The agreement covers the Eglinton, Finch West, Sheppard East and Scarborough lines, and also commits TTC to the introduction of an integrated electronic smartcard system, dubbed Presto, which will replace tokens and tickets on subways, trams, and buses.

The deal on LRT construction is another setback for Toronto Mayor Mr Rob Ford, whose current status as mayor is in doubt. Upon becoming mayor in December 2010, Ford fought for the abandonment of the so-called Transit City plan, arguing for more subway construction and an end to what he called a "war on cars" in Toronto.

Under the agreement the province of Ontario will take ownership of the four new light rail lines, although TTC will operate them in tandem with existing lines. The pact also outlines how potential conflicts will be solved, and the approval process for changes to the scope of the projects.

Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig said the agreement is more formal than the memorandum of understanding forged by former Toronto Mayor Mr David Miller which was rejected by Ford but subsequently reinstated by Toronto City Council. "Now that we have a master agreement signed it gives us much more certainty that we have defined agreements," McCuaig told local media. "And it becomes that much more difficult for governments at any level ... to change"

A full description of Toronto's light rail plans, together with those of other Canadian cities can be viewed here.