Following the appointment of Phil Verster to the CEO position for Metrolinx, the sponsorship model used by Network Rail has been introduced to support the extensive expansion programme in Toronto for both heavy rail and subways as well as the implementation of a Transit Oriented Development strategy across the Metrolinx network.

 As a result, the Sponsor Office that has been established in 2018 within Metrolinx remains relatively inexperienced. The Head Sponsor for the RER Expansion programme was previously a Principal Programme Sponsor within Network Rail and recognised the need to secure additional senior and experienced Sponsors to support the extensive enhancement programme that is already underway and continuing to grow. This resulted in the proposal to bring 2 experienced Band 1 Sponsors into the business on 6 months secondment from Network Rail.      

 The 2 secondees are:

  • Duncan Law – March 19 – Sept 19
  • Erica Blamire – April 19 – Oct 19


  • Providing sponsorship to projects. These specifically include a new subway line and a new GO station to serve a commercial development at East Harbour which will integrate with the proposed new subway line.
  • Metrolinx has no previous experience of developing subway schemes, therefore, for the new subway line activities include the development of options to support the identification of a preferred alignment, the creation/recruitment of a subway team that can progress the scheme through the full project lifecycle, and extensive stakeholder management and engagement
  • For the GO Station project, this has required the development of new processes to support how Metrolinx undertake asset protection activities for a developer designed and delivered project, recognizing that they also have no previous experience of this model as well as the identification of the require commercial agreements that are required to support the design and construction phases of the project

 Supporting the development of the Sponsor Office

  • Providing mentoring, coaching to other sponsors within Metrolinx
  • Leading by example in terms of the behaviours required for successful sponsorship
  • Supporting the analysis and assessment of training and development needs for the team and developing a plan to support which will leave a legacy for the Sponsor Office leadership team to progress when secondments are finished
  • Sharing best practice relating to sponsorship activities

Client: Metrolinx

Location: Toronto

Start date: March 2019

End date: October 2019

Duration: 7 Months

Services provided: Provide senior and experienced sponsorship services to support the development of various enhancement projects including East Harbour and subways as well as other GO Expansion projects. Also support the competency and development of the existing Sponsor Office team.