This DRTES Presentation to The Commission PDF document is also available to download as a PDF document.

The following is the content of this presentation:


Growth, intensification expected in downtown

  • no new downtown rapid transit lines in City’s Official Plan

Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan

  • 15 yrs - extend Yonge Subway to Richmond Hill
  • 25 yrs - “Downtown Core” subway

Yonge Subway at capacity south of Bloor

  • improvements being made
  • extension to Richmond Hill would significantly increase demand  

Yonge Capacity Improvements Underway

  • New Toronto Rocket Trains (2014): +10% capacity 
  • Automatic Train Control (ATC) (2016): =+35%
  • Extension of University-Spadina Subway (2016): attract customers away from Yonge: +4% capacity 

Toronto City Council, January 2009

  • Metrolinx: prioritize Downtown Relief Line in advance of Yonge extension to accommodate capacity issues from Yonge Subway extension  
  • TTC: proceed with studies for the Downtown Relief Line 

AM Peak Transit Travel to Downtown

Of the 155,900 transit trips in the peak period  into the downtown area on a typical weekday morning 56% travel by subway, 8% travel on surface streetcars and buses and 34% travel on GO trains


Most Toronto trips use subway

  • Streetcar/buses serve “shoulders”

Very high GO Rail use from Regions

  • GO Rail use from York Region much lower than Peel/ Durham

“Shoulder” areas not well served by rapid transit

In the DRTES Study the term “shoulder areas” refers to the areas immediately to the east and west of the downtown that are beyond a reasonable walk to a subway station (800m). There are a number significant intensification project proceeding or planned for these areas notably St. James Town, the West Don Lands and East Bayfront developments in the east and the Fort York neighbourhood and Liberty Village in the west.


  • Downtown: well served by subway and GO Rail
  • Shoulders: not well served by subway or GO Rail: population density comparable to downtown

Issues and Opportunities


  • self-containment of downtown population, employment
  • growth in “shoulders” of downtown
  • GO Rail’s role for medium length trips (10kms to 25kms from Union) 

Rapid Transit Opportunities:

  • Downtown Relief Line
  • expanded GO services to York Region to off-load Yonge Subway
  • improved GO Rail for medium-length trips (more GO Stations, fare strategies, better bus feeder connections) 

The Future: 2031 


  • University Subway to Vaughan
  • Eglinton-Scarborough LRT: Black Creek - Kennedy
  • Sheppard LRT, Finch West LRT

Yonge Subway:

  • test effects of extension to Richmond Hill
  • new TR trains, Automatic Train Control, Bloor-Yonge Station improvements (increased capacity)

GO Rail:

  • double capacity of Union Station 
  • more frequent/all day service on all lines

Travel to Downtown in 2031

Of the 236,400 transit trips in the peak period forecast to travel into the downtown area on a typical weekday morning in 2031, 48% travel by subway, 3% travel on surface streetcars and buses and 49% travel on GO trains.


Growth, 2006 to 2031: +51%

  • from outside of Toronto: +83%
  • within Toronto: +17%

GO Rail increases from 34% to 49% of inbound trips

High TTC use by York Region

Rapid Transit in Shoulder Areas

Ridership growth: accommodate with new streetcars

Improve reliability, speed

  • transit priority
  • new rapid transit lines with local stations (ie Downtown Relief Line or Rail corridors)

Downtown Rapid Transit Deficiencies by 2031

From the north:

  • Yonge Subway - at capacity
  • GO Rail over capacity (Barrie and Stouffville)

From the east:

  • GO Lakeshore East - significantly over capacity

From the west:

  • GO Rail - at/under capacity (Lakeshore West, Georgetown, Milton)

Effects of Yonge Subway Extension

  • Yonge Subway to Richmond Hill increases Yonge Subway demand (+9%)
  • Accelerates overcrowding by 8-10 years

Policy Alternatives

Structured assessment undertaken by TTC, City encourage intensification, self-containment

