It's been a quiet week or so on the Toronto scene. Perhaps the fuss going on in the nation's capital has drowned out local goings on.
Regardless, there are some Toronto issues that are always simmering on in the background - an example being the proposal/plan/wish to extend the Spadina subway line north and west to York University and beyond.
Now, no one who's been stuck up in that corner of the city could argue that it hasn't significant traffic problems. However, the real traffic problem appears to be caused by freight traffic. The area is home to many warehouses. It's close to the airport, the 401, 427, 407 and 409 highways. Conversely, there are few significant residential or commercial office concentrations. Other than the presence of York University itself, the area appears to be a poor fit for a subway.
Rather that buidling a tube to carry people to and from the corner of the city, a batter idea may be to build tubes to carry freight. The type of industries and warehouse facilities in the area would seem ideal for the implementation of a system of automated freight guideways that would run underground.
The benefit of moving freight underground (as opposed to people) is that freight tunnels do not require the same environmental controls as do people-moving subways.
Palleted freight could be moved by automated electric vehicles - programmed to moved from origin to destination. This system would greatly reduce the number of LTL (less than trialerload) movements. This would save siginificant energy and labour expenses. The potential savings for businesses might even mean that the contruction could be privately financed.