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Tory defends extra $900M for Scarborough subway extension

Last Updated Jun 17, 2016 at 1:53 pm EST

The Scarborough subway is expected to cost $900 million more than originally estimated, Mayor John Tory said on Friday.

The cost of the one-stop extension was originally pegged at $2 billion, but is now approximately $2.9 billion.

“I was elected to build transit,” Tory said as he defended his support for the extension.

Tory was joined by TTC chair Josh Colle and deputy mayor Glenn De Baeremaeker for the news conference.

Colle said the increased cost is due to more research that is needed to go into the project.

“I think when the engineers drilled the holes and they did all their measurements, they came out and said the soils are more complicated than we thought, the depth of the subway is going to be deeper than we thought, and the deeper you go the more expensive it is,” he said.

The price for the original version of the project, a three-stop subway, was budgeted at $3.56 billion.

If the city stayed with the three-stop subway, it would be been $1.4-billion over budget, and would cost $4.3 billion.

Tory said despite the increased price, he intends to get the project built.

“I’ve stood here now for a year-and-a-half and had people tell me all the reasons we shouldn’t do things on a number of fronts,” Tory said.

“I am telling you we are past the point in this city where we can listen to those who constantly repeat reasons not to build transit and reasons we should postpone and debate and study. We’ve got to get on with this – the city needs it, the people need it.”

In a release, the TTC said the Scarborough Centre Station is anticipated to be Line 2’s (Bloor-Danforth) “busiest station for boardings in the AM peak hour in 2031.”


Related stories:

Tory’s new Scarborough transit plan: One subway stop, 17 LRT stops

Residents furious at prospect of losing homes for new TTC subway stop

TTC woes: Toronto-York Spadina subway extension $550 million over budget


Tory said the money has been allocated to pay for the extra cost.

“The money contemplated to be needed for the subway in Scarborough – the extension to the Bloor-Danforth subway — is more than what would be needed now to build the express subway.”

Earlier this year, Tory said light-rail transit, not a subway, would be used to extend the Scarborough line. The proposed subway extension is now down to one stop, to Scarborough Town Centre, with the remaining corridor to be serviced by a 17-stop LRT.

Tory called the transit plan the best one yet. Watch the video below or click here to view it on mobile.

 

The subway would run directly from Kennedy Station to the Scarborough Town Centre and would no longer stop at Lawrence or Sheppard.

The new plan is considered a compromise between councillors who pushed for a subway for Scarborough, and the city’s financial concerns.

And the TTC’s woes don’t end there. Earlier this year, the TTC said the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension is $550 million over budget. CityNews learned that of the $550 million, $400 million is for contractor claims and $150 million was used to reset the project last year and hire a new contractor.

With files from Cynthia Mulligan