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Scarborough transit meeting heats up ahead of city council vote

Last Updated Mar 28, 2017 at 5:45 am EDT

The future of transit in Scarborough was the subject of a heated panel discussion Monday evening.

Organizers called it the first event aimed at educating residents about both of the transit options – the one stop subway extension and the LRT.

The event, which was hosted by two community groups – Scarborough Transit Action and Scarborough Residents Unite – took place at the Scarborough Village Recreation Centre on Kingston Road at Markham Road.

The panel included two city councillors with opposing views – Ward 43’s Paul Ainslie, who has been a vocal advocate of the LRT plan, and Ward 38’s Glen Debaeremaeker who supports the one stop subway extension.

Urban transit experts from York University also took part.

Ahead of the discussion, Mayor John Tory spoke about his plans for the Scarborough subway at the Scarborough Business Association’s annual lunch.

“Transportation is a vital artery that connects people to opportunity and this is a debate that has been ongoing for way too long without action being taken.”

Tory said the subway extension will bring the city together by providing “the catalyst that can help Scarborough to renew itself though a long-term investment in public transportation.”

He believes the extension will attract more jobs and residents to the area.

“We’re going to build the subway, but we’re also going to have SmartTrack running right through Scarborough from north to south and south to north. We’re going to build the Eglinton East LRT and we’re going to connect the U of T Scarborough (campus) to to the Crosstown (LRT),” he said.

City council will debate and vote on the current alignment of the Scarborough subway extension on Tuesday.