January 19, 2024 – After years of anticipation, the Ford government is bringing the light rail transit (LRT) expansion back to Brampton. The decision to extend the Hazel McCallion LRT into downtown Brampton and create a loop in Mississauga comes after the province initially cut some planned stops in 2019.

Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria’s directive to Metrolinx instructs the agency to develop a business case for the downtown Mississauga loop and Brampton extension. The letter emphasizes the importance of keeping pace with the region’s population growth and providing commuters with more travel options.

While the previously proposed stops in Mississauga and Brampton faced setbacks, the government is now taking a bold step to reinstate these crucial components. Premier Doug Ford’s expressed support for the downtown Mississauga loop in 2022 is now being formalized through Sarkaria’s directive.

The positive news has been well-received by local leaders. Even former Mississauga Mayor turned Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie – Ford’s opponent in the next election – expressed delight at the potential inclusion of the downtown loop saying “it’s the right thing to do.”

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown also expressed excitement saying he’s been “lobbying the provincial government on this since [he] became Mayor [of Brampton].”

Downtown Brampton is particularly excited about the potential connection to the Brampton Innovation District GO. The LRT extension aligns with Brampton’s goals to build more housing, create jobs, and enhance the overall transit network.

Downtown Brampton Councillor, Rowena Santos, stressed the importance of this decision: “We have been advocating for Brampton’s LRT since 2018, the beginning of my first term. It is a vital component to our growing and highly utilized transit network which supports our goals to build more housing and create more jobs. We wait in excitement for the provincial government’s next steps that will connect the LRT to our downtown core and Brampton Innovation District GO.”

Councillor Rowena Santos,  City of Brampton, Wards 1 & 5 (which covers Downtown Brampton)

Metrolinx has been asked to present a business case and strategy, including expected costs and market-driven funding strategies, to Sarkaria by February 5. This swift action demonstrates the government’s commitment to moving the project forward efficiently.

Sarkaria, who is also the MPP for Brampton South, emphasized the government’s focus on responding to the needs of Brampton and Mississauga residents. The Hazel McCallion LRT is seen as a transformative project for the region, and the downtown extensions are viewed as strong and viable next phases.

The decision to extend the LRT into downtown Brampton and create a loop in Mississauga aligns with the government’s efforts to invest in connected transportation, addressing the growing needs of Peel Region. The province aims to reduce commuting time and provide residents with more time at home.

You can find more information on the project on the Metrolinx website.