Ministry of Transportation


Niagara to Greater Toronto Area Corridor






Environmental Approvals Branch, 416-314-8001

Toll free 1-800-461-6290

Current Status

Terms of reference: approved, June 9, 2006

Project Summary

The purpose of the undertaking is to address existing and future anticipated transportation capacity deficiencies (problems and opportunities) within the corridor by providing additional capacity for a 30-year planning horizon and beyond.

Project History

  • Terms of reference: approved
    • Date re-submitted:  October 28, 2005
    • Expiry of public comment period:  December 2, 2005
    • Decision date: June 9, 2006
  • Terms of reference: withdrawn
  • Date submitted:  May 20, 2003
  • Expiry of public comment period:  June 20, 2003
  • Decision date: June 26, 2003

Terms of Reference

Purpose of the study

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is working to provide for the efficient movement of people and goods within the context of the province’s draft Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. In order to realize the transportation objectives of the draft Growth Plan, MTO has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Niagara to GTA Corridor that supports the draft Growth Plan.There are existing and forecasted transportation deficiencies in the Niagara/GTA area. Forecasts indicate that by 2031, there will be an east-west capacity deficiency between the Niagara Peninsula and the GTA for the movement of both people and goods. The existing transportation network is not capable of supporting the projected growth in population, employment, trade and tourism. Failure to address these transportation deficiencies could result in unacceptable travel delay that would be costly to industry, and would affect recreational and tourist travel. The reduction in mobility and access will restrict the ability of the broader region to attract new business and promote economic growth.

Study area

The municipalities of Niagara, Hamilton and Halton represent the area in which preliminary transportation problems and opportunities have been identified. During the preparation of the EA, a study area will be defined and data collection/environmental investigations will be undertaken within this area.

Other approvals

Additional approval requirements may be outstanding at the time of seeking approval under the EAA. A number of subsequent approvals may require detail design and process information that is not available at the time of EA approval. MTO is committed to obtaining the necessary approvals at the appropriate time in the implementation phase.

The agencies responsible for issuing approvals will be consulted during the EA process to address their interests and approval requirements. This will minimize potential complications at the time of approval, thus providing reasonable assurance that the approvals will be obtainable.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) coordination

The requirements of CEAA are triggered if a project is a federal project, requires federal land, is funded by a federal agency, or requires an approval by a federal agency. As part of this EA, Federal and Provincial EA, technical and consultation requirements will be coordinated. The overall objective is to coordinate the technical and consultation requirements of both Acts to minimize duplication. Documentation will also be coordinated. It should be noted that this ToR will not limit the scoping activity that the Federal Authorities will undertake once CEAA is formally triggered.