2016 Ontario Budget
Chapter I: Building Prosperity and Creating Jobs

Section B: Building Tomorrow’s Infrastructure Now


Infrastructure is a key component of the economy. Investing today helps stimulate economic growth and create jobs. These investments also build the infrastructure needed for the future to move people and goods quickly and efficiently, attract private investment, expand opportunities for suppliers, buyers and skilled workers, and help people in their everyday lives.

Research Demonstrates How Infrastructure Investment Benefits the Economy

  • An October 2015 report by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA) found that the Province’s 10-year infrastructure plan supports approximately 11 per cent of Ontario’s economic growth over the next 30 years.1
  • A September 2015 report by the Broadbent Institute and the Centre for Spatial Economics showed that, on average, investing a dollar in public infrastructure in Canada raises gross domestic product (GDP) by $1.43 in the short term and up to $3.83 in the long term.2
  • The Province estimates planned infrastructure investments would support over 110,000 jobs, on average, each year.

The Province is building modern and efficient infrastructure that benefits people and the economy, both today and in the future. In June 2015, Ontario passed the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2015, which will come into force on May 1, 2016. This Act will align infrastructure investments with Ontario’s economic development priorities through long-term planning, while strengthening the province’s competitive edge globally. When fully implemented, the legislation will support the evaluation and prioritization of infrastructure investments.

A major component of the Act is the requirement that Ontario publish a long-term infrastructure plan within three years. Subsequent plans will be tabled at least once every five years. This plan will describe the Province’s infrastructure portfolio, outline anticipated needs of the portfolio and propose strategies to meet these needs.

Updates on Infrastructure Development

In this Budget, the Province is making public infrastructure investments of more than $137 billion over the next 10 years — over $3 billion more than announced in the 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. This builds on the 2014 Budget commitment to invest in infrastructure — resulting in about $160 billion over 12 years, starting in 2014–15. This represents the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history. Planned investments would support over 110,000 jobs, on average, each year.

Examples of new infrastructure investments include expanding the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) to support local communities, investing in new highway projects across the province and increasing investments in health care infrastructure to maintain hospitals in good repair.

Moving Ontario Forward

In the 2014 Budget, the Province announced that nearly $29 billion would be made available for investment in its Moving Ontario Forward plan for public transit, transportation, and other priority infrastructure projects, of which $3.1 billion represented dedicated funds projected to be provided as part of the government’s asset optimization strategy. In the 2015 Budget, the government announced it was moving forward with broadening the ownership of Hydro One as part of its asset optimization strategy, and increased its asset optimization target by $2.6 billion. Investments in Moving Ontario Forward increased by an equivalent amount, from nearly $29 billion to $31.5 billion. In fall 2015, the government moved forward with the first phase in broadening ownership of Hydro One, and the Province remains on track to generate net revenue gains of $5.7 billion from asset optimization over time.

To build Ontario up across the province in a way that is fair, total dedicated funds for Moving Ontario Forward are allocated using census data from Statistics Canada, with about $15 billion available outside the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and about $16 billion available within the GTHA.

The plan will support the development of an integrated transportation network across the province, manage congestion, connect people, and improve the economy and quality of life.

Outside the GTHA

Following the 2015 Budget, the government launched consultations to seek input on the design of new infrastructure programs and a framework to prioritize investments outside the GTHA.

Ontarians offered their perspectives on the infrastructure priorities of communities across the province, and this input will continue to be an important guide in making targeted next steps when selecting infrastructure investments.

Supporting Local Communities

Through the OCIF, the Province is providing small, rural and northern municipalities with access to $100 million per year to build and repair critical infrastructure and create jobs across Ontario. To date, the $50 million application-based component of the fund has supported over 135 water, sewer, road and bridge projects in communities across the province.

Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) Recipients

  • In southwestern Ontario, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent will receive $2 million in funding to rehabilitate the Parry Bridge. The Town of Petrolia will also receive $2 million to upgrade water mains and replace storm sewers.
  • In northeastern Ontario, the City of Temiskaming Shores will receive about $1.5 million to integrate two water systems into one supply source and build a treatment facility.
  • In south central Ontario, the Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen will receive about $1.7 million to improve its water system and ensure sufficient water for fire protection. The Town of Cobourg will receive $675,000 to upgrade roads and improve pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.

Reflecting consultation feedback and the progress municipalities have made on their asset management plans, the OCIF will be expanded to $300 million per year by 2018–19. This increased funding will help municipalities invest even more in the critical infrastructure they need to thrive, while also creating jobs across the province. The expanded fund will be relaunched in late spring 2016.

Additionally, through the Small Communities Fund, the Province and the federal government are each providing $272 million to support projects in communities with populations of less than 100,000. To date, 75 diverse projects have been approved that will help address local priorities and support economic growth.

