Chapter 1, Section D: A Plan to Build Ontario Together: By Connecting People to Places


The government has a plan to build a world-class transportation network where new transit is built faster and at a lower cost, getting people where they want to go when they want to get there. This plan will build high-quality and affordable highways subways and rapid transit systems.

Ontario commuters confront gridlock on roads, aging bridges, and outdated and overcrowded transit systems. As a result, travel times are increasing, taking away quality time spent with family and friends.

That is why the government is working with partners to build modern subway lines, repair aging bridges and construct new roads to improve the quality of life for workers and families.

The government is fighting gridlock while making public transit an attractive, affordable and low stress alternative for Ontario workers and families.

Modernizing GO Transit

Photo of a GO train with text: More trains, more choice

The Province is moving forward with the next stage of the GO Rail Expansion program to improve and provide two-way, all-day service with trains every 15 minutes on core segments of the GO Transit rail network.

Early infrastructure works are underway across the network to support this program, such as:

  • Construction of twin tunnels at Highways 401 and 409, one of the busiest sections of highway in North America, to accommodate two additional tracks, future signaling and communications infrastructure;
  • Track work along rail lines, including the Lakeshore East and West, Stouffville and Barrie corridors;
  • Major station renovations, such as station building upgrades and improved pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle accesses;
  • Construction of new parking structures at GO Stations, including more than 800 new spaces at Cooksville and about 1,000 spaces at the new Bloomington Station; and
  • Grade separation at the Davenport Diamond to help improve safety and increase capacity on the Barrie corridor.

In May 2019, to enable two-way, all-day service every 15 minutes, the Province issued a request for proposals to pre-qualified teams who will be bidding to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the infrastructure for the largest capital project in the GO Rail Expansion program — the On-Corridor Works project.

The On-Corridor Works project involves a system-wide plan to improve GO Transit service. The scope covers the construction of new civil infrastructure, tracks, electrification, signaling infrastructure, and improvements to rolling stock, as well as the operation of train services, including train control and dispatch. This project will generate employment opportunities and improve quality of life for commuters by reducing daily travel times.

Chart 1.11: Benefits of the GO Rail Expansion Program
Accessible description of Chart 1.11

Introducing Additional GO Transit Services

The government is delivering on its promise to expand public transit by offering improved service, additional trains and more choice for GO Transit customers across the entire region.

Starting in August 2019, GO train service increased by eight per cent over the previous year with an addition of more than 75,000 seats each week. Metrolinx added 84 more train trips and extended 65 existing train trips bringing more rush-hour, midday and evening service for GO Transit customers each week including:

  • Adding 19 new trips and extending 25 existing trips each week on the Lakeshore West line, to double rush-hour service to the West Harbour GO station; improving rush-hour service for customers in Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga; and making weekend train service to Niagara Falls and St. Catharines a year-round offering;
  • Adding 15 new trips each week to increase midday, weekday service along the entire Lakeshore East line;
  • Reinstating and extending 25 evening trips each week on the Stouffville line from Union Station to Mount Joy; and
  • Adding 50 new trips and extending 15 existing trips each week on the Kitchener line, to bring new weekday evening train service to Brampton, and more midday, rush-hour and late-night service as far as Kitchener.

Beginning spring 2020, GO Transit commuters will be able to stay connected on their mobile devices with a free, reliable, high-quality wireless internet connection. Metrolinx is bringing free Wi-Fi service to its entire GO Transit fleet, including 532 buses and 943 train coaches, which will make traveling by GO a better, more productive and more convenient experience for customers.

Building New Subways to Get People Moving

Photo of a woman travelling on a train with text: Getting people moving

In the 2019 Budget, the Province announced its plan to build new transit faster and at a lower cost — with the goal of making public transit an attractive, affordable and low-stress alternative to get people where they want to go, when they want to get there.

In June 2019, the Getting Ontario Moving Act, 2019 was enacted to enable provincial ownership of the subway extensions and new lines envisioned in Ontario’s new subway transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This plan, with a total preliminary cost estimate of $28.5 billion, includes four new subway projects: the Yonge North Subway Extension, the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension and the Ontario Line.

The Province continues to collaborate with the City of Toronto to enable the delivery of Ontario’s new subway transit plan for the GTA.

In addition, the Province is calling on the federal government to commit at least 40 per cent funding to all the critical subway projects included in Ontario’s plan to get people moving in Canada’s largest city and help protect the environment.

