Ontario is establishing a High-Speed Rail (HSR) Planning Advisory Board to provide strategic support and community engagement as the province pursues plans to build a high-speed connection between Toronto and Windsor.
According to the province, the landmark project would be Canada’s first HSR service and would slash people’s travel times, providing a faster, greener travel option that creates new opportunities for workers, businesses and anyone traveling in this part of the province.
“High-speed rail will dramatically change what’s possible for people in Southwestern Ontario. Whether that’s giving people a faster, greener way to get to a great job in the tech industry, allowing family members to visit more often or helping people discover more of our beautiful province. Canada’s first high speed rail service will also help companies along the Toronto-Windsor corridor to continue to attract top talent and take their business to the next level,” said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
The province explains that by expanding Ontario’s Innovation SuperCorridor to Windsor, high-speed rail will support and enhance opportunities for economic growth in Southwestern Ontario and across the province. High-speed trains between Toronto and Windsor would travel at up to 250 kph (155.3 mph) on a combination of existing track and new dedicated rail corridors. At these speeds, travel between the two cities would take two hours instead of the current four hours.
In addition to providing strategic advice on major business issues associated with the project, the HSR Planning Advisory Board will engage with the private sector, stakeholders and Indigenous communities. The team members will bring a breadth and depth of expertise to the project, including in the high tech and innovation sectors; engineering, environmental sciences and transportation planning; and the financing and delivery of infrastructure projects. Members will include the best and brightest in these fields from across Ontario and Canada.
The corridor was selected because it is a hub for leading startups, research institutions and the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, and the region is growing faster than its current transportation network can accommodate. The proposed stops are Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto Union Station, with a connection to Pearson International Airport.
“High-speed rail will have a transformative impact on travel in Southwestern Ontario, helping people to innovate, connect with each other and travel for work, study and play. This is just one part of our plan to invest in transit across the province — connecting communities and supporting growth in jobs and the economy,” said Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca.