The Fate of the Sheppard East Light Rail Line
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The Fate of the Sheppard East Light Rail Line

Even if an LRT-friendly mayor is elected, Scarborough councillors aim to scrap the 13-kilometre route.

Photo by Loozrboy, from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

The Sheppard East LRT once again faces an uncertain future. The $1.1-billion project, nixed by Rob Ford, and then embraced once again in 2012 by Toronto council after public debate and input from an arms-length panel, will face renewed opposition after the municipal election on October 27.

Mayoral candidate Doug Ford already intends to cancel it, but even if John Tory—who supports it—is elected, Scarborough councillors plan to try and do away with it through a vote in 2015, which they hope will make their case to the province.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly has been building support for the shelving of the project, saying he’s been speaking to Liberal MPPs in Scarborough about discussing the matter with Premier Kathleen Wynne after a vote in city council.

“I want them collectively to join me in making another request of the premier to either commit to a subway [on Sheppard East],” he said, “or delay funding of an LRT.”

Raymond Cho (Ward 42, Scarborough-Rouge River), who initially backed the LRT project, recently said that he suspects most Scarborough councillors would vote against it, even in the event of a Tory victory.

Cho noted that he’s heard a number of his constituents quoting the Ford mantra “Subways, subways, subways”—and that some firmly believe a subway is on its way, because the Fords pledged to give them one.

Construction on the project is currently expected to begin 2017 and to be completed in 2021.