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Ontario Transit

Why Durham Region is going the microtransit route during the pandemic – and what it means for other transit systems

Previously on this site, I expressed my skepticism about Durham Region’s commitment to improving transit service. But in the five years since, the region east of Toronto has done exactly that by creating a route grid along major corridors, fusing together a network from four separate municipal systems. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has seen […]

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Brampton Cycling Infrastructure Ontario Roads Walking

Room to share: How cities can make physical distancing work

For my latest TVO article, I spoke with Councillor Shawn Menard in Ottawa, Councillor Rowena Santos in Brampton, and Ryerson University epidemiologist Anne Harris about how cities in Ontario are reallocating road space for pedestrians and cyclists during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, or why they may be hesitant to do so. In Brampton, five kilometres […]

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History Infrastructure Maps Ontario Roads

One hundred years of Ontario’s provincial highways

On February 26, 1920, Ontario’s provincial highway network was born. That year, 16 highways were established across southern Ontario, between the Ottawa and Detroit Rivers. These highways, previously maintained by townships and counties, connected the province’s largest cities and provided important links to Quebec and the United States. In 1925, these highways were assigned numbers […]

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Ontario Roads

The north needs roads

Nipigon River Bridge, August 2019 In January 2016, a bridge over the Nipigon River failed. Located roughly 100 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, it formed part of the Trans-Canada Highway. The only east-west link between Western and Eastern Canada was severed, with the only detour through the United States. Climate change, road safety, and access […]

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Intercity Rail Ontario Travels

Trekking across Northern Ontario

VIA RDC train about to depart Sudbury for White River Last month, I embarked on a journey from Toronto to Thunder Bay, a distance of over 1,300 kilometres. My journey took me nearly three days as I opted to travel by bus and rail, rather than by car or by air. Though I had to […]

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History Infrastructure Ontario Roads

How the QEW made way for Ontario’s transportation innovation

Queen Elizabeth Way looking east towards Dixie Road in Mississauga Eighty years ago, the Queen Elizabeth Way was officially dedicated by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (for whom it was named). The QEW, which connected Toronto with Hamilton and Niagara Falls, was not only Canada’s first superhighway, it was also the longest divided highway […]

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Infrastructure Intercity Rail Transit

Filling the gap in Southwestern Ontario

While there’s GO train service between Toronto, Guelph, and Kitchener, it’s inadequate for the regions’s transportation demands  Earlier this year, I took a ride on Wroute, a new service connecting Guelph, Kitchener, and Burlington that has some characteristics of a bus service, a taxi company, and ride-hailing app. With a fleet of Tesla Model X […]

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Brampton Development Ontario Urban Planning

Requiem for Ontario’s regional malls

Shoppers World Brampton, 2016, before the Target store was replaced by smaller stores, including Giant Tiger Recently, I wrote about the history of Ontario’s downtown malls. Most of these shopping centres, built in the 1970s and 1980s in the downtown cores across the province, failed by the end of the 1990s. The collapse of the […]

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Brampton Development Infrastructure Ontario Urban Planning

A tale of two university campuses

Site of Brampton’s new Ryerson/Sheridan campus Last week, the provincial government announced two new post-secondary educational campuses in Toronto’s fast-growing western suburbs, due to open in 2022. Wilfrid Laurier University will be partnering with Conestoga College on a new facility in Milton. Brampton will be getting a new Ryerson University campus in partnership with Sheridan […]

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Brampton History Maps Transit

Brampton Transit’s evolution from a laggard to a leader

For TVO this week, I discuss Brampton Transit’s impressive ridership growth. In the last five years, Brampton Transit has bucked the trend of stagnant ridership numbers encountered elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area and North America in general. I argue that Brampton’s success in improving transit ridership comes from sustained investment over many years, the […]