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Major highway projects may enhance transit service

Although Transit Toronto seldom reports on freeways and other projects that primarily affect private motorists and truckers, two current Ontario Ministry of Transport projects will likely have a direct impact on regional transit services and enhance options for transit passengers:

  • building a new highway to extend Highway 407 between Brock Road in Pickering and Highways 35 and 115 in Clarington; and
  • redesigning Highway 427 between Highway 401 and the Queen Elizabeth Way / Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway in Toronto.

Extending Highway 407

The Ministry just ended a series of public information centres about this project. It has now revealed the route on which it prefers to build this express toll highway.

The route stretches eastward from the highway’s current eastern end point at Brock Road, extends roughly parallel to Highway 7, Winchester Road and Concession 7 and finally joins Highways 35 and 115 somewhat south of the point where Highways 35 and 115 split.

The proposed route protects current residential areas by skirting a number of hamlets, villages and communities, including Brougham, Locust Hill, Greenbank, Brooklin, Columbus, Solina, Hampden and Kirby.

Two north-south toll express roads link the new highway to Highway 401. The West Durham Link follows a route parallel to and slightly east of Lake Ridge Road between Ajax and Whitby. The East Durham Link follows a route mostly parallel to Solina Road.

The project design includes a transitway on the south side of the highway and on the west side of each of the link roads. In general terms, the transit corridor represents 60 metres of the 170 metre right-of-way that the province will protect. The 60 meter right-of-way permits a future transit corridor that could accommodate a bus rapid transit or light rail transit in the future. In the short term, buses operating along the highway would mix with other traffic on the highways.

The project includes future transit stations at:

  • Brock Road;
  • Westney Road;
  • Salem Road;
  • Lake Ridge Road;
  • Baldwin Street (Regional Highway 12);
  • Thickson Road;
  • Simcoe Street;
  • Harmony Road;
  • Enfield Road;
  • Solina Road;
  • Regional Road 57;
  • Darlington / Clark Townline Road; and
  • Highways 35 / 115.

The West Durham Link transitway would include stations at:

  • Taunton Road;
  • Rossland Road; and
  • Kingston Road / Dundas Street (Regional Highway 2).

The East Durham Link transitway would include stations at:

  • Taunton Road;
  • King Street (Regional Highway 2); and
  • Bloor Street.

You can learn more about the project to extend Highway 407 here.

Ministry staff will use comments that they received during the recent public information meetings to prepare a final report to submit to the Ontario Minister of the Environment this spring. The report is the final step in the Environmental Assessment process. After the minister has approved the project, the final steps for designing and building the road can begin.

Redesigning Highway 427

The Ministry is also studying the design of Highway 427 between Highway 401 and the Queen Elizabeth Way / Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway. Among other things, the study investigates a number of measures to improve transit service along the freeway, including reserved bus lanes, bus bypass shoulders and reconfiguring interchanges.

Highway 427 currently serves numerous GO Transit, Mississauga Transit and TTC bus routes. Installing measures to improve the highway for transit vehicles will help buses operate better and more quickly between the future Mississauga bus rapid transit line and the future inter-regional bus terminal at Kipling Station. They may also also help buses to connect to Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The Ministry is hosting two public information meetings on the project on Thursday, February 19 and Wednesday, February 25. Both open house meetings take place from 4 until 8 p.m. at:

Valhalla Inn,
Scandia Room,
1 Valhalla Inn Road
(Drivers of northbound vehicles along Highway 427
can gain direct access to Valhalla Inn from the collector lanes.
All others can gain access to Valhalla Inn from the East Mall
between Burnhamthorpe Road and Bloor Street West.)

You can find out more about the project here.

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