Ontario signs subway-extension agreement with York Region, asks feds for additional funding

Ontario Construction News staff writer

York Region has signed an agreement with the Ontario Government to fund a portion of the $5.6 billion Yonge North Subway Extension, a 7.4-kilometre extension running north on Yonge Street in Toronto and add six stops from Finch Station to Highway 7 in Richmond Hill.

“Our government is one step closer to delivering on its plan for more rapid, reliable and seamlessly-connected transit in the GTA,” said Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney.

“As part of our commitment to build transit infrastructure quickly and efficiently, today we signed a landmark Preliminary Agreement with York Region that will help significantly expand the subway network through the delivery of the Yonge North Subway Extension – one of the four priority projects included in Ontario’s “New Subway Plan for the GTA.” This plan represents the largest subway expansion in Canadian history.”

Since fall 2019, the province has been working with York Region to formalize the plan. For York Region, this preliminary agreement continues to move the Yonge North Subway Extension closer to implementation, which will significantly extend the existing Yonge Subway (Line 1) north from Finch Station to connect major employment centres, such as Markham and Richmond Hill.

The Yonge North Subway Extension is a cross-jurisdictional project in the City of Toronto, Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill. It will run north on Yonge Street from Finch Avenue to the Richmond Hill/Langstaff Gateway Urban Growth Centre at Highway 7 in Richmond Hill. Plans include up to six stations – at Cummer/Drewry, Steeles, Clark, Royal Orchard, and Langstaff/Long.

“Throughout the engagement process, the province adopted a similar approach to the productive negotiations undertaken with the City of Toronto on shared transit priorities, which yielded the landmark Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership Preliminary Agreement in February 2020,” Mulroney said.

The two deals will ensure that the province, Toronto and York Region continue to collaborate to successfully deliver on Premier Ford’s historic “New Subway Transit Plan for the GTA”, which also includes the all-new Ontario Line, the improved three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension and Eglinton Crosstown West Extension with planned connection to Pearson International Airport.

Municipalities and the province are requesting the federal government to provide “its fair share” – funding at least 40 per cent of our four nationally-significant subway projects – beyond what has already been announced, to bridge the gap and “provide the stable, predictable funding they committed to provide during the election campaign last fall,” Mulroney said.

“Formalizing this funding partnership with the federal government remains a top priority, given the significant benefits to the local, regional, provincial and national economy that Ontario’s plan will generate over the next 10 years and beyond.”

The project is part of a $28.5-billion bundle of what it called four priority projects in Ontario’s transit network. The other projects are the Ontario Line, the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension with a planned connection to Pearson airport.

“The Yonge North Subway Extension remains regional council’s top transportation priority and we are pleased to take additional steps in partnership with the Province of Ontario to move this project forward,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson.

Construction of the project is expected to create 60,000 jobs and contracts are expected to be announced this spring.


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