Letter to the Metrolinx Board with Transit Projects for Brampton #brampoli

Please see here for a PDF for a copy of our latest correspondence to the Metrolinx Board for their September 2017 meeting. Please note that copies of all letters/emails sent to the Metrolinx Board are added to the official minutes of the Board meeting and acknowledged by the Chair before the meeting starts.

Our September 2017 letter covered the following topics that were mentioned in the Board report:

  1. Metrolinx 2017-18 Business Plan: Kitchener Corridor Expansion and Freight Bypass;
  2. Capital Projects Group Quarterly Report;
  3. Off-Peak GO Train Service;
  4. The Next Regional Transportation Plan (RTP): Draft Plan for Public Consultation; and
  5. Hurontario LRT (HuLRT)

Our letter for the June 2017 meeting is here. Topics included:

  1. Brampton-Halton Freight Rail Bypass (BHFRB) for the CN Rail Halton Subdivision;
  2. Hydrogen;
  3. Off-Peak GO Train Service;
  4. Bramalea GO Station Revitalization;
  5. Naming of the Hurontario LRT (HuLRT) LRVs;
  6. High-Speed Rail (HSR); and
  7. Thank you

Our letter for the June 2016 meeting is here.

  1. Expanded GO Train Service for the Kitchener Corridor

A key note of the is letter is that it was jointly signed by a number of organizations in Brampton and along the Kitchener Corridor.


Opportunity for Input: GTA West Corridor Review

In December 2015 the Ministry of Transportation suspended its work on the Environmental Assessment of the GTA West highway. This was done in order to, among other things, ensure the project still aligns with recent changes in government policy in the region — such as Regional Express Rail.

An Advisory Panel has been established to conduct a strategic assessment of potential alternative approaches to meeting future transportation demand and infrastructure needs for passenger and goods movement in the GTA West Corridor.

The Panel welcomes feedback, in particular on the following questions based on the panel’s Terms of Reference:

  • How is your organization planning for the introduction and adoption of new technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles, and how do you think they may change travel and transit demand in the Greater Toronto Area?
  • How does your organization foresee car-sharing services, such as Uber, influencing travel and transit demand in the Greater Toronto Area?
  • How do you foresee recent Provincial policy directions, such as Moving Ontario Forward, Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, and the Coordinated Review of Provincial Plans, impacting the Environmental Assessment recommendations including the GTA West Corridor?
  • Are there other infrastructure improvements that could be made to address goods movement in the Greater Toronto Area?
  • Are there any other recent studies related to other infrastructure that are relevant?
  • Should the GTA West Corridor be protected for other transportation needs?
  • What are your views on the appropriate path forward for the Environmental Assessment?

This is an excellent opportunity to provide input into this project. Visit for more information. Email your feedback to

Queen Street Transit Master Plan

Not that we were “gone”. Though perhaps it’s safe to say we took a small hiatus after the HLRT discussion went “off the rails”, and it was no longer about sound planning and how transit users actually use transit.

But, we’ve learned that there has been an update to the Queen Street Rapid Transit project. On August 4, 2016, The City of Brampton announced the initiation of the Queen Street Transit Master Plan.

Announced in 2012 as part of the “Next Wave” projects, the last update made public was the publication of a Benefits Case document in May 2013.

Read the Benefits Case document

The Benefits Case document discusses the benefits of different technologies on different segments of the route. Namely: BRT and LRT. Part of the consideration is how well it will play with neighbouring transit systems. Mississauga is joining Brampton in developing LRT along Hurontario. This is not likely the case with Vaughan Transit. Integration with their BRT will need to be considered.

To recap — the summary of benefits are as follows:

  1. Bus rapid transit in an exclusive right-of-way between Downtown Brampton and
    Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, results in the most favourable cost-benefit ratio.
  2. The full light rail transit option also provides significant benefits such as higher transit ridership, greater GHG emissions reductions, and more significant land value increases.
  3. The bus rapid transit options provide strongest benefits from the transportation user benefits perspective.
  4. Although the four project options perform similarly in terms of a benefits case ratio, the capital costs vary significantly.
  5. As BRT and LRT offer competing operational advantages, the qualitative aspects of the two modes should also be taken into consideration.
  6. LRT is seen to have better environmental qualities through reduced noise, no local emissions, and reduced energy consumption.
  7. LRT is also perceived to play a greater role in land use shaping by attracting more intensified development.
  8. Given the range of costs and the ability of all options to accommodate projected ridership to 2031, it would be prudent to invest in the corridor on an incremental basis.

Despite Brampton Council’s insistence that Queen St. is “second” priority (see Councillor Bowman’s motion from the October 27, 2015 meeting), the ridership and projected growth along this corridor compared to Hurontario-Main doesn’t necessarily agree with that assertion. Indicators suggest that improved BRT service might work just as well as LRT until 2031. However, time will tell as the Master Plan evaluates the corridor further.