The Province is also developing programs to help communities partner with utilities to extend access to natural gas supplies. Ontario will introduce a loan program to support access to natural gas in 2016. Access to natural gas can help stimulate the economy, particularly in smaller communities, by attracting new industry, making commercial transportation more affordable, benefiting agricultural producers and providing consumers with more energy choices.

The Province is investing in a number of ongoing and additional transportation projects, including:

Southwestern Ontario:
  • Advance work to facilitate construction of the new four-lane alignment on Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph.
  • In partnership with the City of London, work on the final design to upgrade the existing interchange at Highway 401 and Highbury Avenue. Construction will begin in 2017.
  • Expansion of Highway 401 from six to 10 lanes from Hespeler Road easterly to Townline Road in Cambridge, including high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. Construction is anticipated to start in 2018.
Eastern Ontario:
  • Improving the Highway 417 corridor in Ottawa, including noise barriers, with construction beginning in 2016, and additional improvements at the Bronson Avenue interchange beginning in 2018.
  • Widening of the Highway 417 Ottawa Queensway corridor, including the section from Maitland Avenue to Island Park Drive, and the section from Highway 416 to Maitland Avenue. Construction on these sections is anticipated to start in 2016 and 2019, respectively.
  • Widening nine kilometres of County Road 17 in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, beginning in 2019.
Northern Ontario:
  • Continued design work for four-laning 12 kilometres of Highway 11/17, from Highway 587 to Pearl Creek, and four kilometres from Black Sturgeon River Bridge to Red Rock Road No. 9.
  • Continuing construction of a four-lane divided Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon to support a strategic link in the Trans-Canada Highway system. Additional work will include the section starting west of the CPR Overhead at Ouimet easterly for 8.6 kilometres, and the section from Black Sturgeon River westerly to Highway 582 for 6.5 kilometres. Construction is anticipated to start in 2018.
  • Capital improvements to northern airports to support remote and Indigenous communities and promote economic development.

The Province is also increasing funding, beginning in 2018–19, for capital improvements to roads and bridges in First Nation communities to maintain a safe and sustainable road network.

The Connecting Links program will provide $20 million in 2016–17, up from $15 million announced in the 2015 Budget, to help municipalities pay the construction and repair costs for municipal roads that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community or to a border crossing. This new program was launched in November 2015, and applications were received in early 2016. Successful applicants will receive funding starting in spring 2016. Funding for this program will increase to $30 million per year by 2018–19.

Ring of Fire

Ontario has also committed up to $1 billion for strategic transportation infrastructure development in the Ring of Fire region, located about 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. The Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation has been established to support smart, sustainable and collaborative development in the Ring of Fire region, and has completed a number of studies to help inform infrastructure planning.

The Province also continues infrastructure planning with First Nations. Ontario and the federal government jointly funded a community-based study of all-season access roads and the Province is also providing funding to First Nation communities for capacity building and social supports. For example, approximately 2,000 clients from Matawa First Nations communities have participated in education and skills training programs. The Province also continues to work actively with industry partners on development opportunities. The Ring of Fire project will support economic development in northern Ontario and provide benefits for Indigenous communities, Ontario and Canada as a whole.

Inside the GTHA

Regional Express Rail

Through Moving Ontario Forward, the Province continues to build priority transit projects to increase ridership and reduce travel times. The government will invest $13.5 billion to implement GO Regional Express Rail (RER), which will quadruple the number of weekly trips from about 1,500 to nearly 6,000 trips.

Regional Express Rail (RER) will create substantial benefits for the Province and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) by providing new travel options that will transform the regional transportation system across the region. GO RER will provide service with 15-minute frequencies and in both directions during weekdays, evenings and on weekends, with electrification on rail corridors located in core areas.

A portion of the funding for GO RER will support planning, design and early construction on GO rail corridors, including the following projects that are currently underway:

  • Environmental assessment for system-wide electrification on GO RER;
  • Additional track on the Kitchener corridor;
  • Double track to Unionville on the Stouffville corridor;
  • Passing track from York University to Rutherford Road on the Barrie corridor; and
  • Union Station signal system upgrades.

The Province and Metrolinx have been working closely with the City of Toronto to provide input into, and ensure coordination between, the City’s SmartTrack plan and how it fits with the implementation of Regional Express Rail. These discussions also include the consideration of the City’s proposed Eglinton East Light Rail Transit and new Scarborough subway alignment. The SmartTrack funding proposal entails substantial contributions in new capital and operating funding from partners, including the City of Toronto and the federal government.

As a first step to phasing in GO RER, Metrolinx is continuing to implement short-term service improvements that will result in new travel options across the seven corridors of the GO rail network. In 2016–17, planned network-wide GO rail service improvements include the addition of up to:

  • Six new trips during the morning/afternoon commutes (i.e., peak trips) on the Milton, Richmond Hill and Stouffville corridors;
  • 10 new trips during the midday/evening (i.e., off-peak trips) on the Kitchener corridor to/from the City of Brampton; and
  • 52 new trips on each weekend day (i.e., a typical Saturday) on the Kitchener corridor to/from the City of Brampton and the Barrie corridor to/from Aurora.

