The Province's recent announcement that a proposed Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Greater Toronto Area West Highway Corridor (GTA West) would be cancelled and replaced with a smaller study area was met with applause from Mayor Rick Bonnette. Entitled the Northwest GTA Corridor Identification Study, the new proposed study area corridor is approximately one-third of the size of the previous EA study area and includes connections to the 400 series highways, rail corridors and major electrical transmission facilities. Although the Province has not yet specified how the proposed corridor would be used, they have noted that it will not be dedicated for commercial truck traffic.
“I am very encouraged to hear of the Province’s decision to move forward on this issue,” said Mayor Bonnette. “I will be continuing to advocate for a Norval by-pass for our community given the geographical constraints in this area that already impact local traffic.” The proposed by-pass was previously noted in a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Town, Halton Region, Peel Region, the Town of Caledon and the City of Brampton as part of a 2007project initiated between the parties known as the Halton-Peel Boundary Area Transportation Study (HPBATS). “I will be initiating meetings with Chair Carr (Halton Region) and Chair Dale (Peel Region).”
The Mayor noted that the cancellation of the GTA West Study and introduction of the smaller Northwest GTA Corridor study area means the Province has removed many of the rural lands located between Eighth Line and Winston Churchill Boulevard up to 10 Side Road. “This move effectively means residents outside of the smaller study area will no longer be impacted by a future highway corridor.”
The Mayor also noted that Halton Hills will continue to move forward with planning for an additional 75 hectares of employment land. These lands are proposed to be adjacent to the existing employment area known as the Premier Gateway Phase 1B Secondary Plan Area, generally located on the north side of Steeles Avenue, west of Eighth Line and east of Sixth Line. Despite this recent announcement, the lands impacted by corridor protection within the Premier Gateway remain largely the same under the Northwest GTA study, and therefore the Town is of the view that the planning exercise for the Premier Gateway Phase 1B can continue as is not impacted by the cancellation of the GTA West Study.
Information about the Northwest GTA Corridor Identification Study is available on the Province’s website. Residents may email NorthwestGTA.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request mapping specific to their property if they fall within the new study area.
About the Town of Halton Hills
The Town of Halton Hills, with a population of approximately 60,000, consists of two urban centres, Georgetown and Acton, the Halton Hills Premier Gateway employment area, three hamlets – Glen Williams, Stewarttown and Norval – and several smaller settlements. Halton Hills has long been recognized for its natural beauty, active agricultural community, high quality of life and proximity to major centres, including Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto. The Town is ranked as one of the top small communities in Canada by a national magazine.
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