The Horontario LRT in Mississauga, recently renamed the Hazel McLean Line, promises to be a symbol of modernity in the GTA suburbs.
The province-funded route, from Port Credit to Steels Avenue to the north, will be stopped 19 times from start to finish. It is currently estimated that trains will open to the public in 2024.
In 2018, Queens Park, a state transportation agency, narrowed the route, citing the cost of removing the three-stop lane around the city of Mississauga by Metrolinks.
Since then, Mayor Bonnie Crombie has made restoring that part of the road a top priority.
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“Without the loop, I would say the future of downtown is in jeopardy – we would not have the capacity to realize the full potential of that area,” he told Global News.
In the run-up to the 2022 Ontario election, Hazel McCallion has called on party leaders in Crombie County to extend the line to its original length.
“Funds, when provided, not only help us realize our climate change goals, but also help people get in and out of their cars and attract more business around the downtown area, allowing the city to create a more complete, walkable city.”
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Two of Ontario’s four major parties responded to the call on their platforms: both the Ontario Liberals and the Ontario NDP promised to restore the ring on their platform.
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“We will create dozens of new transportation plans throughout the province – financing lines and stations that will improve people’s lives and make transportation easier to use: extend the Hurontario LRT to the city of Brampton and rehabilitate the city. Loop as originally planned,” the Liberal site said.
The NDP site makes the same promise.
The PC promise is similar – but no ink is placed on its platform.
In February, at the official renaming of the line, then-Prime Minister Doug Ford promised to add the ring “soon”.
“My finance minister and treasury chief are shooting me on the screen for saying that right now, but our goal is to make sure we end the loop,” he said.
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The promise was not repeated in the 2022 Ontario budget, which serves as the party’s campaign document. However, a PC spokesman confirmed the promise.
“If re-elected, we will continue to work with our municipal and federal partners to improve the prospects for improving the Hazel McCallon line, including the loop expansion,” a party spokesman said without elaborating.
The Ontario Green Party told Global News that it would support the re-establishment of the loop.
Crombie said the Horontario LRT’s goal, including its downtown loop, supports “long-term economic growth” and climate goals.
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