What will rapid transit in Toronto
look like in 15 years?

Update, Wednesday, March 9, 8:33 p.m.: The Executive Committee approved the staff report with some amendments. City Council will consider this plan and other transit-related proposals during a meeting later this year, probably in June.

You may have noticed… we’ve got lots to report these days in the world of Toronto transit.

In fact, so much is going on that we’re beginning to lose track and to miss posting news that we should be.

For the next few weeks, we’re going to play catch-up by posting older news that’s still relevant to readers.

We’re also going to look ahead by describing some of the multitude of transit proposals that are currently on the political agenda. These posts will form a starting point for future posts that will describe the various stages of each proposal — from public consultation, through construction to operation.

This is one of those posts.

At a meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, March 9, the City of Toronto’s Executive Committee will consider a staff report proposing to dramatically increase the size of Toronto’s rapid-transit network.

The City, the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada have recently started to significantly fund various plans to expand Toronto’s rapid-transit network and address years of underinvestment in a critical infrastructure system for the city. Planning, designing and building complex infrastructure requires a long lead time before transit service can start operating. To sustain recent progress, the report urges the committee and, afterwards, City Council, to approve staff working on long-term strategies to keep pace with the public demand for more transit. They are recommending advancing planning and technical analysis on several major transit projects to set the stage for upcoming discussion among all three levels of government on funding and building new transit.


In particular, this report recommends:

  • extending the Eglinton Crosstown light rail line to Toronto Pearson International Airport;
  • analyzing two options to integrate SmartTrack with GO Transit’s plans for regional express rail service (RER) along the Kitchener and Stouffville rail corridors
  • approving a corridor between Pape Station and downtown Toronto for the Relief Line, roughly along Pape Avenue and Queen or Richmond Streets East;
  • finalizing transit options for Scarborough, including extending the TTC’s 2 Bloor - Danforth subway to Scarborough Centre and extending the Crosstown LRT to the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus.

The report also identifies the need for City staff to review various earlier plans for light rail or other kinds of rapid transit along the waterfront between Long Branch and Woodbine. The City hopes to update Council on a strategy for rapid transit to this part of the city by June.

The report presents the map in this post to councillors and the public. Although this report does not detail these schemes, this map illustrates other rapid transit lines for the City and senior-government partners to develop over the next 15 years.

  • rapid transit on Sheppard Avenue East between Don Mills Station and U of T Scarborough, with a possible branch to the new subway station at Scarborough Cente. (The map does not specifically identify this as light rail transit, although Metrolinx continues to indicate that it plans to build such a line on this route.)
  • a revival of the Transit City light rail transit line on Jane Street between the future Pioneer Village subway station and Jane Station; and
  • bus rapid transit along Steeles Avenue between Milliken GO / SmartTrack Station and the future Pioneer Village subway station.