April 25, 2018
By Arianne Robinson
City council approved terms for an agreement on Wednesday that could lead to the development of a modified version of the mayor’s SmartTrack transit plan, based on his 2014 election platform.
The fine details include the city funding six stations for $1.195 billion, and involvement in real estate acquisition for an additional two stations that Metrolinx will pay for, and enhancements to Union Station.
The locations of the future stations are: 1) St. Clair Avenue and Weston Road, 2) King Street and Dovercourt Road, 3) DVP and Lake Shore Boulevard East, 4) Gerrard Street East and Carlaw Avenue, 5) Lawrence Avenue East and Kennedy Road, 6) Finch Avenue East and Kennedy Road, 7) Bloor Street between Lansdowne and Symington Avenues, 8) Spadina Avenue and Front Street West, and 9) Union Station.
Eight councillors voted against staff recommendations for the city to pay Metrolinx $1.195 billion for six of the stations: Councillors Maria Augimeri, John Campbell, Sarah Doucette, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza and Kristyn Wong-Tam.
Some of those same councillors also voted against a motion that authorizes the interim city manager to negotiate and approve terms, but gives the mayor or city manager the power to execute agreements.
The original staff recommendations were for council to “authorize the Interim City Manager to negotiate, approve and execute any agreement(s) necessary for the implementation of the SmartTrack Stations Program based on the terms…”
A motion from budget chief Gary Crawford changed it to “authorize the Interim City Manager to negotiate and approve, and the City Manager or the Mayor to execute any agreement(s) necessary for the implementation of the SmartTrack Stations Program based on the terms…”
The change gives extra power to the mayor, while the role of the city’s top bureaucrat (city manager) remains vacant.