While municipal councils in Toronto, Brampton, and Hamilton have been divided on whether or not to accept full provincial funding for new LRT lines—parts of Metrolinx's The Big Move plan to expand transit infrastructure—one municipality that has consistently been on board is Mississauga. The Hurontario Street corridor is the focus of integrated transportation and land use planning efforts, with Council and City Staff moving forward with plans to increase density along the corridor. As Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie proudly declared, "It [the Hurontario LRT] is truly transformational, and it is already shaping how our city will grow for decades to come.”
The $1.4 billion Hurontario LRT is slated to start construction in 2018, and be completed by 2022. If this timeline holds, the Hurontario LRT will begin revenue service around the same time as the Eglinton Crosstown, Finch West and Hamilton Main LRTs.
The situation at the north end of the line in Brampton, however, is far less clear. The project was initially funded for $1.6 billion, but was reduced to $1.4 billion when Brampton City Council rejected the LRT alignment along Main Street into Downtown Brampton. For the sake of our Bramptonian readers, we won't rehash the Council debacle in too much detail. Suffice it to say, since being voted down in October 2015 none of the proposed alternative alignments have gathered sufficient support on Brampton Council to be adopted, and the status of the LRT north of Steeles Avenue remains uncertain.
While status updates on the LRT project remain few and far between as the project gears up to begin construction, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued on January 20th this year for a rebuild of the Cooksville GO station. The RFP, which is being delivered through Infrastructure Ontario's Alternative Financing and Procurement model, includes a new station building with a large public plaza, upgrades to the existing rail platform access tunnel, a new six-storey parking structure, redevelopment of the existing parking area, a bus loop with a minimum of eight bus bays for GO and MiWay bus service, and an extension of John Street. The contract value, along with the successful proponent, is expected to be announced in Fall 2017.
The Cooksville GO station and surrounding area is key to the success of the LRT, since it will be one of the two, formerly three, LRT to GO rail intermodal transfer points along the line. (Port Credit GO, at the south end of the line is the other intermodal transfer point, while Brampton GO at the north end can no longer be reached barring a solution to the Brampton alignment issue.) Square One will also be an intermodal transfer point, though it will be with MiWay and GO buses.
Given the desired density targets and projected growth along the Hurontario corridor between Highway 403 (including the Mississauga City Centre area) and Dundas Street, it's not surprising that the Cooksville GO site will be reconfigured to maximize space, including the removal of the existing surface parking lot.
You can see more images of the Hurontario LRT in UrbanToronto's dataBase file for the project, linked below. You can also get in on the conversation in our associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.