Table 1.1
Ontario’s Subway Transit Plan per the 2019 Budget
($ Billions)
  Total Estimated Preliminary
Project Cost
Completion Date
Ontario Line 10.9 as early as 2027
Scarborough Subway Extension 5.5 2029–30
Yonge North Subway Extension 5.6 2029–30
Eglinton Crosstown West Extension 4.7 2030–31
Subtotal Construction Costs 26.8  
Other Costs Including Planning, Design and Engineering 1.7  
Total 28.5  

Table 1.1 footnote:

Source: Ontario Treasury Board Secretariat.

Chart 1.12: Ontario’s New Subway Transit Plan for the GTA
Accessible description of Chart 1.12
Larger version of Map

Building the Ontario Line – A New Subway to Connect the City of Toronto to the Regional Transit Network

As announced in the 2019 Budget, the new Ontario Line will bring rapid transit to new areas in the east, west and north ends of Toronto as early as 2027 and at a total estimated construction cost of $10.9 billion. It will run nearly 16 kilometres from Ontario Place/Exhibition through downtown Toronto to the Ontario Science Centre, and include 15 proposed stations that will provide 17 potential connections to GO Transit’s Lakeshore East/West and Stouffville lines, the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Yonge-University and Bloor-Danforth subway lines, various streetcar lines, and a direct connection to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. A station at Exhibition Place will bring subway service to the doorstep of Ontario Place.

The Ontario Line will provide strong connections and complete travel experiences, and support sustainable and healthy communities. It will generate substantial economic benefits and service more growth-focused areas. There will be an increase in the number of jobs within a 10-minute walk of the line, and a significant increase in the access to employment within a 45-minute journey for low-income residents. The Ontario Line will serve communities that have higher residential densities and are currently underserved by rapid transit, such as Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park.

Chart 1.13: Benefits of the Ontario Line
Accessible description of Chart 1.13

Extending the Yonge Subway North

The Province is committed to the completion of the Yonge North Subway Extension, which will help create a truly regional transit system by extending the Yonge subway line from its existing terminus at Finch Station to Richmond Hill Centre, reaching major employment centres in Markham and Richmond Hill. The estimated $5.6 billion extension will be opened following the completion of the Ontario Line.

Extending the Scarborough Subway

The Province plans to deliver to the residents of Scarborough a three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension: Lawrence East Station, Scarborough Town Centre Station and McCowan Station. The estimated $5.5 billion project is expected to be completed by 2029–30.

Extending the Eglinton Crosstown West

The Province is committed to extending the Eglinton Crosstown LRT Project further west to increase connectivity along Eglinton Avenue to Renforth Drive. A large portion of the project will be built underground to keep people and goods moving on the province’s roadways. The estimated $4.7 billion project is planned to be completed by 2030–31.

Developing Partnerships

The Province will explore innovative partnerships with the private sector to support transit-oriented development opportunities along new subway lines and GO Transit rail corridors to leverage third‑party investments and promote good city building that creates complete communities, increases transit ridership, improves the customer experience and reduces the Province’s cost of building and maintaining new transit.

As announced in the 2019 Budget, the government is partnering with Woodbine Entertainment Group to develop and build a new GO Transit rail station along Highway 27 near Woodbine Racetrack on the Kitchener GO rail line. This arrangement will save taxpayers money while bringing new jobs, housing and entertainment opportunities to the area around the station. It puts transit users and taxpayers first by delivering a modern station at no cost to taxpayers.

Building More Transit Options

The Province continues to make progress on delivering rapid transit projects to make life easier for people by reducing travel times and creating more transit options. For example, the Province will invest over $10 billion towards the following projects that are under construction or under contract:

  • Eglinton Crosstown LRT — 19 kilometres of new dedicated rapid transit across Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis (Weston Road) and Kennedy Station with a 10-kilometre underground portion between Keele Street and Laird Drive in the City of Toronto. The Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility is substantially complete, and new light rail vehicles are being tested;
  • Hurontario LRT — 18 kilometres of new dedicated rapid transit between Port Credit GO Station in the City of Mississauga to Gateway Terminal at Steeles Avenue in the City of Brampton. In October 2019, the Province awarded the contract to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the project;
  • Finch West LRT — 11 kilometres of dedicated rapid transit along Finch Avenue West between Humber College and the Finch West Subway Station on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension in the City of Toronto. Utility relocations and construction for the new Finch West LRT Maintenance and Service Facility have started; and
  • York Viva Bus Rapid Transit — 34 kilometres of dedicated bus lanes along several segments of Highway 7, Davis Drive and Yonge Street in York Region. Segments along Highway 7 in the cities of Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill, and along Yonge Street in the Town of Newmarket are already open. A 2.6-kilometre segment along Highway 7 from Bathurst Street to Richmond Hill Centre Terminal near Yonge Street opened ahead of schedule in September 2019.

