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Scarborough subway returns to council floor in final meeting of 2017

Last Updated Dec 5, 2017 at 4:08 pm EST

A TTC subway sign. 680 NEWS

City council won’t be ending 2017 on a light note with both transit and housing on the agenda for the last full meeting of the year.

A debate could flare up again over the highly-controversial Scarborough subway extension — with one councillor trying to keep the LRT option alive.

Coun. Josh Matlow will bring forward a motion calling for a value-for-money assessment comparing the previous seven-stop LRT plan with the one-stop subway extension.

“No matter whether you want an LRT, a subway or any other type of technology … it’s about how do we ensure that we use every dollar we have to provide the most service possible for as many people in Scarborough and across the city as possible?,” he explained.

“We should be guided by facts.”

But Mayor John Tory told 680 NEWS on Monday that he’s not interested in opening this debate again.

“I really think that what’s going on here is just one more attempt to try and derail something that is a very important transit project for Scarborough and the entire city,” he said.

Tory said he doesn’t want this to be yet another time in Toronto transit history where actually building transit gets bogged down in endless city hall debates.

“How many times can we go on deciding and re-deciding these things?,” Tory asked. “That’s been the problem in Toronto historically. We’ve had re-debates and debates and re-analysis and new studies and we haven’t built transit in a long time. And I’m just not for further delay on this, I want to get forward with it.”

The current price tag for the one-stop Scarborough extension is about $3.5 billion.

  • The council meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. Click here for the agenda.

 

City council will also discuss shelter spaces after Tory announced on Sunday that the city will open 400 new homeless shelter beds to combat an urgent need for housing during the winter.

The plan will increase the number of beds in current shelters and use additional motel rooms in the city to house families and individuals.

Tory said in a statement that some of the beds would be ready in a matter of days, and all 400 should be available in the coming weeks.

The extra spaces are estimated to cost $10 million, which will be coming out of the city’s rainy day funds according to Tory.

But homeless advocates say that isn’t enough.

Members of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty will gather at City Hall on Tuesday to demand that council open the armouries and add at least 1000 new beds to meet the needs of the city’s homeless.

Tory’s SmartTrack plan is also on the agenda, along with new rules for short-term rentals and the Rail Deck Park.