Eglinton East & Waterfront LRT Updates

Toronto’s Executive Committee considered a report on the current status of the Eglinton East LRT and Waterfront East LRT projects at its meeting on December 10, 2020.

The primary function of this report is to authorize continued study, not to set priorities nor to discuss funding schemes. As such, its recommendations passed easily because it preserves the convenient fiction of progress without actual commitment. The real battles come when there are $30 billion worth of transit projects and less than $10 billion to pay for them.

In a beautifully ironic touch, the same morning brought news from the Toronto Star’s Jennifer Pagliaro that the Scarborough RT would not last long enough to avoid a shutdown well before the Scarborough Subway could be completed. That announcement raises a raft of questions about Toronto’s transit future that go well beyond Scarborough itself, and I will turn to those issues in a separate article.

Scarborough’s Rapid Transit Network Plans

The proposed network in Scarborough is shown in the map below. (Apologies for the poor resolution. This is due to the quality of image in the City’s report. I have asked for a higher res version, and will substitute it when available.)

This map contains several components, some fanciful, while others might be built.

  • The Scarborough subway extension of Line 2 east and north to Sheppard
  • An eastward extension of the Sheppard Subway (Line 2) to meet the extended Line 2 at McCowan
  • A short Sheppard LRT line running from the new subway terminal at McCowan to Neilson
  • GO Transit’s Stouffville corridor which is labelled as “GO/SmartTrack”
  • An Eglinton East LRT line running north into Malvern

The Scarborough Subway Extension

Leaving aside the debate over the validity of this line, a few points are worth noting.

First, there has been talk of adding a station at Danforth and Brimley, but this is not shown as an option in the plans. Aside from the cost this would add, there could also be implications for construction of the LRT extension because of conflicts with work on the station excavation.

Second, the subway’s design now includes a tail track east of Kennedy Station. This was in the TTC’s original plan, but was cut both for cost reasons and for the political necessity of ensuring that a short turn operation at Kennedy was impossible. The tail track has been restored to the plan, and there is a strong probability that the service plan for the subway will include a peak period turnback with only half of the service running through to Sheppard. This also has implications for fleet planning because a 1:1 replacement of the existing Line 2 fleet will not give the TTC enough trains to run full peak service to Sheppard.

The Sheppard Subway Extension

The Sheppard Subway (Line 4) ends at Don Mills because that is where the City ran out of money after the Harris government turned off the transit funding taps. The first phase would originally have ended at Victoria Park, but that was not to be. Some of the complexity in LRT plans for Sheppard arose from the need to finesse an LRT/subway connection into Don Mills Station rather than a new, purpose built terminus at Victoria Park.

In any event, the Ontario Government announced a Sheppard Subway extension to McCowan and this has been endorsed by City Council, although nobody knows how it will be funded or when/if it will be built. As a placeholder, it keeps a full Sheppard East LRT off of the table, and this is likely its primary raison d’être.

The Sheppard East LRT

A vestigial Sheppard East LRT is included linking the new terminus at Sheppard/McCowan east to the proposed Malvern leg of the Eglinton LRT.

In the medium term, its primary function would be to feed the Scarborough subway at Sheppard. The timing of a Sheppard Subway extension is unknown, and yet it will probably take root much like the Scarborough subway and be impossible to dislodge from plans thereby preventing a westward extension of a Sheppard LRT to Victoria Park or Don Mills.

GO Transit and SmartTrack

The GO Stouffville corridor may or may not get service at the level claimed so many years ago by then-candidate Tory who promised “subway-like” service.

Notable by its absence is the SmartTrack station at Lawrence East where the SRT stops today. Also not shown is the GO Lake Shore East corridor.

Depending on how one views the latent capacity of GO corridors (whatever brand name might be on the trains) to handle more inside-416 traffic, future service plans for the two Scarborough routes are an important part of overall network planning.

Eglinton East LRT

The proposed route is an expansion of the most recent scheme for Eglinton East which ended at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. The northern leg to Malvern Centre has reappeared.

This design was the original Transit City route called the “Scarborough-Malvern LRT”, a name that stuck for a long time even after the Malvern leg was lopped off and replaced by a proposed SRT extension, later the Scarborough LRT running north and east from Kennedy Station.

Originally, a maintenance and storage facility (MSF) that would have been shared by the Sheppard East, Scarborough and Eglinton East LRT lines was planned at Sheppard and Conlins Road, almost one kilometre east of the proposed route up Morningside. This has been replaced by a new maintenance site north of the UTSC campus.

