To ensure Ontario remains a competitive and attractive place to live, work and invest, the Province will continue to build the next generation of transportation infrastructure. Ontario plans to invest about $84 billion over 10 years in the transportation sector, including $56 billion for public transit and $26 billion for highways, supporting 50,000 jobs on average, each year. Through these investments, the government is working towards its goal of providing a world-class transit and transportation system that moves people and goods safely and efficiently to support a globally competitive economy and a high quality of life.
What We’ve Been Doing since 2013
- Constructing rapid transit projects like the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit and completing the Union Pearson Express airport rail link
- Increasing the number of weekly trips and two-way service across the GO rail network to provide more options to commuters and travellers
- Building or repairing 435 bridges and more than 2,800 kilometres of highways, including four-laning major highway corridors in northern Ontario, to keep people and goods moving
- Supporting municipal transit by providing over $1.3 billion in gas tax funding
The Province is leading the renewal and expansion of transportation and other critical infrastructure for Ontarians. A signature component is the Moving Ontario Forward plan, which includes investments for public transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure projects throughout the province.
In January 2017, the Province released its BuildON 2017 Infrastructure Update and an interactive website1 that features a sample of more than 2,500 key projects currently underway or completed across different sectors. Visit this website for further information about ongoing transportation projects in communities across the province.
Investing in Transit Projects
The Province is managing congestion, connecting communities and providing people with more travel options by investing in public transit.
Regional Express Rail
GO Regional Express Rail (RER) is a plan to provide faster and more frequent service on the GO rail network, with electrified service on core segments, including the Union Pearson Express. It is one of the largest transit infrastructure investments in North America.
The number of scheduled trips across the entire GO rail network is expected to grow from approximately 1,500 per week to nearly 6,000 once the GO RER is delivered by 2024–25.
The Province is advancing infrastructure works on a number of projects on the Barrie, Stouffville, Lakeshore East, Lakeshore West and Kitchener rail corridors, including station upgrades, grade separations and track work, and laying the groundwork for future electrification.
GO Rail Extensions and Expansion
Working with freight rail partners, Ontario is also moving forward with extending GO rail service to Bowmanville and Niagara, and expanding service to Kitchener.
- The 20-kilometre extension of the Lakeshore East GO corridor from Oshawa to Bowmanville is expected to be in service by 2023–24. This GO rail extension will serve Durham residents with four proposed new stations at Thornton Road and Ritson Road in Oshawa, Courtice Road in Courtice and Martin Road in Bowmanville.
- Weekday GO rail service between the future Confederation GO Station in Hamilton and the Niagara Region is expected to begin in 2021, with service to Niagara Falls by 2023. In addition to this station in Hamilton, three new or upgraded train stations are proposed along the corridor in Grimsby, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.
- Planning and technical analyses are underway to enable two-way, all-day GO rail service along the Kitchener corridor.
Ontario welcomes the federal government’s commitment to invest about $1.9 billion in portions of the GO RER project, and will continue to seek partnership with the federal government to advance transit and transportation projects across the province.
Rapid Transit Projects
Several major provincial transit projects are planned or underway across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
- Hamilton Rapid Transit — The Province is proceeding with the construction of a dedicated light rail transit (LRT) line between McMaster University and the Queenston traffic circle. This project will support rapid, reliable and convenient transit for commuters in the Hamilton area. A request for proposals is expected to be released later in 2017. In addition to the LRT, Ontario is also moving forward with the planning for a proposed 16-kilometre bus rapid transit (BRT) line that would connect the Hamilton waterfront to Hamilton International Airport.
- Hurontario LRT — The Province is proceeding with procurement for approximately 20 kilometres of modern, reliable, rapid transit to Mississauga and south Brampton along the Hurontario corridor from Port Credit GO Station to Steeles Avenue. A request for proposals is expected to be released later in 2017.
- Eglinton Crosstown LRT — Construction is well underway for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto, which will run across Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis (Weston Road) and Kennedy Station. The 19-kilometre corridor will include a 10-kilometre underground portion between Keele Street and Laird Drive. Tunnelling work on the underground section of the LRT is now complete, and progress continues with early works at all underground stations.
- Finch West LRT — This project will bring 11 kilometres of dedicated rapid transit to Toronto between Humber College and Keele Street. The procurement process for the project is ongoing.
- Mississauga Transitway — The 18-kilometre transitway will have 12 stations from Winston Churchill Boulevard in the west to Renforth Drive in the east. Construction of Winston Churchill station is complete and the entire project is expected to be in service this year.
