LRT Preferred to Subway for Scarborough

| Filed under: Toronto

Whole lotta love for new streetcars

TORONTO September 8th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1069 Toronto voters, one half say they prefer a 7 stop LRT in Scarborough (51%) to a 3 stop subway (40%). One tenth don't have an opinion (9%). The only community in Toronto where the subway is preferred is Scarborough itself, and not by very much (56% subway, 41% LRT). An LRT is especially preferred by downtown residents (66%), although less so by residents of Etobicoke/York (46%). Supporters of John Tory (60%), David Soknacki (75%) and Olivia Chow (78%) support the LRT, while Rob Ford voters support the subway (74%).

High approval for new streetcars

Among the one third who have used or seen the new streetcars (36%), as many as 8-in 10 (79%) approve of them, and this is especially the case among the least wealthy (92%), the wealthier ($60K to $80K - 92%), the least educated (84%), among Chow supporters (88%) and among those who take transit (86%).

Priority to be given to DRL over Scarborough Subway

Fully 6-in-10 voters want the Downtown Relief Line prioritized and built before the Scarborough subway (60%), while just half this proportion opt for the subway first (31%). The DRL is preferred in all communities (downtown - 79%, North York - 56%, Etobicoke/York - 73%) except Scarborough (DRL - 27%, subway 70%). Tory voters (71%) and Chow supporters both prefer the DRL (66%), while Ford voters want to prioritize the Scarborough subway (55%).

Even split on Rob Ford's transit plan

Exactly equal proportions, just less than half, approve and disapprove of Rob Ford's transit plan, involving 32 kilometers of new subways (46% approve, 46% disapprove). Disapproval is high in the downtown (65%), whereas approval is higher in North York (55%) and Scarborough (63%). Rob Ford voters, of course, mainly approve (91%), while Tory and Chow supporters disapprove (60% and 72%, respectively).


"It's almost as if there were two cities involved in Toronto's transit planning, Scarborough and everywhere else, and Scarborough wants to be the tail that wags the dog. It doesn't surprise us that Rob Ford's subway plans are very popular there, as that increasingly may be the only way they get a subway in the east end of the city," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.