Remember SmartTrack? It was the election platform of John Tory in 2014, and it was supposed to have been completed by now.
You might be forgiven for not following along with recent developments since the 2014 election, because, as far as I can tell, there haven’t really been any. Not one new line was laid, nor even one new station built. And for that, perhaps, we should be grateful, since the plan was to have a roller-coaster in the Mount Dennis area. .
And you might also be forgiven, faithful reader, for thinking that Tory allowed SmartTrack to die quietly and out of sight, as befits an embarrassing broken promise.
Not so. SmartTrack is back. It’s not 22 stations. It’s five. And it’s not going to be finished by this year—but perhaps by 2026. Ans no, it’s not going to be a subway; it’s going to be GO Train stations. Yet the city has been working on it, and there is now some money from the province.
So it’s not dead. But it’s not really SmartTrack, either. It’s slow, small, and late.
And there will be no extension west of Mount Dennis. All the proposed stations are east of here—but maybe that is actually good news. Because instead, Metrolinx is planning to push the Eglinton LRT, not GO trains, out to Renforth. (If I knew this when it was announced in 2018, I’d since forgotten it.)
The western extension would be largely underground, except between Jane and Scartlett, where it will be elevated.
And when it will be completed? 2031, they say.