[URBAN NOTE] “Population falling in areas near planned Scarborough subway stop”
Using the census data released earlier this week, Ben Spurr writes in the Toronto Star about how the Scarborough neighbourhoods that will get the subway extension have actually been seeing falling populations in the context of strong growth in Toronto generally. Where will the ridership come from?
The population is shrinking in more than a dozen neighbourhoods in the immediate vicinity of the planned one-stop Scarborough subway extension, raising fresh concerns about the viability of the $3.2-billion transit project.
According to a Star analysis of 2016 census data released on Wednesday, of 31 census tracts surrounding the planned location for the subway station at Scarborough Town Centre, the population of 18 declined over the previous five years.
Some tracts, including the one in which the station will be built, saw robust growth percentages in the double digits, and the population of Scarborough Centre, the federal riding that covers the area, grew by 3.5 per cent. But in the majority of nearby tracts the population fell, by between 1.4 per cent and 6.3 per cent.
Eric Miller, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Transportation Engineering Research Group, warned that if the trend continued it could jeopardize the extension of the Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) subway.
“Any subway station depends on two things: the people that are within the close distance to it that can maybe walk or take a very short bus ride, and then people who are coming in from further afield to use it,” Miller said.