On Friday, May 17, Metrolinx hosted a briefing with municipal representatives—from Durham Region, Clarington, Oshawa and Whitby—to discuss four options now being proposed by Metrolinx for the GO Lakeshore East Extension (GO train service, from Oshawa into Bowmanville).
During this meeting, all four municipalities confirmed their preference for Option 1, which extends GO train service to north of Highway 401 in Oshawa and Clarington.
“We appreciate Metrolinx staff taking the time to discuss these four options with our municipal leaders,” said John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to see the GO east expansion moving ahead; offering an option that can meet the needs of our growing communities.”
After several rounds of public consultation and other community involvement, this option was listed as the preferred route in 2011. Metrolinx also presented this route during public meetings, held in Oshawa and Bowmanville in April 2018.
The route would allow rail service from Union Station (in Toronto) to stop at Thornton’s Corners, a central station in downtown Oshawa, and GO stations in both Courtice and Bowmanville, via a bridge over Highway 401.
“I strongly believe the best option is to continue with the approved route identified in 2011,” said Dan Carter, Mayor of the City of Oshawa. “The route would extend north of Highway 401—along the CP Rail mainline—and include stations at Thornton’s Corner and in central Oshawa. This route would create significant economic growth, job creation for Oshawa, and support active transportation and connectivity.”
“We will continue to work closely with Metrolinx on the Lakeshore East extension; and support the location that provides the best value for taxpayers,” said Adrian Foster, Mayor of the Municipality of Clarington.
In June 2016, the province announced this service extension would be completed by 2024. Then, in May 2017, the updated Provincial Growth Plan included a transit schedule outlining the extension as a committed project.
As a result, these details were reflected in Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plans and GO Expansion plan; the Provincial Growth Plan; the Region’s Transportation Master Plan; and Regional and local official plans.
“This route, north of Highway 401, became a key component of future land use and transportation network plans in Durham Region,” said Henry. “It will help to deliver economic revitalization of our downtown areas; address the needs of our growing community; open new catchment areas for GO ridership; stimulate job creation and mixed-use development around the stations; and drive an increase in land value in the rail corridor.”
“The GO Lakeshore East extension will have a significant and positive impact on our local and regional economy,” said Don Mitchell, Mayor of the Town of Whitby. “We look forward to continuing to work with Metrolinx and our municipal partners in support of this project, which will help reduce local traffic congestion and contribute to our connected community.”
It’s also a key driver of Durham Region’s ability to meet the requirements of the Provincial Growth Plan; with rail transit supporting central areas planned for intensification.
“All four municipal partners support a transit-oriented development process with private sector partners for these stations. In fact, local developers have already expressed an interest in being involved,” said Henry.
Learn more about what this means to our community by visiting the GO Lakeshore East Extension website here
Community members are also reminded of the two public meetings related to the GO Lakeshore East Extension. Join Metrolinx tonight in Bowmanville, and on May 22 in Oshawa, to learn more about the proposed options for GO train service through Oshawa into Clarington. Learn more about these meetings by visiting the Metrolinx website.
For updates on the planned GO Train Lakeshore East Extension, follow #GoEastDurham and visit www.GoEastDurham.ca.