116 new high-rises and 75,000 people in downtown core mean Mississauga will get bigger transit loop: Mayor
Published June 9, 2023 at 4:55 pm
Mayor Bonnie Crombie is confident Mississauga’s rapidly growing downtown core will not only get a transit loop as initially planned, but it’ll be a much larger loop than what was called for under original plans for the $1.4-billion Hazel McCallion light-rail transit (LRT) route.
After all, with the “explosive” growth that’s expected in the next couple of decades in the area around Square One Shopping Centre and City Hall, how could adequate public transit not be provided for the booming population, the mayor said during an Instagram interview earlier today (June 9) with insauga.com publisher Khaled Iwamura.
Crombie said the initial draft of the loop, which was axed from the larger LRT project three years ago in a cost-cutting move by the Premier Doug Ford government, has now been re-worked to capture a much larger area of the downtown core.
Instead of taking in the immediate area around Square One and City Hall, loop plans now call for the LRT service to extend as far west as Confederation Pkwy.
As City of Mississauga officials continue to aggressively press the provincial government to reinstate the loop, they say an updated environmental assessment (EA) must be completed taking into account the larger area.
“With the exponential, explosive growth of our downtown since we have unlimited heights and densities, and we’re expecting 116 new towers in the next 20 years, we’ve decided that loop should probably be located closer to Confederation Pkwy., a little further west…hopefully, that (updated EA) can be done quickly,” Crombie told insauga.com.
“The numbers with the exponential growth speak to the need to build that downtown loop,” she continued, noting that some 75,000 people anticipated to be living in the downtown core, many in “mega-towers,” will “certainly need public transit at their doorstep.”
During her interview with insauga.com today, the mayor said once again she’s confident that Ford will keep a commitment he made some time ago to reinstate the loop.
“It will happen one way or another. Absolutely,” Crombie said, reminding Ford of his promise made last year during an announcement of the LRT’s new name, the Hazel McCallion Line. “He did give a public commitment and I’m going to hold him to that.”
The downtown loop, if reinstated, would spring off from the main Hazel McCallion Line on Hurontario St. to serve tens of thousands of residents and workers in the core.
In offering support for the loop, Ford has also said on several occasions that Mississauga officials need to hit up the development community for money to pay for it.
Some estimates indicate it will cost up to $400 million to add the loop to the LRT project and that was before plans to make it larger. That amount is expected to rise significantly as time goes by and construction costs rise.
Mississauga believes that money will be well spent on a downtown population that is expected to double in the next 30 years and will need ways to move across the city and the rest of the GTA.
When completed in fall 2024, the 18-kilometre Hazel McCallion Line will whisk riders along Hurontario St. between Port Credit GO station in Mississauga’s south end and Brampton.
The LRT line, which will make 19 stops along the way, will also hook up with various other transit services including GO, MiWay and Brampton Transit.
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