NEWS

Scarborough subway debate resumes at council

10/08/2013 07:57 EDT | Updated 12/08/2013 05:12 EST
Toronto city council will decide this week whether or not to embrace a tax hike to fund a subway extension in Scarborough. 

In order to extend the Bloor-Danforth subway line from Kennedy Station to  Sheppard Avenue,  Toronto's city manager says property taxes would have to go up at least 1.6 per cent to cover a 30-year loan.

That’s because the subway will cost at least $1.5 billion more that building light rail along the route. Council has an existing agreement with the province to build a light rail line but in July opted instead for the more expensive subway option.

To help cover the difference, council approved in principle a transit tax levy of 1.1 per cent to 2.4 per cent, though Mayor Rob Ford reportedly wants to hold the increase to .25 per cent a year.

Much of this week’s debate will focus on a city manager’s report that explores the costs of both options, but TTC Chair Karen Stintz says going back to light rail is not an option.

“I think there is some confusion because of the way the city manager's report is written that there is actually a choice between LRT and subway when in fact the province has been clear they are building a subway.” 

But some on Council, such as Shelley Carroll, say the LRT option is very much alive.

A decision is expect later today or tomorrow.

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