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Toronto city council votes to endorse province's transit projects

Last Updated Oct 29, 2019 at 8:47 pm EST

A TTC subway train enters Spadina station. UNSPLASH/Jed Dela Cruz

Toronto city council has voted in favour of the proposed transit deal with the province which includes endorsing the Ontario Line.

As part of the proposed deal, the province would drop its plans to takeover the subway system. In return, city staff would have to support the province’s plan for major transit projects.

Only three councillors voted against the deal, Councillor Gord Perks, Josh Matlow and Kristyn Wong-Tam.

The agreement would secure an almost $30-billion investment in new transit for the city and the TTC would retain operations of the transit network.

Other details of the agreement include the province covering any cost overruns for the four priority transit projects which also include the three-stop Scarborough extension, the Eglinton West LRT and the Yonge North Subway extension. The costs the city incurred in planning the transit projects up to this point will also be covered by the province.

Mayor John Tory said in a statement that the deal is good for the city and is “consistent with the direction given by City Council a year ago when we were faced with a very challenging situation.”

As a Mayor who was elected to finally get on with building transit and who was elected on a promise to work with the other governments, I believe this is our very best way forward,” read the statement from Tory.

Premier Doug Ford announced the province’s plan for the Ontario Line in April, instead of the Downtown Relief Line that the city had been planning.

Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney and Ford released statements applauding council for adopting the plan.

“Our comprehensive program of priority subway projects will dramatically improve connectivity across the (Greater Toronto-Hamilton area) while also delivering significant relief to critical congestion,” Ford said in a statement.

“The people of Ontario deserve rapid, world-class transit services and our plan will deliver exactly that.”

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