Toronto’s evolving TTC plans
A TTC subway train is pictured in this file photo.
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2012 6:18PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 24, 2012 6:25PM EDT
A transit relief line in the downtown core was up for discussion at a TTC meeting Wednesday. The plan adds to Toronto’s rich history of transit proposals, most of which have gone off the rails. Here’s a look down the line at Toronto’s transit plan past.
First stop, 1966, the Metropolitan Toronto Transit Plan, a proposal aimed at balancing both public and road transit. The project included the extension of the Spadina expressway (renamed the Allen expressway) southbound into downtown. The plan introduced a Lakeshore commuter rail (now GO Transit), Queen and Spadina subways and an extension of the Yonge and Bloor lines.
When construction for the transit plan had been scheduled, urban sociologist Jane Jacobs led protests against the extension of the Spadina Expressway. The province cancelled its construction, leading to the ultimate downfall of the entire plan.
In 1972, the Intermediate Capacity Transit Line Plan was proposed by the Ontario government. The plan, much like David Miller’s future Transit City, focused on reducing automobile use within the city. More GO commuter lines were built and light rail transit lines were added from the east end of Scarborough to the Bloor-Danforth subway lines.
1985’s Network 2011 proposed a major subway expansion throughout the city. The plans included building new lines along Sheppard Avenue east and Eglinton Avenue west with a downtown relief line along Front Street through to Union station. Network 2011 was cancelled due to allegedly high costs.
David Miller created Transit City in 2007, a proposal in which older buses would be replaced with a rapid light rail transit system. The plan included eight new lines, four of which were being built and funded by Metrolinx. Transit City plans were approved and funded with construction underway, until a new mayor took over City Hall.
In 2010, Rob Ford wiped out the Transit City plan to move forward with visions of his own. Ford proposed a transit plan revolving around subways, including an extension into Scarborough. The plan did not fit council’s $1 billion budget (the LRT model did) and the plan was also put on the chopping block.
TTC Chair and city councillor Karen Stintz introduced the OneCity Transit Plan in 2012. The $30 billion plan included 170 kilometres of new transit lines including six new subway lines, 10 light rail and five new bus and street car lines. The plan included cost coverage which would entail a 1.9 per cent property tax increase every four years.
Mayor Rob Ford almost immediately rejected OneCity, calling it “irresponsible” and “unaffordable.” The provincial transportation minister, Bob Chiarelli said the province wouldn’t back the plan either.