Answer from Metrolinx and infrastructure Ontario: The Corktown site is required for subway construction of the Ontario Line to support the local transit needs of the community. All of these lands are necessary for transit construction.
There are a few reasons why owning the land makes sense. The site requires extensive work to prepare it for its future use, including construction. The archeological work is also seasonal in nature, so it must be advanced this fall. Much of the work at the site will also involve substantial remediation of contaminated soil before any major construction begins, and Metrolinx will be assuming the significant costs of performing this potentially extensive and sensitive work. Metrolinx cannot responsibly incur these costs or exercise the degree of control required to effectively remediate the issue unless it owns the land. Negotiating license agreements for the work required would also add considerable time to the project schedule and may introduce administrative processes that will inhibit the extensive preparations that need to be completed in a relatively short period of time.
Government has made tremendous progress on transit, but we still have a long way to go and the GTA needs this subway and the benefits of transit as soon as possible. Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario will continue to work hand-in-glove with the City of Toronto as our plans move forward.