In the meantime, we can also get excited about new bike lanes, as active transportation is also being considered! This is great news for people who want to ride bikes in Brampton to connect between downtown and the Chinguacousy Trail over by the Bramalea City Centre .

All around, good news. We’ll gladly keep everyone posted as we learn more!

Open Letter To Brampton Council: Think About The Future

The following is an open letter sent to Fight Gridlock from Andrew deGroot, a resident of Brampton — one who has been an incredible supporter and fact-finder for the LRT project, and it’s alignment on Main St. into downtown Brampton.

Attention: Mayor Linda Jeffrey & Members of council;

I know people believe they are protecting downtown by suggesting an alternate route around downtown Brampton but history tells us the exact opposite will happen. Prior to the 1940s, Jarvis Street was probably the most beautiful street in all of Toronto. The city’s first paved road was once the grandest tree-lined boulevard around, bracketed by the mansions of some of Toronto’s wealthiest movers and shakers.

In the 1940s the City of Toronto began working on a transit plan which included its first subway. Toronto debated whether to run the line up Jarvis or under the much narrower Yonge Street. Construction was approved in 1946 for the new Yonge Street line.

Meanwhile, the stately Jarvis boulevard was transformed to make way for the automobile. Jarvis Street was turned from a gorgeous historical thoroughfare into an urban highway, stretching from the waterfront up to Bloor. Cars on Jarvis, transit on Yonge.

Fast forward to the today. Yonge Street is the economic core of Toronto with cross streets King, Queen and Bloor all boasting their own rapid transit. Jarvis, on the other hand has fallen on hard times. Known for decades as the seediest street in Toronto, it is where you go to find drugs and prostitution. Only now, 70 years later is investment starting to turn this street around, though all of the homes are gone or being used for commercial purposes.

Meanwhile in Downtown Brampton, the comparisons are striking. Our quant southern entrance boasts similar large older homes as Jarvis, though almost all of the grand homes north of Wellington have been demolished or are rooming houses. Main Street is an urban highway shuttling people quickly from their jobs in Mississauga to their homes in northern Brampton or beyond our border. Downtown Brampton has the same drug and prostitution problem as Jarvis. Jarvis has Harvey’s and Brampton has the 7-Eleven.

The establishment of Toronto, trying to protect their streetscape and homesteads, voted against progress and transit along Jarvis with the obvious consequences to follow. Brampton’s establishment is voicing its strong opposition to the LRT through downtown Brampton.

We are at a crossroads in Brampton. We have the opportunity to build for our future or dwell on our past. Our tight grip on maintaining status quo will hinder process. Do we want Main Street to be the Jarvis of Brampton?

I encourage Brampton City Council to support this project without delay.


Andrew deGroot
Ward 1 resident

Images of Jarvis St., Toronto









Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 3.05.05 PM

How Areas Will Benefit From LRT

Some questions have been asked regarding the expected economic benefits of LRT on Main St. in Brampton. The studies by Metrolinx and the City of Brampton explain how. Much of the content here are from the reports. Links to reports are at the end of this article.

What’s a Mobility Hub?

Mobility hubs are major transit station areas. They are particularly significant given the level of transit service that is planned for them and the development potential around them. They are places of connectivity between regional rapid transit services, and also places where different modes of transportation, from walking to high-speed rail, come together seamlessly. They have, or are planned to have an attractive, intensive concentration of employment, living, shopping and enjoyment around a major transit station. To be identified as a mobility hub, a major transit station area must be located at the interchange of two or more current or planned regional rapid transit lines, and be forecasted to have 4,500 or more combined boardings and alightings in the morning peak period in 2031. In addition, these areas are generally forecasted to achieve or have the potential to achieve a minimum density of approximately 10,000 people and jobs within an 800 m radius. The primary major transit station areas associated with an urban growth centre are also identified as mobility hubs.

Note: An 800 m radius is in important consideration for walkability. It’s about a 10 minute walk.

What’s an Anchor Hub?

Anchor hubs are primary major transit stations that are located within an urban growth centre. These hubs are expected to encompass major regional destinations, such as major institutions, employment centres, town centres, or regional shopping centres. They have the potential to attract and accommodate new growth and development and would act as anchors of the regional transportation system.

What’s a Gateway Hub?

Gateway hubs have two criteria: they are located at the interchange between two or more current or planned regional rapid transit lines and have a forecast combined number of boardings and alightings of 4,500 or more by 2031 for the peak morning period. Within 800 m of these hubs, the forecast density is expected to be a least 10,000 residents and jobs combined.

