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Ontario scraps new highway proposed for Toronto area

The controversial roadway would have stretched about 48 kilometres between Milton and Vaughan, Ont., connecting Highway 401 to Highway 400


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The advisory panel found alternative approaches on the region’s existing highways could deliver the same benefits as the Milton-Vaughan route. PHOTO: PLTam/Flickr

TORONTO—A proposed highway connecting two major Toronto-area thoroughfares appears dead on arrival.

After years assessing the project, the Ontario government said late last week the new, approximately 48-kilometre highway along the GTA West Corridor will not be built.

The roadway would have stretched from Milton to Vaughan—running just north of Brampton, Ont.—and connected Highway 401 west of Toronto to Highway 400 north of the city.

The province began early planning for the highway in 2007 and convened an advisory panel to study the project more closely in 2016.

The three-member panel released its assessment Feb. 9, advising the province to stop all work on the new highway. It said the project’s environmental assessment did not prove the highway was the “only option available to address the study area’s future transportation needs.”

Among other options, the panel pointed to priority truck lanes on Highway 407 and congestion pricing on the Toronto area’s existing routes as alternatives that would be equally beneficial and not disturb “prime agricultural lands.”

Falling in line with the panel’s findings, Queen’s Park scrapped the project and instead cordoned off an area about one-third the size across the GTA West Corridor while it studies different infrastructure options. The land in York, Peel and Halton regions will be protected from development while the assessment takes place.

The latest study will factor in emerging transportation technologies such as self-driving vehicles.


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