Don’t ask about the bill for SmartTrack

John Tory’s SmartTrack proposal—and its Mount Dennis section in particular—continues to draw heat.

Torontoist has some details that were missing from the report released late last year: the bill.

But what was not included in the HDR report—at least not the version released to the public—was how much the various “western spur” routes would cost. The City has in fact received cost estimates for all potential routes; they were included in the HDR report. Chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat confirmed that. But we, the public, have not seen them, and City officials refuse to explain why that is the case.

The answer to the question of why is fairly obvious: the numbers are bad. They are very bad.

According to The Star, nobody will say how much the section through Mount Dennis will cost, but it’s likely to be expensive. The author, Jennifer Pagliaro, strongly insinuates that City Hall is trying to keep the costs secret.

The ‘Western Spur’ will require, according to WestonWeb’s ‘analysis‘ demolishing at least 51 homes and difficult construction. Parts would have to be cut-and-covered (not tunnelled, no matter what anybody tells you); the section through Eglinton Flats will have to be put on stilts.Victorias_stövel_med_sporre_-_Livrustkammaren_-_6630.tif

The Globe heard estimates of the cost of the western portion: $5 billion—which raises “new questions about the viability of doing the entire project for the $8-billion Mr. Tory promised”.