December 17, 2017 marked the opening of the first new project on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway lines in 15 years. This extension is remarkable in that it is the first time in history that a TTC subway line has extended beyond the boundaries of Toronto. It creates a direct link between the City of Toronto and York Region.
It’s an 8.6 kilometre stretch from the existing Downsview Park Station going into the brand new Vaughan Metropolitan Station. It makes four stops along the way at Finch West, York University, Pioneer Village, and Highway 407. This opens up a new option for commuters making their way in and out of York Region, and also has the potential to significantly cut down the commute time of many York University students and staff.
In addition, with master planned developments such as Smartcentres Place, VMC going up at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Area it also forms a direct connection to the Toronto workforce. Many people may now have a much easier commute into what’s considered a suburban market. This development includes a new 365,000 sq. ft. office tower housing major tenants such as KPMG, TD Bank, and the Bank of Montreal, as well as a large residential condominium project.
It’s also important to note that a project such as this one comes at a large cost. The project rung in at approximately 3.2 billion dollars, and was funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, York Region, and the City of Toronto. It was also heavily delayed with an initial completion date set for 2015.
With an estimated average travel time of 46 minutes during rush hour to get from the northernmost station at Vaughan Metropolitan Station to Union Station in Toronto, it will be interesting to see how this extension impacts commuters getting into and out of Toronto on a daily basis. It will also be fascinating to see what the future holds in terms of similar projects in other suburban areas in the Greater Toronto Area.