Toronto — New Streetcar Line Being Built
The Globe and Mail reports that a new streetcar line is being built in Toronto but it will not enter service until after 2015. The line is a branch off of the existing broad-guage system designed to serve a fast-growing residential and commercial/entertainment district near the waterfront east of downtown.
The development is surprising to some, given the opposition of Mayor Rob Ford to the extensive Transit City light rail plans in northern areas of the city.
The tracks are being built in a dedicated right of way along the northern section of Cherry Street to connect the existing King line with the West Dons Lands neighborhood and the Distillery District.
The project is being undertaken by Waterfront Toronto, a three-government entity responsible for redeveloping the Lake Ontario shore. Longer term plans call for extending this new streetcar branch all the way to the waterfront where it would connect with a possible new light rail line connecting to Union Station.
The waterfront area is developing rapidly with a new university campus plus residential high rises promising to add 20,000 residential units, 3,500 students, and 8,000 jobs when all planned projects are completed.
Thus need for high capacity transit to serve this area is readily evident.