Ford wants to use Build Toronto revenue to fund subways

Doug Ford holds a board detailing his transit plan as he takes part in a Toronto Mayoral Debate with John Tory and Olivia Chow in Toronto on Tuesday, September 23, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – Doug Ford will use revenue from Build Toronto as a means of funding subway construction should he become mayor in October.

One problem with that however – Build Toronto lost money last year.

Ford seems primed to use his brother’s transit plan in his mayoral campaign as his suggestion to partly fund construction through Build Toronto was part of Rob Ford’s transit plan.

Build Toronto is a city agency charged with maximizing revenue from the development and sale of surplus city-owned land.

In 2013, the agency lost $2 million, according to a report in The Globe and Mail.

The agency characterized the loss as a temporary setback however and pointed out it made a profit of $38.8 million in 2012.

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And according to a report in the Toronto Star, Build Toronto is projecting $542 million in revenue over the next five years – but has only injected $30 million into city coffers since inception.

Rob Ford’s transit plan – which also suggests using Build Toronto revenue to fund transit – suggested 32 kilometres of new subway tracks could be build across the city at a cost of roughly $9 billion – or roughly $281 million per kilometre.

(For comparison, the Scarborough subway is expected to cost $3.56 billion for 7.6 kilometres or roughly $468 million per kilometre.)

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