Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Toronto mayor John Tory noted the country’s biggest city has a variety of other needs and said he would push for a fair share of the $125-billion the federal Liberals have promised to spend on infrastructure over the next decade.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Money that would help with flood-proofing the mouth of the Don River and tackling the affordable housing backlog are Toronto Mayor John Tory's top funding priorities as the federal Infrastructure Minister comes to the city for an initial meeting Wednesday.

Amarjeet Sohi is expected to view the eastern waterfront – where the Don needs about $975-million in work to unlock transit and development in the area – as part of his first visit to the city since taking on the crucial portfolio.

Mr. Tory said that work and the repairs to affordable housing, where the tab has grown to exceed $2-billion, were top of mind. But he noted that the country's biggest city has a variety of other needs as well and said he would push for a fair share of the $125-billion the federal Liberals have promised to spend on infrastructure over the next decade.

Story continues below advertisement

In an interview Tuesday, Mr. Tory said his experience convincing the three federal parties during the campaign to support his signature transit plan left him believing that Ottawa was ready to play a funding role, but let council decide its priorities.

"In the course of those discussions, I also came to realize that they want to be less involved in kind of the list-making and all that," he said. "They really just say … 'if you say it's important and you set the priorities, then you know we will give funding such that you can plan and execute.'"

Although a firm list of the rest of Toronto priorities does not yet exist, clues have emerged.

Waterfront transit – which was promised to developers building out the new neighbourhood there – is expected to figure. The long-planned downtown relief line could finally have a funding request attached to it.

At the Toronto Transit Commission, there are signs that a favoured project is modernizing the signal system on the Bloor-Danforth subway. Projected to have an estimated final cost of $431-million, this upgrade is necessary to handle the increased volume that would come with the proposed extension of that line farther in Scarborough.

Other big-ticket items loom. The city will have to decide next year on bus and streetcar purchases totalling $536-million, plus another $346-million in so-called "state-of-good-repair" work. More choices come due in 2017, when the city must decide whether to spend $915-million on new subway cars and another $546-million on buses. None of these purchases, all of which are included in the 2016-25 capital budget, is funded.

In an interview last month, TTC chair Josh Colle called it "completely irresponsible" to keep pushing crucial items below the budgetary line. Speaking in the wake of a TTC budget committee meeting, he called it "fundamental, basic work that has to be done."

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Tory said he was keen as well to push for assistance with the sort of unglamorous and unfunded repair work that is weighing down capital budgets, including at the TTC.

"I'm certainly going to make the case that we need to [have] help with that, because it's a fundamental part," he said. "Similarly … the rest of the infrastructure we never talk about – the water, the sewers and so on – is very expensive."

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies