Downtown City Centre LRT loop will be part of the Hazel McCallion Line in Mississauga

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Published January 18, 2024 at 12:09 pm

Mississauga LRT City Centre Loop

Some 75,000 people expected to soon be living in highrises around Square One in Mississauga will have additional public transit right at their doorstep with word this week that the “downtown loop” is once again part of plans for the Hurontario light-rail transit line.

Eliminated in 2019 from plans for the Hurontario LRT (renamed the Hazel McCallion Line two years ago) in a cost-cutting move by the Ontario government, the loop is now reportedly being reinstated into the massive $4.6 billion transit project.

City of Mississauga officials have aggressively pushed the province since 2020 to restore plans for the “downtown loop,” arguing the added access to public transit will be desperately needed by the 75,000 people expected to soon be living in the area in addition to the thousands more who work at businesses right around Square One.

The Hazel McCallion Line is an 18-kilometre LRT route along Hurontario Street that’ll whisk riders from Port Credit GO in south Mississauga all the way north into Brampton when it opens later this year or in early 2025.

The “downtown loop” will, essentially, shoot off from the main line on Hurontario Street and circle through the many highrise condos and businesses in Mississauga’s downtown core.

The loop is expected to add several stops to the Hazel McCallion Line, which currently features 19 stops from south Mississauga to Brampton.

Mississauga Ward 1 Coun. Stephen Dasko said on social media Thursday morning that the reinstatement of the loop couldn’t come soon enough.

“I am very pleased that the provincial government is going ahead with building the downtown loop portion of the LRT, Hazel McCallion Line,” he said in a post to X (formerly Twitter). “Good transit needs to be practical transit for riders.”

Various media have reported that Ontario Minister of Transportation Prabmeet Sarkaria has directed Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency overseeing the Hazel McCallion Line project, to both reinstate the transit loop in Mississauga and extend the route north into downtown Brampton.

Metrolinx has reportedly been tasked to prepare a business case to get the job done.

Map shows route the Hazel McCallion Line will follow when it opens to passengers. The reinstated transit loop in downtown Mississauga will be added to an updated map.

Former Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie said last week in her final address as mayor that she hoped the Ontario government would reconsider the “downtown loop.”

In arguing last June for its reinstatement, Crombie spoke confidently about Mississauga’s chances to get the loop restored.

She pointed to some pretty big numbers that characterize the city’s downtown core. In an interview with insauga.com at the time, she presented her case.

“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,” Crombie said of city plans to tweak its vision for the “downtown loop.”

“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.”

Premier Doug Ford on several occasions in the last two or so years had urged Mississauga to hit up the development community for money to pay for the loop.

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.

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