  • Transportation Demand Management
  •  improve transit to shoulder areas

Input to City’s Official Plan update, Downtown Transportation Operations Study

Rapid Transit Options

1. Study focused on new local subway/RT lines

  1. DRL – divert riders from Yonge subway : free-up capacity for York Region trips
  2. Lakeshore RT – divert riders from Bloor-Danforth

2. Options to increase GO Rail capacity beyond scope of current study

  • divert Yonge Subway trips to GO Barrie, Richmond Hill, Stouffville
  • divert Bloor-Danforth trips to GO Lakeshore East and West

TTC Option 1: DRL East (via Queen or King)

Option 1 would be a rapid transit line operating in a tunnel from a location starting from a station located centrally on the Danforth line in the vicinity of Pape Station, south to Queen Street and west into the downtown along King or Queen Street to University Avenue. The specific alignment along this corridor will be the subject of further study.


Cost: $3.2B
Peak Hour Demand: 11,700
Rapid Transit Benefit:
- Increase in RT ridership: +4%
- Reduce Yonge Subway demand: - 12%

TTC Option 2: DRL East to Eglinton (Queen or King)

Option 2 would be a rapid transit line operating in a tunnel starting at Don Mills and Eglinton and operating south connecting with the Danforth line in the vicinity of Pape station and continuing on the alignment selected for option one south and west into the downtown, terminating at University Avenue.


Cost: $5.5B
Peak Hour Demand: 12,900
Rapid Transit Benefit: 16
- Increase in RT ridership: +5%
- Reduce Yonge Subway demand: - 14%

TTC Option 3: DRL to Eglinton (Queen or King)

Option 3 would be a rapid transit line operating from Don Mills and Eglinton south and east as described in options 1 and 2 but with an extension west of University Avenue along King or Queen Streets to Roncesvalles and north to Dundas West Station on the Bloor Subway line and connecting with Bloor GO Station.


Cost: $8.3B
Peak Hour Demand: 14,900
Rapid Transit Benefit:
- Increase in RT ridership: +11%
- Reduce Yonge Subway demand: - 16%

Lakeshore “Rapid Transit” Concept

  • GO Lakeshore service – as planned
  • New TTC parallel local rail service (Long Branch - Rouge Hill
  • Tunnel under central section

Lakeshore RT: stand-alone operations, integrated stations

The map shows a proposal to provide a subway-like rapid transit line parallel to the existing GO Lakeshore rail corridor from Rouge Hill to Long Branch with stations provided every 1 to 2 kilometres along the route at crossing arterial roads.



  • East only: $5.3B
  • Full line: $8.0B

Peak Hour Passenger Demand:

  • East only: 13,900
  • Full line: 14,600

Rapid Transit Benefit:

  • Increase in RT ridership, East only: +2%
  • Increase in RT ridership, Full line: +4%

Reduce Yonge Subway Demand

  • East only: -7%
  • Full line: -7%

Infrastructure Alternatives Evaluation

The Infrastructure Alternatives Evaluation (table) illustrates the comparative evaluation undertaken of the infrastructure alternatives. Sixteen evaluation criteria such as “Relief of Yonge Subway Capacity” and “Increased Overall Ridership and Mode Share” and “Cost” are shown  in the left hand column and each infrastructure alternative has a separate column to the right of the criteria. In the cells of the table rankings are shown as single, double or triple checkmarks or “x’s” showing the degree of benefit or disbenefit provided by the alternative for the particular criteria being considered.


1. Relieving congestion on the Yonge subway south of Bloor-Yonge Station is a critical regional strategic issue

2. New subway trains, Automatic Train Control, provide Yonge subway capacity for 15-20 years

  • extending Yonge Subway to Richmond Hill brings overcrowding 10 years earlier

3. Fundamental Metrolinx issues (beyond scope of this study):

  • almost all growth coming from regions
  • role of GO Rail within Toronto, improved use of rail corridors

4. New Rapid Transit to downtown required to relieve congestion

  • funding yet to be determined
  • requires continuing work with Metrolinx on options and funding
  • continue TTC work to determine alignment of new RT line