City of Toronto and provincial government make efforts to accelerate GTA transit projects

Construction of Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Image: BlogTO

Yuri Bilinsky, New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

A lot of Ontarians have been voicing their frustration and wondering why it takes so long to build new transit lines in the Greater Toronto Area when in other places around the world the same kinds of projects are done faster. But now the Ontario Government’s transit plan seems to be moving closer to becoming the reality. Recently, Toronto City Council has approved an update on discussions with the province regarding their four priority transit projects: The Ontario Line, three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, Yonge North Subway Extension and Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

According to Mayor John Tory, this is important progress in the city’s agreements with the Province of Ontario to accelerate the transit projects. A preliminary agreement with the province, formalizing a series of terms previously approved by Council was signed earlier this year in February.

MPP Kinga Surma (Etobicoke Centre) who is also the Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA) told NP-UN: “We certainly don’t have a shortage of expertise, talent and companies that can accomplish these projects and the province is doing everything to move the projects forward.” The province and city are also discussing plans for building housing, including affordable housing, around transit stations.

Schedules:
Ontario Line – 2027
Scarborough Subway Extension – 2029-2030
Yonge North Subway Extension – 2029-2030
Eglinton Crosstown West Extension – 2030-31

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is currently under construction and the trains are already being tested on the line. In February, Metrolinx (a Crown agency that manages and integrates road and public transport in the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario) announced that the line’s opening will be delayed from September 2021, which was the previous plan, to some time in 2022. Associate Minister of Transportation Kinga Surma told NP-UN that the Ministry wants to ensure Metrolinx is doing everything within its means to complete the line as quickly as possible, while also lessening the burden on businesses being impacted. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Continuing to provide existing support to local businesses being impacted.
  • Working directly with the City, local business improvement areas and individual businesses to understand the impacts and develop a mitigation plan to help lessen any hardships.
  • Continuing working to accelerate, where possible, the completion of the project.

Ultimately, the Ministry’s goal is to deliver more transit as quickly as possible to the region without compromising safety or quality, said Surma. Surma also added that if the Building Transit Faster Act, which was introduced by Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney on February 18, 2020, were already in place, the Eglinton Crosstown project would have been delivered three years sooner.

The Crosstown line is going to be extended westward to Mississauga. Anyone who drives these days on Eglinton Avenue past Martin Grove Road in Etobicoke ON will see the preparations for the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension line.

Recently, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) announced that it plans to partner with Metrolinx to extend the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension line from Renforth all the way to Toronto Pearson Airport.

Preliminary concept rendering of the new transit hub at Toronto Pearson Airport. Image: urbantoronto.ca/GTAA

The plan is part of a larger GTAA plan to turn Pearson into a major transit hub that’s being called Union Station West. This will help improve accessibility to the Airport Employment Zone which is one of the largest clusters of employment in Canada, second only to Toronto’s Downtown.

SHARE