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Hunter vows to extend Sheppard subway, Matlow would redesign Toronto’s most dangerous roads

Mayoral candidate Mitzie Hunter says she would extend the Sheppard subway line if elected mayor.

Hunter said Tuesday that she would extend the line east to connect with the planned Scarborough subway extension of Line 2 and would also extended it west to connect to the western side of Line 1 at Sheppard West Station near Downsview Park.

The five stop subway line opened in 2002 and runs between Yonge Street and Don Mills Road. It was originally envisioned to connect with Sheppard West Station, but the line was shortened by the Mike Harris government to save costs.

A proposed Sheppard East LRT project from former mayor David Miller's Transit City plan was in development until 2019, when Premier Doug Ford announced his government would build a subway extension instead sometime in the future. However no timeline has been set out for the project so far.

“I am committing today to fund the preliminary design and engineering for this project from the city's existing transit reserve funds to advance the detailed planning and the costing to get this project moving,” Hunter said at her announcement.

She estimated that the eastern link would cost around $5 billion and that the link in the west would cost around $2 billion.

Asked how she would pay to move the work forward in a city which is already facing a $1 billion budgetary shortfall, Hunter reiterated that her plan will be fully cost ahead of the election and added that there are some "urgent issues in our city" which can't wait.

“We cannot wait because these are urgent priorities,” she said. “These are urgent decisions and we can't leave our future in the hands of some other level of government that may or may not respond.”

Hunter said extending the Sheppard line would connect parts of the city were tens of thousands of people work, including North York Center, and the Downsview Area.

Hunter pointed out that many of the TTC's recent service cuts were in Scarborough.

Her announcement on Tuesday in fact came on the same day that Toronto’s executive committee voted in favour of a series of express bus lanes that will be needed to supplement service once the Scarborough RT shuts down permanently in the fall. The aging line is ultimately slated to be replaced by the Scarborough subway extension, which isn’t expected to open until at least 2030.

“I’m from Scarborough. I’m running to bring the outside in and people who live on the outside of the downtown sometimes feel left out,” Hunter said. “And that's an example of that, those service cuts. I am ready to be mayor so that our city is a city that works for everyone, everywhere.”

Meanwhile Josh Matlow said Tuesday that if elected mayor, he would double the city’s investment in road improvements “to save lives and accelerate Toronto’s progress towards zero traffic deaths.”

Matlow said the city’s current “Vision Zero” plan for road safety is evidence-based, but is not being implemented quickly enough.

He said he would use his planned City Works Fund – which would draw on a special property tax – to boost annual capital spending on traffic safety to $56 million, focusing on redesigning Toronto's most dangerous intersections and roads.

There have already been too many needless deaths on Toronto's roads this year and the city can do better, Matlow said.

“Healthy, vibrant cities are places where pedestrians, school children, older adults and cyclists share the roads with transit and drivers, people have safe, sustainable travel options and everyone gets where they need to go,” he said. “We can’t expect vulnerable road users to keep themselves safe without support. Traffic deaths are preventable, and it’s our responsibility to follow the facts and invest where they lead us.”

Ana Bailão also had transit on her mind Tuesday, taking time to meet with transit riders to hear their concerns. Top Stories

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