The additional service is dependent on a number of factors, including negotiations with freight rail companies, the implementation of infrastructure and the delivery of new rail equipment.

By 2020, rail service on the GO Transit network will increase by approximately 50 per cent over 2014–15 levels. Additional services will increase opportunities for commuters to choose transit not just for getting to work, but also for getting around.

To also manage congestion, Metrolinx will continue to make strategic parking investments and expansions to support future service improvement.

In addition, planned GO bus service improvements will complement the addition of new GO train trips, and will also help to address new demand areas, overcrowding and reliability. In 2016–17, planned GO bus service improvements will increase the number of bus trips by 130 per week.

Other Transit Projects

Ontario is also investing in the following projects inside the GTHA:

  • Hurontario LRT — The Province will invest $1.4 billion to cover the capital construction costs of this light rail transit (LRT) line in Peel Region that will bring approximately 20 kilometres of new, modern, reliable rapid transit to Mississauga and southern Brampton. It is expected that construction will start in 2018 and the LRT will be in service in 2022.
  • Hamilton LRT — The Province will cover the capital costs of building the LRT, up to $1 billion. New, modern light rail vehicles on tracks separated from regular traffic will offer speedy service from McMaster University through downtown Hamilton to Queenston Traffic Circle. The environmental assessment process is expected to be completed in early 2017, construction will start in 2019, and the LRT will be in service by 2024.
  • Planning and design work for other priority projects included in Metrolinx’s regional transportation plan — The Big Move— to support ongoing transit planning in the region, including:
    • Dundas Street Bus Rapid Transit, linking Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington;
    • Durham–Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit;
    • Brampton Queen Street Rapid Transit;
    • Toronto Relief Line; and
    • Yonge North Subway Extension.

The Province will continue working with regions, communities, other levels of government, and private partners to design and select the next generation of infrastructure investments that will improve the competitiveness of Ontario’s communities, enhance productivity, promote innovation and develop new economic opportunities, such as:

  • Subject to agreement with freight rail partners, two-way, all-day rail services on the Kitchener and Milton GO corridors, and extension of GO rail service to Niagara and Bowmanville;
  • New and improved GO bus connections to the GO rail network for communities such as Brantford and Cambridge; and
  • Cost-sharing the capital costs of municipal transit projects such as London rapid transit and Phase 2 of the Ottawa LRT project.

Ongoing Investments in Transportation

The Province is moving ahead with creating a reliable and sustainable transportation system in Ontario. Transit investments and major highway infrastructure projects are underway to improve mobility and connectivity across the province.


Investments in Ontario’s transportation system help reduce congestion and move people and goods faster. The Province is investing in a number of major highway projects to support economic growth and improve mobility.

High-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes allow carpooling drivers to continue driving for free, but other drivers could choose to drive in the lane and pay a toll.

  • As the first step in Ontario’s plan to implement high-occupancy toll lanes, a 16.5-kilometre pilot project initiative will begin on a section of the Queen Elizabeth Way between Trafalgar Road in Oakville and Guelph Line in Burlington in summer 2016 to help manage congestion and add choice for travellers. In spring 2016, Ontario will announce details on pricing and availability of HOT lanes. Information collected through the pilot will be used to support long-term planning for future HOT lanes, including new, dedicated HOT lanes with electronic tolling on Highway 427, from south of Highway 409 to north of Rutherford Road, which will open by 2021.
  • The Province will widen Highway 400 from eight to 10 lanes to add a new HOV lane in each direction between Major Mackenzie Drive and King Road. This project is scheduled for completion in 2018–19.
  • The 407 East project will help relieve congestion and support the efficient movement of people and goods through the eastern Greater Toronto Area and beyond. Phase 1, from Brock Road in Pickering to Harmony Road in Oshawa and Highway 412, will open in spring 2016. The initial portion of Phase 2 will extend the highway from Harmony Road in Oshawa to the new Highway 418 in Clarington by late 2017. By 2020, the final portion of Phase 2 will complete the extension to Highway 35/115 in Clarington and complete Highway 418 from Taunton Road to Highway 401.
  • The Province is widening 12 kilometres of Highway 410 from Highway 401 to Queen Street in Brampton. When completed in 2018, Highway 410 will be widened from six lanes to 10 lanes and will provide HOV lanes to help improve traffic flow and commuter traveller choices.
  • Through the Northern Highways Program, the Province is investing $550 million in northern infrastructure. Capital improvements made through this program include new passing lanes and the rehabilitation and replacement of bridges, in addition to a four-lane expansion of Highway 69 south of Sudbury and Highway 11/17 east of Thunder Bay. Other projects benefiting from this program include continuing rehabilitation of the Noden Causeway near Fort Frances, resurfacing of 36 kilometres of Highway 144, and replacement of the Valentine River Bridge west of Hearst.
  • The government will continue to enhance winter highway maintenance delivery to keep Ontario’s highways as safe as possible during the winter, improve awareness for drivers, and verify contractors are meeting ministry maintenance standards. Planned enhancements in 2016–17 include improved road weather information system stations, increased service by contractors through more frequent road patrolling, more reliable equipment, and expansion of the “Track My Plow” website to enable more Ontarians to plan their trips by tracking the location of snowplows and viewing roadside camera images in their communities in real time.

