New transit-oriented communities planned along Ontario Line

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Vibrant communities are being planned along the future Ontario Line subway at the Exhibition, King-Bathurst and Queen-Spadina transit stations. Mixed-use, live-work-play communities would “stimulate economic growth and reduce the cost of building infrastructure for taxpayers”.

“Our government is taking a bold, new approach to city building by funding, planning and delivering historic transit projects while also rolling out our innovative transit-oriented communities program,” said Kinga Surma, associate minister of transportation (GTA).

“Our plan is about more than just expanding public transit. It is about changing our way of life for the better. People want to live near transit, so it only makes sense to integrate housing options, retail and community amenities as part of the smart transit planning process.”

The proposal would transform Exhibition Station into a connected transit hub with new housing, office and retail space that would support approximately 2,300 jobs.

The province is also proposing a transit-oriented community at the future Queen-Spadina station with housing, retail space for businesses and convenient access to transit, including the TTC streetcar and future Ontario Line service.

At the future King-Bathurst station, the plan adds housing and office space while retaining heritage buildings and structures.

The City of Toronto is reviewing the proposals before scheduling public engagement sessions over the winter.

“We recognize that each neighbourhood has its unique character and needs, which is why it’s so important to engage with the public, key stakeholders and Indigenous partners on these proposals to hear their ideas while addressing potential concerns,” Surma said. “Our approach to building transit-oriented communities will not be complete without input from local communities as they will help shape our shared vision.”

In April 2021, as part of the Transit-Oriented Communities Program, Ontario shared preliminary plans with the City of Toronto to build two proposed transit-oriented communities located at the future East Harbour Transit Hub and Corktown Station along the new Ontario Line subway.

Ontario, in partnership with the federal and municipal governments, is undertaking the largest subway expansion in Canadian history. This includes the all-new Ontario Line; a three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension; the Yonge North Subway Extension; and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

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