The Ontario government says it has partnered with Metrolinx and Woodbine Entertainment to build a new GO station at Woodbine Racetrack at no cost to taxpayers.
“Under the plan, this partnership is more about saving money, it’s about building community around transit lines,” Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek said during a news conference at Woodbine Wednesday morning.
“Woodbine’s plans for development around the station will bring new jobs, housing and entertainment to Rexdale.”
Under the plan, Woodbine Entertainment would pay for the entire cost of building the new station estimated at between $75 and $90 million.
“Our core mandate is to bring people to horse racing. Our vision here is to make this a major centre,” Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson said.
“We’re sitting on 700 acres of land here. The value of bringing mass transit to the incremental value the land and development potential ultimately results in revenue streams to sustain the horse racing industry.”
Metrolinx, the province’s regional transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, had proposed a new GO station at Woodbine and Highway 27 late last year.
In a report released in November, the plan included closing the Etobicoke North station and building a new one at Woodbine Racetrack, which would service riders on the Kitchener Line.
“GO riders that travel through on Kitchener corridor trains that stop at Etobicoke North station would have a faster trip if it were closed,” the report stated.
The Highway 27-Woodbine station would be located west of Highway 27, approximately two kilometres north of Dixon Road.
“The Woodbine Racetrack site has significant development potential in the long-term, with active proposals, which would further support a station at this location,” the report said.
“The station would also facilitate more convenient connection to Humber College for users of the Kitchener corridor and the broader GO network which may result in additional ridership.”
Metrolinx says the station will attract 14,700 riders daily by 2031.
Woodbine Entertainment said they are in the process of procuring a contractor and did not provide a timeline when the station will be complete.
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