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Ontario pledges funds for part of Scarborough subway line

File photo of the Scarborough RT. CITYNEWS

The Ontario government has confirmed a plan to extend the Bloor-Danforth subway line from Kennedy station to Scarborough City Centre — but it doesn’t go as far as the city had wanted.

The proposed route will be 6.4 kilometres long and will run from Kennedy along the current Scarborough RT route.

Transportation Minister Glen Murray said the government would put up $1.4 billion to build at least two stops — at Lawrence and Scarborough City Centre stations.

But the money will fund only two-thirds of the subway line city council approved and is $400 million less than what was promised for the original plan to build light-rail transit (LRT) there.

“No one else has written a cheque,” Murray said during a news conference on Wednesday in Scarborough.

“I’m very open. If [Mayor Rob Ford] or Coun. [Karen] Stintz or [Finance Minister Jim] Flaherty have some change of heart, get hit by lightning … they can write a cheque and we can add another subway station … But we’ve been waiting for 50 years for serious commitments from others . Enough talk. Time to move on.”

Ford has said he would need to raise property taxes to help pay for a subway line to Sheppard.

Ford released a statement later Wednesday, calling the subway plan “a huge victory for all of us.”

(Read full statement below)

Metrolinx — which has suspended the Scarborough LRT construction — estimates the cost to cancel the project at $85 million for now, not including penalties for reneging on a contract with Bombardier for LRT vehicles.

Statement from Mayor Rob Ford:

I campaigned on extending the Bloor-Danforth Subway Line to the Scarborough Town Centre.  I want to thank the Province for helping me deliver on that promise.

Over the last four years, I have fought against the LRT for a subway to Scarborough – because that is what Scarborough residents asked me to do.

I said we were going to build subways to Scarborough and that is exactly what we are doing.

The City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario are now ready to build transit.

This is great news and a huge victory for all of us. Scarborough will finally get its subway.

I look forward to continuing a strong working relationship with the Premier and the Province of Ontario.

Moving forward, my administration will keep working with the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to continue expanding Toronto’s transit system.