Waterfront East Update: February 2013 (Updated)

The Waterfront Toronto Board met on February 6, 2013, and received a presentation on the transit options under consideration for Queens Quay east from Bay to Parliament.

Updated February 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm:  The presentation materials from the February 6, 2013 Board Meeting are now available online.


When a transit line to the eastern waterfront was first proposed, the cost estimate was considerably lower than today.  Waterfront Toronto has only $90-million left in the account for this project because some of the originally intended funds have been redirected to the Queens Quay West project now underway.

Coming into 2012, the project estimate had grown to $335m broken down as:

  • $112m for changes to the Union Station loop
  • $156 for the tunnel on Queens Quay from Bay east to Freeland
  • $66m for the surface portion from Freeland to Parliament

This number is now felt to be low because, somehow, the TTC has acquired a new “mandate” to relocate all utilities under its rights-of-way and this will push up the cost of the surface segment.  (As an aside, I cannot help wondering how much of this is gold-bricking by utilities who seek to renew/replace their existing plant at the transit project’s expense.)

Because Waterfront Toronto does not have full funding available for this project, they are looking for an interim solution that would improve transit in the area for the next 5-15 years.  The criteria fall into four groups:

  • quality and capacity,
  • ability to be implemnted,
  • costs and benefits, and
  • operations and neighbourhood impacts including traffic.

The options under study are not screened out just because they exceed $90m as it could be worth finding additional funds for a better solution.  Broadly speaking, the options fall in three groups: under $90m, about $150m and about $250m.

“Operational” evaluation will include consideration for effects on both the Ferry Docks and on the proposed new bus terminal (tentatively planned by Metrolinx as part of a development northeast of Bay & Lake Shore).

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