Because the cost of the MSF must be borne entirely by the Eglinton East project, the cost allocated to the EELRT has gone up. If and when the Sheppard LRT is built, it would take advantage of that facility which is a “saving” on a potential future budget, but the big up front cost now sits entirely on the Eglinton project’s books.

With the MSF located at UTSC, there is an option to open the line in two stages: first from Kennedy Station to UTSC and later to Malvern. This triggers obvious questions about whether “phase 2” will ever be built. One might cynically ask the same about “phase 1” given the degree to which this line has been a political football.

A further problem for the LRT plan is that the design for the Scarborough subway extension conflicts with the original plans for connection into Kennedy Station. (Again, apologies for the resolution of the drawing.)

The subway design now includes a tail track east of Kennedy Station that had been deleted in an earlier version of the plan. This makes the structure wider further east and shifts the transition from cut-and-cover box tunnel to the deep bore. This takes space that was formerly planned for the LRT portal into an underground connection at Kennedy Station.

The LRT plan now drops below grade east of Midland with an underground station there, and this adds roughly $350 million (2020$) to the project cost.

The overall project cost for the line now sits at $4.0-4.4 billion (2020$), up from an original estimate of $2.3 billion. The change comes from four factors:

  • Full cost for the MSF is charged to the Eglinton project.
  • The extension to Malvern from UTSC is restored.
  • The connection to Kennedy Station is more expensive because of a longer underground section and an additional station.
  • A review of other projects led to updates in the base costs factors.

The cost breakdown for the changes was not presented to the Executive Committee because the estimates are only preliminary and the timing of various works is still unknown. (Inflation to as-spent dollars depends on when the spending would actually occur.) This will be refined as part of the design work to be done in 2021.

As for project funding, the status of the “Scarborough Subway Levy” is unclear although it could form a base for the LRT project now that Ontario is footing the bill for the subway (or so it is thought). The financial issues of this project will also be reported together with updated design information. It is quite clear that Scarborough Councillors will push for an early commitment to the Eglinton East LRT in hopes of Federal stimulus funding. Whether this will crowd out other projects such as the Waterfront east line remains to be seen.

The City is likely to pursue is a claim against Metrolinx for the cost increase due to the change in subway plans. However, as the subway project’s cost is already climbing and Metrolinx is notoriously unwilling to put money on the table, this claim could hit a brick wall. A related question is whether some of the LRT’s underground structure should be built concurrently with the subway extension project. This would affect the timing of spending on that portion of the LRT, but could also be a cost saving through consolidation of two nearby tunnel projects.

The timeline for reporting is fall 2021 so that the project can be factored into the City’s 2022 budget.

Waterfront East LRT

Although much of the discussion at Executive Committee focused on the Scarborough network, the Waterfront East route was also on the table. Mayor Tory gave this strong support noting that the level of development in the eastern Waterfront risks the city repeating a mistake made at Humber Bayshores in Etobicoke where massive development was not accompanied by transit investment. Tory also spoke about recreational uses in the eastern waterfront saying that “exciting things were coming” without specifics.

The Waterfront study is broken into three segments as shown in the map below.

Area 1 includes Union and Queens Quay Stations, the Bay Street tunnel and expansion of the structure at Queens Quay with an eastern portal at Yonge Street. This work will be managed by the TTC because it primarily involves their underground facilities.

Area 2A runs from Yonge to just east of Parliament Street which has been proposed as an interim terminus for the LRT extension. The scope has now been extended east to Cherry and north to Distillery Loop to connect with the existing streetcar system. Work on these segments will be managed by Waterfront Toronto as the redesign of the streetscape is central to this area.

Union Station

The original design for Union Station Loop includes four berths for streetcars, two on the northbound and two on the southbound side of the loop with passing tracks so that cars serving different routes could move around each other. It is possible that this scheme could be simplified or staged so that an interim version could serve a lower demand. This relates to the following considerations:

  • The full projected demand for the Eastern Waterfront leg might include riders who will be diverted to planned Ontario Line stations.
  • The need for the proposed Bremner LRT, itself the weakest part of the overall plan, could be further reduced by the Ontario Line station at Exhibition which would compete with a Bremner service running to Exhibition Loop.

Queens Quay Station

Significant expansion is also planned at Queens Quay to handle the increased level of LRT traffic as well as to correct for the station’s poor operation under heavy load such as summer traffic to the island. This is a work in progress and could be linked with nearby redevelopment to provide improved access to the surface.

