Toronto Don Valley, Gardiner $5 Tolls to Fund New Subways: $14 Bn
Tapping on the highway traffic issue, Mayor candidate Sarah Thomson unveiled a $13 - $14 billion plan for Toronto to implement $5 road tolls on the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway to fund a massive citywide subway network as far as Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
Thomson promised at the news conference that the highway tolls would first pay for the ongoing maintenance of the DVP and QEW highways and then fund the subway construction and expansion.
History of Toronto's Highways
The Toronto Don Valley Parkway (DVP) was built to criss-cross around the heart of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) city core routes with expressways. However, the grand highway plan to do this was never fully completed primarily because of objections of several downtown expressway routing guidelines.
The result is today's massive Don Valley Parkway (DVP), Gardiner Expressway and funneling Queen Elisabeth Way (QEW) freeway core traffic.
Metropolitan Toronto had initially intended to extend the DVP north past Sheppard Avenue to Steeles Avenue at the northern Metropolitan boundary, which would then continue north in York Region as a Provincial Highway 404.
The ambitious plan would replace the existing Transit City whereby an extension of the Sheppard subway east from Don Mills to the Scarborough Town Centre would route along Eglinton then from Kennedy Road to Pearson International Airport.
A downtown relief line would be running from Danforth's Pape Station plunging south to Queen Street, then trailing along Queen connecting up to the Dundas West Station.
Torontonians to Invest in Public Transit?
I think people want to invest in Toronto, I haven't talked to one person who doesn't want to see what the subway system can do for our city. People want to invest in it.
Toronto Mayor David Miller had suggested the taboo topic of installing road tolls back in 2003, and the road toll issue has since been shunned by City Hall even if the funds were to be used for improvements on the highways. Toronto drivers are not accustomed to stopping and paying especially for a public service that may force them out of the driver's seat.