Improving the Provincial Highway Network

The government is building better highways to get people and goods moving. Provincial investment in highway expansion reduces travel times through highway corridors, critical trade links and international gateways. It also addresses safety concerns, promotes economic development and enhances the quality of life for the people of Ontario. In addition, investment in highway infrastructure supports seven jobs for each million dollars of spending and generates an incremental $0.58 GDP per dollar spent.

The Province will proceed with planning and design work to:

  • Widen a 20-kilometre stretch of Highway 3 between the Town of Essex and the Municipality of Leamington, from two to four lanes. Construction could start as early as spring 2021;
  • Widen 31 kilometres of Highway 401 between the City of London and Town of Tilbury, from four to six lanes;
  • Construct a twin structure for the Garden City Skyway on the Queen Elizabeth Way in the City of St. Catharines; and
  • Widen a 22.5-kilometre stretch of Highway 17 from the Town of Arnprior to the Town of Renfrew, from two to four lanes, including four new interchanges and eight new bridges.

Construction is underway or set to begin on highway rehabilitation and expansion projects across the province, including:

  • Twinning a 6.5-kilometre stretch of Highway 17 from the Manitoba border to Highway 673; and
  • Expanding an 18-kilometre stretch of Highway 401 from the Credit River Bridge in the City of Mississauga to Regional Road 25 in Town of Milton to ease traffic congestion.

Connecting Communities

Ontario is exploring options to expand transportation services across the province, so people spend less time travelling and more time with their families and friends. In the 2019 Budget, the government committed up to $30 million over five years to 39 municipalities, through the Ontario Community Transportation Grant Program, to partner with community organizations to coordinate local and intercommunity transportation services in unserved and underserved areas.

The government is committed to promoting innovative service delivery models, including partnerships with the private sector, which meet the transportation needs of people across the province.

Rolling Out the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program

The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) is a 10-year program that provides up to $30 billion in federal, provincial, municipal and other partner investments in communities across the province. Funding will be distributed among four streams:

  • Public Transit;
  • Rural and Northern;
  • Green Infrastructure; and
  • Community, Culture and Recreation.

Ontario’s share will be more than $10.2 billion spread across the four streams. To date, Ontario has nominated over 350 infrastructure projects to the federal government, under three of these streams, to get people moving and grow the economy. The federal government has recently approved 82 of these projects including 10 new transit infrastructure projects in the City of London.

The government is committed to making the right investments in the right places at the right time. The Province is counting on the federal government to move forward in streamlining and expediting approvals of the remaining 269 projects and to ensure the program aligns with Ontario’s priorities.

Chart 1.14: Examples of Nominated Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Projects
Accessible description of Chart 1.14

Investing in Public Transit

The combined investment from the federal, provincial and local governments under the Public Transit stream will support projects with a total eligible cost of more than $18 billion:

  • The Province has nominated 201 projects from 53 municipalities outside the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), with a total eligible cost of approximately $1.2 billion, for approval by the federal government including the replacement of transit buses in the City of Windsor, the installation of a bus wash system in the City of Timmins, and the installation of electronic fare boxes in the City of Cornwall.
  • The Province has nominated five projects in the City of Toronto and the Regional Municipality of York for approval by the federal government. These include the Ontario Line, the Bloor-Yonge Capacity Improvement Project, the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, the Yonge North Subway Extension and the SmartTrack Stations Program.

The Province will continue to work with the federal government and ask that it further increase funding towards all priority transit projects.

Investing in Rural and Northern Ontario

Under the Rural and Northern component of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), the Ontario government is supporting the development and renewal of critical infrastructure in rural, northern and remote communities. The Province has nominated projects for cost-sharing with the federal government to leverage the full $250 million in committed federal funding. Projects include investments in road, bridge, air and marine infrastructure for eligible communities:

  • The Province has nominated 149 projects for cost-sharing with the federal government; and
  • Nominated projects across communities in Ontario include investments in roads in Peterborough, bridges in Welland, air infrastructure in Gore Bay and marine infrastructure in the First Nation community of Animakee Wa Zhing 37.

