“It’s moving forward,” Mayor John Tory said Tuesday, adding existing rail corridors in the city will eventually accommodate up to 24 stations.
The six approved stations will be at St. Clair-Old Weston King-Liberty with pedestrian and cyclist connections directly into Liberty Village and inclusion of the King High Line crossing; East Harbour; Gerrard-Carlaw; Lawrence-Kennedy with access from the Lawrence Avenue overpass; and Finch-Kennedy.
Council agreed to review how the program will be funded as it moves ahead into its 2024 completion date.
The city’s share of SmartTrack is $1.3 billion and fares will still need to be negotiated with Metrolinx.
Council has also given the green-light to advance plans to build a $1.7-billion park above the rail corridor from Blue Jays Way to Bathurst St.
The 21-acre park will be a city-wide destination that should have been built years ago as the city centre has lacks green space, said Coun. Joe Cressy.
“Growth pays for growth and lifts up the entire city,” Cressy said.
Although the majority of council agreed the park would add value to the city no matter where one lived, Coun. Jim Karygiannis said all wards should be treated equally.
“This is pitting the downtown against the suburbs,” Karygiannis said.
Tory said the project was a shinning example of what the city should be doing.
Similar projects in New York City and Chicago have created a boom in tourism, he said.