Track My Plow Program

This initiative allows the public to track snowplows on provincial highways in their area. This initiative is part of a response to the Office of the Auditor General’s report on Winter Highway Maintenance released in April 2015. For winter 2015–16, this program started in two contract areas, and now covers seven of the 20 contract areas in the province.


In addition to Moving Ontario Forward investments, the Province is supporting major transit projects that are planned and underway, including:

  • Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) — Progress continues on building the east and west tunnels. The station construction and maintenance contract for the LRT has been awarded to Crosslinx, which will complete design submissions before construction begins in spring 2016. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT has been selected as a green project that continues to receive funding from Ontario’s Green Bonds. The line is expected to be in service by fall 2021.
  • Finch West LRT — Eleven kilometres of new, dedicated light rail transit between Humber College and the new Finch West Subway Station on the Toronto–York Spadina Subway Extension. The project is now in procurement. Preliminary design and engineering work is underway. The start of major construction is expected in 2017.
  • Mississauga Transitway — The 18-kilometre bus transit corridor is expected to be completed in 2017. Construction of the west side transit system has begun, with two transitway stations and a corridor linking Winston Churchill Boulevard and Erin Mills Parkway. On the east side of the transitway, the City of Mississauga is building four stations, scheduled to open in 2016.

PRESTO — More than 1.8 million PRESTO cards are being used for travel throughout the 11 transit systems in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area and Ottawa area. By the end of 2016, Toronto transit riders will be able to use the PRESTO fare card at all TTC subway stations, and on all streetcars and buses. When PRESTO is fully deployed on the TTC, there will be more than 10,000 PRESTO devices in streetcars, buses, subway stations and para-transit vehicles for the 1.7 million customers who ride the TTC daily. The Province is working with municipalities to ensure a fair allocation of operating costs for the program.

All levels of government have a role in supporting transit investments in Ontario. As the Province continues to provide significant contributions towards new rapid transit projects and services in the GTHA, which will replace or supplement local transit services, the Province will be seeking ongoing municipal support for operating and maintenance costs.

Supporting Municipal Transportation Systems

The Province is supporting key municipal transit projects.

  • In 2015, Ontario provided over $330 million in gas tax funding to 95 municipalities to help expand and improve public transit. Since 2004, Ontario has allocated more than $3.4 billion in gas tax funding to communities across the province. Municipalities use the funding to enhance accessibility, purchase additional transit vehicles, add more routes and extend hours of service — making it easier for people to use public transit. The program also helps ease traffic congestion and reduce air pollution.
  • Work is underway for ION, the Region of Waterloo’s 36-kilometre rapid transit project, with about 5.3 kilometres of LRT track in place in Kitchener and Waterloo. The Province will continue to have discussions with the Region on other transit priorities such as a proposed transit hub that could connect ION, Grand River Transit, GO Transit and other intercity bus carriers.
  • Progress continues along Ottawa’s 12.5-kilometre LRT project, the Confederation Line. As of January 2016, over 75 per cent of the tunnelling had been completed.

Cycling infrastructure is part of the government’s plan to build up Ontario communities. The Province recognizes the importance of helping communities become more sustainable by building off-road bike paths and large-scale recreational trails through the #CycleON initiative. To continue promoting a healthy Ontario, the Province has created a new streamlined process for municipalities to submit proposals for environmental assessment on trails and paths. Reducing carbon footprints is one of the many benefits of investing in cycling infrastructure.


  • The Province will invest $20 million to purchase a new ferry for the Eastern Region that will be put into service at Amherst Island as early as 2018. This new vessel will ensure there is a backup vessel at all times for Eastern Region’s ferry services.
  • The Owen Sound Transportation Company operates the MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry between the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island, and the MV Niska 1 ferry between Moosonee and Moose Factory Island for seasonal passenger and vehicle services. To support these essential services for northern communities, the Province will invest in upgrades to the MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry and river dredging for MV Niska 1 navigation routes.

Child Care and Education Infrastructure

Investing in schools is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The funding responds to local needs while creating contemporary learning environments for students.

