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Ontario announces $150M for planning, design of proposed subway Downtown Relief Line

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WATCH ABOVE: Ontario plesges $150M for Downtown Relief Line – Jun 1, 2016

The provincial government has announced more than $150 million in funding for the Downtown Relief Line as consultations begin on the specific location of the proposed subway expansion, which could ease issues of overcrowding and access plaguing the Toronto Transit Commission.

Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced the funding Wednesday for Metrolinx, which would work with the City of Toronto and the TTC to advance the planning and design work to ensure the proposed line is “shovel ready” when a construction timeline is announced.

Council approved the new corridor earlier this year and new details on a preferred route were revealed for the first time at a public consultation at the Scarborough Civic Centre Tuesday night.  

The preferred route of the Downtown Relief Line would include eight subway stations and run south from Pape and Danforth avenues to Queen Street East before curving underneath Eastern Avenue, back under Queen Street west of the Don Lands neighbourhood, past Sherbourne Street to Yonge Street where it would connect to Line 1.

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Chief city planner Jennifer Keesmat tweeted the highlights of the approved corridor, which include lower construction costs, fewer barriers to downtown construction, optimal deployment of transit service to the downtown core, the ability to open up new opportunities for transit development while complementing other transit investments.

The proposed relief line would also coincide with providing service to the Unilever factory near Lake Shore Boulevard and the Don Valley Parkway, which is expected to see an employment boom amid a redevelopment by developer First Gulf.

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