Toronto Council has approved the transit plan for Toronto featuring Mayor John Tory’s SmartTrack line and the Scarborough Subway after a long debate on July 14, 2016. Notwithstanding severe problems with financial pressures and the blind faith needed to expect that the entire package can actually be funded, Council added a few pet projects that never quite fade from view thanks to the efforts of individual members.
LRT proposals for Eglinton East and West survived the vote largely because they are part of larger packages – SmartTrack in the west, and the Scarborough Subway Extension in the east. The subway debate has so polarized camps that “LRT” is synonymous with third class transit simply because it was the heart of the “non subway” option. Without the bitterness of the SSE that required subway advocates to paint LRT in the worst possible light, its potential role in Toronto’s future network might not have been so poisoned while other cities embrace this mode.
Staff recommendations in the report were amended in some respects, and a few new clauses were added, notably one asking for City staff to pursue a co-fare arrangement with GO Transit.
The Waterfront Transit Reset report is a separate agenda item and, at the time of writing, Council has not yet dealt with it.
The Finch West and Eglinton Crosstown LRT projects are under Metrolinx, and they are already underway to varying degrees.