Queens Quay Portal

The original proposal for an east portal was located between Yonge and Freeland Streets. This would have required a difficult tunnel build and sewer relocation right beside Lake Ontario.

A revised proposal places the portal between Bay and Yonge Streets in front of the existing hotel entrance. An integral part of that plan is the partial filling of the Yonge Street slip to provide a new area for buses and taxis at a relocated hotel entrance on the east side of the building.

Area 2B: Parliament to Cherry

This area was not part of previous design efforts, but work on it will begin soon. Several elements are involved:

  • The effect of the “new” Queens Quay design (this was studied for area 2A, but not yet for 2B)
  • Realignment of Parliament Street south of the rail corridor
  • Partial filling of the Parliament Street slip to provide for a straightened and extended Queens Quay
  • Extension of Queens Quay to the New Cherry Street
  • Examination of options for the LRT connection under the rail corridor to Distillery Loop

Queens Quay now dodges north at Parliament to merge with Lake Shore, but plans for the waterfront have always included straightening it out and extending east to Cherry where Lake Shore shifts southward. This is not possible without partial filling of the Parliament Street slip.

Cherry Street itself will be realigned so that it shifts southwest from the rail corridor rather than southeast as at present. This will align with “New” Cherry Street that will cross the Keating Channel on a new bridge. The first component of that bridge, the LRT span, was recently shipped from Nova Scotia to Toronto and has been installed, although it will be many years before it sees an LRT vehicle. The road span, west of the LRT span, will arrive in 2021. New Cherry Street and its bridges will replace the existing and cantankerous lift bridge on “Old” Cherry Street, and traffic will eventually be shifted to the new street.

Not mentioned in this report, but an integral part of the overall plan, is the Gardiner rebuild and realignment project. This includes change in ramp locations, the demolition of the elevated structure over Lake Shore Boulevard from the Don River to Logan, and the construction of a new wider bridge over the Don River for Lake Shore.

As with many projects, the goal is often to phase work so that the entire capital cost is not borne up front. A connection to Distillery Loop avoids the cost of building the extension onto Villiers Island before it is developed. Conversely, going to the distillery requires passing under the rail corridor via either the existing Cherry Street underpass or a new span to be dug through the rail embankment east of the existing one.

The next round of public consultation for this project will likely occur in January, and an update to Council will come in fall 2021 to feed into the 2022 budget cycle.

Note: The presentation deck from a recent Stakeholders Advisory Committee meeting was posted on Urban Toronto by one of the participants. These drawings are preliminary are likely to change in advance of the public consultation. For that reason, and because SAC discussions are not intended for media distribution, I will not publish them here. The one exception is the area map above which is a revision of one in the report at Executive showing the correct alignment of New Cherry Street.

16 thoughts on “Eglinton East & Waterfront LRT Updates

  1. It’s obvious that the SSE and EELRT are each being designed without consideration for cost impacts to the other project. It’s a shame, however unsurprising. Worse would be digging up the area twice. It would be nice indeed if the underground portions of the EELRT were added to the SSE project, although we all know how unlikely that is.

    I wonder if the station at Midland on the EELRT will just get dropped. It’s an enormous cost for any station, but especially a line station with I imagine below-average traffic.

    Also, if the SSE grows one more station at Brimley, presumably EELRT should have a station at Brimley too. A Brimley transfer station could not be in the LRT median, so the LRT would need to go below grade. More $.

    Then again, if Science Centre is any guide, a Brimley LRT station would go elevated. That configuration would be ironic considering the complaints about SRT-Kennedy station. But this is the city that is planning its downtown line to be elevated, while at the same time burying a suburban LRT with a corridor up to 100m wide. My small mind is hobgoblinned, clearly.


  2. Can you illuminate any of the following?

    Was the Eglinton East LRT ever planned to be just a line from Kennedy to Malvern using trains of two LRT cars? The switch to connecting to longer Cross-town trains meant a grade separated turn at Kingston Road and Morningside at $750 M.

    Steve: The approved version of the line in the 2009 TPA (yes, 2009!) was not grade separated at Kingston Road.

    The Brimley station on the SSE was based on the hope of increasing ridership but will be yet another Bessarion fiasco?

    Steve: That depends on what sort of development occurs around the station and convenient to it, not a long walk away as at Bessarion.

