Councillor Josh Matlow

Inside Toronto: City council’s transit debate begins

February 8, 2012


Toronto Council’s debate on the future of Transit City got underway Wednesday morning as the special council meeting received thousands of petitions from across the city in favour of the light rail plan.

The meeting, which was called by 24 councillors led by TTC Chair Karen Stintz, seeks to change the direction of the transit expansion plan that includes a fully-underground Scarborough-Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

Stintz put an alternate plan on the table.


It would include affirming its support for the Metrolinx “5 in 10” plan from May 2010.

The plan would see a Finch West LRT from the Spadina subway extension to Humber College; the Crosstown LRT along Eglinton from Jane Street to Kennedy station; the Scarborough RT conversion to LRT from Kennedy to Sheppard Avenue, with an extension to the Malvern Town Centre in the future.

It would have the city manager establish an expert advisory panel on transit on Sheppard that will report back to a special meeting later this month.

That panel would include senior representatives from Metrolinx, the TTC, the Toronto Board of Trade, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, David Crombie, Eric Miller and Gordon Chong.

She is also asking Toronto Council to reaffirm its support for continued discussions between Metrolinx and the TTC regarding the TTC’s continued operation of the light rail projects.

The plan would see the city authorize the TTC to start talking with Metrolinx about other projects too: the extension of the Sheppard subway west to Downsview station; running a Sheppard LRT to the Toronto Zoo; the extension of the Bloor Danforth subway from Kennedy Station to the Scarborough Town Centre; the extension of the Eglinton Crosstown line from Jane to Pearson Airport; and the construction of a downtown relief line.

Mayor Rob Ford has indicated his support for underground rail, and opposes the plan.

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