5 Identified Hubs

The Regional Transportation Plan, prepared by Metrolinx, has identified five mobility hubs within the corridor. These hubs are to be major transit station areas with high development potential. There are two types: gateway hubs and anchor hubs. Gateway hubs have two criteria: they are located at the interchange between two or more current or planned regional rapid transit lines and have a forecast combined number of boardings and alightings of 4,500 or more by 2031 for the peak morning period. Within 800 m of these hubs, the forecast density is expected to be a least 10,000 residents and jobs combined.

Areas with the highest development potential will be the five transit hubs on the Hurontario-Main LRT route:

  1. Downtown Brampton (Anchor Hub)
  2. Hurontario and Steeles (Gateway Hub)
  3. Mississauga Downtown Core (Anchor Hub)
  4. Cooksville GO (Gateway Hub)
  5. Port Credit GO (Gateway Hub)

Anchor hubs are primary major transit stations that are located within an urban growth centre. These hubs are expected to encompass major regional destinations, such as major institutions, employment centres, town centres, or regional shopping centres. They have the potential to attract and accommodate new growth and development and would act as anchors of the regional transportation system.

The anchor hub is key. The best opportunity to leverage development potential in downtown Brampton is to connect directly into downtown.

Character Areas

Within Brampton are 3 key character areas.

Character AreasBrampton Gateway

407/Hwy. 10 to Charolais Blvd.

The existing population base of this area is approximately 14,600, which represents approximately 8% of the population for the entire corridor. Residential uses along Main Street are largely medium and high density, with limited single family residences fronting onto the corridor.

The Brampton Gateway employment area accommodates approximately 5,000 employees which account for roughly 4% of the employment base along the corridor. Close to 50% of the employment within this area is institutional, while the remaining half is largely made up of retail and business service uses.

By 2031, this area is forecast to reach a population of approximately 21,000, which represents a steady annual growth rate of 1.6%. Employment within this area is also forecast to steadily increase to 7,800 by 2031, an increase of 2,800 or 1.9% annual employment growth.

The vision for this character area is to transform Shoppers World and other singleuse retail properties into a vibrant mixed use transit-oriented development. The existing transit terminal located at the southwest corner of Shoppers World has been relocated to the southeast corner so that it fronts on the corner of Main Street and Steeles Avenue. This intersection has been identified as the centre of a Gateway Hub in the Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan and is intended to be a major pedestrian oriented neighbourhood. A secondary transit-oriented neighbourhood area, based on a predominantly office and institutional core, is to be developed between Steeles Avenue and Highway 407.

Main Street South Heritage Area

Charolais Blvd. to Wellington St.

The greatest concentration of non-residential development is found at the Brampton Mall site located at the northeast corner of Nanwood Drive and Main Street, with a range of tenants, including a major grocery store, a drug store chain and a bank.


Downtown Brampton

Downtown Brampton is forecast to experience the highest annual rate of population and employment growth of the eleven character areas, with an annual population and employment growth rate from 2008 to 2031 of 3.4% and 2.1%, respectively. In terms of growth share, Brampton Downtown is forecast to accommodate approximately 9% and 11% population and employment growth forecast for the entire Hurontario corridor. A number of studies are underway in Downtown Brampton, assessing the planning design and environmental factors to be incorporated into the vision.

Another important purpose of connecting the Hurontario Main LRT to the downtown terminal is to begin stimulating development of the Central Area in Brampton, which will later be serviced by an additional rapid transit project on Queen St.

Population and Employment at Hubs

This chart from the Hurontario-Main Environmental Project Report indicates the anticipated changes within the study area between the years or 2008–2031.

Population and Employment

Where Brampton is concerned, the important items are:

Brampton Gateway

  • An increase of 6,500 residents, a 45% increase
  • An increase of 2,760 jobs, a 55% increase

Main Street South Heritage Area

  • An increase of 1,480 residents, a 15% increase
  • An increase of 160 jobs, a 19% increase

Downtown Brampton

  • An increase of 5,500 residents, a 117% increase
  • An increase of 3,520 jobs, a 62% increase

You can see from the projections there will be considerable increases in population and jobs around the Gateway and Downtown transit terminals, with modest increases in the Heritage area. For the best chance of success, the LRT needs to connect Downtown to the Gateway. If for no other reason than the traffic a population increase of 117% will create downtown.

Brampton Stands To Gain Most!

The following table shows that when projections for Brampton and Mississauga are compared, Brampton stands to gain the most.

Brampton Mississauga Increases

In population growth, Brampton is projecting a 236,036 resident increase, or 51%, compared to Mississauga’s 89,000 (12%).

In job growth, Brampton is projecting a 126,200 job increase, or 64% compared to Mississauga’s 69,000 (15%).