FOLLOWING a decision by City of Toronto Council on the province’s Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Transit Plan, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, and Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation GTA, said in a statement: “Today’s vote marks a pivotal moment in the history of Toronto transit. After years of discussions, the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario have endorsed one single unified plan for subway expansion in Toronto.
“Finally, commuters will get the transit they deserve – an integrated, modern and efficient network that expands across the region.
“We applaud Mayor [John] Tory and Council for saying “Yes”. Yes, to the province’s transit plan – a plan that will transform Canada’s largest city and the lives of its citizens for the better.
“With an agreement that balances city and provincial priorities, we begin a new era of cooperation and partnership that will make our government’s vision for subway expansion a reality.
“Our government’s goal has always been to get transit built faster, reduce gridlock and promote economic growth. That is why we are building four new or expanded subway lines: the brand-new Ontario Line by 2027; the Yonge North subway extension by 2029-30; the Eglinton Crosstown West extension by 2030-31; and the three-stop Scarborough subway extension by 2029-30.
“For the first time in a very long time – on projects of this magnitude – it’s happening. We’re building transit for the future.”
PREMIER Doug Ford said in a statement: “I made a commitment to the people of Ontario: to build more transit quickly, to reduce gridlock, boost economic growth and get people to work and home to their loved ones easier, safer, and faster. I am proud that Toronto City Council voted to fully support our government’s proposed Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership to advance Ontario’s priority subway expansion program, including our signature project the Ontario Line.
“In April 2019, Ontario took the lead in making the single largest investment in new subway builds and extensions in Canadian history. We committed to delivering a $28.5 billion program of four key priority transit projects, including the Yonge North Subway Extension, the Eglinton West Crosstown Extension, an improved three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, and the all-new Ontario Line.
“Our comprehensive program of priority subway projects will dramatically improve connectivity across the GTHA while also delivering significant relief to critical congestion on the Yonge Subway Line and at Union Station. The people of Ontario deserve rapid, world-class transit services and our plan will deliver exactly that.
“I applaud the continued efforts of Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, Associate Minister Kinga Surma, as well as provincial and city staff who have worked tirelessly to deliver on this plan. I also want to thank Michael Lindsay, our Special Advisor, for his expertise. I look forward to continuing our important work with Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Council as part of the new Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership.
“As part of our Partnership, both levels of government acknowledge that the current approach to building transit in Toronto must be improved. Mayor Tory deserves credit for his efforts to streamline and expedite project delivery, but more needs to be done. We look forward to further conversations with the City on how best we work together to accelerate project construction to see these priority projects built quickly and on schedule.
“Following today’s City Council endorsement, two levels of government are aligned on the fact that transit urgently needs to be built for the people of the region. We welcome funding that the federal government has made available for Toronto and the region under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, and we welcome reports that funds will be applied to the projects that have been nominated by the Province and City earlier this year, including the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, the Ontario Line, and the Yonge North Subway Extension.
“But to genuinely embrace this historic opportunity to take a massive leap forward in delivering transit for the region we need Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government to commit to increasing their contribution and funding their fair share of the entirety of our subways program. The transformative and lasting benefits to transit riders, the regional economy, and the environment associated with these projects is undeniable and we believe it to be of national importance.
“Working together with all three levels of government, we will get shovels in the ground quickly to meet our ambitious timelines and deliver on our vision for a fast, reliable and commuter-friendly transit network for the people of Ontario.”