05/27/2014 11:35 EDT | Updated 07/27/2014 05:59 EDT

Mayoral candidate John Tory unveils transit plan

Mayoral candidate John Tory says his planned transit line — which he calls the SmartTrack line — will be 53 kilometres of high-speed surface rail and will be up and running in seven years.

He said it would be 22 stops, using existing Go Transit rail lines, and go well beyond city limits. He costs the plan at $8 billion, to be funded by tax increment financing, a funding strategy that uses future gains in taxes to subsidize current improvements.

Tory is emphasizing the timeline of the project.

"We can wait 17 years from now for NDP candidate Olivia Chow to complete her transit line, just in time for your toddler to graduate college or university. Or we can get to work now, and get more people moving faster within seven years," he says.

Starting northwest of the city, Tory's line would run in a U-shape from Toronto's Pearson International Airport, dip south near St. Clair Avenue West, stop at Dundas Street West, travel along the Kitchener Go corridor to Union Station, then head northeast from there to Unionville.

He promises an interchange with the Eglinton Crosstown around Mount Dennis, and the Bloor line at Dundas West Station. In the east, the line would interchange with Danforth line at Main Station.

This doesn't replace a long-term need for a tunnelled, downtown relief line.

Tory says his plan would not affect the planned Finch-Sheppard LRTs.

Metrolinx, the regional transit planning authority, is reviewing the plan, Tory says.