ontario news watch
Other Categories

Ontario may have to operate two Toronto LRTs amid city budget crunch: documents

TORONTO — Ontario Ministry of Transportation officials say in internal government documents that the province might have to assume operations of two light rail lines in Toronto.

The warning is contained in a transition binder for Prabmeet Sarkaria, who took over as minister in early September, and was obtained through a freedom-of-information request by The Canadian Press.

Documents prepared for him say city council is considering the “indefinite deferral” of both the Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRTs, as the city faces a budget shortfall, and that the province may have to consider assuming operations of both lines.

The Toronto Transit Commission’s 2023 budget report to the TTC board estimates an annual net operating cost for both lines of $106 million.

The possible complication comes as a Toronto-Ontario working group looks at options for a new fiscal framework for the city that has a $1.5-billion deficit.

All major construction on the Finch West LRT is expected to be complete by the end of the year, while the Eglinton Crosstown is facing significant delays, with no confirmed opening date.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2023.

The Canadian Press