- York VIVA Next BRT — This project is being implemented in several segments, with the Markham, Richmond Hill and Newmarket segments already opened. The Highway 7 Vaughan Metropolitan Centre segment east of Jane Street is scheduled to be operational in spring 2017, and the remaining segments, along Yonge Street, in Richmond Hill and Newmarket, and along Highway 7 in Vaughan, will be in service by December 2019.
Municipal Infrastructure Projects
The Province is supporting key municipal transit projects, including:
- Waterloo ION Rapid Transit — Stage 1 includes 17 kilometres of adapted BRT from Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener to Cambridge’s Ainslie Street terminal, as well as 19 kilometres of LRT from Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener. The adapted BRT opened for service in September 2015. The LRT portion is 90 per cent complete, and is expected to open in 2018. The Province is investing up to $300 million towards this project.
- Ottawa LRT — Stage 1 is on track to launch in 2018; all 13 stations are under construction. Following its launch, construction for Stage 2 extensions is scheduled to begin, with projected completion in 2023. The Province is investing about $1.6 billion towards Stages 1 and 2 of this project.
Increasing Gas Tax Funding
Ontario will increase the share of revenue municipalities receive from the provincial gas tax from $334 million in 2016–17 to an estimated $642 million by 2021–22, from the existing provincial gas tax. This will be achieved by doubling the municipal share of the gas tax from two cents to four cents per litre by 2021–22.
The enhancement to the provincial gas tax program will provide a stable source of funding for municipalities to improve and expand their local transit systems and offer more travel options for commuters and families.
Investing in Highway Infrastructure
The Province is making new investments in highway infrastructure. Planning and design work is underway to support:
- Rehabilitation of Highway 400, from 16th Sideroad to Lloydtown-Aurora Road in York Region, including reconstruction of the Lloydtown-Aurora Road interchange and the replacement of the 16th Sideroad overpass bridge. Construction is expected to start in 2017 and be completed in 2020.
- Replacement of the bridges over the Grand River on Highway 401 in the City of Kitchener. Construction is expected to start in 2019 and be completed in 2022.
- Rehabilitation of Highway 401, from 4.4 kilometres east of Merlin Road to 5.0 kilometres east of Bloomfield Road, and from 2.0 kilometres west of Mull Side Road to 1.4 kilometres west of Victoria Road, in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. Construction is expected to start in 2018 and be completed in 2020.
Additionally, the Province continues to move forward with highway expansion and renewal projects to support economic growth and improve mobility.
TABLE 4.3 Highlights of Highway Projects
Highway 427 — Extending the highway by 6.6 kilometres from Highway 7 to Major Mackenzie Drive, and adding lanes from Finch Avenue to Highway 7. It will also include High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes anticipated to open in 2021.
Highway 404 — Widening the existing highway from six to eight lanes to add High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes between Highway 407 ETR and Stouffville Road, starting in 2018, in collaboration with the federal government.
Highway 410 — Continuing with the construction work by widening and rehabilitating structures between Eglinton Avenue on Highway 403 and Queen Street on Highway 410.
Highway 407E — The new Highway 407E project includes three highways: Highways 407, 412 and 418, which will help relieve congestion and support the efficient movement of people and goods through the eastern GTHA and beyond. Phase 1 of the project is open to traffic, and construction on Phase 2 will continue until 2020.
Highway 401 in Cambridge — Expanding a stretch of highway between Hespeler Road and Townline Road, starting in 2018, in collaboration with the federal government. The project includes HOV lanes and the replacement of two bridges.
Highway 7 in Kitchener — Expanding Shirley Avenue in Kitchener from two to four lanes to facilitate future construction of Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph, reconstructing a section on Wellington Street North, building sidewalks and bike lanes, and making other improvements.
Highway 417 — Expanding the Ottawa Queensway from six to eight lanes between Maitland Avenue and Island Park Drive to improve safety and traffic flow, starting in summer 2017. This project also includes rehabilitating the Merivale Road bridge.