Over 10 years, the Province plans to provide more than $11 billion in capital grants to school boards. These funds will help build new schools in areas of high growth, improve the condition of existing facilities and invest in projects to reduce surplus space through school consolidations.

Ontario is also investing in child care by creating approximately 4,000 new licensed child care spaces in local schools to give children the opportunity to transition more easily into full-day kindergarten. These new spaces will be built in areas of high demand and will enhance access to quality child care options for families across the province. This investment is another step towards a modern child care and early years system that will enhance programs and supports for children in Ontario.

As of winter 2016, approximately 200 major capital school projects are either being planned or underway across Ontario, including projects that incorporate a community hub model. Examples of projects include: 

  • $8 million to retrofit Alexander Henry High School in Sault Ste. Marie into a new JK–8 school that will accommodate local enrolment pressures and partner with the municipality to include a public library to create a community hub;
  • $9 million to consolidate two schools into a new Greensville Public School in Hamilton that will partner with the municipality to include community space, a public library and 39 child care spaces;
  • $13 million to construct a new École Secondaire Gaétan-Gervais in Oakville, creating a recreation hub in partnership with the Town of Oakville and the neighbouring English public school board;
  • $12 million to build a new JK–8 school in Windfields Farm in Oshawa to address accommodation pressure in nearby schools, and to include 73 new child care spaces;
  • $15 million to rebuild Davisville Junior Public School in Toronto, with plans to partner with the City to create a community hub;
  • $21 million to replace two schools in Cambridge and Ayr, including 176 new child care spaces;
  • $2 million to create over 70 new child care spaces at Centennial Hylands Elementary School in Shelburne; and
  • $52 million to build two new schools and four retrofits/additions in Ottawa, including 78 new child care spaces.

Postsecondary Education Infrastructure

Ontario is committed to developing a sustainable, transparent, student-centred postsecondary sector, where students have access to high-quality programs closer to home and where Ontario’s investments contribute to building a strong economy. As part of the Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework, the government announced plans in May 2015 for a new postsecondary campus in Markham for about 4,000 students. The project will be a partnership between York University and Seneca College. In 2016, Ontario will issue a second targeted call for proposals under the framework to serve the growing demand in Peel and Halton Regions and support creating good jobs and building the Ontario economy. After York, Peel and Halton are the fastest-growing areas of the province.

In addition to the new campus in York and any future campus in Halton/Peel, the Province is funding new capital projects such as:

  • Confederation College in Thunder Bay — A new technology, education and collaboration hub will bring together preparatory, apprenticeship, training, trades and technology programs, providing an array of instruction, innovation and incubation facilities.
  • La Cité collégiale in Ottawa — New interdisciplinary creativity incubators will create experiential learning space and help build a culture of innovation for francophones to meet the emerging needs of the labour market.

These projects are part of the Province’s plan to provide $3 billion in capital grants to postsecondary institutions over 10 years.

Ontario will be working with the postsecondary sector on a capital strategy, recognizing that capital investment must look to the future of a growing connected world where investments in technology are critical to jobs and the economy.

Health and Community Infrastructure

Health capital projects are part of the government’s infrastructure investment plan to improve access to high‐quality, reliable, specialized health care services and facilities for Ontarians. The Province plans to provide $12 billion over 10 years in capital grants to hospitals to continue building essential infrastructure.

Health care infrastructure investments help ensure patients continue to receive high-quality care in a safe and healthy environment. Across the province, approximately 35 major hospital projects are under construction or in various stages of planning.

In addition, the Province is providing new annual funding of $50 million to assist hospitals in maintaining their facilities in good repair. This investment will build on increases announced in the 2014 Budget, to more than triple investments in the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund from pre-2014 levels.

Examples of Hospital Projects in Planning or Underway

The new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital project will improve access to hospital services for York Region. The new hospital will have a state-of-the-art emergency department, modern surgical services, specialized ambulatory clinics and advanced diagnostic imaging. The hospital will have integrated smart digital technology systems to enhance the patient care experience.

The new Providence Care Hospital in Kingston will consolidate services currently provided at St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital and Mental Health Services into a 270‐bed state-of-the-art facility. The new hospital will include single-occupancy patient rooms with adjacent therapy and treatment spaces to allow patients to receive care closer to their rooms, and will maximize the use of technology to enhance care and improve operating efficiency.

A renovation of acute and long-term care beds at the Atikokan General Hospital will help better coordinate provision of care across levels of service delivery.

The expansion and redevelopment at Cambridge Memorial Hospital will improve access to health care services for patients in Cambridge by increasing the number of beds, doubling the size of the emergency department to better meet the needs of patients in the region, expanding laboratory and diagnostic imaging services to help patients receive their results on-site sooner, and improving the hospital’s medical training facilities.

