To and From the Region
Waterloo Region is located in the geographic centre of southwestern Ontario, about 100 kilometres from downtown Toronto and downtown London. It is also close to the Canada-US border crossings at Windsor, Niagara Falls and Sarnia. The region is well-connected to surrounding communities by Highways 401, 7&8, 24 and 86. Daily GO Train and Bus service to Guelph and Toronto and daily VIA Rail service to Toronto, London and beyond are also available. The Region of Waterloo International Airport has twice-daily service to Chicago, daily service to Calgary and seasonal service to Cancun.
The Region of Waterloo is helping to create better connections to and from the community to support the economy and provide convenient travel choices.
New Highway 7 (Kitchener to Guelph)
The Ministry of Transportation is currently working on detailed design for the new Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph. The first phase of construction, including Victoria Street utility work, Shirley Avenue extension, and Guelph Street overpass widening is expected to start in 2015. For more information, please contact the Ministry of Transportation (Robert.Bakalarczyk@ontario.ca).
Highway 401 Projects
Highway 401 Widening (Highway 8 to Hespeler Road)
The Ministry of Transportation is currently working on widening Highway 401, between Highway 8 and Regional Road 24 (Hespeler Road), to 10 lanes. Construction has already started and is expected to take about three years. Bridges over the highway at Speedsville Road and Fountain Street will be replaced first, followed by the widening of the highway itself. More information is available from the Ministry of Transportation (Scott.Howard@ontario.ca).
Highway 401 Widening (Hespeler Road to Wellington County/Halton Region)
The Ministry of Transportation completed an environmental assessment for the widening of Highway 401 between Regional Road 24 (Hespeler Road) and the boundary between Wellington County and Halton Region. The highway is proposed to be widened to 10 lanes, including two high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. Some detailed design work has started, but construction is not yet scheduled. More information about this project is available from the Ministry of Transportation (Roger.A.Ward@ontario.ca).
Highway 401 and Highway 8 Interchange: To and from west ramps
The Ministry of Transportation completed an environmental assessment for improvements at the Highway 401 and Highway 8 interchange, including the addition of direct ramps to and from the west (i.e. London). Detailed design has not yet started and construction is not yet scheduled. More information about this project is available from the Ministry of Transportation (Scott.Howard@ontario.ca).
Cambridge to Milton Passenger Rail Business Case and Feasibility Study
The Region of Waterloo and the City of Cambridge have been working together to develop a business case and implementation strategy for passenger rail between Cambridge and Milton. A previous Passenger Rail Feasibility Study (2009) identified the CP corridor between Cambridge and Milton as the preferred corridor for a future GO Train service. This updated study examined conventional GO Trains and Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) to determine how to establish a service quickly and with a low capital investment. Both Regional and Cambridge Councils have endorsed the action plan in Report P-14-073 (June 17, 2014) to help this initiative proceed.
Kitchener to Toronto GO Train Service
GO Transit currently operates two GO trains each weekday from Kitchener to Toronto in the morning, with two returning trips in the afternoon. The schedules for each trip can be found on the GO Transit website.
The Province has recently announced long-term plans to improve rail service as part of the Regional Express Rail (RER) initiative. More information is available at the Metrolinx website.
High speed rail along the Windsor to Quebec corridor is an ongoing vision, which has seen various plans and proposals. The current 2014 Mandate Letter: Transportation from the Premier of Ontario to the Minister of Transportation refers to advancing environmental assessments for high speed rail linking Waterloo Region to Toronto and London. Regional staff will continue to monitor and participate in this work. Previous work on high-speed rail is available in the Publications section of the Ministry of Transportation website (scroll down). Regional Council responded to that work in Report P-12-003.
Waterloo-Wellington-Brant Inter-Regional Transportation Study
The Waterloo-Wellington-Brant Inter-Regional Transportation Study ("the WWB") is a joint initiative of Waterloo Region with the Cities of Brantford and Guelph, Counties of Brant and Wellington, and the Ministry of Transportation. Staff last reported to Council about the study in Report P-12-004. The upcoming study will examine travel behaviours between the various municipalities and also to the rest of the province. It will then review proposed improvements to 2031 and recommend transportation priorities.
Western Golden Horseshoe Municipal Network
The Region of Waterloo is a charter member of the Western Golden Horseshoe Municipal Network, along with the Regions of Halton, Niagara and Peel and the City of Hamilton. The Network seeks to advance common perspectives regarding the need for transportation and transit infrastructure and a more efficient and connected network for the movement of goods and people. The following documents provide more information about the Network: