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York Region looking to extend Yonge subway into Richmond Hill

Last Updated Mar 3, 2016 at 4:14 pm EDT

A TTC subway train. Courtesy of Nile Livesey.

While the Scarborough subway extension continues to dominate transit talk in Toronto, politicians in York Region are reportedly pitching their own expansion plan.

The Toronto Star reports 16 York Region mayors, councillors and senior staff are lobbying to extend the Yonge subway line into Richmond Hill.

Work is already underway to extend Line 1 into Vaughan and up to York University.

The $4-billion proposal was pitched last week to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a meeting in Ottawa.

Region chair Wayne Emmerson told the Toronto Star the Yonge extension would add six new stops between Richmond Hill Centre and Finch Station and would take about 10 years to build. Currently, around 2,500 buses service the stretch.

Toronto mayor John Tory issued a statement late Thursday afternoon, clarifying comments which seemed to suggest the city was against such a plan.

Tory says York Region is a valued partner and the dialogue is on-going and active, but adds, they have been clear that an extension of the Yonge Subway line can’t happen, unless the overcrowding on those trains is addressed first.

That will likely happen through a combination of smart track and a relief line.

The statement goes on to say, the City and York Region continue to work together on other projects.

No firm commitments were made at last week’s meeting, but Richmond Hill deputy mayor Vito Spatafora said it’s possible to start building the line on Yonge by 2019.