York Region continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in Canada and is expected to continue to experience rapid growth over the next 20 to 30 years. This rapid growth has already put a strain on the transportation system.
The Regional Municipality of York approved its first Transportation Master Plan (TMP) in 2002 which anticipated that the performance of the road system will degrade to unacceptable levels without policies and plans to significantly improve transit modal split and develop more sustainable land use development plans. The emphasis of the plan was to support the four designated Regional centres (Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan City Centre, and Newmarket) which are located along the major transit corridors of Yonge Street and Highway 7.
An update to the TMP is needed to ensure that continuing transportation decisions for an integrated network can be made within the context of recent development trends and legislative changes. The TMP is an essential element in allowing the Region to reach its goals of Sustainable Natural Environment, Economic Vitality and Healthy Communities, while providing safe, affordable, efficient and effective transportation for people and goods. Click the following link to view a copy of the Notice of Study Commencement.
Building Upon an Award Winning Plan
The first Transportation Master Plan was awarded the Transportation Association of Canada's Sustainable Urban Transportation Award in recognition of its integration of land use and transportation growth management policies. The plan identified long-term infrastructure needs to meet future transportation demands in an affordable, efficient and environmentally sustainable manner and provided a context and framework for future transportation decisions. The TMP was developed as a living plan, which will continue to be reviewed every five years and revised to adjust to changing circumstances. It now requires updating to forecast the 2036 horizon year needs.
A number of the programs recommended in the original TMP have had the financial support of the Provincial and Federal governments. The VIVA rapid transit network is the most notable project funded by both senior levels of government. The Region's initiative for Transportation Management Associations in the GTA and Hamilton areas through the Smart Commute Initiative is another program that was recommended in the TMP and has been funded in part by the Federal government to meet Kyoto commitments.
Meeting Provincial and Regional Policy Objectives
Growth management policies of the federal and provincial governments must be considered in the update of the 2002 TMP. Growth management is broadly defined as specific regulatory policies aimed at influencing where and how growth occurs. These policies affect the location and density of development, the availability of land, the mixture of uses and timing of development.
Bill 136, the Places to Grow Act 2005, provides a legal framework for the Ontario government to designate geographic areas in the province as growth areas. The goal of Bill 136 (also know as the "Growth Plans" is to create growth plans that promote a rational and balanced approach to growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area (GGHA) that builds on existing infrastructure and services. The Growth Plan's focus is on intensification in built up areas, urban growth centres, major transit corridors and stations, brownfields and greyfields sites. These areas will provide the focus for transit and infrastructure investment to support growth. York's four Regional Centres have been recognized in the Places to Grow Act as designated urban growth areas. How York will accommodate the Provincial Growth Plans is the subject of a separate study. Please visit the Planning for Tomorrow - York Region Growth Management Study for more information.
The Ontario Green Belt Act 2005 and Greenbelt Plan protects approximately 1.8 million acres of environmentally sensitive and agricultural land in the GGHA from urban development and includes about 800,000 acres of land within the Niagara Escarpment Plan and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan. The act has strict policies that address how transportation infrastructure will be constructed in these areas and mandates the needs and justification regional and local municipalities must address in proposing and improvements or new facilities through this area.
The Places to Grow Act and the Region's Planning for Tomorrow study set the tone for how and where the Region will develop over the next 30 years. The goal of the TMP update is to ensure that the future transportation network can support this demand in a sustainable manner and ensure that our future plans support the policies of the Green Belt Act and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan.
Objectives of the Update
The key objectives of the Transportation Master Plan Update are as follows:
The Region of York will be working with the consulting team of Marshall Macklin Monaghan and Cansult to conduct the update over the following three phases:
To support the Region's Draft Sustainability Strategy, a set of guiding principles has been developed to ensure that this Transportation Master Plan — and all subsequent plans — will encourage sustainable transportation practices in the Region of York. The principles were developed through:
The draft set of principles developed for this project recognizes the strong connection between transportation and other critical elements: our communities, our natural environment and our economic well-being. The principles also recognize the need to develop meaningful ways to engage the public in the planning process, and foster cooperation and coordination with the local municipalities.
