Bigger downtown LRT loop in Mississauga will stay on Premier’s radar, mayor vows
Published May 5, 2023 at 2:38 pm
Mayor Bonnie Crombie says she won’t let Ontario Premier Doug Ford forget about his public commitment to supporting a downtown transit loop as part of the $1.4-billion Hazel McCallion light-rail transit (LRT) route in Mississauga.
Speaking to insauga.com publisher Khaled Iwamura in an Instagram interview earlier this week, Crombie said the loop, which was axed from the larger project three years ago in a cost-cutting move by the Ford government, is badly needed to serve Mississauga’s rapidly growing downtown core.
In fact, City of Mississauga officials are looking at plans for an even larger loop in order to capture all the growth that has sprung up west of City Hall the past several years.
The mayor said she’s holding Ford to a verbal commitment he made last year to reinstate plans for the transit loop, which 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.
“(The loop) is still part of the discussion. No one has said no,” Crombie told insauga.com. “We know that the Premier committed to it publicly, so I know it’s on his radar; I don’t let it drop off the radar, but no firm commitment yet. But there’s still time.”
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.
At a Mississauga general committee meeting on April 26, councillors again heard of plans to increase the size of the proposed extension of the Hurontario LRT.
While initially the plan called for the loop to circle Square One Shopping Centre, now City officials want to expand it to include high-rise developments further beyond.
The problem is the City itself doesn’t want to put up the money for the loop and appeals to both Queen’s Park and Ottawa for funds have so far been ignored.
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.
“Adding the loop back is critical to the growth of our downtown core,” reads a social media memo released by the City after the April 26 meeting. “The cost of this project is too much for the City of Mississauga to take on alone. We need the provincial and federal governments to pitch in. We have a plan and we are ready to get building, but we need support now.”
–with files from Steve Pecar
insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising