Help us bring better transit to Scarborough – now!

Greetings, fellow Scarborough residents.

We have often vented about underinvestment in Scarborough, going back many decades, especially for public transit. Proposals are announced, studied, designed, and sometimes even funded. But governments change and shut down one shiny bauble in favour of a new shiny bauble. Governments change again. Rinse and repeat. In the end, we are left with a lot of talk but not a lot of action.

Keeping our politicians disciplined on this is always going to be a challenge, as the timelines for visioning,
public consultation, planning, design, engineering, funding, and finally, construction are measured in decades, not years. So, until we get a shovel in the ground, there is always a chance that the government of the day will abort mission and start over with a new shiny bauble. Sometimes this happens even after construction has started!

Result: out of 70 subway stations in Toronto, just 3 are in Scarborough (and one just barely). So 25% of
Toronto’s population deserves just 4% of our subway stations. Shameful.
Thankfully, this is starting to change. The Scarborough subway extension is scheduled to open in 2031 which will add three more stations at McCowan & Lawrence, Scarborough Centre and McCowan & Sheppard.

But much, much more needs to be done.

Toronto’s population is projected to grow by 700,000 between now and 2051. Realistically, at least 175,000 of them will choose to settle in Scarborough. How are we going to get around? We’re not building any more roads. Buses are jammed, especially in north Scarborough. And if you think our roads are congested now, just wait until we have 175,000 more people using them.

The only solution is a massive increase in public transit. That’s where we come in. There are two projects in play at the moment that need government attention, public funding, and community involvement by all of us, to keep our governments focused on getting results.

Eglinton East LRT Extension

The Eglinton Crosstown will open, eventually. But that only goes to Kennedy station, leaving all of eastern
and north Scarborough completely reliant on buses.

A proposed extension of this LRT, from Kennedy station to U of T Scarborough, then to Malvern, and along Sheppard Avenue to the McCowan & Sheppard subway station, is now in the design stage, being led by the City of Toronto. You can learn more on the City of Toronto’s Eglinton East LRT website.This line is desperately needed. Thousands of students commute to U of T Scarborough every day. And many of our Malvern residents are employed in manufacturing, logistics, and service businesses, doing work thatcannot be done remotely. They all deserve better public transit than what we have now.

Sheppard Avenue transit extension

Metrolinx is considering extending the Sheppard subway from where it ends now, east along Sheppard to
McCowan, where it would connect with the McCowan & Sheppard subway station, and perhaps beyond. You can learn more on the Metrolinx website.

This line is desperately needed. In Agincourt, Sheppard Avenue is destined to experience significant
intensification in the coming decades, with many condo projects in the planning stage.
SCRO recognizes the terrific work being done by the Agincourt Village Community Association, which has
become a strong local advocate for improved transit along Sheppard Avenue.

“What can I do”, you ask? Get involved! Learn more about what’s being proposed and provide feedback. What do you like and what would you like to see improved? Complete the Eglinton East LRT survey by June 30.

The City is presently undertaking a Transit and Rail Project Assessment Process. This includes a survey, that you can access on the City of Toronto’s Eglinton East LRT website. It takes 7 – 10 minutes to complete. Please do so. The survey closes on June 30, so don’t delay.

Attend the Sheppard Avenue public consultations this week.

Community consultations are taking place on June 18, June 20, and June 25. Please attend.
Further details are on the Metrolinx website.

If we don’t speak for Scarborough, others who don’t live here will speak for us. Let’s make Scarborough the “squeaky wheel” for a change. Let’s continue to work collectively to shape the future of Scarborough, so it evolves in a way that continues to make us proud of the place we call home.

Larry Whatmore
Scarborough Community Renewal Organization
(416) 562-2101

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share in Email
Share on What's App
Picture of Lary Whatmore

Lary Whatmore

Larry Whatmore is president of the Scarborough Community Renewal Association