413 highway

Ontario cities are fighting back against a new $6 billion 400-series highway

A new 400 series highway that is set to further link the Toronto area is getting pushback from municipalities who feel that the development's consequences will vastly outweight its public benefit.

Mississauga Council unanimously approved a new motion this week that officially puts the city in "strong opposition" to the forthcoming Highway 413, also known as the GTA West Highway, which is slated to run through Halton, Peel and York regions, connecting with Highways 407, 401, 410 and 400 along the way.

It will span approximately 50 km from the edge of Mississauga to Vaughan at a cost of $6 billion, and is expected to eventually see 300,000 motorists per day within 10 years.

"The proposed GTA West Highway will have a disastrous impact on the environment, encourage residential sprawl and increase our dependence on cars," Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said in a release on Wednesday.

"Too many experts and organizations have come out against this planned highway, and today we stand with them."

The motion also outlines the new thoroughfare's potential blow to the agriculture sector, as well as the numerous stakeholders that are in objection to the massive undertaking, including the actual authority for regulating any development in flood plains, wetlands and valley lands.

"The proposed Hwy 413 will slash a broad 52 km swath through agricultural, natural heritage and environmentally sensitive lands... making serious incursions into areas protected under the Green Belt Plan," it notes.

Many kilometres of forest across seven entire woodlots and a total of 1,000 hectares of land deemed to be "significant to wildlife movement" will be destroyed, and 85 streams impacted by the four-to-six lane freeway, the City notes.

The years-old idea has long been controversial, and was eventually put on hold by the previous provincial government after it was heavily contested, namely by an expert panel specially hired to make recommendations on the project.

As noted by the Globe, the panel found that the 413 would only amount to 3o seconds saved for drivers compared to existing alternative routes.

Lead photo by

Clement Lo

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