Scarborough’s subway hopes just got slightly more remote
Considering all the political chicanery that went into getting Scarborough’s subway extension approved in the first place, it’s easy to take grim satisfaction in the project’s setbacks. Speaking of which, here’s one: the Globe reports that the city’s planning division is taking a more assertive role in the new subway line’s environmental assessment.
According to the Globe, the TTC, which had been heavily involved in figuring out basic things like where to run the subway extension’s tracks and where to put the stations, has been forced into a backseat role after what TTC CEO Andy Byford describes as “difficult” and “contentious” discussions with city planning. Jennifer Keesmaat, the city’s chief planner, says her division’s leadership will help ensure that the project will integrate properly with Toronto’s urban fabric.
Although the Globe is careful to note that the handover isn’t expected to affect the Scarborough subway’s overall construction timeline, the change in leadership is likely to slow down the project’s initial planning phases, which could end up amounting to a death sentence. Two of the major mayoral candidates—Olivia Chow and David Soknacki—have pledged to scrap the subway extension if they’re elected and build a light-rail line instead, as originally planned before subway boosters interceded last year. With no shovels in the ground, cancelling the subway would be especially easy. Bottom line: brace yourselves for a few more years of arguments over Scarborough transit.