Investing in Green Infrastructure

The Province recently approved the launch of the Green Infrastructure stream of the ICIP, which will support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, enable greater adaptation and resilience, and ensure communities can provide clean air and safe drinking water for the people of Ontario.

The first application intake of the Green Infrastructure stream launched on October 28, 2019 and is accepting applications until January 8, 2020. Through this intake approximately $200 million in federal and provincial funding will be provided to communities with populations under 100,000, including municipalities, First Nations and other partners. The initial intake will focus on improving water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure while driving economic growth in communities across the province.

Investing in Community, Culture and Recreation

The government is now accepting funding applications for projects under the Community, Culture and Recreation (CCR) stream of the ICIP. The funding will be allocated to investing in community, culture and recreational projects, such as community centres and cultural and recreational facilities, that will help deliver vital services for communities and improve the quality of life for the people of Ontario.

The agreement with the federal government commits $407 million in funding to the Province under the CCR stream. This move could unlock up to $320 million in provincial funding and up to $275 million in other partner funding such as from municipalities, non-profit groups or Indigenous communities.

Developing Regional Transportation Plans

Regional transportation plans look at all modes of travel — road, rail, air and marine — as one integrated transportation system. They are key to informing policy and investment decisions that create a globally competitive economy, support communities, renew and expand modern infrastructure and foster a healthy environment.

Ontario is developing regional plans that will help build a better transportation system to keep goods and people moving across the province. For example, Ontario is advancing work on the development of a Southwestern Ontario Transportation Plan to be released in fall 2019, and a Greater Golden Horseshoe Transportation Plan. Regional planning is also underway in Northern and Eastern Ontario. Upon completion of this work, the Province will present a comprehensive Ontario‑wide long-term transportation plan.

Improving Connectivity: Broadband and Cellular Action Plan

Photo of a board showing wi-fi image with text: Better internet access for rural and northern students

High-speed internet is critical for businesses to grow and expand in every corner of the province. This is why the government is committed to improving broadband and cellular access in order to support increased connectivity, safer communities and enhanced economic opportunities for families and businesses. In May 2019, the government announced a $71 million funding commitment to address cellular gaps in Eastern Ontario, and confirmed $63.7 million in funding for a regional broadband project to expand broadband in Southwestern Ontario. These projects are underway and are expected to be completed by 2024 as part of the government’s efforts towards addressing cellular dead zones across the province.

These investments are part of Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan that will invest $315 million over the next five years. This includes a $150 million provincial broadband and cellular infrastructure program launching in 2020–21. The plan aims to extend broadband and cellular access to unserved and underserved communities across Ontario by connecting up to 220,000 households and businesses.

Ontario’s investment efforts will benefit from commitments by other levels of government and leadership from the private sector to maximize the impact of Provincial investments.

Chart Descriptions

Chart 1.11: Benefits of the GO Rail Expansion Program

This chart shows a map of the GO Transit rail network and key statistics that demonstrate the estimated benefits of implementing the Province’s GO Rail Expansion program. The GO Transit rail network includes the Lakeshore East line, the Stouffville line, the Richmond Hill line, the Barrie line, the Kitchener line, the Milton line and the Lakeshore West line. The GO Rail Expansion program will improve and expand GO train service into two-way, all-day rapid transit service every 15 minutes on core segments of the GO Transit rail network.

The chart includes a pie chart icon that symbolizes an increase in GO train speeds by up to 29 per cent. The hard hat icon symbolizes the creation of 8,300 annual job equivalents in the first 12 years of construction and delivery. The clock icon symbolizes a savings of more than 10 minutes per average trip. The people boarding a transit vehicle icon symbolizes an annual ridership of more than 200 million by 2055, compared to about 57 million in 2017.

Source: Metrolinx’s GO Rail Expansion Full Business Case, November 2018.

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Chart 1.12: Ontario’s New Subway Transit Plan for the GTA

The map illustrates the Province’s priority transit corridors that are planned or under construction across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. It identifies the planned corridors for the Province’s four new subway projects announced in the 2019 Budget and other rapid transit projects, as well as illustrates the existing Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Yonge-University subway line and Bloor-Danforth subway line and Metrolinx’s GO Transit rail lines.

