August 18, 2020 – Ontario Premier Doug Ford Media Announcement


Province Set to Issue Request for Proposals to Advance Tunnelling Work

TORONTO ― The Ontario government is one step closer to getting shovels in the ground on part of the largest subway expansion in Canadian history with the expectation that the Request for Proposals (RFP) to advance tunnelling work on the Scarborough Subway Extension will be issued in the coming days.The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford and Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA).

“After waiting over 30 years for a subway, our government is taking another critical step forward to build the improved, three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension for the people of Scarborough,” said Premier Ford. “This project will create thousands of jobs, drive housing development, and triple the daily ridership to help reduce congestion and cut travel times for riders and commuters.”

On August 20, 2020, the province will invite the selected teams from the Request for Qualifications process to respond to an RFP that details how they plan to design and deliver the tunnelling work for the Scarborough Subway Extension. Upon evaluating the proposals received, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx expect to award this tunnelling contract in mid-2021.

“The RFP release is the next step in our plans for transit expansion in Scarborough as we develop a world-class transportation network that gets people where they want to go, when they want to get there,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Each project milestone demonstrates our commitment to building a modern, efficient rapid transit network that best serves Scarborough for generations to come.”

The Ontario NDP Transit critic, University— Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell, made a statement in response to Doug Ford making municipal transit funding contingent on the privatization of certain bus routes: “Municipalities and regional transit agencies are reeling from the pandemic, yet Ford’s conditions could take decision-making powers from the local authorities that understand their regions’ needs best. Doug Ford says he won’t fund transit unless they sell bus routes to private companies like Uber. That might work for well-connected Tory lobbyists, but it doesn’t work for riders.

“Municipalities that have experimented with replacing public buses with privatized cars in past have seen service cut, fares go up, congestion increase and ridership decline. A far better way to bolster ridership on quiet routes is to lower fares, increase service and invest in dedicated bus lanes to speed up travel time.

“Transit agencies need dedicated, long-term funding from the province, not a Premier that bullies them into accepting his agenda to privatize routes at the expense of municipalities and riders.”

Ontario Transit Planning

To expedite work on the Scarborough Subway Extension, tunnelling will begin first, to be followed by separate contracts for the balance of the work.

“Issuing this RFP demonstrates that we are making progress on these priority subway projects to reduce commute times,” said Associate Minister Surma. “With the province and municipal governments now firmly supporting our transit expansion plan, we continue to jointly call on the federal government to provide its fair share ― funding at least 40 per cent of our four nationally significant subway projects. Formalizing this funding partnership with the federal government remains a top priority.”

The release of the RFP is part of the government’s continued commitment to deliver the largest subway expansion in the country’s history to commuters and businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). On August 5, 2020, Ontario announced three teams of bidders per project were shortlisted to advance tunnelling work on two of the four priority transit projects, the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, included in the Subway Transit Plan for the GTA.

In April 2019, the province announced its historic new transportation vision, with a preliminary estimated cost of $28.5 billion. In addition to the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, this plan includes the all-new Ontario Line and the Yonge North Subway Extension. Planning is underway for all four priority projects and procurements will be staged to ensure each project is delivered successfully.


  • The Scarborough Subway Extension (SSE) will extend the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Bloor-Danforth Line 2 approximately 8 km via three stops, from Kennedy Station to a new terminus at Sheppard Avenue and McCowan Road.
  • The Preliminary Design Business Case estimates the SSE will provide 38,000 people with walking distance access to rapid transit and see 105,000 daily boardings by 2041.
  • The SSE project is estimated to support as many as 3,000 jobs annually during construction.
  • The SSE will reduce the number of vehicle kilometres travelled during rush hour by 30,000 km, significantly reducing traffic congestion and auto-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 10,000 tonnes annually.
  • In February 2020, Ontario and Toronto announced the signing of the Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership Preliminary Agreement, confirming their partnership to deliver on the government’s plan and build the four priority subway projects faster.
  • In July 2020, the Building Transit Faster Act became law, providing the province with the tools to expedite the planning, design and construction process of the four priority transit projects.



TORONTO – Ontario Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA), to make an announcement.

Date:               Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Time:               Remarks scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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