To view the Sustainability Principles for Transportation please visit the following link:
Environmental Assessment Process
The Transportation Master Plan Update study will follow the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment master planning process. The study will be conducted in two parallel streams: Technical Analyses and Public Consultation and take into account work from the Growth Management Initiative. The study will examine and consider, where appropriate best practices in master planning from other places around the world. It will also consider sustainability guidelines developed by the Transportation Association of Canada and those being developed locally by the Towards Sustainability in York Region Advisory Group. Workshops and symposia will be arranged to seek inputs from elected officials; stakeholders; outside experts; and municipal and agency staff. Public Information Centres and the internet will be used to obtain feedback from the general public.
The Regional Municipality of York has completed its Transportation and Water & Wastewater Master Plan Updates. These Master Plans will guide the Region's infrastructure needs for water, sewers, roads and transit for the next 25 years and beyond. The Master Plan Update studies incorporate the Province's significant increases in population and employment forecasts, changes in land use planning and environmental policies, in addition to the Region's growth management initiative, Planning for Tomorrow. The Updates also integrate our sustainability objectives – to preserve and enhance our natural environment, economic vitality and healthy communities while providing safe, affordable and efficient transportation and servicing for the Region's residents and visitors.
Public Consultation was a vital component of these studies, involving local municipalities, stakeholders, and residents at several key points during the study process. This process and the resulting Master Plans address the requirements of Phases 1 and 2 of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessments for the projects identified in the Plans. The recommended policies and projects are based on the study findings and incorporate comments from the public and separate Technical Advisory Committees that included staff representatives from the Region, local municipalities, the Province and conservation authorities.
The Transportation Master Plan Update Final Report was adopted by Regional Council on November 19, 2009. Please see the Committtee website for more information. Please view our Reports and Presentations section to view a copy of the final report.
Meaningful and effective public and stakeholder consultation is critical to the success of the Transportation Master Plan Update. The public consultation strategy will involve the local municipalities, key stakeholders and the public and will be a very important component of this study. A Technical Advisory Committee (comprised of Regional staff and staff from the local municipalities) has been established and will provide input at key points throughout the study. Further, study related information will be posted on the Region's website for public comments and several newsletters will be published during the course of the study. To be informed of future Public Meetings and added to the study mailing list please contact one of the project managers.
Public Opinion Survey (Fall 2008)
This past summer, EKOS Research Associates, an independent market research firm, conducted a telephone survey of more than 1,000 York Region residents to gauge their opinions on transportation issues facing the Region. The survey was designed to collect resident's views on traffic congestion, public transit and opinions on potential strategies.
In order to compare and contrast responses from residents of different municipalities, 250 residents were surveyed in each of four areas: Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill and the other six communities combined. This survey, in addition to the comprehensive public and stakeholder meetings, provided significant input to the development of the plan.
Key suggestions from the public and stakeholder meetings and survey included:
The results of the survey were used to help guide the Transportation Master Plan in developing practical strategies to address traffic congestion and future growth. Click Here [328 KB] to view the survey results.
The Transportation Master Plan draft Transit and Roads network were presented in the final round of Public Consultation Centres held across the Region from November 12 to November 27, 2008.
Please click the following links to download the Consultation information presented during the meetings:
PCC 2 Nov 6, 15, 21, 2007
The second round of Public Consultation Centre meetings occurred on November 6-21 2007. Thank you to everyone who attended these meetings. Please click the following links to download the meeting information:
PCC 1 Nov 21-23, 2006
The first series of Public Consultation Centre meetings occurred on November 21-23 2006. Thank you to everyone who attended these meetings.
The slides common to both the Transportation Master Plan and the Water and Wastewater Master Plan are shown first.
For further information regarding this study, or if you wish to be kept informed of the study progress, please contact: