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March 7, 2007
City Council builds a cleaner, greener and more transit-friendly Toronto with an approved Five-Year Capital Plan
  
Toronto’s transit, transportation and the environment are the focus of the City’s Capital Budget spending for the next five years. Today Toronto City Council approved their first Five Year Capital Plan of $6.7 billion with two-thirds of the budget focused on improving city transit and transportation infrastructure.

“Fifty per cent of the 2007 Capital Budget is for the TTC, which is not sustainable without long-term federal and provincial funding for transit infrastructure,” said Mayor David Miller. “We need a national transit strategy.”

The City’s Five-Year Capital Plan addresses the state of good repair capital requirements within debt affordability guidelines and limits the growth in infrastructure repair backlog. State of good repair spending will average $1 billion each year from 2007 to 2011.

“Financing the City’s 2007 Capital Budget and 2008 - 2011 Capital Plan continues to be a major challenge,” said Councillor Shelley Carroll, Chair of the City’s Budget Committee. “However, I’m proud that this Capital Plan includes much-needed investment in transit and infrastructure. It will help make Toronto a better city.”

The approved 2007 Capital Budget and 2008 - 2011 Capital Plan focuses on the City’s health and safety, legislated, and state of good repair capital spending needs. Of the $1.432 billion 2007 Capital budget, about 75 per cent or $1.074 billion is targeted to these three categories of projects.

“Included in the five-year Capital Plan are investments in projects that contribute to the Mayor’s priorities of making Toronto a safer, cleaner, greener and beautiful city with transit strategic directions that are in accordance with Council’s official plan,” said City Manager Shirley Hoy.

While the 2007 Capital Budget’s major focus is on infrastructure maintenance, there is limited investment to fulfill the priority service demands of a growing Toronto population. Capital Budget improvements for a greener tomorrow include, new light rail vehicles and buses, energy-use reductions project for City buildings, and investing in trails and parkland.

“We are balancing our affordable debt limits against the maintenance of City assets,” added Joe Pennachetti, Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer. “However, without sustained new sources of funding, our debt burden will continue to rise and we will be unable to provide the needed new services or facilities to meet growth demands of city residents and businesses.”

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.


Media contacts:
Cindy Bromley, Communications Manager, 416-392-4993
Kevin Sack, Director, Strategic Communications Division, 416-919-6500


What’s in the 2007 Capital Budget – Project Highlights
The following are highlights of projects included in the 2007 Capital Budget, listed by key themes.

Transit
A major priority of the Mayor is to make Toronto a city that moves people by transit. The goal to have a comprehensive network of dedicated transit routes that move people quickly, efficiently and affordably through all parts of the city is addressed by projects that will:
  • Begin design work for the purchase of 204 low floor accessible Light Rail Vehicles to replace existing streetcar fleet plus 21 growth cars with delivery to start in 2010 ($0.600M)
  • Deliver 220 new replacement buses plus 100 buses for expanded service - Ridership Growth Strategy ($222.054M) for a total of 1225 new buses to be purchased by 2016
  • Purchase 234 new subway cars (39 train sets) to replace existing subway cars which will also increase capacity by 8% ($103.676M)
  • Start development of an interregional bus terminal which will be shared with GO Transit and Mississauga Transit ($9.844M)
  • Complete the Mount Dennis 250-bus garage in the fall of 2007 to house added TTC fleet ($30.842M)
  • Continue St. Clair West dedicated transit way, to be completed in 2008 ($19.805M)
  • Begin development of two Bus Rapid Transit ways (BRTs): one from Downsview to York University; the other via Yonge Street from Finch station to Steeles Ave ($8.614M)
  • Make York Mills, St. Clair and Lawrence West subway stations accessible ($8.330M)
  • Replace more than 30,000 double track feet of surface rail with a focus on Fleet St., Dundas St. West, Queensway at Bloor and Oakwood loops ($44.541M)
  • Install state-of-the-art signalling systems on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line and safety upgrades ($64.724M)



Public Spaces
Investment in public spaces is crucial to ensuring that parks, streets, squares and other shared common spaces are well designed, developed and maintained, clean and beautiful for the general betterment and wellness of the community. This Capital Budget includes significant investments in common spaces by including projects that will:

  • Begin revitalization of Nathan Phillips Square (2007 cash flow $1.550M which represents the start of a $16.000M project)
  • Construct a south entrance to Union Station and undertake environmental assessments for the creation of a northwest PATH (project totals $6.428M; 2007 cash flow $3.334M)
  • Start development of mixed-use, transit-friendly communities East Bayfront and West Donlands plus parks on the Waterfront ($44.310M)
  • Green the Parkland portion of Wychwood Barns site ($1.515M)
  • Complete Year 2 of the $3M project to restore the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts façade and interior ($1.065M)
  • Remediate the Don Valley Brickworks site to support the Evergreen Development ($0.880M)
  • Continue restoration work of Casa Loma exterior, 2007 phase ($4.113M)
  • Continue the Todmorden Museum and Arts Centre Restoration, 2007 ($0.380M)
  • Improve Public Spaces in BIAs areas across the City ($5.010M)
  • Begin Bloor Street transformation road and pedestrian improvements from Church to Avenue Road


Environment
City Council has recognized the need to spend on projects that would set the stage for environmental improvement, while achieving the City’s infrastructure maintenance and development objectives. The 2007 Capital Budget invests in projects that will:

  • Convert conventional cooling at Old City Hall to Deep Lake Water Cooling System (project costs $3.270M; 2007 cash flow $0.545M)
  • Continue carbon dioxide and energy reduction projects for City Arenas, Fire Stations, Pools, Community Centres and Solid Waste Transfer Stations and Police Service Buildings (2007 cash flow $7.103M for completion of Phase 1, approved at a total cost of $20.000M, and start up of the Phase 2 projects approved at a total cost of $9.000M)
  • Continue its Green Fleet Initiative to lower emissions and save fuel, using innovative greener technology (project costs $0.420M; 2007 cash flow $0.420M – ongoing program)
  • Introduce traffic calming measures and bicycle lanes on various streets throughout the City ($3.000M)
  • Begin the purchase of new larger recycling carts for City households, begin the plan to create a network of new Reuse Centres; and continue Environmental Assessment looking at options to divert Source Separated Organics (SSO), and waste left over after diversion ($13.500M)
  • Continue Parks, Forestry & Recreation Bike Plan development in trails and parkland, including the CP PS Right of Way ($2.435M)


Improved Public Service
One of the Mayor’s visions is to work with people - to get results for people. To provide residents with direct and simple access to City staff and services, the capital budget and plan includes projects that will:

  • Begin to implement 3-1-1 technology to give citizens one number to contact the City for general information or to request non-emergency City services (2007 cash flow $11.311M; this represents funding for work on several functional components of this Program which was approved at a total project cost of $26.912M))
  • Provide continuity in the City’s ability to operate (data centre, systems) should a disaster strike ($1.100M)
  • Improve the City's website to make it more user-friendly (project costs $3.506M; 2007 cash flow $1.123M)
  • Complete a new on-line licensing system that allows the public to initiate and renew their animal licenses/registrations each year over the web and pay by credit card ($0.364M)
  • Develop new external web based system for clients and community partners to access the Ontario Works program ($1.200M)


Community and Recreation Services
The City offers programs and services that improve the quality of live of all its citizens, and ensures opportunity for all. To contribute to the Community and Services goals the capital budget and plan includes projects that will:

  • Increase SOGR funding for Homes for the Aged facilities to ensure a safe and comfortable living environment is provided for long-term care residents ($10.800M)
  • Begin construction of the expanded facilities in the Thorncliffe Park Neighbourhood as follows: $2.500 million library expansion ($0.734 million); $1.849 million Child Care Centre ($1.223 million); and, $4.250 million Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre expansion ($4.250 million)
  • Begin construction totalling $10.868 million to add 132 new and replacement shelter beds: replacement of Eva's Youth Shelter (32 beds) ($2.870 million), the new Bethlehem United Shelter (60 beds) ($3.215 million) and the relocation of 110 Edward Street Shelter and Referral Centre (40 beds) ($5.501 million).
  • Implement a new national Public Health Surveillance and Management System to maintain public immunization records and other public health information ($2.500M)
  • Continue the previously approved renovation projects to expand both the Jane/Sheppard Neighbourhood ($0.638 million) and Bloor/Gladstone District ($1.847 million) libraries
  • Upgrade Flemingdon Park to include 2 new junior soccer and 12 children mini soccer pitches; rebuild two ball diamonds and cricket pitches; and park improvements for completion in 2007 and 2008 ($1.600 million)
  • Add 4 new waterplay/splash pad projects, three of which are in a Priority Neighbourhood ($1.760 million)


Public Works & Infrastructure
The City has a massive and aging infrastructure which has to be managed effectively to ensure that the services required by its citizens continue to be provided. The 2007 Capital Budget contributes to an effective road network to support delivery of an expansive transportation program; the management of solid waste in an environmentally friendly manner and the general provision of core municipal services. The 2007 Recommended funding will:
  • Maintain 124 kms of roads, rehabilitate 16 bridges and structures in a safe and hazard-free state and to minimize life cycle costs of the assets. ($127.264M)
  • Increase transportation service, safety and capacity – by replacing streetcar track, the North Yonge Centre Service Road, St. Clair Ave. West and the Simcoe Street Underpass ($75.225M)
  • Complete Morningside Avenue/Finch Avenue East grade separation to improve safety and reduce delays to traffic at the railway crossing. ($12.959M)
  • Construct an underpass to eliminate the Dufferin Street Jog creating a regular intersection to facilitate existing and future area traffic operations ($12.941M)


Public Safety and Emergency Services
Quality and effective emergency services and public safety is a major demand of the citizens of Toronto. The 2007 Capital Budget includes projects that will:
  • Improve public security at Union Station - this project will be 75% funded by the Federal Government (project costs $5.707M; 2007 cash flow $3.995M)
  • Complete a new fire station on Sheppard between Leslie/Bayview to provide improved service and response time in this area ($2.586M)
  • Begin construction of the new Police training facility in 2007 ($25.929M), with construction to be completed in 2009 ($76M)
  • Purchase land and start design in 2007 to provide 14 Division with a new police station by 2010 ($6.264M)
  • Identify/purchase land in 2007 to provide 11 Division with a new police station by 2011 ($5.500M)
  • Begin planning to replace radio communication between Emergency Medical Services, Police Services, and Fire Services ($0.25M)






 

 

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