglinton Crosstown west extension, costing $4.7 billion and “delivered before 2031”.

The province has committed $11.2 billion of the total cost of building these transit lines. A 2019 Ontario news release claimed, “This funding over-delivers on the government’s commitment to put $5 billion into subway extensions.”

The federal funding now supplies 40 per cent of the total cost of the lines:

  • Ontario Line subway - $4.02 billion;
  • Yonge north subway extension - $2.24 billion;
  • Scarborough subway extension - $2.26 billion; and
  • Eglinton Crosstown LRT extension - $1.4 billion.

According to the Government of Ontario, the… “projects will support over 16,000 jobs during the construction period, and by 2041, will have a total daily ridership of over 620,000 with almost 400,000 people within walking distance of a new transit station.”

In announcing the new funding, the Government of Canada explained in a news release that “Public transit is at the heart of a clean, inclusive recovery that restarts our economy and creates good jobs. From construction workers, to transit drivers, to workers on assembly lines, to the small business owners supporting these projects — tens of thousands of jobs are created when we invest in public transit. Investing in public transit supports Canadians through the pandemic, positions Canada for a strong recovery and transforms our society for a cleaner, better future.

“Cities need good public transit to thrive. People want to live and work near good public transit. It reduces congestion and takes cars off the road. It helps our essential workers get to work, and for many, especially immigrant families, women and youth, it is the only viable option. It also connects residents in historically disadvantaged neighbourhoods to school and work. Cleaner transit also cuts pollution, raises air quality and improves public health. And by electrifying our public transit system, and linking it to cycling and walking paths, we are investing in a critical solution to climate change and helping to drive Canada to net zero emissions by 2050.

“The Government of Canada supports strong cities and respects transit decisions made by local decision makers, based on what is best for their communities.”

In February, 2020, the Province and City of Toronto signed an agreement to advance the projects, with Ontario assuming all capital costs for the four projects. In May 2020, Ontario signed a similar agreement with the Region of York for the Yonge North project.

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