Meeting Date: November 28, 2005

Subject: Spadina Subway Extension Environmental Assessment Study Final Recommendations   

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Commission:

1. Approve the Spadina Subway Extension alignment, stations and related commuter facilities, as described in the attached “Spadina Subway Extension Environmental Assessment Draft Report Executive Summary”.

2. Forward this report to the City of Toronto Council (through Planning and Transportation Committee and Works Committee) for approval.

3. Subject to City of Toronto Council approval, authorize the Chief General Manager to submit the complete Environmental Assessment Report to the Ministry of the Environment for approval.

4. Forward this report to the Regional Municipality of York, the City of Vaughan, GO Transit and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal for Ontario, for information.

Funding

While there is no funding implication associated with this report, sufficient funds have been included for work related to the Environmental Assessment in Project 3.9, under Environmental Assessment for Spadina Subway Extension to Steeles, as set out on pages 871 to 874 - Category Expansion, in the TTC 2005-2009 Capital Program as approved by City Council on February 23, 2005.  The Environmental Assessment is jointly funded by the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto and the Regional Municipality of York.

Background

The City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission are joint proponents for an Individual Environmental Assessment (EA) (in accordance with the requirements of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act), for a 6.2 kilometre, 4-station underground extension of the Spadina Subway from Downsview Station to Steeles Avenue, with related commuter facilities (bus terminals, passenger pick-up and drop-off and commuter parking).

The TTC and City prepared a Terms of Reference, as required by the Environmental Assessment Act for an Individual EA.  The Terms of Reference included consultation with key stakeholders and the public and was approved by the Minister of the Environment in September 2004.

URS Canada Inc. was retained at the October 20, 2004 Commission Meeting to conduct the Environmental Assessment Study.  The Environmental Assessment Study was conducted in three phases, as follows:

1. Phase One – Development of alternative subway routes and evaluation criteria.

2. Phase Two – Analysis/evaluation and selection of the preferred subway route and development of alternative subway alignments.

3. Phase Three – Selection and detailed Environmental Assessment of the preferred alignment and study recommendations and conclusions.

Public and key stakeholder agency consultation was held during each of the three Study phases.

Discussion

A copy of the Executive Summary for the Spadina Subway Extension Environmental Assessment Draft Report is attached.  A copy of the EA Draft Report will be available with the General Secretary on November 28, 2005.  The final EA Report will be submitted to the Minister of the Environment and will be available for public review and comment.

The purpose of the EA Study is to develop and analyze alternative alignments and station locations for the 1994 Approved EA to extend the Spadina Subway from Downsview Station to York University and to study a further extension to a terminal station at Steeles Avenue.

Consistent with the 1994 Approved EA, the objectives of the Spadina Subway Extension are to:

1. Provide subway service to the Keele/Finch area, York University and a new inter-regional transit gateway and commuter parking facility at Steeles Avenue,

2. Provide improved connections between the TTC subway system and GO Transit, York Region Transit and other inter-regional transit services;

3. Support local population and employment growth up to 2031, in accordance with the land use and transportation policies of the new City of Toronto Official Plan and the York Region Official Plan;

4. Minimize any negative environmental impacts; and

5. Achieve reasonable capital and operating costs.

The Executive Summary recommends the Spadina Subway Extension alignment shown in the attached Exhibit 1, with subway stations located:

1. At an interchange with the GO Bradford Rail Line (Sheppard West Station) (Exhibit 2),

2. In the vicinity of Keele and Finch (Finch West Station) (Exhibit 3),

3. On the York University campus (York University Station) (Exhibit 4), and

4. At Steeles Avenue (between Keele and Jane Streets) (Steeles West Station) (Exhibit 5).

The alignment at the Steeles West Station will also protect for the long-term extension of the Spadina Subway to Vaughan Corporate Centre.

Property Requirements

During the EA Study, the following property requirements have been identified:

1. Full acquisition, (including demolition of buildings and relocation of existing businesses) on 9 properties (including Toronto Fire Services Station #141);

2. Significant takings on Parc Downsview Park and York University lands; and

3. Partial takings on 16 other properties.

TTC and the City of Toronto will:

1. Proceed with a Property Protection Study during the design of the Spadina Subway Extension, which will determine detailed property requirements, including temporary construction easements;

2. Continue with property negotiations with York University for property required for the Subway Extension, in accordance with the commitments made by the University during the 1994 EA and reflecting more recent discussions on detailed property acquisition principles;

3. Initiate discussions with Parc Downsview Park, in accordance with direction received by Toronto City Council at its September 30,  2005 meeting;

4. Continue discussions with Toronto Fire Services for proposed relocation of Station #141; and

5. For all other properties, at the appropriate time, the City of Toronto will acquire property by negotiation or expropriation as required.

Project Costs and Schedule

The order-of-magnitude cost estimate for the Project, including design and construction, property, subway yard improvement and vehicles, is $1.4 billion in 2005 dollars. 

Design, construction, and testing and commissioning would be approximately 7 years.  Implementation of the Project would be subject to Environmental Assessment approval and funding.

Next Steps

Because TTC and the City of Toronto are joint proponents for the Environmental Assessment, the attached Executive Summary will be submitted for approval to:

1. Planning and Transportation Committee and Works Committee (Joint meeting to be held on November 30, 2005); and

2. Toronto City Council (December 5-7, 2005 Meeting).

Upon approval by the Commission and Toronto City Council, the draft Environmental Assessment Report will be finalized and submitted to the Ministry of the Environment.  In accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act, a Decision by the Minister of the Environment will be made within 30 weeks following submittal of the EA Report.   This 30-week review period includes a 30-day period for the public and the Government Review Team (consisting of key stakeholder agencies) to review and comment on the EA Report.

Justification

Toronto Transit Commission and Toronto City Council approval of the Environmental Assessment Study recommendations is required prior to submission of the Environmental Assessment Report to the Ministry of the Environment.

November 10, 2005

80-2-100

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Attachments: Exhibits 1 to 5

Spadina Subway Extension Environmental Assessment Draft Report Executive Summary

Submitted: Environmental Assessment Draft Report dated November 28, 2005 (Copy with General Secretary)