Building an extension to the current transit system is not an easy decision, it takes years of research, planning and funding before any transit project can get approved. After months of negotiations and years of controversy, the City and Province have come to an agreement to improve the current subway system. As part of the Toronto Transit Update Report, it’s stated that in the next 20 years, the population is expected to add 960,000 people to the City, bringing the total population to over 3.9 million by 2041. This massive population growth is adding increased pressure to the City to update their current transit system which is already years behind where it should be. Toronto is not meeting the needs of commuters and with a major population increase, there will be an even higher demand in the transit system.
The controversy behind the subway extension came from the Province offering to provide funding for the new projects if they were given full ownership of the TTC subway system. The City fought back saying that they were happy to work out a deal without giving the Province ownership of the transit system. Here is what they recently agreed to:
- The City will retain ownership of the current transit system
- The Province, with support from the federal government will provide $30 billion to support four new transit projects: Ontario Line, Line 2: Scarborough Expansion, Line 1: Yonge-North Extension and the Eglinton West LRT.
- The Province will also reimburse the City of any costs incurred from past transit planning.
- The Province will own and be responsible for the four transit projects and have committed to working with the City and TTC throughout the process.
- The City will put $5 billion toward funding the repair of the existing transit system as well as put money aside to support funding for future transit projects including the Eglinton East LRT and Waterfront Transit.
- The Province and City will work together to get these four projects built as quickly as possible as well as address any issues during the construction process, this includes protecting neighbourhoods and addressing concerns from residents.
What are these transit projects?
The Ontario Line will run from Ontario Place to the Ontario Science Centre adding 15 new stations along the corridor. This line will have trains running every 90 seconds and will include a mix of above ground and underground rail lines. This new line will provide relief for many downtown commuters by providing fast and frequent service.
Scarborough Subway Extension
The Scarborough Extension will replace the current Line 3: Scarborough RT and extend from Line 2: Bloor-Danforth from Kipling Station. This subway extension will extend over 6 kilometres and add 3 new stops including Lawrence, Scarborough Centre and McCowan Station. The current Line 3: Scarborough RT is aging and is in need of serious maintenance work and new trains. Instead of spending the money to update the line, the municipal and provincial government along with Metrolinx came up with a plan to create a new extension that will reach the greater population of Scarborough.
Yonge North Subway Extension
The Yonge-North Subway Extension will add six new stops along Line 1: Yonge-University. This subway line will extend 7.4 kilometres north from Finch Station toward Richmond Hill. This corridor will run along Yonge Street and pass through Markham before making its way to its final stop at Richmond Hill Centre Terminal.
Eglinton West LRT
The Eglinton West LRT will be an extension to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. It will run 9 kilometres from Mount Dennis Station to Renforth Station and will add an additional 5 kilometres from Renforth Station to Pearson International Airport. We can expect this extension to add 12 new stops that will provide greater transit connection from Midtown Toronto to the airport.
How will these four new transit projects impact investors?
This new deal between the Province and the City is a huge step toward expanding transit throughout the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA). The City of Toronto is growing as well as major parts of the GTHA, and a better transit system is crucial to meet the demand of the growing population and connect them to their place of employment quicker than ever before. These new transit projects will provide relief for many commuters especially during rush hour. There will now be a reliable mode of transit service that will reach countless areas that have been underserved for many years and will provide greater connections to employment hubs, schools and major landmarks across the city. Investments in transit infrastructure is a major priority and will provide investors and commuters with many benefits including:
- Providing an accessible and reliable mode of public transportation.
- Creating a solution to the missing link in the transit system by connecting different communities and cities together.
- Connecting commuters to their place of employment quicker which greatly reduces daily commute times and improves quality of life.
- Providing an adequate mode of transit options will encourage more people to take public transit.
- Reduces congestion on the road which will ultimately reduce the amount of accidents.
- Protects the environment and produces better air quality by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Meets future travel demands by moving more people quicker and providing frequent trains to eliminate overcrowding at the station.
Investors can expect to see many new developments coming up along these future transit stations. Any development near a transit line will increase the value of the home when it’s time to sell. Plus, the demand to live near transit lines will be incredibly high. People will want to live near transit and have the opportunity to commute to work quickly or run their daily errands without having to worry about getting stuck in traffic. Many people that live near these transit lines will not feel the need to purchase a car and will ultimately save thousands of dollars every year taking public transit. As the city prepares for the expected population growth, investors now have the opportunity to purchase a few units near future transit lines. Investors will have no difficulty looking for tenants and once they decide to sell their property, they will receive a massive return on their investment as these properties will greatly increase in value.