Subway to York would reduce traffic gridlock, says TTC Chair


Above: Map of proposed Spadina-York subway extension

Curbing traffic congestion can begin right at home, if you think of York’s Keele campus as a sort of second home. But first the University needs to have the subway stop on its doorstep.

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Chair Howard Moscoe (right) certainly supports this notion. He wants to see the subway line stretching to the Keele campus from Downsview Station, so that commuter gridlock in the Greater Toronto Area would be reduced. This plan would also go a long way toward cutting air pollution.

Moscoe’s recommendation was made at a weekend conference, Kyoto and Sprawl: Building Cities that Work, held at York’s Glendon College July 25-27. The conference examined strategies to reduce urban sprawl in the GTA and other Ontario cities.

“Increased public transit use reduces traffic congestion, urban smog and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Moscoe. “A rapid transit line to York University would significantly reduce the high number of commuters travelling by car to York.”

York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden (left) added: “Members of the York community have demonstrated a willingness to switch to public transit provided efficient transit connections are available. The extension of the Spadina subway line from Downsview Station through York’s Keele campus would be a huge win for the environment, the community and all of northwestern Toronto.”

York University is one of the most significant traffic generators in the Greater Toronto Area, with more than 30,000 cars parked here on peak days.

The conference attracted several prominent speakers, among them federal Transport Minister David Collenette, Liberal MP Alan Tonks, who is parliamentary secretary to Environment Minister David Anderson, and national NDP leader Jack Layton. Participants in the conference workshops put forward additional strategies to curb sprawl and its associated problems, such as the loss of prime agricultural land to residential and commercial development and smog. A final report containing these recommendations will be issued soon.

A coalition to combat urban sprawl was also launched at the conference, aiming to shape platforms and influence campaigns in the coming municipal and provincial elections.

For details about the conference see