Where Ottawa’s Stimulus Spending Is Going

In my articles about the TTC budgets, I have been remiss in not reporting on the effect of the Federal Infrastructure Stimulus Program.  The TTC had a presentation on this topic at its meeting in September as part of the Capital Budget report, but I never wrote up the information.  (The presentation is not available online.)

I have summarized the financial information for easier access.

Stimulus Funding Summary 2009 to 2011

This summary contains two sections corresponding to two parts of the presentation.  One is for Operations and one for Construction.  There was more financial breakdown in the Operations section, and I am not going to try to explain why.

The TTC (and City) budget years correspond to the calendar years, while the Federal Government fiscal year starts on April 1.  That’s why all of the stimulus work to be billed to Ottawa must be completed by March 31, 2011 — nothing can spill over into the 2011-12 budget year.  (As an aside, I might note that both Queen’s Park and Ottawa happily include this non-recurring spending when they talk about the deficit as if it will go on forever.  This makes the deficits look bigger than they really are in the long term, and magically they will fall for the 2011 budget year when the stimulus ends.)

For the Operations projects, the budget is broken down into each TTC fiscal year showing the original and revised spending level for each project line (these correspond to lines in the full TTC Budget).  Of particular note is the fact that the change, if any, varies in each year and in some cases the change in 2011 is quite large.  This indicates work that was brought forward into 2011 from future years, but which won’t be completed by March 31 and is therefore only partly eligible for stimulus funds.

The three-year total for Operations is $68.1-million, up by $25.1m over the original plans.  Of this, Ottawa will contribute $10.8m or about 43% of the increase.

For the Construction projects, only the three-year numbers are given, and in each case Ottawa is assumed to pay 1/3.  Note that the Warden Station project, included in the list, was subsequently cut as part of the City’s budget review and, therefore, Ottawa’s $4m share has been foregone.

Looking at the Grand Total, Ottawa will contribute $61.1-million, about 28%, to projects with a total value of $219.0m.  The remainder will come from the City and Queen’s Park.

This is only part of the total stimulus package coming to Toronto as most projects are in the City’s own budget, not the TTC’s.

5 thoughts on “Where Ottawa’s Stimulus Spending Is Going

  1. Sad that they cut the Warden Station funding from this budget. I live between Warden Station and Vic. Park Station and use Warden Station a bit more then Vic. Park. I am grateful that Vic. Park is being modernized and they are getting rid of those seperated bus bays. I always hoped they would give similar treatment to the heavily used Warden Station as well. Quite often when I get off the bus at Warden Station I have to get another connecting bus and not the subway. I always felt that it is poorly designed compared to Kennedy Station or Scarborough Town Center Station with the island type of platforms where all the buses have their own docking spot on a shared platform on the same level.

    Some things are really well designed at Warden and I think they will keep them if they redesign this station. I like the bus ramps from the street to the bus bays at this station, I think it makes it easier for buses to get in and out of the station with this kind of layout.

    Steve do you have the plans for Warden Station and what they plan on doing with it (if the funding ever comes again). I remember Victoria Park Station modernization plans were online for a while and I find it quite exciting to watch these plans slowly become reality with all the construction at that station presently.

    Steve: The proposal for Warden Station involves moving several components around with the aim of freeing up the land at the intersection for development. First (this is the work that was deferred) a new parking lot would be built on the Hydro lands and the abandoned rail spur east of the station. This would connect to the paid area via a new automatic entrance at the southeast end of the station. Cars would enter the lot from Warden Avenue south of the subway underpass.

    Next, a new bus loop would be built where the south parking lot is now. The bus loop would be an island platform so that it could share one set of stairs, escalators and elevators. Passenger access would be via a new walkway from the southwest part of the existing fare control area under the subway. The street entrance to the station, now part of the bus bay complex, would shift south to connect into the bus loop.

    It appears that all bus access would be from Warden and this has implications for bus traffic at the intersection. Conceivably, the existing entrance lanes from St. Clair could be retained and channeled to pass under the new development via what is now bus bay 1.

    I believe that the intention of the deferral was to wait until there is a development proposal in hand that could be used to generate revenue to pay for the project. A similar situation exists at Islington where a development scheme fell through, and the work was put on hold.


  2. I have been doing some research on the web into total passenger on HRT, LRT and commuter rail lines in North America. I am leaving out Mexico though the Monterey lines do carry a lot of riders on LRT. The web sources treat all of Toronto’s street car lines as LRT. I have condensed the information for Toronto, New York, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco to compare HRT, LRT and commuter rail by total ridership and ridership per track mile. Toronto is second to New York in total HRT and ridership and HRT ridership per track mile. It is third in Commuter Rail ridership to New York and Chicago but first in ridership per track mile. For LRT Toronto is first in ridership, New York and Chicago do not have any LRT though many of Chicago’s EL lines, especially Skokie Swift, are little more than LRT lines. Boston is first in LRT ridership per track mile because of the Green Line Subway while Toronto is second. Despite the damages done by Mike Harris and his downloading of service to the Cities and the lack or stable subsidies Toronto and area is a leader in transit services.

    Toronto versus US cities for ridership and ridership per track mile for HRT, LRT and Commuter rail.

    Factor	               Toronto  New York Chicago  Boston San Francisco
    HRT total ridership   1,176,000 7,430,040 676,000 479,300 348,000
    HRT riders/track mile    23,287    32,447   9,288  12,673   3,412
    LRT total Ridership     328,000        na      na 237,700 186,200
    LRT riders/track mile     7,854        na      na   8,489   2,604
    Commuter Rail total     180,000   883,600 328,800 138,700  40,300
    Commuter Rail riders        737       378     562     377     523
    /track mile


  3. Robert: You may want to include the LRT systems of New York City’s suburbs, such as New Jersey’s Newark City Subway or River Line, if the other cities systems extend into their suburbs.


  4. W. K. Lis says:

    January 14, 2010 at 11:38 am

    “Robert: You may want to include the LRT systems of New York City’s suburbs, such as New Jersey’s Newark City Subway or River Line, if the other cities systems extend into their suburbs.”

    I intentionally left all of New Jersey’s rail lines out because I did not know which went into New York and which didn’t and because they are operated by a separate authority.


  5. Hi Steve,

    Was reading the second post by George S, how Warden is being rebuilt and was thinking about Islington Stn and its redevelopment. Now you mentioned it and plans fell through? When did this happen? if I recall, work was supposed to start last fall and finish early 2011? Though its off topic-could you bring us up to speed for us Etobicokians. Used Islington my whole life, so this is ‘close to home’ if you will. Thx.


    Steve: There is no word on the Islington project. SNC Lavalin were going to build there, but pulled out of the deal. I believe that all such proposals are now being handled by the new agency “Build Toronto” rather than the TTC.


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