Loading articles...

Majority of Toronto residents prefer Scarborough LRT over subway: poll

The majority of Toronto residents — and those in Scarborough — prefer a light-rail transit over a subway in the east end, according to a recent poll.

An independent survey conducted by Leger found that 61 per cent of voters preferred a seven-stop LRT line over a three-stop subway extension that would lead to a $1-billion tax increase over 30 years. Thirty-nine per cent of those polled preferred a subway.

That’s a big change from 2011, when Leger found that 52 per cent of voters supported a subway. However, the 2014 question included the estimated cost and focused on Scarborough specifically.

The Leger survey found that voters in Scarborough prefer an LRT over a subway for their own part of the city by 56 per cent to 44 per cent.

Last week, council approved a 2.23-per-cent property-tax hike for 2014. The hike will cost the average homeowner an extra $56 a year and includes a 0.5-per-cent levy for the Scarborough subway extension.

Mayoral hopeful David Soknacki said if he is elected in October, he’ll reverse the decision to build a Scarborough subway and go back to light-rail transit (LRT).

The strongest support for the LRT option is found in the former City of Toronto at 75 per cent, followed by York (68 per cent) and East York (67 per cent).

The strongest support for building a subway extension in Scarborough comes from voters in North York, who are split 50-50 on which transit option is best for Scarborough.

Leger surveyed 523 Toronto adults over the age of 18 and eligible to vote between Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 using its online panel, LegerWeb. The data have been weighted according to Statistics Canada population data for age and gender.