Revitalization of Toronto’s Union Station has finally been completed after 12 years of delays and overspending. Construction began in 2009 and was originally slated to be completed in time for the Pan Am games in 2015. The original budget was estimated to be $640 million dollars but the final budget ballooned to $824 million dollars.
Mayor John Tory was asked about the significant cost overruns and said “it’s a bigger investment than we thought.” Tory went on to defend the near $200 million dollar overrun by saying the investment will “pay for itself.” Pay for itself? It is evident that the mayor has no concerns about ballooning cost overruns as it’s a common practice of City Hall to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on a regular basis.
While the announcement that revitalization of Union Station has been completed, the city admitted that there will be some “cosmetic” enhancements made in the upcoming years which will no doubt cost taxpayers millions more. Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster said that construction, on Union Station, is expected to last another 8-years! Based on the length of time it took to reach the first milestone of revitalization, it will likely take more than 8-years for the “cosmetic enhancements” which are planned.
Let’s hope this continued revitalization of Toronto’s Union Station do not disrupt the public and businesses which operate here. The continued budget overruns created by City Hall are normal operating procedures and no one seems to hold these politicians accountable. Every project planned by these politicians typically come in double the original forecasted budget. Meanwhile, people are complaining the city of Toronto is becoming more and more unaffordable and politicians just continue to throw away money that is not theirs.