high speed train southwestern ontario

High speed train between Toronto and Windsor has been cancelled

Try as they might to distract you with easier access to alcohol, the Ford government's first budget contains some crushing news for Southwestern Ontario (and the many Torontonians who work, go to school or visit family there).

Plans for a high-speed train along the 401 corridor that would have seen humans zip from Toronto to Windsor in just two hours has been put on ice, according to budget documents released on Thursday.

Approved with a starting budget of $11 billion by the Liberal government in 2018, the project would have seen trains moving at speeds of up to 250 km/h between the GTA and London by 2025.

An extension to Windsor was scheduled to open in 2031, cutting commute times through Canada's most densely-populated region—which accounts for 60 per cent of Ontario's economic activity—by more than in half.

"The Province has paused capital funding for high-speed rail in the 2019 Ontario Budget and is actively exploring opportunities to enhance the train speeds and service levels on existing railway corridors," reads the PC government's first budget, proposing such solutions as "inter-community bus services" to support the needs of Southwestern Ontario.

They cite the concerns of farmers as reason for their decision.

"The Province has listened to the residents in Southwestern Ontario who have expressed concerns that high-speed rail would have negative social, environmental and economic impacts for the region," reads the budget.

"For example, the agricultural community has warned that the project would create a physical barrier that would eliminate countless hectares of prime agricultural land in one of Canada's richest farm belts, restricting access to homes, fields and markets."

As for the business and residential communities of Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, London, Chatham and Windsor, well... they can continue to deal with the vast expanse of dangerous nothingness that is Highway 401 by car, or take a Via Rail train.

Lead photo by

pxhere


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