    Wasn’t the Sheppard East LRT fully funded and that money went into the SSE. Was the City fully refunded it’s investment in the SSE when Metrolinx took over? Not only should the Sheppard East LRT be now fully funded but citizens should get back years of surtax collected on the SSE?

    Steve: I don’t think Sheppard was ever fully funded. There has been something of a shell game with funding commitments at both the city and province> as for the surtax, it was not identified specifically as being for any project although it was expected to be used for the SSE. As you are no doubt aware, there is a second and larger surtax courtesy of John Tory. Staff are deliberately evasive about how this money will be used because that is a political decision. Don’t hold your breath for a refund.


  3. I’m assuming the fill needed for the partial filling of the Yonge Street slip and partial filling of the Parliament Street slip will NOT come the any tunnel or portal extraction. Especially not from the old landfill along the lake because of possible contamination of landfill from decades back.

    Steve: Waterfront has a soil decontamination facility which has been operating for a few years so that everything they dig up in building the new river and Villiers island uses clean fill. They do not reuse contaminated fill for any of their work.


  4. I personally hope that the Eglinton East LRT ends up getting built, but what bothers me a lot about this potential project and the one that is being built now on Eglinton is that it seems as though the Eglinton LRT won’t have signal priority, maybe limited signal priority at best according to Metrolinx which I doubt would have a significant impact.

    Also, if you’re willing to share your input, what do you think of the stop spacing on the Eglinton LRT and the potential EELRT? I feel as though some stops such as Ionview and especially Hakimi-Lebovic and maybe one or two others are not necessary because they are in very close proximity to other stops and really slow down the service of the line.

    Steve: Stop spacing is a difficult topic as we have seen with the attempt to remove stops on the RapidTO busway on Eglinton-Kingston-Morningside. It is ironic that there are many stops on the surface section which local property owners love as supporting future development, considering that anti-LRT advocates would prefer that the whole thing was underground.

    As for transit signal priority, I am still waiting to see how that is actually implemented. Toronto now has a TSP program to be rolled out across the city, but we don’t yet know the details of just what “priority” it will grant.


  5. With Boston’s Green Line, they had occurrences where they removed (or tried to remove) stops on the surface sections.

    The problem is that NIMBYs may oppose removal in the future, should we install more stops than needed. Inserting stops on the surface should be easier than inserting underground stations.

    Steve: The assumption that those who oppose stop removal are NIMBYs, which automatically dismisses their complaint, misses the very real point that on the Eglinton project, the TTC broke their own Service Standards for stop spacing, and seemed to have no idea of the path people took to get to stops, especially in bad weather. Also, the consultation was bad because it depended on (a) knowing it was happening and (b) being plugged into the online consultation model, something many people still do not do as a routine part of their lives. This was very much an “own goal” by the TTC.

    Are there stops that could be removed? Yes, but not in an arbitrary way of taking a ten year old LRT plan’s stop layout and just dropping it on the route. Even worse, much of the “success” of the reserved lane in reducing travel times has been through stop elimination, not exclusivity, because the street was not badly congested to begin with.


  6. I recall that the MSF at Mount Dennis was originally designed with capacity for the extended Eglinton Crosstown (running from Kennedy to the Airport).

    Was there a redesign and capacity reduction that I have forgotten about?

    Steve: The intent was always that that the ECLRT would be fed from both ends: Mount Dennis in the west, and Conlins (via Sheppard to the Scarborough LRT) in the east.


  7. “The overall project cost for the line now sits at $4.0-4.4 billion (2020$), up from an original estimate of $2.3 billion. ”

    Cough… Choke… Our politicians’ inability to have an adult conversation about taxes means that this project is unlikely to be completed in my lifetime.

    Scarborough has now experienced the complete trifecta of why transit is so lousy in Toronto.

    1. Inappropriate technology given transportation demand and land use planning.
    2. Being the “guinea pig” for new and unproven technology sold by the usual snake oil salesmen to politicians.
    3. Magical thinking about how to pay for it.

    What induces rip-my-hair-out frustration is that Transit City had appropriate technology that was tried and proven and was 100% financed by Queen’s Park. It would be in place right now if not for Rob Ford killing it while saying crazy things such as, “The private sector will pay for subways.” So instead of having good transit in place right now, all we have is endless talk, talk, talk and nothing… gets…done….

