Governance refers to the decision-making structures, processes, policies and practices in place to support the delivery of transit needs to serve the City and Region.


In Toronto, planning, delivery, construction, operations and maintenance of the City’s integrated transit system involves multiple organizations with important roles, responsibilities and expertise. Close collaboration between the parties is critical to advancing public transit policy objectives.

Ontario logo, black and white with a trillium to the left and the word Ontario beside it

  • Establishes direction for guiding growth in the Province through the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
  • Many Provincial ministries are involved in implementing the policies related to transit and transportation planning.
  • Created Metrolinx as its regional transit agency in 2006.
  • Contributes to funding Toronto’s transit system.

Metrolinx Logo: Image of 2 tracks in the shape of an 'M' with the word Metrolinx beside it

  • Provincial agency established through the Metrolinx Act, 2006, as the regional transit authority for the GTHA with a mandate to provide leadership in coordinating, planning, financing, developing and implementing an integrated multi-modal regional transit network, for the regional area covering 21 municipalities.
  • Operates GO Transit (regional transit network).
  • Governed by a Board with up to 15 members appointed by the Province of Ontario.
  • Has sole responsibility for many transit expansion projects and initiatives in the City of Toronto, including Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Finch West LRT, GO Expansion, Ontario Line, Line 2 East Extension, Yonge North Subway Extension, and Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

City of Toronto Logo: image of City Hall to the left (in simple line art), and the word Toronto to the right

  • Local planning authority with responsibility for ensuring Toronto is a livable city. The City has responsibility over establishing local planning policies through the Official Plan that align with Provincial direction.
  • Finances the capital and operating costs of the TTC to provide local public transportation.
  • The Official Plan policies outline that the City must:
    • Maintain the existing network (e.g., ensure system is in a state of good repair)
    • Improve the existing network (e.g., enhancements such as transit priority measures)
    • Expand the network (e.g., add bike lanes, expand the rapid transit network, etc).
  • The City’s Rapid Transit Evaluation Framework is used to evaluate how transit projects achieve the City’s Official Plan goals.

TTC Logo: the word TTC inside a red upside down triangle with a red rectangle with slanted angles coming out of the bottom of the triangle

  • An agency of the City of Toronto with exclusive authority to operate local passenger transportation.
  • Governed by a 10-person Board, appointed by City Council (four are public members and six are City Councillors).
  • The TTC system makes up the vast majority (~85%) of all public transit trips in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Other GTHA Providers

  • Other transit service providers and operators with authority to operate local passenger transportation in the GTHA (e.g., MiWay, York Region Rapid Transit, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit).

In October 2019, the City and the Province entered into the Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership. The subsequent Preliminary Agreement, signed in February 2020, establishes the roles and responsibilities of the Province and the City in implementing major transit initiatives in Toronto.

As part of the partnership, the City and Province have also established a Memorandum of Understanding for Transit Oriented Development (TOD)  that establishes shared objectives and the respective roles and responsibilities of the City and Province for TOD as it relates to the four provincial priority projects and GO Expansion/SmartTrack. Visit the Province of Ontario’s Transit-Oriented Communities Program page for more information.

Next Steps

The City and Province continue to negotiate more detailed agreements to lay out and clarify respective roles and responsibilities for the implementation of transit initiatives, and operations and maintenance of the four Provincial transit projects.

The Province has recently introduced two legislative changes that redefine roles and responsibilities among key organizations involved in transit planning and delivery in the City of Toronto.

In May 2019, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 107, Getting Ontario Moving Act, 2019, which received Royal Assent on June 6, 2019. The legislation enables a series of changes to how transit is planned, designed and delivered in Toronto, including the ability for the Province to designate rapid transit projects as sole responsibility projects of the Province or Metrolinx.

In July 2019, Ontario Regulation 248/19 “Interim Measures- Upload of Rapid Transit Projects” went into effect. The regulation identifies the Ontario Line, Scarborough Subway Extension, and Yonge North Subway Extension in Toronto as sole responsibility projects of Metrolinx. This means that Metrolinx, as sole responsibility party, will lead the planning, development, delivery, and construction of the Ontario Line, Line 2 East Extension, and Yonge North Subway Extension in Toronto. The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension is also considered a Provincial priority project because it is an extension of the Provincially-owned Eglinton Crosstown LRT that is currently under construction.

In February 2020, the Province introduced Bill 171, Building Transit Faster Act, 2020, which received Royal Assent on July 8, 2020, enacting legislative changes that are intended to expedite planning, design, and construction of the Subway Program.

Also in February 2020, the Province introduced Ontario Regulation 341/20: Ontario Line Project: and amendments to Ontario Regulation 231/08 Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings under the Environmental Assessment Act related to its Subway Program projects, which came into effect on July 1, 2020.

The City submitted comments to the Province on Bill 171 and the associated regulations in June 2020.

Below is a list of staff reports to City Council related to the roles and responsibilities on transit, including major City Council decisions on the transit expansion program.

Report Description
EX20.2 Advancing the SmartTrack Stations Program This report recommends terms negotiated with the Province that will allow the SmartTrack Stations Program to proceed to construction. The report also requests authorization to negotiate, enter into and execute amendments to the Ontario-Toronto Agreement in Principle necessary for the implementation of the SmartTrack Stations Program.
2020.EX18.3 Update on Metrolinx Transit Expansion Projects – Fourth Quarter 2020 This report provides an update on two Metrolinx Bus Rapid Transit
(BRT) projects. This report also responds to several City Council directives related to
Metrolinx’s Ontario Line (which is part of the Province’s Subway Program) and the
Metrolinx GO Expansion Program.
2020.EX16.4 Metrolinx-City of Toronto Master Agreement for the GO Expansion Program This report provides an overview of the Metrolinx GO Expansion Program, and seeks Council authority to enter into a GO Expansion Master Agreement based on the key terms identified in the report.  The Master Agreement is intended to guide the design and construction of the GO Expansion Program by establishing clear roles, responsibilities and approvals.
2020.EX16.5: Provincial Priority Transit Expansion Projects – Subway Program Status Update Q3 2020 This report provides an update on the status of the Subway Program (i.e., Ontario Line, Scarborough Subway Extension, Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, and Yonge North Subway Extension) and recommends that City Council approve temporary staff resources, funded by Metrolinx, to support the delivery of the subway program.
2020.EX12.3 Toronto-Ontario Transit Partnership – Status Update This report provides updates on the Toronto-Ontario Transit Partnership, including roles and responsibilities regarding Transit-Oriented Development, and information on measures the Province is proposing to enhance its ability to accelerate planning and delivery of provincial transit expansion projects.
2019.EX9.1 Toronto-Ontario Transit Update On October 29, 2019, City Council received a status update on the technical assessment of provincial expansion projects (i.e. Ontario Line, Scarborough Subway Extension, and Yonge North Subway Extension), and progress on discussions between the City and Province on the Realignment of Transit Responsibilities. Council also approved principles and parameters to guide the working relationship of the City and Province, which form the basis for the Toronto-Ontario Transit Partnership.
2019.EX6.5 – Status Update – Toronto-Ontario Transit Responsibilities Realignment Review On June 18, 2019, City staff provided City Council with updates on the Province’s transit proposal announced as part of its 2019 Budget, Bill 107 (Getting Ontario Moving Act), and draft regulation 248/19 that designates the Relief Line (North and South), Line 2 East Extension, and Line 1 Yonge Extension as Sole Responsibility Projects of Metrolinx.
2019.EX4.1 Toronto’s Transit Expansion Program – Update and Next Steps On April 16, 2019, City Council approved the SmartTrack Stations Program, Relief Line South, Line 2 East Extension, and Bloor-Yonge Station Capacity Improvement Project as the City’s transit priorities for the Federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund Phase 2 Allocations. City Council also directed staff to undertake a technical assessment of the Province’s transit proposal announced as part of the 2019 Provincial budget.
2019.EX3.1 Engagement with the Province on Toronto’s Transit System – First Quarter 2019 Status Report On March 27, 2019, City Council received an overview of the Terms of Reference signed by the City and Province that outlines the process for discussions relating to a realignment of transit responsibilities.
2018.CC1.6 Engagement with the Province on Toronto’s Transit System On December 4, 2018, City Council authorized the City Manager to negotiate a Terms of Reference with the Province for the realignment of transit responsibilities, in accordance with principles laid out in the staff report.
2018.EX33.1 Implementation of the SmartTrack Stations Program and Metrolinx Regional Express Rail Program On April 24, 2018, City Council confirmed its commitment to the SmartTrack Stations Program, and approved staff recommendations to support the implementation of the SmartTrack Stations Program and GO Regional Express Rail Program in Toronto.
2017.EX25.1 Advancing Planning and Design for the Relief Line and Yonge Subway Extension On May 25, 2017, City Council received an update on the status of planning for the Relief Line and Yonge Subway Extension, and approved staff recommendations to advance planning and design for the projects.
2016.EX19.1 Toronto’s Transit Network Plan Update and Financial Strategy On November 8, 2016, City Council approved a series of Terms between the City and Province relating to the delivery of transit initiatives in Toronto.
2016.EX16.1 Developing Toronto’s Transit Network Plan to 2031 On July 12, 2016, City Council considered initial business cases for several transit network plan projects, including SmartTrack/GO RER Integration, Scarborough Subway Extension, Relief Line South, Eglinton West LRT, and Eglinton East LRT, and adopted recommendations to advance planning for these projects.