As UrbanToronto covered last week, Metrolinx officially released the draft version of its 2041 Regional Transportation Plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, which serves as an update to the original Regional Transportation Plan, dubbed The Big Move, which was released in 2008. The Big Move was intended to cover all transit infrastructure planning until the year 2031, with the plan grouping projects under either the 15-Year timeframe (to be complete by 2021), or the 25-Year timeframe (to be complete by 2031). The update extends this horizon to 2041.

Given the update approved last week, which shifts the priorities around slightly, we here at UrbanToronto thought it would be a good time to go back and look at the original projects included in the 15-Year plan, and see how they are coming along (or if they're coming along at all).

The 15-Year Plan from the 2008 Big Move, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Express Rail

(1) Lakeshore
Extent: Hamilton - Oshawa GO
Status: Electrification likely to begin in 2018 and be complete by 2024, though only as far west as Aldershot.

(2) Brampton
Extent: Downtown Brampton - Union Station
Status: Most recent RER plan only has service extending as far west as Bramalea, one station short of Downtown Brampton.

Extents of electrification and GO RER service, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Notable Additions: Stouffville & Barrie Lines
The Stouffville and Barrie lines were added to the GO RER plan in 2014, and are scheduled to be electrified along with the Lakeshore and Kitchener lines. 

Regional Rail

(3) Stoney Creek
Extent: James Street North Station - Stoney Creek
Status: Confederation GO Station in Stoney Creek is scheduled to open in 2021. Service further east into Niagara Region is also planned (Grimsby in 2021, Niagara Falls in 2023), though was not included in the Big Move.

(4) Milton
Extent: Downtown Milton - Union Station/Summerhill
Status: Unless CP agrees to allocate track time for GO on their freight mainline through Toronto, service to Summerhill Station isn't in the cards.

(5) Georgetown
Extent: Georgetown - Downtown Brampton
Status: Service to Georgetown is still peak-only, with it likely remaining that way until an additional track is built through Downtown Brampton, or an agreement is reached with CN to build the Missing Link, which would see CN (and potentially CP) freight traffic removed from tracks on which GO operates.

GO, CN, and CP rail configuration with the Missing Link in place, image courtesy IBI Group study

(6) Airport
Extent: Pearson Airport - Union Station
Status: Complete, opened in 2015 as the Union-Pearson Express.

(7) Bolton
Extent: Bolton - Union Station
Status: M.I.A.

(8) Crosstown GO
Extent: Dundas West - Summerhill Station
Status: Like with #4, not likely to happen unless an agreement can be reached with CP.

(9) Barrie
Extent: Bradford - Union Station
Status: Will be part of the RER plan... sort of. 15 minute RER service is planned for the Barrie Line, but only as far as Aurora. North of there, it will be 30 minute peak-only service.

(10) Richmond Hill
Extent: Richmond Hill GO - Union Station
Status: The Richmond Hill Line was excluded from the GO RER plans, and is likely to only see 15 minute peak service.

(11) Richmond Hill
Extent: Aurora Rd -  Richmond Hill GO
Status: Gormley GO Station opened in late 2016, and a new station at Bloomington Rd, 4 km south of Aurora Rd, began construction in 2017 and is scheduled to open in 2019.

The new Gormley GO Station, which opened in late 2016, image courtesy of GO Transit

(12) Stouffville
Extent: Mount Joy GO - Union Station
Status: The entire line from Union to Lincolnville will be electrified, though at present time 15 minute all-day service is projected to only go as far as Unionville GO.

(13) Havelock
Extent: Locust Hill (Markham) - Union Station/Summerhill
Status: Same as with #4 and #8.

(14) Seaton
Extent: Seaton - Union Station/Summerhill
Status: Same as with #4, #8, and #13.

(15) Lakeshore
Extent: Oshawa GO - Bowmanville
Status: Extension is expected to be complete by either 2023 or 2024.


(16) Spadina
Extent: Downsview Station - Vaughan Corporate Centre
Status: Scheduled to open on December 17, 2017.

The finishing touches being applied at York University Station, image courtesy of forum member drum118

(17) Yonge
Extent: Finch Station - Richmond Hill/Langstaff Gateway
Status: York Region wants it now, but Toronto says no dice until there's available capacity on Line 1, so the fate of the Yonge Subway Extension has been tied to that of the Relief Line, with the two projects proceeding in tandem. No firm projected opening date as of yet.

Notable Addition: Relief Line
The Big Move originally featured the Relief Line in the 25-Year Plan, not the 15-Year Plan. It has since been bumped up the priority list.

Other Rapid Transit (LRT/BRT/AGT)

(18) Hamilton James Street
Extent: Downtown Hamilton - Hamilton Airport
Status: Operating today as the HSR's A-Line, though in mixed-traffic and a limited schedule. Plans are in place to implement more formalized BRT infrastructure.

(19) Hamilton King/Main
Extent: McMaster University - Eastgate Mall
Status: Operating today as the B-Line, will be upgraded to LRT starting in 2018 and opening in 2024.

The latest iteration of the Hamilton LRT, image courtesy of Metrolinx

(20) Burlington Connector
Extent: Fairview GO - Downtown Burlington
Status: M.I.A. (I'm a Burlington resident, and I didn't even know this project ever existed)

(21) Dundas Street
Extent: Brant St - Kipling Station
Status: Proceeding as the Dundas BRT, with the Mississauga portion of the line being planned through Dundas Connects.

(22) Trafalgar
Extent: Hwy 407 - Midtown Oakville
Status: M.I.A.

(23) 403 Transitway
Extent: Midtown Oakville - Renforth/Airport
Status: Most of the Transitway in Mississauga has been completed, though a westward extension into Halton Region is far from imminent.

(24) Hwy 10
Extent: Mayfield West - Downtown Brampton
Status: Operating today as Züm's 502, though not all the way to Mayfield.

(25) Main Street AcceleRide
Extent: Downtown Brampton - Hwy 407
Status: AcceleRide was renamed Züm when it launched in 2010, and this corridor operates today as Züm's 502. Originally this entire corridor was slated to be included as part of the Hurontario-Main LRT, though Brampton City Council rejected the alignment into Downtown Brampton. As a result, the current planned terminus is at Steeles Ave.

(26) Hurontario
Extent: Hwy 407 - Port Credit GO
Status: Construction to begin in 2018 (Port Credit to Steeles), and is scheduled to be operational in 2022.

The Hurontario LRT, image courtesy of Metrolinx

(27) Waterfront West
Extent: Port Credit GO - Union Station
Status: Originally proposed as part of Transit City, but is currently under review as part of the Waterfront Transit "Reset".

(28) Queen Street AcceleRide
Extent: Downtown Brampton - Peel/York Boundary
Status: Began operating as Züm's 501 Queen route in 2010, albeit largely in mixed-traffic. Studies are currently underway to upgrade the corridor to either an LRT or a BRT.

(29) VIVA Highway 7
Extent: Peel/York Boundary - Locust Hill (Markham)
Status: This project has been divided up into several phases. As shown below, significant portions of the Rapidway are already open, while many others are under construction.

VIVAnext construction phasing, image courtesy of VIVA

(30) Finch West
Extent: Pearson Airport - Finch Station
Status: Originally intended to span the entire length of Finch Ave West, the line has since been truncated at Keele St, running between (the soon-to-open) Finch West Station on the Spadina subway extension and Humber College. The project is expected to begin construction in 2018 and be complete by 2022.

(31) Eglinton
Extent: Pearson Airport - Kennedy Station
Status: Like the Finch West LRT, a significant portion of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT has been truncated (in this case, west of Mount Dennis). Phase 1 will run between Mount Dennis and Kennedy Stations, and is due to open in 2021, while eastern and western extensions (see Toronto's Transit Master Plan below)  are being funded separately, with no firm timelines to date.

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT, image courtesy of Metrolinx

(32) Hwy 27 South
Extent: Pearson Airport - Kipling Station
Status: Operating as the 192 Airport Rocket principally via Highway 427. No timetable has been announced to run this service in anything other than mixed-traffic.

(33) Jane
Extent: Vaughan Corporate Centre - Bloor St
Status: Initially proposed under Transit City and then virtually forgotten about, the Jane LRT is once again included in the City of Toronto's Transit Master Plan (shown below). Questions persist about a surface right-of-way south of Eglinton due to the narrow street.

(34) Don Mills
Extent: Highway 7 - Danforth Ave
Status: Much of this corridor is still in limbo, with a study currently underway that is examining the validity of extending the proposed Relief Line northward along Don Mills to Don Mills Station on the Sheppard subway line. North of Don Mills Station, VIVA is proposing to run curbside BRT along the Don Mills/Leslie corridor.

(35) VIVA Yonge
Extent: Richmond Hill Centre/Langstaff Gateway - Newmarket Centre
Status: VIVA currently operates on this corridor as VIVA Blue. The sections between Richmond Hill Centre and 19th/Gamble, and between Savage/Sawmill and Davis are due to open in 2018.

(36) Sheppard East
Extent: Don Mills Station - Meadowvale Rd/Scarborough Centre
Status: While technically still on the books as a project, the Sheppard East LRT was effectively killed during the Rob Ford years. The City of Toronto's most recent Transit Master Plan (shown below) lists the Sheppard corridor as the "Sheppard RT", indicating that a technology choice for this corridor has yet to be (re)made.

The City of Toronto's Transit Master Plan, showing many projects listed in the Big Move, image courtesy of the City of Toronto

(37) Scarborough RT
Extent: Kennedy Station - Malvern
Status: This one is difficult to sum up in a couple sentences, so here it is summed up in one word: quagmire. The full tortuous timeline is available here.

(38) Highway 2
Extent: Scarborough Centre - Downtown Oshawa
Status: This has been operating as Durham Region Transit's Pulse service since 2013, though only as far west as the University of Toronto's Scarborough Campus. Plans are in place to gradually upgrade the corridor to a full BRT over time, similar to the model being used by VIVA and Züm.

(39) Brock Road
Extent: Downtown Pickering - Hwy 407
Status: Durham Region seems to be focusing all of its BRT efforts into the Highway 2 corridor, so no plans for BRT infrastructure are imminent.

(40) Oshawa Connector
Extent: Oshawa GO - Downtown Oshawa
Status: Like with Brock Road, no BRT infrastructure plans are imminent. The need for this project may also be reduced by the new GO station to be built closer to Downtown Oshawa as part of the Bowmanville extension.

BRT on Controlled Access Expressway in Mixed-Traffic

(41) Highway 407
Extent: Halton - Durham
Status: Various transit agencies, most notably GO, use the 407 for revenue service. Planning is underway to build a Transitway parallel to the 407, which will provide more reliable service with better opportunities for intermediate stations. The sections being planned are Hurontario St to Highway 400Highway 400 to Kennedy Rd, and Kennedy Rd to Brock Rd.

How do you think Metrolinx has done implementing The Big Move to date? You can join the discussion in our forum thread, or by leaving a comment below.