Ontario government proposes 'Union Station of the East' for Unilever lands
A map of the proposed route of the Ontario Line included in a preliminary business design case released by the province Thursday December 17, 2020 is pictured. (Metrolinx)
Published Monday, April 12, 2021 11:51AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 13, 2021 7:29AM EDT
The Ford government is proposing that a new multi-modal transit hub be constructed on the Unilever lands as part of its Ontario line subway project.
The preliminary plan, which has been shared with City of Toronto officials, would see the 38-acre site transformed into a new “transit oriented community” that would include a “major employment centre” that would be home to upwards of 50,000 jobs as well as a “range of residential space and community amenities.”
The Ford government says that it would also construct a new “Union Station of the East” transit hub where commuters could access the Ontario line subway, GO Transit and, in the future, a TTC streetcar extension.
The East Harbour site is currently owned by Cadillac Fairview, which is pursuing a massive redevelopment of the area that includes the future transit hub.
“We have developed the transit communities program to build complete communities around the stations and also to fill the gaps with the services and amenities that the community needs,” Ontario’s Associate Minister of Transit Kinga Surma told CP24 on Monday morning. “We are now sharing information with the City of Toronto on two stations. The Corktown station being one of them and of course the East Harbour Site, which will be a multi-modal transit hub.”
The Ford government intends to eventually build a dozen new “transit oriented communities” as part of a $28.5 billion subway plan that includes the 15.5 kilometre Ontario Line.
Surma said that the province is “looking to form partnerships in some cases with existing landowners to offset some of the costs of transit expansion and the transit stations themselves.”
“Our government is committed to working together with our municipal partner, the City of Toronto, and landowners to deliver critical transit solutions, while also supporting other essential infrastructure needs in the city,” she said in a news release detailing the planned neighbourhoods. “Together, we will bring to life a shared vision for these future subway stations, providing new opportunities for people to live, work and play close to environmentally friendly rapid transit.”
Metrolinx has said that it hopes that service can begin on the Ontario Line in 2030.