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Tunnel boring for Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension begins

TORONTO, ONTARIO, 2011 – The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment; along with the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation; His Worship Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto; York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch; and Toronto Transit Commission Chair Karen Stintz, today participated in an event to officially start tunnel boring construction for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) project.

“Our government is pleased to invest in this project that will help create jobs and boost the regional economy,” said Minister Kent. “The Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension will cut commute times, ease traffic congestion and result in cleaner air, thereby improving the quality of life for Greater Toronto Area residents.”

“The McGuinty government has made record investments to improve public transit, create jobs and improve our quality of life,” said Minister Wynne. “By extending the subway to York Region we will make it easier for people to get to work and home again while reducing emissions.”

“The start of tunnel boring for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension project is an important step as part of our strategy to build a Transportation City,” said Mayor Ford. “The subway extension will bring the benefits of rapid transit to residents and businesses in the northwest part of Toronto and will provide a vital link between Toronto and its neighbour, York Region.”

“This is an important occasion that marks the beginning of a vital connection to Vaughan, establishing the first of two north-south subway lines, connecting to the overall transit network in southern Ontario,” said Mr. Fisch. “Extending subway lines north will help reduce congestion and travel times, and will benefit those living, working and commuting around the Greater Toronto Area region.”

“I am excited about this project and the economic, social, environmental and public transit benefits it has for our region. I am also encouraged that the project remains on time and on budget,” said Ms. Stintz. “The expansion of our public transit infrastructure is an important goal and one that will require the continued use of our tunnel boring machines once their work on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension project is complete.”

Holey, Moley, Yorkie and Torkie are the official names of the four tunnel boring machines that will bore and build the tunnels for the TYSSE project. These names were chosen as part of a contest to name the machines.

The TYSSE is an 8.6-kilometre extension of the Toronto Transit Commission’s Yonge-University-Spadina subway line from its present terminus at Downsview Station to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre at Highway 7. It will have six new stations, including one at York University. The expansion of the subway will bring the line into York Region, the fastest-growing region in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) over the past 10 years. The TYSSE project is targeted for completion in late 2015.

The total estimated cost for the project is $2.6 billion.

The federal government announced funding of up to $697 million for this subway extension on March 6, 2007, with $622 million coming from the Building Canada Fund and $75 million from Public Transit Capital Trust. This investment is part of FLOW, an initiative of the Government of Canada for the GTA that is designed to reduce congestion, cut commute times, help clear the air and help drive the economy in the area.

The Province of Ontario has provided $870 million for the subway extension through the Move Ontario Trust. Transit investments like this are part of the McGuinty government’s Open Ontario plan to create jobs, grow local economies, and ensure the province remains strong and competitive for years to come.

The City of Toronto is contributing $526 million to the project, which is a key piece of the TTC’s transit infrastructure. The project is an important component in building a mature subway network that enhances the existing subway network and achieves other important transportation, land use, policy, environmental and economic objectives.

The Regional Municipality of York is contributing $352 million to the subway extension as a key part of its vivaNext plan. The plan follows the vision of Ontario’s Places to Grow Act, 2005 to help manage and shape our growing communities, and includes new subway extensions and dedicated rapidway lanes for Viva vehicles.

The remaining funds for the project will be provided from interest revenue from the Move Ontario Trust.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

Find up-to-date information about the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension:


Dale Albers
York Region Rapid Transit Corporation
905-886-6767, ext. 1020

Danny Nicholson
Toronto Transit Commission

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