The project -- called the Ontario Line -- is supposed to be a subway that will run from Ontario Place to the Science Centre in Toronto with stops throughout the downtown. It is being billed as a grander, more comprehensive version of the relief line the city had been working towards for years. The Ford government has also claimed that its bolder plan -- presumably through the use of magical pixie dust -- can also be built faster than previous plans. As soon as by 2027.
If this promise of massive subway lines to be built in record time sounds familiar, there is a good reason for that.
Back in 2010 when Doug's brother Rob took the helm as mayor of Toronto for what was to be an epic shitshow of an administration, he did so after a campaign during which he promised to rip up the properly funded and well researched Transit City plan for multiple LRT routes and instead build two majestic subway lines that would be completed by 2015 in time for the Pan Am games.
Transit City was cancelled and its vision destroyed. Multiple desperately needed routes that would exist today or be close to completion were simply discarded. As for the subway lines Rob promised, they never happened. Not one stop was built, not one tunnel dug.
Now we see this echoed as brother Doug tries the same as Premier.
As I argued in the piece Chaos Theory: For Doug Ford disruption will be the plan never "underestimate the damage that can be done by simply cancelling or disrupting plans and then miring governance in self-created perpetual chaos."
By overriding plans that had been carefully developed through extensive planning, consultations and working with all the involved levels of government and offering instead dots drawn on a map at a press conference Doug did exactly what his brother did.
Replaced a serious transit program with a bunch of total bullshit.
It is a mildly clever way to fool people just enough that they fail to see the sleight of hand. After all a "better" option is being offered in a faster time frame so it almost makes sense that the original one gets shelved.
Of course -- with many detours, delays and fake routes still to come -- in the end likely nothing gets built which will be blamed by Doug Ford and his stooges on the federal government, Toronto City Council, aliens or whatever.
It doesn't really matter who they say was at fault, nothing getting built was almost certainly the plan all along.
Update: As predicted above, now that plans for the "Ontario Line" have been leaked they are not what Ford showed at the press conference with dots. And it almost certainly cannot be built by 2027.
For more details see: Ontario Line would overlap with less than three kilometres of relief line: report
As NDP Transit critic Jessica Bell says "the Ford governments “back-of-the-napkin scheme” could see the line delayed “by years, or even decades.”
“I’m calling for Doug Ford’s secret subway plans to be released publicly, immediately. Not just the lines he drew on a piece of paper for a media event — actual planning documents,” she said. “As much as Doug Ford might like to be, he isn’t the Mayor of Toronto. He owes the City of Toronto and the people of Toronto the answers to dozens of questions they submitted months ago.”"
Further readings: Critics slam reports of Doug Ford's changes to Toronto relief line plan