TTC refuses to let mayoral campaign be about anything other than the TTC

TTC refuses to let mayoral campaign be about anything other than the TTC

Davisville HQ needs $30 million in repairs, says TTC (Image: Google ) 

We’ve got to hand it to the Toronto Transit Commission. Everyone complains about it, and its expansion is doubtful due to funding cuts, and yet the mayoral race has not one, not two, but three candidates promising subway expansion (if they can find the money for it). All this attention seems to have gone to the Red Rocket’s head, because it just won’t get off the stage—or the front pages. The story over the weekend was that the TTC is mulling moving its headquarters to a bigger facility. Because, of course, overcrowded offices is the most important problem it has to solve at the moment.

Says the Globe:

The TTC is looking at moving its headquarters to a new 400,000-square-foot building in Hogg’s Hollow, a proposal that was swiftly panned by the front-runner for mayor and by the local councillor.

At its regular closed-door meeting Thursday, the Toronto Transit Commission is expected to begin exploring a long-term lease with Build Toronto, the city’s fledgling development agency, to erect an eight-storey office tower on a commuter parking lot at York Mills station.

The chair of the cash-strapped transit agency said the deal wouldn’t proceed unless it saved money.

George Smitherman immediately pounced on the plan, calling it unnecessary and saying the money should be spent elsewhere. Karen Stintz, the councillor whose ward would house the new HQ, agrees with Smitherman and plaintively asked why Build Toronto hadn’t kept her in the loop.

The answer seems clear: If the TTC had handled this as dryly as most municipal real estate deals, it wouldn’t have made the front pages for the 354,397th day in a row.

• TTC to pursue long-term lease for Yonge-York Mills headquarters [National Post]
• Proposal for new TTC headquarters draws flak [Globe and Mail]
New TTC head office plan draws fire [CBC]