    Make no mistake, that price tag means that the two alternatives our politicians face are to 1) Raise taxes to pay for it, or, 2) Keep talking and do nothing because talk is cheap. Care to guess which alternative will be chosen?


  8. SmartTrack: I thought they were planning a station at Ellesmere. I think (hope) there is one at Finch – and it’s just that it’s not quite on the map. (and I treat SmartTrack and GO RER as the same thing).

    Steve: There is no station at Ellesmere, and the one at Finch is messy. Metrolinx has not included the grade separation at Finch in its plans probably hoping that the City will fit the bill as part of SmartTrack. Meanwhile, the neighbours are very upset about the idea of a station there.

    Scarborough Subway Extension: Extend it north to Finch (near Markham Road). I don’t know the exact numbers, but with the tail tracks north of Sheppard, it’s likely only a couple of hundred metres to go to the north edge of the CPR line. This would move the TBM launch shaft off the road, simplifying construction. The line could then extend by cut-and-cover, trench, or at grade on the north edge of the rail line to Finch. This provides relief to the Finch bus – with possible counter flow, as well providing another option for Malvern.

    Steve: The CPR is unlikely to buy into that idea, and as a federally regulated corporation, they can tell Metrolinx to get stuffed with any idea of using their right-of-way.

    Eglinton East LRT: Demands will grow to grade-separate more intersections, costs will go up, and this won’t be built. I put this in the group of projects that will never get off the ground. Maybe the elevated SRT will be retained. It would go elevated from Ellesmere GO to STC to Centennial to Malvern. Then a branch would go from Centennial to UTSC.

    Steve: There is not going to be an Ellesmere GO, and if you think an SRT is going to find its way to UTSC you are really dreaming. The whole area will be lucky to get more buses, and would probably fight any proposals for reserved lanes.

    Sheppard: Likely just the subway, and even that preferably to STC – and long-term as it is now. Bus from Kennedy eastward.

    Steve: The projected demand is simply not in subway territory. I can see extending the subway to Victoria Park as the LRT will have to underground at the DVP anyhow. This would allow the construction of a proper interchange station at Vic Park.


  9. Kevin Love said: “Make no mistake, that price tag means that the two alternatives our politicians face are to 1) Raise taxes to pay for it, or, 2) Keep talking and do nothing because talk is cheap. Care to guess which alternative will be chosen?”

    The third option is deficit financing, combined with recording the new transit line on the public assets shield. I’m far from suggesting this is a prudent fiscal choice; we all understand that such “asset” is totally illiquid, and in reality we just add to the public debt.

    But it looks like the majority of the developed nations took the path of regular deficits and long-term bond pyramids, anyway. If so, then it isn’t unreasonable to ask some of that deficit to be used for capital projects, including transit. If (or when ?) the fiscal house of cards collapses eventually, at least we will have some still-usable infrastructure.

    Steve: The whole business with P3s and “alternative financing” is as a mechanism to make debt vanish off of the provincial books. However, it is replaced by future costs to pay that down and for privatized operation. You cannot borrow against an “asset” you would never or which would represent a net loss if the lender “repossessed” it. Now, Doug Ford has taken things a step further with the idea that developers will pay for stations in return for extra density. The numbers just don’t work when you consider the cost of an underground structure. It’s all a fiscal fantasy, something the Fords are very good at.


  10. Jennifer Pagliaro’s article on the immanent death throes of the SRT indicate that the stop gaps are failing and “something must be done”. Dusting off the Transit City plan (Conversion to LRT) for the SRT would seem to be the best “fix”. However given the long term demand for track space, I doubt that this will happen – bustitution here we come.

    Due to the provincial plans to use infrastructure spending to restart our economy, moving the LRT lines to a higher place on the “to do” list seems obvious – they are cheaper and faster to build than subway. Start with the MSF at Conlins (or UTSC north, or both) and build south (EELRT) and east (Malvern/Sheppard sections) On the EELRT, the Kennedy connection looks to be pricey – could a Danforth SSE station offer a cleaner connection? A section of track to Kennedy might still be needed, but could be a lower frequency run.

    The WLRT is long over due. The connection to Cherry street and its loop should be the first key step. This would allow the complete shutdown of Union Loop for “speedier” construction, and if the Dufferin Loop to CNE link is done at the same time a King, CNE, Waterfront, Cherry belt-line route would be possible.


  11. On your note about an additional stop at Brimley and Danforth on the SSE – there is potential for integration with the EELRT and a new terminus for the 175 bus route to Bluffer’s Park. This plans for the future, promoting high-density, mixed-use development and complete streets with connections to local attractions and green spaces. We need to be ambitious.

