Ontario Commits Over $11 Billion to Build First Phase of High Speed Rail
Transformational Project to Begin Service As Early As 2025
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at Info-Tech in London today to highlight Ontario's historic investment to build a high speed rail line along the Toronto-Windsor corridor that will connect communities and create jobs and economic growth across Southwestern Ontario.
As announced in the 2018 Budget, the government will make an initial investment of more than $11 billion to support construction of Phase One of the project between Toronto and London. Canada's first high speed rail line -- the largest new investment in the Budget -- will slash travel times in half along the corridor, offer people a convenient new travel option that will reduce carbon emissions, while creating new opportunities for workers, businesses and anyone traveling in this part of Ontario.
Electric-powered trains will move at speeds of up to 250 kilometres per hour on a combination of existing track and new dedicated rail corridors. The high speed trains will dramatically reduce travel times -- to an estimated 73 minutes between London and Toronto Union Station. This will give people a faster and greener way to get around, and will help businesses attract talented workers from across a wider area.
This project is one in a series of major investments Ontario is making to build and expand public transit and transition to a low-carbon innovation economy. These investments include the transformational GO Regional Express Rail (RER) project, which will introduce all-day, two-way service every 15 minutes across the GO rail network, with electrified service on core segments, including the Union Pearson Express. Weekly trips across the entire GO rail network will grow from about 1,500 to nearly 6,000 by 2025.
Building high speed rail is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and easier access to affordable child care.
- Phase 1 will include station stops at London, Kitchener, Guelph and Toronto Union Station, with a connection to Pearson International Airport. The Phase 2 service will add stops in Windsor and Chatham.
- The Toronto-Windsor corridor is home to more than seven million people, and is a hub for leading start-ups and research institutions, and the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
- In December, Ontario issued a Request for Bids to develop the environmental assessment terms of reference for high speed rail project. The contract has now been awarded to WSP and work on the first stage of the environmental assessment is underway.
- The government is committing up to $101 million over three years to support planning, preliminary design and an environment assessment for the Toronto-Windsor corridor.
- Ontario is continuing to engage with partners in the private and public sectors, including municipalities and Indigenous communities, while the environmental assessment, design and ridership forecasts are completed.
- Ontario is investing up to $170 million in a major new transit project that will make it faster and easier to travel around London. The London Bus Rapid Transit System will connect 23.7 kilometres of rapid transit along London’s busiest corridors with a hub in the downtown core.
“We have to be bold and visionary right now and invest in the kind of future we know we are capable of. This is just no time for government to sit still and let opportunities pass Ontario by. The best time to build high speed rail was thirty years ago. The second best time is right now, so we are taking action. We are going to build this line — because high speed rail is going to unlock so many benefits for people and businesses across Southwestern Ontario.”
“We are creating more transportation choices for people across Southwestern Ontario, and building an integrated transportation system that is prepared to meet the demands of the future. I am thrilled to announce this initial investment of more than $11 billion towards this historic project. High speed rail will connect communities like never before.”