Legislation passed to help build subways faster

Toronto has a severe transit infrastructure deficit. It’s obvious to anybody who lives here, particularly if they’re commuting downtown from the inner suburbs.

To resolve this deficit, the Provincial government has proposed and promised to fund a number of new subway lines. The most important of these is the Ontario Line, a relief line that would ease some of the overcrowding on the Bloor-Danforth and Yonge lines by providing an alternate route downtown.

The challenge of course is that we take much too long and spend much too much to get civic infrastructure built. This is true of most North American cities, and certainly of Toronto.

We need a downtown relief line yesterday.

To assist in the speedy delivery of these projects, the Province has just passed new legislation that would help clear some of the obstacles. Specifically, Bill 171, the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020, would do the following.

  • Enable relocation of utilities more efficiently, while treating businesses fairly, and ensuring costs are not passed on to consumers;
  • Better enable the assembly of land required to construct stations, conduct tunneling and prepare sites, while treating property owners fairly;
  • Ensure timely access to municipal services and rights-of-way;
  • Allow the province to conduct due diligence work and remove physical barriers with appropriate notification to property owners; and
  • Ensure nearby developments or construction projects are coordinated so they do not cause delays.