Ontario Moving Ahead on High Speed Rail with Planning Advisory Board
Historic Project Would Cut Travel Times by Half in Toronto-Windsor Corridor
Ontario is pushing forward with plans to bring high speed rail (HSR) to the Toronto-Windsor corridor by establishing an HSR Planning Advisory Board to provide strategic support on the landmark project. Canada's first high speed rail service will slash people's travel times, providing a faster, greener travel option that creates new opportunities for workers, businesses and anyone traveling in this part of the province.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced this important step forward today in a speech to the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. In addition to providing strategic advice on major business issues associated with the project, the HSR Planning Advisory Board will engage with the private sector, stakeholders and Indigenous communities. The team members will bring a breadth and depth of expertise to the project, including in the high tech and innovation sectors; engineering, environmental sciences and transportation planning; and the financing and delivery of infrastructure projects. Members will include the best and brightest in these fields from across Ontario and Canada.
High speed trains between Toronto and Windsor would travel at up to 250 kilometres per hour on a combination of existing track and new dedicated rail corridors. This could cut travel times between these major centres from over four hours to just over two. By expanding Ontario's Innovation SuperCorridor to Windsor, high speed rail will support and enhance opportunities for economic growth in Southwestern Ontario and across the province. It will help businesses attract the best talent and boost their productivity, and help Ontario make the transition to a low-carbon innovation economy.
Investing in high speed rail is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- In order to ensure that HSR is effectively implemented, Ontario is establishing an HSR Planning Advisory Board. In his May report, Special Advisor David Collenette recommended a phased approach to delivering high speed rail in the corridor, and establishing the HSR Planning Advisory Board is part of the first phase towards delivering high speed rail.
- Today, Ontario launched a website with details of what high speed rail will mean for people in Southwestern Ontario and across the province, and how people can provide feedback and input.
- Ontario will continue to engage with private and public partners, including Indigenous communities and municipalities, while the environmental assessment, design work and ridership forecasting are completed.
- The high speed rail line will serve a corridor that’s home to more than seven million people. The proposed stops are Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto Union Station, with a connection to Pearson International Airport.
- The corridor was selected because it is a hub for leading startups, research institutions, and the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, and the region is growing faster than its current transportation network can accommodate.
“High speed rail will dramatically change what’s possible for people in Southwestern Ontario. Whether that’s giving people a faster, greener way to get to a great job in the tech industry, allowing family members to visit more often or helping people discover more of our beautiful province. Canada’s first high speed rail service will also help companies along the Toronto-Windsor corridor to continue to attract top talent and take their business to the next level.”
“High speed rail will have a transformative impact on travel in Southwestern Ontario, helping people to innovate, connect with each other, and travel for work, study and play. This is just one part of our plan to invest in transit across the province — connecting communities and supporting growth in jobs and the economy.”
Steven Del Duca