Could Mississauga Finally Get a Subway?
For years as Mississauga saw a plan unfold for an LRT along Hurontario Street, many readers have stressed that there should be an east west connection since most people in Mississauga travel to Toronto for work and back again.
Specifically, the wish is for a Mississauga subway. Now it seems if the Doug Ford government has their way, they may finally get their wish.
Ontario Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek made a speech at the Toronto Region Board of Trade in which he repeated the government’s plans in the Fall Economic Statement to upload the TTC subway to the province, saying that is the immediate priority.
“Uploading the subway system will enable the province to fund and deliver additional transit projects sooner, and support an integrated regional network. In August 2018, the government appointed a special advisor to help determine the best approach for the upload, including the building and maintenance of new and existing subway lines.”
Yurek repeated those promises in his speech to TRBOT, which can be seen below:
LIVE: Minister Yurek delivers remarks at the Toronto Region Board of Trade https://t.co/tPrlRFSAb2— jeff yurek (@JeffYurekMPP) November 21, 2018
“Our government is stepping up to treat the subway network as a critical service not only to Torontonians but to rest of Ontario,” Yurek said, adding that as the third largest subway system in North America, the service has to be about serving people and giving them value for their top dollar.
Yurek highlighted other benefits of uploading the TTC’s subway operations and construction to the province: greater funding capacity, able to issue zoning orders, capture land value through developments above transit stations and the ability to effectively appropriate land.
“This will allow (the province) to push the subway further into York, Peel and Durham Regions. We can prioritize projects based on what is best for all of Ontario, not just Toronto.”
However, the union representing TTC workers were not happy when they issued this statement:
“At Doug Ford’s hand, Toronto is set to lose its integrated system and local democratic controls in way for reduced service and higher fares while paving the way for privatized transit. It’s not just wrong; it’s a rush job that will leave Torontonians waiting at the curb. The so-called subway upload is nothing more than another attack by Doug Ford on Toronto,” the statement says, adding that Yurek is looking to break up the TTC by early 2019 without consulting the 10,000 workers who operate the service daily.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie had this to say regarding the minister’s commitment to expanding the TTC subway into the rest of the 905.Crombie has previously referred to what is known as ‘The Missing Link’ whereby freight cargo will be diverted to a new train line, freeing up the existing Milton GO line for increased trips, eventually transforming the Milton GO line into an all day two way service like the Lakeshore GO line is currently. However, this is only contingent on CN Rail, who owns the track, to allow that to happen.
Overall, the long term issue here is funding. Can Doug Ford, who not only promised to upload the TTC subway, but also promised to find $6 billion in ‘efficiencies’ during the campaign, find the money to do this upload, never mind expanding the subway out into the other regions?
But let’s say this subway expansion plan is going ahead, at least those 46 towers coming into Mississauga’s City Centre will still have a reason to exist even if the Hurontario LRT gets cancelled in favour of a subway, as the only logical place to put a subway station in Mississauga is at Square One.
While the first priority for the government is about uploading the subway system to the province, if they can actually get the billions of dollars required to build a subway then it seems the once far off pipe dream of Mississauga getting one may not be as far off now than it was before.