The province of Ontario and Regional Municipality of York have signed a preliminary agreement that brings the Yonge North Subway Extension a step closer to reality.
The signing of the Ontario-York Region Transit Partnership Preliminary Agreement directs York’s Chief Administrative Officer to continue negotiating additional agreements with the province, city of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to ensure delivery of the estimated C$5.6 billion (US$4.13 billion) subway extension.
The 7.4-km (4.6-mile) extension would bring TTC’s Line 1 from Finch Station into Richmond Hill. Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario are working together to deliver the project, which the parties say will strengthen the regional transit system by extending subway service outside of Toronto.
The Yonge North Subway Extension is one of four provincial priority transit projects originally announced in 2019. The province has been working to finalize agreements with municipalities to be impacted by the projects. In addition to the Yonge North Subway Extension, the C$28.5 billion (US$21.02 billion) expansion projects include the Ontario Line, Line 2 East Extension (three-stop expansion of Line 2 into Scarborough) and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.
“The Yonge North Subway Extension remains Regional Council’s top transportation priority and we are pleased to take additional steps in partnership with the province of Ontario to move this project forward,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “A project of this magnitude has far-reaching benefits for local jobs, the economy, environment and travelers. However, we require sustained support from all levels of government, including a 40 percent funding commitment from the government of Canada.”
Ontario Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA) Kinga Surma said, “Throughout the engagement process, the province adopted a similar approach to the productive negotiations undertaken with the city of Toronto on shared transit priorities, which yielded the landmark Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership Preliminary Agreement in February 2020. These two arrangements with our key municipal partners will ensure that the province, the city of Toronto and York Region continue to collaborate to successfully deliver on Premier Ford's historic ‘New Subway Transit Plan for the GTA’…With the province and municipal governments now firmly aligned in support for Ontario's plan, we continue to jointly call on the federal government to provide its fair share of funding at least 40 percent of our four nationally-significant subway projects. We call on the federal government to contribute the additional funding, beyond what has already been allocated, to bridge the gap and provide the stable, predictable funding they committed to provide during the election campaign last fall. Formalizing this funding partnership with the federal government remains a top priority, given the significant benefits to the local, regional, provincial and national economy that Ontario's plan will generate over the next 10 years and beyond.”
The Yonge North Subway Extension supports the GTA’s top two employment hubs—Markham/Vaughan and Toronto and when it opens, which is estimated to be in 2030, it will save more than 13 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per average workday, by reducing the 3,300 bus trips that will be needed.