Poll Position: Small Majority Wants Fourth Scarborough Subway Stop
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Poll Position: Small Majority Wants Fourth Scarborough Subway Stop

Glenn De Baeremaeker knows what the people want, and it's more subway stops near his ward.

Toronto City Council has approved a 3 stop subway for Scarborough. There have been suggestions to add an extra stop to create a 4 stop subway for an additional cost of $100-150 million. Do you approve or disapprove of adding an extra stop?

Approve: 53%

Disapprove: 33%

Not Sure: 14%

Poll taken: January 11, 2015
Sample size: 2,320
Margin of Error: ±2.03%, 19 times out of 20
Methodology: Interactive voice response telephone survey
Conducted by: Mainstreet Technologies

NOTES: A small majority of Torontonians want a fourth stop on the proposed Scarborough subway extension.

According to a Mainstreet Technologies poll of 2,320 residents, 53 per cent of Torontonians support an additional subway stop at Danforth and Eglinton at an estimated cost of $100 to $150 million. The idea of an additional subway stop is most popular in Scarborough, where it earned 67 per cent approval, and least popular in Etobicoke and the old city of Toronto, where it polled at 45 per cent. The poll was conducted on January 11 with a margin of error of +/- 2.03 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The Mainstreet poll comes in response to Deputy Mayor Glenn De Baeremaeker’s (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre) efforts to increase the number of subway stops on the proposed $3.56-billion extension from three to four. In December, De Baeremaeker told Inside Toronto that the three-stop subway extension he championed would not have much value without a fourth stop, saying, “It’s no use having a subway if no one can access it.” In an interview with the Star, De Baeremaeker later walked back his comments about its being of “no use” and said his proposal to add a fourth stop was a response to the arguments of LRT supporters that more stops would mean additional value. (Of course, if the City did shelve the less expensive seven-stop LRT plan, the City would be on the hook for any cost overruns.)

The honorary deputy mayor for Scarborough is responsible for making sure the much-debated subway extension stays “on track,” which makes his proposal all the more surprising. John Tory has stated that he would like the three-stop plan to proceed as planned, but De Baeremaeker has said that in spite of a lack of support from the mayor’s office, he will continue to pursue the idea.

De Baeremaeker has also said that will be releasing a letter formally requesting a fourth subway stop, although he’s not done so yet.

The popularity of the Scarborough subway extension has wavered, much like council’s decision-making on the subject, although it seems residents do tend to prefer more stops rather than fewer.

For instance, a February 2014 poll by Leger found that 61 per cent of Torontonians prefer LRT over a subway for Scarborough.

And a September poll by Forum Research indicated that people would prefer a seven-stop LRT to a three-stop subway 51 per cent to 40 per cent, even if both proposals cost the same (the LRT proposal is 55 per cent of the cost of a three-stop subway).

The Mainstreet poll also pegs John Tory’s approval at 73 per cent. That number is very high, but typical for new mayors in their so-called honeymoon phase. In December, a Forum poll had Tory’s approval at 74 per cent.


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