Ontario, Canada and City of Toronto Jointly Investing More Than $500 Million in New Streetcars

Published on May 12, 2021

Funding Will Purchase A New Made-in-Ontario Fleet from Thunder Bay Plant and Will Support Jobs


News Release

TORONTO – The Ontario government announced an investment of $180 million towards the purchase of 60 new streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The $180 million will be matched by the Government of Canada, with the City of Toronto investing an additional $208 million. The streetcars will be produced in Thunder Bay, with vehicle delivery starting in 2023.

“Today is an exciting day for the City of Toronto and the City of Thunder Bay, as Ontario’s investment will help provide new, modern transit options for the hardworking residents of Toronto and the surrounding region, while also supporting good jobs in northern Ontario,” said Minister Mulroney. “Our government knows the importance of working collaboratively with federal and municipal partners to champion public infrastructure projects – ones that support the health and growth of our local communities.”

These new streetcars will ensure that the TTC can address immediate streetcar fleet needs, match capacity of customer demand, and reallocate 50 buses that are currently supplementing streetcar service to return to operation on local bus routes.

“This investment will provide double the value for Ontarians; providing the people of Toronto with state-of-the-art transit infrastructure and bringing good jobs and work to the hardworking people at Thunder Bay’s Alstom plant,” said Minister Rickford. “Our government is taking strong action to support good jobs in Thunder Bay and strengthen Northern Ontario’s manufacturing sector.”

In addition, Metrolinx will also continue discussions with Alstom under their existing contract for the refurbishment of additional GO bi-level cars.

Refurbishing GO Rail cars will keep more trains performing at peak service levels for GO customers. These safe, reliable and comfortable coaches provide riders with better, more enjoyable journeys across the GO network.


Quick Facts

  • Streetcar delivery to the TTC will start in 2023.
  • The more than $500 million will also include work to expand the TTC’s Hillcrest storage facility in Toronto to accommodate the new streetcars.
  • Rail cars for GO Transit have been built at the Thunder Bay facility for over 40 years.
  • In September 2019, the Province announced the purchase of 36 bi-level cars from the Thunder Bay plant. The agreement allowed Metrolinx to add 31 standard and five accessible cars and are on track to be fully delivered by summer. The order for 36 bi-levels brings the total bi-level availability to 949.

Quotes

"This is good news for Toronto and Thunder Bay. Streetcars are an important and critical part of Toronto’s transit system - the largest transit system in Canada. This is the right thing to do right now. I’m proud to have worked to bring the City, the province, and the federal government together to make this investment. This will make sure we have the streetcars we need to keep our transit system running in the future and make necessary upgrades to the TTC’s Hillcrest Facility. This is another example of the transit infrastructure investments we can make and the jobs that are created when all governments work together."

- John Tory
Mayor of Toronto

"This landmark investment will allow the TTC to significantly expand our streetcar fleet and fund much-needed upgrades to the Hillcrest Complex. Thank you to all of our government partners for their steadfast commitment to improving and expanding Toronto's transit network. The purchase of additional streetcars will both meet forecasted fleet requirements and allow for the reallocation of buses currently supplementing service to priority routes throughout the City. The streetcar network has kept the City of Toronto moving, day in and day out, through the darkest days of the pandemic and will continue to support our economic recovery in the weeks and months to come."

- Jaye Robinson
Toronto City Councillor and TTC Chair

"Thank you to both the Federal and Provincial Governments for today’s announcement. Our collective advocacy and the support from our senior government partners will provide future employment opportunities at our local Alstom plant and is a step towards ensuring it’s long-term viability."

- Bill Mauro
Mayor of Thunder Bay

"I’d like to thank the Premier for his commitment to our members in Thunder Bay. Today’s announcement will create the jobs desperately needed for this community."

- Jerry Dias
National President of Unifor

"On behalf of our employees in Thunder Bay and across Canada, Alstom thanks our government partners for their work to prioritize transit projects in Ontario. We welcome this opportunity to build 60 additional streetcars for the TTC and to contribute to the overhaul of bi-level cars for Metrolinx. Today’s announcement will allow us to maintain jobs and expertise for our skilled workforce in Thunder Bay and to strengthen our country’s rail ecosystem."

- Souheil Abihanna
President of Alstom Canada

"Thunder Bay’s Alstom plant employees have first-hand knowledge of our bi-level GO Transit coaches and this is a unique opportunity to utilize that expertise, while keeping jobs right here in Ontario and potentially start the refurbishment work sooner than anticipated."

- Phil Verster
President and Chief Executive Officer of Metrolinx