Loading articles...

Metrolinx approves 4 LRT lines for Toronto

Toronto could have an extensive light-rail transit (LRT) system within the decade after Metrolinx directors unanimously approved a new transit plan, as expected.

On Wednesday, the board of Metrolinx — the provincial agency that oversees transportation in the GTA — passed the resolutions included in a staff report endorsing the construction of four lines.

The $8.4-billion plan, also approved by city council, effectively revives former mayor David Miller’s Transit City, which his successor Rob Ford attempted to quash.

“Our government respects the will of the city’s democratically elected councillors,” said Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli. “This plan reflects input from the city of Toronto based on the position adopted by council.

“The McGuinty government has made a firm, $8.4-billion commitment to these projects. Our focus is on getting shovels in the ground and delivering much-needed public transit projects for the residents of Toronto.”

Coun. Doug Ford, however, said the decision ignored the will of “the people.”

“Some councilors down here, and obviously the province, are ignoring the people once again,” he said. “The people want subways and they’re totally ignoring them. So let’s wait until the election.

“It’s definitely a war on the car. When you want to St. Clair-ize the whole city — turn Sheppard into the disaster on St. Clair; turn Eglinton into the disaster on St. Clair — that’s a war on the car.”

Here are the new timelines.

  • Eglinton Crosstown LRT from the Jane Street/Black Creek area to Kennedy Station: in service by 2020.
  • Scarborough RT replacement and extension to Sheppard Avenue: construction starts in 2014; in service by 2019.
  • Sheppard East LRT from Don Mills Station to east of Morningside Avenue: construction starts in 2014; in service by 2018.
  • Finch West LRT from the Toronto-York-Spadina Subway Extension to Humber College: construction starts in 2015; in service by 2019.

The board will now advise the province to approve the LRT plan and allow Metrolinx to move forward with construction.