Ontario Breaks Ground on First of Four Priority Subway Projects

Published on June 23, 2021

Scarborough Subway Extension will bring fast and convenient service from Kennedy Station to Sheppard Avenue and McCowan Road


News Release

TORONTO ― The Ontario government has officially broken ground on the future three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, marking the start of construction on the largest subway expansion in Canadian history. The new subway extension will deliver better, faster and more reliable transit that the people of Scarborough need and deserve.

“For far too many decades, the people of Scarborough have waited for better transit. Today, our government is getting shovels in the ground and delivering on our election promise to bring fast, convenient subway service into Scarborough,” said Premier Ford. “This long overdue project will create thousands of jobs, significantly increase ridership capacity and cut down daily travel times for more than a hundred thousand Scarborough commuters.”

In May, the province announced that Strabag was the winning team to design and deliver the tunneling work for the Scarborough Subway Extension. With preparatory work now complete, the experienced Strabag team will build the launch shaft, where the tunnel boring machine will be lowered into the ground to start tunnelling the extension next year.

“Since our government took office, we have prioritized building much-needed transit for the people of Ontario. Our multibillion-dollar priority subway projects for the Greater Toronto Area will not only deliver improved transit but spur economic activity and help support our recovery efforts as the province looks towards a more prosperous and brighter future,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Both the federal and municipal governments have endorsed Premier Ford’s historic subway plan, and Ontario is now pushing full steam ahead.”

The project is estimated to support as many as 3,000 jobs annually during construction and unlock better access to employment spaces, schools and other key destinations throughout the city for Scarborough residents.

To expedite work on the Scarborough Subway Extension, tunnelling for the 7.8-kilometre extension from Kennedy Station to McCowan Road and Sheppard Avenue will take place first. Advanced tunneling will be followed by contracts for the balance of the work.

“Our government tabled a very clear plan to deliver better, faster transit for neighbourhoods that have long been neglected. Scarborough was at the top of our list,” said Stan Cho, Associate Minister of Transportation. “This ground-breaking is about our government’s unwavering commitment to get critical transit built faster to make life easier and more affordable for Ontarians.”

In April 2019, the province announced its historic new transit vision for the Greater Toronto Area, with a preliminary estimated cost of $28.5 billion. In addition to the Scarborough Subway Extension, this plan includes the all-new Ontario Line, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension and the Yonge North Subway Extension.

Last month, the federal government endorsed Premier Ford’s historic transit plan and agreed to pay their 40 per cent share, up to $10.7 billion, of Ontario’s four nationally significant subway projects.


Quick Facts

  • The Scarborough Subway Extension will extend the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Line 2 7.8 km further into Scarborough, with stations at Lawrence Avenue and McCowan Road, Scarborough Centre, and Sheppard Avenue and McCowan Road.
  • It is expected that the extension will provide an estimated 38,000 people with walking distance access to rapid transit and see 105,000 daily boardings by 2041.
  • The project is estimated to support as many as 3,000 jobs annually during construction.
  • The extension is estimated to reduce the number of vehicle kilometres travelled during rush hour by 30,000 km, significantly reducing traffic congestion and auto-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 10,000 tonnes annually.
  • In July 2020, the Building Transit Faster Act became law, providing the province with the tools to expedite the planning, design and construction process of the four priority transit projects.
  • The 2021 Ontario Budget, outlines the province’s investment of $61.6 billion over 10 years to build new and expanded transit infrastructure across Ontario.

Quotes

"At the Ministry of Infrastructure, we’re committed to continuing to build infrastructure to improve services, create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and close the infrastructure deficit. The projects we invest in are meaningful to people in our communities. The Scarborough Subway Extension will provide residents with rapid transit that has long been enjoyed by other parts of Toronto and is absolutely deserved by the residents of Scarborough, and surrounding areas."

- Kinga Surma
Minister of Infrastructure

"We are building a better tomorrow with our historic transit expansion program, and you can now see very real signs of progress through the Scarborough Subway Extension. This long-awaited project will deliver reliable and modern rapid transit the people of Scarborough need. We’re so glad that shovels are now in the ground to turn long-discussed plans into reality as quickly as possible."

- Phil Verster
President and CEO of Metrolinx

"We are getting on with getting transit built in Scarborough. Today's groundbreaking is an important step forward in getting the Scarborough Subway Extension built. This delivers on a commitment made by the City, provincial and federal governments to the residents of Scarborough. We are working with the Ontario government to get transit built across Toronto and to upgrade our existing transit system because we know residents want more transit options and they need their governments to work together to get it done."

- John Tory
Mayor of Toronto

"Today’s ground-breaking is a historic and long-awaited moment for the people of Scarborough. Under Premier Ford’s leadership, Scarborough is no longer a forgotten area of the city as we are putting shovels in the ground and moving full steam ahead on the Scarborough Subway Extension. I am proud to be part of a Government that is securing Scarborough’s future by making quick progress on our promise to build the largest subway expansion in Canadian history."

- Vijay Thanigasalam
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation and MPP for Scarborough—Rouge Park

"A world class city needs a world class transit system. After years of waiting, our government is ensuring the people of Scarborough have access to a modern transportation system, providing increased opportunities for jobs and prosperity."

- Raymond Cho
MPP for Scarborough North and Minister for Seniors and Accessibility

"Finally, after so many years of waiting, the Scarborough Subway Extension is moving forward to become reality. Our government is delivering on its promise to build a first-class public transit system for everyone. As a resident of Scarborough-Agincourt and an elected official, I am proud of what we have achieved for the people of Scarborough. I can assure them that they are in the hearts and minds of the Premier and the Minister of Transportation."

- Aris Babikian
MPP for Scarborough–Agincourt

"It brings me great joy to see us making good on our government’s promise of improving Scarborough’s transit system. Scarborough is no longer forgotten, thanks to this government prioritizing our region and getting shovels in the ground. The Scarborough Subway Extension is a much-needed development that will aid in connecting Scarborough with the Greater Toronto Area and beyond."

- Christina Mitas
MPP for Scarborough Centre

"Fast, efficient and accessible transit is crucially important to the residents of Scarborough and in surrounding communities. Together with all our partners, we are delighted to mark the start of tunnel construction for the Scarborough Subway Extension – a true ground-breaking."

- Michael Lindsay
President and CEO of Infrastructure Ontario