    Steve: Although I can see an argument for a Brimley/Danforth stop, I do not think that the 175 Bluffer’s Park bus is going to make a huge contribution beyond recreational traffic. If we are going to the expense of building a subway, then building an extra stop where it can do some good, or at a minimum designing the tunnel so that a stop could be added in the future, is an obvious choice.


  12. I thought it was all but confirmed earlier this year that the surface portion of Eglinton wasn’t going to receive any signal priority because the people running the city traffic and roads department said no way.

    Steve: The question right now appears to be just how much signal priority Eglinton will get. I will dig into this to see if there are definitive plans, or if this is just finger pointing by the agencies involved.


  13. Walter Lis wrote : I’m assuming the fill needed for the partial filling of the Yonge Street slip and partial filling of the Parliament Street slip will NOT come the any tunnel or portal extraction. Especially not from the old landfill along the lake because of possible contamination of landfill from decades back.

    A discussion about soil from excavations is needed. The spoils from tunneling is a hot topic in the rural areas around Toronto. Currently, there are plans to rehabilitate old gravel pits by bringing in fill. The rural communities are concerned about contaminated soil. Each truckload must be tested prior to shipping. All loads dumped in these old pits must have a tracking certificate and a clean bill of health. Communities outside Toronto, and rural residents get their water from wells, not Lake Ontario, and the risks from contamination are considerable. I am pleased to hear that Waterfront has addressed the issue.

    Steve: All of the excavated material in the eastern harbour, on a scale much larger than just the tunnel portal at Yonge Street, has gone through a cleanup process before being reused. Waterfront Toronto built an on-site decontamination facility just for this. It has been running for years.


  14. MSF typically stands for maintenance and storage facility fyi, not maintenance and servicing. For all the recent Ontario lrt projects it has atnleast (Ottawa, waterloo, eclrt, finch, Hurontario).

    Steve: Fixed, thanks.

    @Moaz Ahmad. For the ECLRT MSF it does have extra space in the yard for future storage tracks to handle additional LRVs but they’re not actually being built as part of the current scope, just space for future addition. I believe it only has space to handle the additional LRVs for the west extension, the plans for Eglinton east have always depended on an additional MSF in the east as Steve said. It really only makes sense to use the current MSF at mt Dennis for the west extension as it’s at the very west end of the base crosstown line currently being built. LRVs would have to travel across to the whole city to get to the east extension from the mt Dennis MSF.

    It’s too bad the Scarborough LRT was scrapped in favour of the subway extension idiocy… Having a big MSF in the east to service EELRT, SLRT and Sheppard East LRT would’ve made far too much sense. Although that would of course only really be viable if the same LRVs were used for all the lines.

    Steve: That was the original plan.


  15. Would it make any sense to build the Scarborough subway extension as a branch of the Eglinton Crosstown? Right now they are planning to build two sets of tunnels east of Kennedy station, one set for LRT and one set for Subway. Why not combine them as an underground LRT service. One branch can travel underground north along McCowan to Shepard (like the subway) and the other can branch off at Danforth Rd. and continue east down Eglinton Ave either on the surface or grade separated.

    Steve: Just what we need – an LRT “subway” to replace what was originally to be a surface LRT line.


  16. What level of credence would you give to the idea that once in revenue service for a period of time, the Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRT lines will be so popular amongst residents (and voters) that this will accelerate the development of the other Transit City lines that have been in limbo for a decade?

    I know there’s not much cause for optimism, but I figure we need something that can shift public support to be overwhelming.

    Steve: I think that the reaction will be mixed. A long chunk of Eglinton is underground, and there already has been resentment in some quarters that they must make do with surface operation. Depending on how well that eastern section operates, and later the Finch line, the reaction could be good or middling. The next “LRT” we will see is the Eglinton West extension which is largely underground thanks to Doug Ford and his Etobicoke’s turf who want nothing to interfere with traffic. Meanwhile, “LRT” will be portrayed as “streetcars”, and the surface operations on Eglinton and Finch could well be hampered by half-assed “transit priority” measures.

    Meanwhile, there are or will be new lines in Kitchener-Waterloo, Mississauga and Hamilton (maybe), and we will see how these evolve especially after (if) transit demand recovers post-pandemic. These are important to show what surface LRT could be.

    I would like to be hopeful, but


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