Ontario is also investing in community health infrastructure projects to expand local service capacity and address emerging needs in the community. The government has released a redesigned Community Health Capital Programs Policy that provides for expanded eligibility and a streamlined approval process for community health care infrastructure projects in Ontario. The Province continues to work closely with the Special Adviser on Community Hubs to advance the recommendations contained in the recently released “Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan.”

The Province is investing $3.3 million to support the reconstruction of the Blyth performing arts facility as a cultural hub in southwestern Ontario. The facility hosts an annual arts festival, showcases professional exhibits and community shows, and supports rural economic creativity.

The Legacy of the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

The Province, working with its partners, helped to deliver the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games within projected budgets. Ontario’s support to host the world’s third largest international multi-sports event triggered major capital investments, which benefit present and future generations of Ontarians. Major investments included:

  • 10 new internationally certified sports venues and 15 upgraded venues.
  • The Athletes’ Village in Toronto, which has been transformed into the Canary District, a mixed-used community with:
    • 810 townhomes and condominiums, with up to 100 affordable home ownership units;
    • 253 affordable rental units;
    • an 82,000‐square-foot YMCA;
    • a 500‐bed student residence; and
    • an 18-acre Corktown Common park.

Ontarians are already benefiting from this infrastructure investment:

  • The Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre had over 100,000 visits by sport and recreation users in its first three and a half months of post-Games operations. As of December 31, 2015, there were 2,300 registered fitness members and over 30 high‐performance and community sport groups training at the facility on a regular basis.
  • In 2015, over 20,000 sport enthusiasts participated in cycling sessions at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre (velodrome) in Milton, with more than 8,600 registrants for cycling programs.
  • The Athletics Stadium at York University will expand its high-performance programs to support Athletics Canada.
  • Over 1,000 new jobs have been created for full-time, part-time and seasonal workers.

Energy Infrastructure

Smart Investments in Energy Infrastructure for Today and Tomorrow

A clean, reliable and affordable supply of electricity is a critical element for sustainable job creation and economic development.

The government continues to make significant progress in transforming the electricity system into one that Ontarians can count on for reliability and leadership in clean energy. More than $34 billion has been invested in cleaner generation since 2003, and Hydro One alone has invested about $15 billion in modern transmission and distribution infrastructure. Over 16,000 megawatts (MW) of new and refurbished capacity have come online, including more than 7,000 MW of wind, solar and other renewable energy supply, and an additional  2,400 MW in renewable capacity contracted for and under development.

Ontario remains committed to building a cleaner and more sustainable energy system. The first phase of the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) competitive Large Renewable Procurement (LRP I), where large is generally over 500 kilowatts (kW), is targeted to procure up to 300 MW of wind, 140 MW of solar, 50 MW of bioenergy and 75 MW of water power.

The recent round of the Feed-In Tariff 4 (FIT4) application window closed in October 2015, with over 1,968 applications received, representing a total of 582 MW. Contracts for the FIT4 program will be awarded, up to the procurement target of about 241 MW.

In November 2015, the IESO completed its plan to secure a total of 50 MW of energy storage in Ontario. The IESO offered contracts to five companies for nine separate energy storage projects totalling 16.75 MW. This is in addition to the approximately 34 MW in storage capacity previously secured.

Ontario is moving forward with refurbishment of the four units at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, and has updated its contract with Bruce Power to provide for the refurbishment of six nuclear units, in addition to the two units at the Bruce A Nuclear Generating Station that have already been refurbished. Together, this secures over 9,800 MW of affordable, reliable and emission-free power.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is on track to begin refurbishment of the first unit at Darlington in October 2016. The budget for the project is $12.8 billion, about $1.2 billion less than originally projected by OPG, and all four units are scheduled for completion by 2026. The Conference Board of Canada has estimated that nuclear refurbishment at Darlington will contribute an estimated $14.9 billion to Ontario’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the boost to jobs is estimated to average 11,800 over the peak 10 years of the refurbishment project.

Ontario Power Generation is also pursuing continued operation of the Pickering Generating Station beyond 2020 up to 2024, which would protect 4,500 jobs across the Durham region, avoid eight million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and save Ontario electricity consumers up to $600 million. Ontario Power Generation will engage with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Ontario Energy Board to seek approvals required for the continued operation of the Pickering Generating Station.

Bruce Power will invest approximately $13 billion in refurbishments of the six nuclear units. An economic impact analysis by industry and unions estimates that the Bruce Power refurbishment will create about 5,000 jobs and generate an estimated $1.7 billion to $2.3 billion in annual economic benefits in communities throughout the province. Average prices over the life of the contract are within the range assumed in the 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) for refurbished nuclear energy and are lower than the average price of electricity generation in Ontario.

