June 17, 2011

The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment; along with the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation; His Worship Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto; York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch; and Toronto Transit Commission Chair Karen Stintz, today participated in an event to officially start tunnel boring construction for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) project.

“Our government is pleased to invest in this project that will help create jobs and boost the regional economy,” said Minister Kent. “The Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension will cut commute times, ease traffic congestion and result in cleaner air, thereby improving the quality of life for Greater Toronto Area residents.”

“The McGuinty government has made record investments to improve public transit, create jobs and improve our quality of life,” said Minister Wynne. “By extending the subway to York Region we will make it easier for people to get to work and home again while reducing emissions.” 

“The start of tunnel boring for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension project is an important step as part of our strategy to build a Transportation City,” said Mayor Ford. “The subway extension will bring the benefits of rapid transit to residents and businesses in the northwest part of Toronto and will provide a vital link between Toronto and its neighbour, York Region.”

“This is an important occasion that marks the beginning of a vital connection to Vaughan, establishing the first of two north-south subway lines, connecting to the overall transit network in southern Ontario,” said Mr. Fisch. “Extending subway lines north will help reduce congestion and travel times, and will benefit those living, working and commuting around the Greater Toronto Area region.”

“I am excited about this project and the economic, social, environmental and public transit benefits it has for our region. I am also encouraged that the project remains on time and on budget,” said Ms. Stintz. “The expansion of our public transit infrastructure is an important goal and one that will require the continued use of our tunnel boring machines once their work on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension project is complete.”

Holey, Moley, Yorkie and Torkie are the official names of the four tunnel boring machines that will bore and build the tunnels for the TYSSE project. These names were chosen as part of a contest to name the machines.

The TYSSE is an 8.6-kilometre extension of the Toronto Transit Commission’s Yonge-University-Spadina subway line from its present terminus at Downsview Station to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre at Highway 7. It will have six new stations, including one at York University. The expansion of the subway will bring the line into York Region, the fastest-growing region in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) over the past 10 years.

The TYSSE project is targeted for completion in late 2015.

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