Ontario solicits feds to chip in funds for Toronto transit expansion

March 11, 2020
The provincial government wants Canada to cover 40 percent of total cost to build four rail projects.

Ontario officials, including Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and Associate Minister of Transportation Kinga Surma, are requesting the Canadian government fund at least 40 percent of the costs associated with four transit projects that would expand rail in the Greater Toronto Area.  

The province has committed to building a C$28.5-billion (US$21.7 billion) plan that includes four key priority transit projects: the Yonge North Subway Extension, the Eglinton West Crosstown Extension, an improved three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension and the Ontario Line. Based on numbers from the province, the Canadian government’s requested investment would be $11.4 billion (US$8.29 billion). Premier Ford previously committed to providing C$11.2 billion (US$8.14 billion).

"Our government has a plan to build Ontario together and has joined a coalition of municipal partners to build some of the most ambitious, historic and nationally significant projects in the country", said Premier Ford. "We have made tremendous progress in the past working with our federal partners, and we can do it again with our rapid transit plan, which includes four subways. I firmly believe these projects will not only move Ontario forward, but will move the entire country forward."

The province and the city of Toronto first reached an agreement on transit expansion in October 2019 and signed a preliminary agreement in February 2020. In addition to the province’s plan for the four rail projects, the city will invest an additional C$5 billion (US$3.81 billion) that will be used towards state of good repair of the existing transit system, as well as construct projects the city considers priority such as the Eglinton East LRT and Waterfront Transit lines.

“The public has been clear that they want more transit now,” Toronto Mayor John Tory included in a statement. “The federal government has been a strong partner when it comes to building and investing in transit in Toronto and I hope that will continue with additional investments in transit capital and state-of-good-repair work.”

In advance of the First Ministers Meeting this week, Premier Ford will be leading a Team Ontario delegation of Cabinet Ministers to Ottawa to discuss partnering with the federal government on transit funding and other provincial priorities.

This week also saw the advancement of tunneling for the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx issued Request for Qualifications for the two projects, which will be followed by separate contracts for the balance of the work on each project.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.