Ontario government wants to include Mississauga’s Pearson Airport in huge light rail transit plan

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Published November 8, 2021 at 9:58 am

A proposal to extend a massive light rail transit (LRT) system in Mississauga and Toronto to Pearson Airport is one step closer to reality after the Ontario government reaffirmed its support for the plan. 

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs the Mississauga-based airport, said in an email statement to insauga.com that the Province’s Fall Economic Statement unveiled late last week included a commitment to “establishing connectivity of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (ECWE) project to Pearson.” 

The ECWE is a 9.2-kilometre route, currently under construction, that will bring the LRT from Toronto west to Renforth Dr. in Mississauga by 2030-31.  

GTAA officials have been working with Metrolinx, the Ontario agency that manages public transportation in the Golden Horseshoe, on a plan that would extend the ECWE an additional 4.7 kilometres from Renforth Dr. to the airport. 

They say such an extension is crucial to moving millions of people around on transit more quickly in the coming decades.  

“We’re very pleased to see the Ontario government advancing an ambitious transit plan as we’ve been consistently advocating for better regional transit connections to Canada’s largest airport and the area surrounding Pearson, which is the second-largest employment zone in the country,” the GTAA said in its statement. 

Airport officials have also been pressing the federal government for financial support so they can push to have the LRT extended instead of ending some five kilometres short of Pearson. 

Meanwhile, fences have been put up around the Renforth Dr./Eglinton Ave. W. site in Mississauga and drill rigs are ready to get to work on the ECWE.  

Crews are prepping the area for the arrival next spring from Germany of two tunnel boring machines that will dig the two tunnels needed for the nearly 10-km route. 

Once the current work prepares the entry points, or launch shafts, the tunnel boring machines will, upon arrival in early 2022, start at Renforth Dr. and move underground eastward towards Scarlett Rd. in Toronto. There, the line will rise to elevated tracks over the Humber River to Jane St., and then underground again to the future Mount Dennis Station.  

The extended LRT route from Toronto to Renforth Dr., which will include seven passenger stops and an estimated 37,000 daily boardings, will run mainly underground, helping to reduce travel times and improve access to jobs, schools and other destinations across the GTA, Metrolinx says.   

If the route is extended to Pearson Airport, as many as three stops would be added between Renforth Dr. and Pearson.   

Metrolinx is working with Infrastructure Ontario to complete the huge project in the next nine or 10 years.  

When completed, the extended route will offer convenient links to destinations throughout the region—UP Express and Kitchener line GO train service, TTC bus services at all stops in Toronto, and MiWay and GO bus services via the Mississauga Transitway at Renforth Dr.   

 

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