A Plan to Build a Stronger Eastern Ontario Transportation Network

April 25, 2022
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – The Ontario government has released Connecting the East: a draft transportation plan for eastern Ontariowhich contains more than 50 near- and long-term actions, including highway expansions and public transit improvements, that will help address gridlock, connect more people to places and support economic growth.

Eastern Ontario Transportation Plan

“Our government is building Ontario by getting shovels in the ground on highways, roads and public transit needed to fight gridlock and keep goods and people moving,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Our transportation plan for eastern Ontario will unlock access to housing, employment and tourist destinations, while supporting significant trade corridors and economic growth in the region.”

The plan includes the expansion of Highway 417 to four continuous lanes in each direction between Highway 416 and Maitland Avenue in Ottawa, long-term planning work to widen Highway 401 to up to eight lanes in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, improvements to local and intercommunity bus services, support for the trucking sector by adding truck stops along Highway 401 and the development of a new marine strategy.

To understand local needs and priorities, the plan has been informed by research, technical work, an online public survey, a series of Parliamentary Assistant-hosted roundtables, and a separate roundtable with eastern Indigenous communities.

“Eastern Ontario is a region that is home to over 1.8 million people with diverse transportation priorities,” said Vijay Thanigasalam, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation. “By identifying these local and regional transportation priorities through consultation, we have developed a transportation plan that will address the current and future needs of Eastern Ontario residents.”

Connecting the East: a draft transportation plan for eastern Ontario is an evergreen, living document that will continue to evolve. The province will work closely with municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, Francophone residents and organizations, transportation agencies, and local businesses to gather input and feedback to deliver a transportation network in eastern Ontario that will make an impact for decades to come.

As part of the evolution of the plan, the province will conduct a long-range technical study of the transportation network. This work will involve broad engagement and will commence in summer 2022.

Quick Facts

  • This is the final of four regional transportation plans – including Connecting the SouthwestConnecting the North, and the Greater Golden Horseshoe – that deliver on the government’s commitment to produce transportation plans covering all regions of the province.
  • Eastern Ontario is home to 1.8 million people and covers approximately 44,000 km2, extending from the District of Muskoka in the west to the United Counties of Prescott and Russell in the east.
  • Eastern Ontario has an extensive transportation network, featuring multiple 400-series highways, Class I railways, several public and private ferry services, international border crossings, an international airport, several ports, and multi-use trails.

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