March 23, 2017

Getting on Board

Lindsay Wiginton

Pembina Institute

Learning from planning and engagement around rapid transit projects in Ontario

The current roll-out of rapid transit infrastructure in Ontario is one of the biggest infrastructure builds in the province’s history, with over $30 billion in investment from
the Province of Ontario and major inputs from the federal and municipal governments.
New transit projects are moving forward in an urban and social landscape characterized
by greater public expectations toward governments, changing values around the
environment, an increasingly diverse society, and rapid urban growth.

In southern Ontario, these new transit projects are part of provincial policies, now in place for over 10 years, aimed at managing growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) to protect farmland, build more complete communities, offer viable transportation options for moving around the region and encourage a shift to transportation modes other than the car.

With such significant investments at stake, it’s important to get the process right. Support from the local community has proven to be a crucial ingredient for success. In this report, we examine engagement and planning processes around ongoing rapid transit projects in four Ontario communities to better understand the challenges and success factorsassociated with these efforts.

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