In 2015, OPG and Coral Rapids Power Corporation (CRP), a company wholly owned by Taykwa Tagamou Nation (TTN), began the construction of the Peter Sutherland Sr. Generating Station, a new 28 MW hydroelectric station on the Abitibi River near New Post Creek. The $300 million project is expected to employ 220 workers at its peak and be completed in 2018.

The government considers reducing diesel use in the 25 remote First Nation communities in northwestern Ontario an important social, economic and environmental priority. The 2013 LTEP highlighted a strong economic case for connecting up to 21 First Nation communities, currently supplied by diesel generation, to Ontario’s electricity grid. The Province encourages all interested transmission line proponents to work collaboratively in their efforts to connect remote communities in northwestern Ontario.

Ontario is working with the federal government on the connection of remote communities, as the federal government will benefit from the cost savings associated with reduced diesel use and whose commitment and cooperation are required to make this project a reality. The 2013 LTEP also stated that it was a priority to reduce diesel use in the remaining four communities.

Ontario will continue to explore innovative solutions for supplying electricity, including consideration for on-site renewables, microgrids and conservation in First Nation communities.

Reducing or eliminating high-cost diesel use would lessen harmful emissions, strengthen local economies, create well-paying jobs and bring lasting socioeconomic benefits for generations to come.

Asset Optimization

The Province is making significant progress on its asset optimization strategy. The sale of General Motors shares was completed in February 2015 and the initial public offering (IPO) of Hydro One was finalized in November 2015, with strong retail and institutional investor demand. The Province is also moving forward with its plans to unlock value from its real estate assets, including the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) head office lands, OPG’s head office building, and the Seaton and Lakeview lands. The Province remains on track in its multi-year asset optimization initiative to generate $5.7 billion over time. All net revenue gains from the sale of qualifying assets will be dedicated to the Trillium Trust to help fund further investments in transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure as part of the Moving Ontario Forward initiative.

This asset optimization target, as announced in the 2015 Budget, will help support the single largest infrastructure investment program in the province’s history.

Hydro One Update

As announced in the 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, the Province completed the Hydro One Ltd. IPO in November 2015 and raised approximately $1.83 billion in gross proceeds and about $116 million from related share sales. By broadening the ownership of Hydro One, the Province will recognize a net gain from the IPO and related share sales, and a further fiscal benefit due to a Hydro One deferred tax benefit impact on its net income.

The IPO was the first phase in broadening the ownership of Hydro One. The Province will proceed with future offerings in a staged and prudent manner, over time reducing its stake to 40 per cent while remaining the largest shareholder. Through this initiative, the Province expects to generate $4 billion in net revenue gains that, through the Trillium Trust, will be reinvested in infrastructure under Moving Ontario Forward, and $5 billion to reduce debt.

Recycling Value from Ontario’s Real Estate Assets into Infrastructure

The Province is executing its strategy to optimize its real estate assets and is in the final stages of the process to sell the LCBO’s head office lands. Proponents were invited to submit development plans and a purchase price in the second stage of the Request for Proposal process, which closed in September 2015. Negotiations with a potential purchaser are ongoing, with the transaction expected to close in spring 2016. Net revenue gains from the LCBO head office sale will be directed to the Trillium Trust to support building transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure to grow the economy, create jobs and enhance quality of life for Ontarians.

As announced in January 2016, the Province is moving forward with the sale of the Seaton lands. The lands will be marketed to prospective purchasers and are being sold on the open market to support a new urban development in the City of Pickering. By selling approximately 800 acres of employment lands and 269 acres of residential and mixed-use lands, upon completion Seaton will be a sustainable community that will be home to 70,000 people and support 35,000 jobs.

The Province also continues to move forward with the sale of OPG’s head office building, and the former Lakeview generating station lands in south Mississauga continue to be reviewed under a longer-term revitalization plan for the property and adjacent lands. The Province is focused on realizing the potential of the Lakeview lands, with an opportunity to create a new and sustainable mixed-use community along Mississauga’s eastern waterfront, with arts and culture districts, housing, employment, and retail and recreational uses. The Province intends to strategically proceed with a staged sale process, beginning with lands envisioned for residential mixed-use development, in keeping with anticipated proposals for amendments to the City of Mississauga’s official plan.

The government remains committed to dedicating the net revenue gains generated from these sales to the Trillium Trust.

Trillium Trust Update

Under the Trillium Trust Act, 2014, all net revenue gains associated with the sale of designated assets are to be credited to the Trust to support the Province’s key infrastructure priorities, such as roads, bridges and public transit. Designated assets under the Act include the Province’s shares in Hydro One and Hydro One Brampton, as well as the LCBO head office lands, the OPG head office building and the Lakeview lands. The Act also provides for regulations to designate additional assets, such as the Seaton lands.

The government is moving forward with proposed regulations under the Act to prescribe net revenue gains from the Hydro One IPO, as well as the non-cash fiscal benefits from the deferred tax benefit recorded by Hydro One. These regulations would ensure that all the fiscal benefits associated with broadening Hydro One’s ownership are credited to the Trust for infrastructure investments under Moving Ontario Forward.