Highway 401 in Kingston — Replacing the Cataraqui River bridge starting in spring 2017 and widening the highway from four to six lanes between Highway 15 and Montreal Street.
|North||Northern Highways Program — Investing $648 million in highway infrastructure across the region. Work continues on:
Other Investments in Transportation Infrastructure
The Province has announced increased funding for Ontario’s Connecting Links program to help municipalities repair roads and bridges connecting two ends of a provincial highway through a community or to a border crossing. In 2017–18, Ontario will provide $25 million to 19 municipalities, including:
- $3.0 million to the Town of Renfrew, for the reconstruction of Raglan Street from Hall Avenue to the Bonnechere River Valley Bridge;
- $2.9 million to the Township of Champlain for the reconstruction of High Street from the intersection of Highway 34 and Main Street in Vankleek Hill, to the southern limits of the Township;
- $2.7 million to the Town of Hearst for the rehabilitation of Front Street;
- $2.4 million to the City of Stratford for the resurfacing of Erie Street; and
- $2.3 million to the City of Sault Ste. Marie for the resurfacing of two sections of Second Line.
Funding for the Connecting Links program will increase to $30 million per year by 2018–19.
Supporting Ontario’s Small and Northern Communities
The Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) provides steady funding to small, rural and northern communities to address critical infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges. In 2016, the government tripled funding under the program to reach $300 million per year by 2018–19. Projects supported through OCIF include:
- $1.3 million in funding to the Township of Tudor and Cashel for the safety rehabilitation of Weslemkoon Lake Road;
- $1.2 million in funding to the Township of Wilmot to rehabilitate Holland Mills Road bridge; and
- $0.9 million in funding to the Township of Ignace to rehabilitate West Beach Drive.
In 2015, the government appointed the Honourable David Collenette as a Special Advisor to assist in bringing high-speed rail to the Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Windsor corridor.
The Province will now advance the comprehensive environmental assessment and support additional design and planning work for the corridor. Ontario is also considering the development of a governing body that would provide oversight for the ambitious work required to design and implement high-speed rail.
High-speed rail could cut travel times between Toronto and Windsor from four hours to just over two, and would make Ontario the first province to transform its rail network through high‑speed rail.
Moving Ontario Forward with the Trillium Trust
Through the Moving Ontario Forward plan, the government is supporting public transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure in order to develop an integrated transportation network that helps manage congestion, connect people, and improve the economy and quality of life. The plan is supported by a multi-year asset optimization strategy, which includes broadening the ownership of Hydro One, the sale of General Motors (GM) shares completed in 2015, and unlocking the value of designated Provincial real estate assets.
In March 2017, the government credited the Trillium Trust with an additional $538 million in net revenue gains from the sale of Hydro One shares in 2016.
The government previously credited the Trillium Trust with net revenue gains from the sale of the Province’s shares in GM, the initial sale of Hydro One shares in 2015 and the sale of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) head office lands, bringing the total amount credited to the Trillium Trust to $5.3 billion. The government remains on track to meet its target to dedicate $5.7 billion to the Trillium Trust.
As stated in the 2016 Budget and 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, the government has begun drawing down funds from the Trillium Trust in 2016–17. Based on planned expenditures, the Trillium Trust is projected to be drawn down by about $250 million in 2016–17 and about $400 million in 2017–18 to help support initiatives, such as GO RER, the Hurontario LRT and the OCIF.
Broadening Hydro One Ownership
The Province now holds approximately 70 per cent of Hydro One common shares following the initial public offering in November 2015 and a secondary offering in April 2016. The Province will remain the largest shareholder, while reducing its stake to no less than 40 per cent over time to help support the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history.
In July 2016, the Province and First Nations in Ontario, as represented by the Chiefs-in-Assembly, announced an agreement-in-principle for the Province to sell to the First Nations, for their collective benefit, up to 2.5 per cent of total current outstanding Hydro One shares, at a price of $18 per share. The agreement remains subject to ratification by the First Nations.
Through the broadening of Hydro One ownership, the Province remains on track 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.
Merging Hydro One Brampton
The Province has successfully completed the sale of Hydro One Brampton to Alectra Utilities, a newly merged entity consisting of three former local distribution companies (Enersource, Horizon Utilities and PowerStream), creating the second largest local distribution company (LDC) in Ontario. This represents a major step forward in LDC consolidation and will allow for more efficient services and continued provision of safe, reliable electricity. The government will credit the net proceeds from the sale to the Trillium Trust.
Realizing Value from Ontario’s Real Estate Assets
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has reached an agreement for the sale of its head office properties. The transaction is estimated to result in net proceeds of over $200 million, which will be credited to the Trillium Trust.
The Province is also moving forward with its plans to unlock value from other real estate assets, including the Seaton and Lakeview lands.
Chart 4.4: Investments in Transit and Transportation over the Next 10 Years
This chart illustrates recent and planned infrastructure investments by the Province. Ontario plans to invest about $84 billion over the next 10 years in the transportation sector, including $56 billion for public transit and $26 billion for highways.