Building Transit Faster Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 12 - Bill 171

Fecha de última tramitación:July 15, 2020
Fecha de apertura:July 08, 2020


This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 171 and does not form part of the law. Bill 171 has been enacted as Chapter 12 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2020.

The Bill is about the planning and construction of the Ontario Line, the Scarborough Subway Extension, the Yonge Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. The following is an overview of the Bill:

Corridor control

The Bill provides that, along the transit corridors for those projects or in their vicinity, development requires a permit, with some exception for projects already approved. Things that pose an obstruction to construction can be removed. Things that pose an immediate danger to construction can be removed immediately. Also, preview inspections may take place, in which property is entered and may be tested to do due diligence in planning and construction. Processes are set out; in many cases, compensation and restoration are available.


The Bill eliminates hearings of necessity for expropriations of property along the transit corridors, if the expropriations are for the purpose of the transit.

Utility company cooperation

The Bill provides a mechanism by which utility companies may be required to move utility infrastructure, if necessary for the transit.

Municipal service and right of way access

The Bill provides a mechanism by which municipal service and right of way access may be required to be provided for the transit. The process is based around negotiation, with the possibility for an order if negotiation fails.

Administration and enforcement

Many of the powers of the Minister under the Bill may be delegated to Metrolinx or to prescribed public bodies, and Metrolinx’s powers in respect of utility company cooperation may be delegated to other entities engaged by Metrolinx to plan or construct a priority transit project. Enforcement tools include stop-work orders, inspections, administrative penalties and offences.

Related amendments

The Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 is amended to provide that specified classes of amounts payable by utility companies under the Bill not be included in gas or electricity rates approved or fixed by the Ontario Energy Board, except as permitted by the regulations made under that Act.

The utility company cooperation provisions of the Bill are similar in substance to provisions of the Public Service Works on Highways Act, and that Act’s terminology and mode of expression is updated.

chapter 12

An Act to enact the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020 and make related amendments to other Acts

Assented to July 08, 2020


Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Part I
Purpose and interpretation


1 The purpose of the Act is to expedite the delivery of the following four priority transit projects for the Greater Toronto Area, by removing barriers and streamlining processes that may result in delays to the timely completion of these projects, while enhancing coordination and engagement with and being fair to public and private sector stakeholders:

1. The Ontario Line.

2. The Scarborough Subway Extension.

3. The Yonge North Subway Extension.

4. The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.


2 In this Act,

“actual cost”, in respect of the costs of work carried out by a utility company to comply with a notice under section 46, means all costs properly attributed to the work, including,

(a) the actual wages paid to all workers up to and including the supervisors for their time actually spent on the work and in travelling to and from the work, and the cost of food, lodging and transportation for such workers where necessary for the proper carrying out of the work,

(b) the cost to the utility company of contributions related to such wages in respect of workplace safety and insurance premiums, vacation pay, employment insurance, pension or insurance benefits and other similar benefits,

(c) the cost of using and transporting equipment and explosives used in the work,

(d) the cost of planning, designing and engineering,

(e) the cost of materials,

(f) the cost of acquiring necessary permits, approvals and property rights, and

(g) related administrative costs such as for project management; (“coût réel”)

“business day” means a day from Monday to Friday, other than a holiday as defined in section 87 of the Legislation Act, 2006; (“jour ouvrable”)

“construction danger inspection and elimination” means actions under subsection 26 (1) or 27 (1); (“visite d’inspection et activité d’élimination d’un risque pour la construction”)

“immediate danger to construction”, in relation to a thing, means that,

(a) it poses an immediate danger to the health and safety of persons working on a priority transit project, or

(b) the only reason it does not pose an immediate danger described in clause (a) is because the work is not occurring, but, the Minister is ready to have that work occur; (“risque immédiat pour la construction”)

“Minister” means the Minister of Transportation or such other member of the Executive Council to whom responsibility for the administration of this Act is assigned or transferred under the Executive Council Act; (“ministre”)

“municipal service and right of way access” means municipal service and right of way access referred to in section 52; (“accès aux services municipaux et par droit de passage”)

“municipal service and right of way access order” means a municipal service and right of way access order made under section 57; (“arrêté d’accès aux services municipaux et par droit de passage”)

“obstruction removal” means an obstruction removal under subsection 19 (1); (“activité d’enlèvement d’un obstacle”)

“obstruction removal notice” means a notice under section 13; (“avis d’enlèvement d’un obstacle”)

“permit” means a permit under this Act, except in,

(a) clause (f) of the definition of “actual cost”, and

(b) section 48; (“permis”)

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulation; (“prescrit”)

“preview inspection” means a preview inspection under subsection 34 (1); (“inspection préalable”)

“priority transit project” means,

(a) the line known as the Ontario Line located in the City of Toronto,

(b) the subway extension known as the Scarborough Subway Extension, and also known as the Line 2 East Extension, located in the City of Toronto,

(c) the subway extension known as the Yonge Subway Extension, and also known as the Yonge North Subway Extension, extending from within the City of Toronto to within the Regional Municipality of York, or

(d) the light rail transit extension known as the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension extending westward from within the City of Toronto at the station known as Mount Dennis; (“projet de transport en commun prioritaire”)

“proponent” has the same meaning as in the Consolidated Hearings Act; (“promoteur”)

“regulation” means a regulation under this Act; (“règlement”)

“stop-work order” means an order under section 64; (“arrêté de cessation des travaux”)

“transit corridor land” means land designated as transit corridor land under section 62; (“bien-fonds affecté à un couloir de transport en commun”)

“utility company” means a municipal corporation or commission or a company or individual operating or using communications services, water services or sewage services, or transmitting, distributing or supplying any substance or form of energy for light, heat or power; (“entreprise de services publics”)

“utility infrastructure” means poles, wires, cables including fibre-optic cables, conduits, towers, transformers, pipes, pipe lines or any other works, structures or appliances placed over, on or under land or water by a utility company. (“infrastructure de services publics”)

Part II
Corridor Control

Development Control and Obstruction removal

Development Control

Corridor Development Permit

Corridor development permit

3 No person shall carry out the following work on or near transit corridor land without a permit issued by the Minister:

buildings, structures, roads

1. Build, alter or place a building, other structure or road, or conduct excavation or dewatering, on or under,

i. transit corridor land, or

ii. land within 30 metres of transit corridor land.

This does not include utility infrastructure, excavation for utility infrastructure or dewatering for utility infrastructure.

utility infrastructure

2. Build, alter or place utility infrastructure that would require grading or excavation on or under,

i. transit corridor land, or

ii. land within 10 metres of transit corridor land.


3. Prescribed work.

How permits work

4 (1) The Minister may issue a permit for the purposes of section 3.

Terms and conditions

(2) The Minister may attach terms and conditions to a permit, or change such terms and conditions, at the Minister’s discretion at any time.


5 The Minister may cancel a permit at the Minister’s discretion at any time.


6 (1) In an emergency, a municipality or utility company may respond to the emergency by carrying out work that would otherwise be prohibited by section 3.

Notice of the work

(2) The municipality or utility company shall notify the Minister of the work reasonably promptly.

Development in Process

Normally, no permit required for development in process

7 Work does not need a permit if that work got all legally required approvals before a designation of land as transit corridor land brought that work within the ambit of section 3.

Imposition of permit requirement

8 The Minister may, by notice to the work’s proponent, impose a requirement that, if the work is not completed during the period ending on the day that is six months after the day that the notice was served, the work needs a permit after that time, unless an alternative approach is negotiated.


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