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The Process

The City of Toronto, in partnership with the TTC, is undertaking the Relief Line Project Assessment. This study will evaluate route and station location options for a new rapid transit line connecting the Yonge-University-Spadina Subway (Line 1) downtown, south of Gerrard, to the Bloor-Danforth Subway (Line 2), east of the Don River between Broadview and Coxwell. 

The Relief Line Assessment Study includes several inter-related phases of work, including:

  • Phase 1A - Review of Proposed Terms of Reference and Development of a Detailed Public Consultation Plan;
  • Phase 1B - Problem Statement and Rationale for the Project;
  • Phase 2 - Develop "long list" of options and evaluation criteria;
  • Phase 3 - Evaluate options to produce "short list"; and,
  • Phase 4 - Evaluate "short list" of options, to produce draft recommendations.

Upon completion of the Relief Line Project Assessment, a decision will be made as to whether the project will proceed through the Transit Project Assessment Process for final review and approval.

The Relief Line Project Assessment includes a number of attributes that are appropriate for a project of this magnitude and complexity, including development of a Terms of Reference that defines the scope of the work that will be undertaken and a robust public consultation program that will be designed to maximize outreach and public input to decision-making in a participatory public engagement process.


2009 -  City Council approved Yonge North Extension EA, contingent on Relief Line and City/TTC commence study to determine need for the Relief Line
2012 - Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study concluded that initial phase of Relief Line and GO Transit improvements would help ease crowding on the transit network
2012 - Relief Line identified as part of the “Next Wave” of transit projects in the Metrolinx Big Move plan and is identified by Metrolinx as a priority for future transit investment
2014 - Relief Line Project Assessment launched. City/TTC commence planning for the preferred route alignment and station locations for the Relief Line, to deliver planning approvals in mid-2016. The relationship between SmartTrack and the Relief Line is being reviewed as part of this work.
2015 - Yonge Relief Network Study recommendations approved by Metrolinx Board. Allows project development for the Yonge North Subway Extension. Affirms that the Relief Line Project Assessment needs to continue, to ensure that a project is ready by 2031.
2015 - June Consultations – General agreement with the results of the technical evaluation of potential station areas.
Strongest public and stakeholder support for Corridors B and D (from Pape to Downtown)
2016 - On March 31, 2016 City Council approved the preferred corridor for Relief Line form Pape to Downtown via Queen/Richmond Evaluation of alignment options now underway
2017 - City Council approves Carlaw alignment within the local segment and directs staff to move forward with TPAP and authorized advancing preliminary design (15-30%), with a report back on Class 3 cost estimates in Q4 2019.
2018 - The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks provided a Notice to Proceed for the Relief Line South transit project in accordance with the Environmental Project Report.  The completion of the TPAP allows the project to proceed to construction. The Masdas