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Text Summary:Relief Line Project Assessment


Future Session

  • Consult / seek input on various study tasks:
    • Development of evaluation criteria
    • Station location review
    • Route alignment review

Relationship between the Metrolinx and City/TTC studies

Diagram explaining the relationship between Metrolinx and the City of Toronto / TTC

How do the pieces fit together?

Map of the Yonge Relief Network Study


How did we get here?

Relief Line Timeline

Crowding and Congestion on the Rapid Transit Network

  • Capacity improvement underway for Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina Line
    • New Toronto Rocket Trains: +10%
    • Automatic Train Control: +25%
    • Spadina Subway Extension (diverted demand): about 5-10%
  • Bloor-Yonge station is currently over design capacity and will continue to be a constraint
  • The transfer from the Bloor Line to the Yonge Line is currently constrained and will continue to deteriorate

Findings from the Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study

    • Work to date has determined a new high capacity rapid transit line, fully separated from traffic could:
      • Provide increased transit capacity to relieve pressure on the Yonge Subway line
      • Provide relief to the Bloor-Yonge Interchange Station
      • Provide flexibility for the TTC subway system
      • Improve transit service to the downtown shoulder areas and relief to crowding on the streetcar network

Why are we planning the Downtown to Danforth Section first?

Downtown to Danforth mock-up of Relief Line

  • This initial phase would provide the greatest and most immediate benefit to relieving overcrowding on the Yonge Subway Line.
  • The Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study findings note that this section of a new Relief Line could:
    • Reduce southbound transfers at Bloor-Yonge Station by approximately 30%
    • Reduce Yonge Subway line demand by 12%
    • Have a peak hour demand of 11,700 transit riders (based on 2031 projections)

Relief Line Study Area

Relief Line Project Assessment Study Area

Proposed Study Process


We anticipate a range of perspectives and interests:

Neighbourhoods within the Relief Line study area

  • Consider affects on local residents and businesses
  • Consider how the Relief Line may affect local mobility and land use
  • Consider constructability
  • Maximize benefit and minimize impacts on local neighbourhoods

City of Toronto, outside of study area

  • Ensure the Relief Line will benefit the entire city
  • Consider how the Relief Line will improve access into Downtown Toronto
  • Consider the positive affects of the Relief Line on the TTC network

Outside the City of Toronto

  • Ensure the Relief Line will benefit the broader region
  • Consider how the Relief Line could provide an attractive transit alternative for trips
  • Consider how the Relief Line may affect the transit network outside of the city and broader economic development patterns at a regional scale

Study Process (Terms of Reference)

Study Process from Spring 2014 to late 2015

Opportunities for Input

  • Phase 1B
    • Provide name suggestions for the Relief Line
    • Existing and future conditions analysis
    • Provide feedback on findings of previous studies
  • Phase 2
    • Provide information about travel patterns
    • Identify station and route options
    • Help to create evaulation criteria for the proposed station locations and alignments
  • Phase 3
    • Provide feedback on short-listed options
  • Phase 4
    • Qualitative analysis of options
    • Help to create the strategy for mitigating any potential negative impacts
    • Provide feedback on recommendations

Highlights of feedback on the study process, and scope:

  • Include an urban planning visioning process in the project
  • Invite international experts to assist with the project and present at a public symposia
  • Continue collaboration with Metrolinx, and other agencies/initatives
  • Liasise on opportunities of mutual benefit with Toronto Hydro and other utilities
  • Incorporate sustainable transportation in decision-making
  • Include a cost-benefit analysis for each of the shortlisted alignments
  • Include areas north and west for planning context when considering routing options
  • Examine comparable projects in other countries
  • Proceed with the Relief Line naming contest as soon as possible

Highlights of feedback on the consultation:

  • Spread project meetings out to a broader City geography
  • Use social media tools (Reddit or Twitter) with a dedicated hashtag
  • Translate all materials and consultation documents into other languages
  • Develop guidelines and a guide for messaging
  • Explore online mapping and interactive tools
  • Share information, data on the website
  • Develop a "living" FAQ, to submit questions & get answers via social media
  • Continue the use of crowdsourcing tools, such as a wiki
  • Hold mini-fora in various parts of the Study Area using street-teams
  • Have street-teams and/or suggestion boxes/kiosks on transit to allow non-internet users to contribute
  • Target future stakeholder meetings by sector
  • Make sure the public understands the consultation process

How we will consult


  • City/TTC staff will share key information and actions during each phase of the project through the project website, email list, social media and print material.

Online Consultation

  • City/TTC staff will solicit comments and feedback on key decisions through the website to engage a large number of people across the region.

Live Events

  • City/TTC staff will host open houses, public meetings and workshops at key points in the study. Participants will learn about the project and provide their input.

Community Outreach

  • City/TTC staff will pro-actively educate and solicit feedback from the community by engaging with existing resident, business and interest groups.

Stakeholder Advisory Group

  • City/TTC staff will engage community leaders, advocates and experts in the decision-making process throughout the study via a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG).

Next Steps / Process Overview

Next Steps

  1. Finalized Terms of Refernece and Public Consultation Plan (Phase 1A) will be presented to Council for approval in June.
  2. If Council approval is given the project team will proceed with Phases 1B-4 for the Relief Line Project Assessment.
  3. At the end of Phase 4, a draft project report will be submitted to Council and the TTC Board.
  4. The report will seek Council and TTC Board approval to proceed to final project review.
  5. The final project review is known as the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP), where the final project report is submitted to the Ministry of Environment. 

Rapid Transit Planning Process

Rapid Transit Planning Process

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