The Province’s four new subway projects include the Ontario Line, the Yonge North Subway Extension, the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

  • The planned corridor for the Ontario Line begins at Ontario Place/Exhibition and runs east through downtown Toronto then northeast to the Ontario Science Centre, with connections to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line at the Ontario Science Centre, connections to GO Transit rail at Exhibition and East Harbour stations and connections to the TTC’s subways lines at Pape, Queen and Osgoode Stations.
  • The planned corridor for the Yonge North Subway Extensions extends the TTC’s Yonge‑University subway line from its current terminus at Finch Station north to Langstaff/Richmond Hill Centre in the City of Richmond Hill.
  • The planned corridor for the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension extends the TTC’s Bloor-Danforth subway line from its current terminus at Kennedy Station northeast to a new terminus at McCowan Station.
  • The planned corridor for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension extends the province’s Eglinton Crosstown LRT line, which is currently under construction, from its current terminus at Mount Dennis further west. Through future phases of the project, the extension could be extended to Pearson International Airport.

The chart has a footnote stating that the Province remains committed to the Sheppard Subway Extension corridor illustrated on the map, which would extend the TTC’s Sheppard subway line from its current terminus at Don Mills Station further east to McCowan Station, connecting to the future Scarborough Subway Extension. The Province will begin exploratory work on cost and on completion timelines.

Other rapid transit projects include the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Finch West LRT and Hurontario LRT.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

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Chart 1.13: Benefits of the Ontario Line

The chart shows a map of the Province’s proposed Ontario Line and key statistics that demonstrate the estimated benefits of implementing the project. The proposed Ontario Line will provide nearly 16 kilometres of rapid transit from Ontario Place/Exhibition east through downtown Toronto to the Ontario Science Centre, including 15 proposed stations at the Ontario Science Centre, Flemingdon Park, Thorncliffe Park, Cosburn, Pape, Gerrard, Leslieville, East Harbour, Sumach, Sherbourne, Queen, Osgoode, Queen/Spadina, King/Bathurst and Ontario Place/Exhibition.

The chart includes an icon of crowded people that symbolizes the reduction in crowding on TTC Line 1 (14 per cent), at Eglinton Station (15 per cent), at Bloor-Yonge Station (17 per cent) and at Union Station (13 per cent). The people boarding a transit vehicle icon symbolizes daily ridership of 389,000 that can be carried by the Ontario Line by 2041. The icon of travelling cars symbolizes 83,000 vehicle kilometres off the road during morning peak hour. The CO2 icon symbolizes a reduction of over 1,000,000 tonnes of auto-generated greenhouse gas emissions yearly.

Source: Metrolinx Ontario Line Initial Business Case, July 2019.

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Chart 1.14: Examples of Nominated Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Projects

This map provides examples of projects nominated by the Province to the federal government, by region, under the Public Transit and Rural and Northern streams of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.


  • Replacement of 53 transit buses in Sudbury ($11.5 million);
  • Purchase of an accessible transit bus and construction of a bus garage in Kenora ($0.1 million);
  • Terminal renovations and improvements to customer accessibility in Timmins ($0.5 million); and
  • Rehabilitation of Main Street, Dupont Street and Kelly Road in the Smooth Rock Falls ($1.7 million).


  • Replacement of 20 conventional and specialized transit buses in Cornwall ($3.3 million);
  • Improvements to specialized transit service and accessibility in Port Hope ($0.1 million);
  • Reconstruction of Ross Street and Arnprior Avenue in Renfrew ($0.2 million); and
  • Reconstruction of Grand Montee Road in East Hawkesbury ($0.7 million).


  • Construction of the Grand River Northfield Bus Maintenance Facility in Waterloo ($39.6 million);
  • A new Allandale Mobility Hub in Barrie ($3.3 million);
  • Purchase of 30 new buses in Guelph ($8.2 million);
  • Implementation of a new farebox system in Niagara Falls ($0.4 million);
  • Purchase and installation of new transit shelters in Orillia ($0.2 million);
  • Replacement of Hawk Lake Road Bridge in Haliburton ($0.8 million); and
  • Reconstruction of St. Ann’s Road in West Lincoln ($1.7 million).


  • Purchase of five transit buses and five accessible transit vans in Chatham-Kent ($0.6 million);
  • Purchase of two new transit buses in Leamington ($0.2 million);
  • Reconstruction of Plank Road in Sarnia ($1.7 million); and
  • Replacement of the Port Bruce Bridge in Elgin County ($1.7 million).

The chart includes an asterisk that states that the numbers cited reflect provincial contributions only.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure.

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Updated: November 6, 2019
Published: November 6, 2019