In February 2019, the City and Province came to an agreement on the Terms of Reference for a process to review the realignment of transit responsibilities.

City Council has indicated that the City of Toronto should continue to own, operate and maintain the Toronto transit system.

The Province has committed to develop a plan to upload components of Toronto’s subway system.

The system is complex and changes to it require a review, including public consultation.

The Terms of Reference includes a joint problem statement to be addressed through this review. The purpose of the review is to recommend potential changes to maximize the ability to:

  • implement expansion projects faster;
  • integrate transit services across all modes and agencies (TTC, Metrolinx, other 905 transit agencies);
  • modernize and enhance the existing subway system, and ensure that  the system is maintained in a state of good repair;
  • continue safe, reliable service to all residents who depend on it for mobility; and
  • provide for a long-term sustainable, predictable, funding model for the existing transit system and future transit needs.

The Review is a two-stage process to develop, assess, and evaluate potential changes to the alignment of responsibilities for existing and future transit planning, funding, and service delivery.

Staff will report back to City Council at the completion of Stage 1, Stage 2, and as required throughout the process.

Public consultation will be a key part of the review and will occur as part of Stage 1, Stage 2, and during implementation of any proposed changes.

Stage 1 of the process was initiated in late February 2019.

The City/TTC and Province are currently in the process of defining the options to be jointly evaluated. The City has identified three option streams for evaluation:

  • Stream 1 – Provincial Ownership of the Subway Network/ the “Upload”: The Province takes ownership of and responsibility for the subway network and all subway assets.
  • Stream 2 – Provincial Ownership Role in Subway Expansion Only: Options where the City/TTC maintain full ownership of the existing subway network. All subway transit expansion projects would be done as joint ventures between City/TTC and the Province, with a variety of potential ownership options.
  • Stream 3 – Realignment of Transit Responsibilities: Options that would be defined by a broader realignment of transit responsibilities, including governance, funding, transit service integration, and transit expansion planning and project delivery.

In all streams, the TTC would continue to operate and maintain local transit services. However the decision-making, funding, operations and service delivery, and asset ownership may be different.

View the March staff report for more information about the option streams.

The following are some of the considerations that will be used to evaluate the options:

  • achievement of objectives described in Term of Reference
  • financial and operational implications
  • risks and impacts
  • feasibility/implementation considerations
  • governance implications
  • other considerations (i.e., City’s guiding principles)


City Council has taken decisions to engage in this review process. Full decision history and reports available at: