Mar 16, 2023

By Jane Brown

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We’ve learned Toronto will need an additional $234-million to build former Mayor John Tory’s flagship SmartTrack transit project.

The five-station rail route, which uses existing GO lines, was anticipated to cost just over $1.4-billion.

Now, according to a new report set to be presented to Toronto city council’s executive committee next week, unanticipated factors have resulted in an increase in costs.

The report cites inflation, uncertainty in supply chains and an increase in projects in the rail sector as some of the reasons why the provincial transit agency requires further funding.

It also says in the report it’s hoped the Doug Ford government can pay for any costs above what was originally anticipated “since the program will also benefit the province through increased ridership on the GO system.”

“As the province will own and maintain the SmartTrack stations, there is a strong rationale for the province to contribute towards the increase in program’s costs,” the report says.

SmartTrack was originally going to consist of 22 stations, with a pricetag of roughly $8-billion. It was set to run from Markham to Union Station, through to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Years later, the plan now consists of five stations: Finch-Kennedy, East Harbour, King-Liberty, St. Clair-Old Weston and Bloor-Landsdowne.

City staff say they expect all SmartTrack stations to be operational by March 2029.

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