The Province estimates that a total of more than $4 billion will have been credited to the Trillium Trust from the broadening of Hydro One ownership in 2015–16 and from the sale of the Province’s shares in General Motors in prior years.

The government plans to begin drawing down on the balance in the Trillium Trust in 2016–17 to support the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history. Based on planned expenditures, in 2016–17 the Trillium Trust would support Moving Ontario Forward initiatives, such as:

  • Regional Express Rail (RER);
  • Hurontario Light Rail Transit (LRT); and
  • Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund.

Encouraging the Consolidation of Local Distribution Companies

The 2015 Budget proposed time-limited tax relief measures to help encourage the consolidation of local distribution companies in Ontario. Mergers among these entities would generate greater efficiencies and economies of scale, creating more cost-effective organizations from which ratepayers will benefit.

The regulations to support these measures will soon be in place. Any merger or acquisition is subject to Ontario Energy Board (OEB) review for approval.

The proposed merger of Hydro One Brampton with PowerStream, Enersource and Horizon Utilities continues to move forward. Commercial closing of the transaction would be subject to certain closing conditions, including OEB approval.

Alternative Financing and Procurement

Ontario is a leading jurisdiction for procuring infrastructure projects through alternative means, with over a decade of experience using the recognized Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) model to deliver some of the province’s largest and most complex infrastructure projects.

Through its agency, Infrastructure Ontario (IO), the Province continues to have a solid track record in delivering high-quality infrastructure projects using the AFP model. Almost all AFP projects (44 of 45) have been delivered on budget. Going forward, all major public infrastructure projects valued at $100 million will be assessed for delivery under the AFP model.

In 2014, the Auditor General of Ontario completed an assessment of the AFP model. The report acknowledged IO’s strong record of delivering infrastructure projects on time and on budget, and confirmed that, through AFP projects, IO is transferring risks to the private sector that could otherwise result in higher costs and delays.

The Province continues to refine the AFP model in line with the Auditor General’s recommendations. Ontario introduced changes to the model in 2015, in an effort to create a more streamlined and consistent approach to evaluating projects for potential delivery while reducing long-term financing costs. Recent refinements include enhanced local knowledge, stronger health and safety requirements, and a pilot project to encourage apprentices on projects. In addition, IO released a new Value for Money guide that reflects best practices in evaluating the business case for AFP project delivery. As well, IO will make prudent adjustments to reduce long-term financing costs without reducing the transfer of risks to the private sector.

The AFP model is a homegrown success. Ontario companies are well positioned to compete for business in other countries and export their expertise. Over 40 jurisdictions have visited Ontario to understand the AFP approach and how Ontario infrastructure companies can export their know-how.

1 P. Smetanin and D. Stiff, “Investing in Ontario’s Public Infrastructure: A Prosperity at Risk Perspective, with an Analysis of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area,” Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, (2015).

2 The Centre for Spatial Economics, “The Economic Benefits of Public Infrastructure Spending in Canada,” The Broadbent Institute, (2015).

Chart Descriptions

Chart 1.8: Significant Infrastructure Investments

This chart illustrates recent and planned infrastructure investments by the Province. Ontario invested $11 billion in 2014–15 and $11 billion in 2015–16.
In the 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, the Province announced a more than $134 billion investment commitment.

Planned infrastructure investments are increasing. Ontario is planning to invest more than $137 billion over the next 10 years, or about $160 billion over 12 years, starting in 2014–15.

Figures exclude third-party investments in hospitals, colleges and schools.

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Chart 1.9: Moving Ontario Forward — Outside the GTHA

This chart shows preliminary estimated timelines for various investments outside the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), under the Moving Ontario Forward initiative.

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Chart 1.10: Updates on Regional Express Rail

This map shows planned GO rail improvements on the Kitchener, Milton, Lakeshore West, Lakeshore East, Barrie, Richmond Hill and Stouffville lines. Segments of lines are distinguished by type of improvement, including Regional Express Rail, additional trips and enhanced service.

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Chart 1.11: Moving Ontario Forward — GTHA

This chart shows preliminary estimated timelines for various transit projects within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), under the Moving Ontario Forward initiative.

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Chart 1.12: Moving Ontario Forward

This chart illustrates how Moving Ontario Forward is funded and what its outcomes are. $31.5 billion in dedicated funds is generated from different sources, including net revenue gains from asset optimization, tax revenue, federal contributions and, if necessary, borrowing. The net revenue gains from asset optimization are credited to the Trillium Trust. Together, the Trillium Trust and other dedicated funds total $31.5 billion and will be invested in Moving Ontario Forward projects. Moving Ontario Forward investments will help support economic growth and job creation.

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