Stage 2 ION

 

ION is the Region of Waterloo's light rail transit system. In June 2019 the Region completed construction of Stage 1 ION and started service between Conestoga station in Waterloo and Fairway station in Kitchener, with a total of 19 stations along the route. The Region of Waterloo is proposing to extend the ION LRT system an additional 18 km from Fairway station in Kitchener to Downtown Cambridge with eight new stations, creating a continuous LRT service across the Region’s three urban centres.

On June 10, 2021 the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks signed a Notice to Proceed for the Stage 2 ION project.

On June 21, 2021 the Region of Waterloo published a Statement of Completion for the Transit Project Assessment Process, marking the final step in the formal six-month process. Having satisfied the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act, the Region may now proceed towards implementation and construction according to the requirements and commitments in the Environmental Project Report. See below for the Environmental Project Report and Appendices.

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Onward to Cambridge!

This is a map  of Stage 2 ION to Cambridge

 What is a Transit Project Assessment Process (TPA) Process?

The environmental impact of this transit project is being reviewed through the Ontario government's transit project assessment (TPA) Regulation (O. Reg.) 231/08, Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings.

It is a streamlined process under the Environmental Assessment Act. It can be completed in less than six months because each step in the process has a defined time limit. The Transit Project Assessment Process focuses on issues of provincial importance.

The TPA Process has three main components:

  1. Preparation of the Environmental Project Report:
    The first phase started on December 10, 2020 with the Notice of Commencement. After the Notice of Commencement was issued, and during the 120-day period, the Region prepared, consulted on and revised the Environmental Project Report (EPR).

  2. Review of the EPR:
    The second phase started on April 6, 2020 when the Region published the Notice of Completion along with the revised, final EPR. This kicked off the 30-day final EPR review by the public, agencies, indigenous communities and others.

  3. The Minister's Review:
    The final phase is the Minister's 35-day review period, which started on May 6, 2021. On June 10, 2021 the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks issued a Notice to Proceed, with no additional conditions. 

After receiving the Notice to Proceed, the Region issued a Statement of Completion as the last step in completing the Transit Project Assessment Process.

For more information on the Transit Project Access Process see Part 1 of this online presentation from December 2020.

 What is an Environmental Project Report (EPR)?    

Projects following the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPA) Process are required to thoroughly document the project and the process in a report. For transit projects the report is called an Environmental Project Report, or EPR.

The EPR is intended to provide enough information to understand what the project is and how it will affect the natural, social, cultural, transportation and economic environments. It is what regulatory agencies use to evaluate the project's potential environmental impacts. The EPR also demonstrates that the project has met its requirements for consultation by documenting when and how various parties have been notified, what comments were received, and how the project team responded.

The EPR contains recommendations to reduce environmental impacts and commitments to undertake additional work in the future. These become requirements that the project must follow in the future as a condition of approval.

On December 10, 2020 the Region posted the Draft EPR for review and comment. Comments were received until February 12, 2021 and are now summarized the the EPR.

On April 6, 2021 the Notice of Completion and the Environmental Project Report were published on the project website.

For more information about what’s in the EPR, check out Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of this online presentation.

 How do I access the EPR documents? 

The EPR and supporting studies and material are available for review online in the Supporting Documents section below.  

 Where can I find more background information on ION? 

Why ION?”

A 2-page pamphlet titled summarizes the timeline of LRT from 1976 to 2019, explains how it moves people and builds community, and has a transit line map of LRT stations, both existing and planned.

ION Story (2016) 

A comprehensive 26-page backgrounder that covers:

  • the Region’s growth and planning context
  • Why we need ION
  • How ION will benefit residents in city centres, suburban areas and rural areas
  • How rapid transit and LRT were planned
  • A timeline of major milestones
  • A description of the Stage 1 ION system, route, stations and vehicles
  • The public-private partnership with GrandLinq
  • How ION ties into the Region’s long-term transportation strategy (RTMP), GRT local bus service, Central station transit hub, the walking and cycling network, and roads, both existing and planned.

Consultation material (2015 to 2019)

www.stage2ION.ca  – Contains all of the public consultation material and Council report from the pre-planning phase, prior to the Transit Project Assessment Process.

Consultation material (2004 to 2013)

This is a chronological list of consultation material includes the Rapid Transit Individual Environmental Assessment, the transition to the Transit Project Assessment Process, and ION Stop (Station) design.

Reports and Updates (2005 to 2012)

In Reports and Updates you will find a chronological list of links to Council Reports, Environmental Assessment Reports and the Business Case. The Environmental Assessment reports include:

  • Phase 1 and Phase 2 Summary Reports
  • Environmental Project Report (EPR) Main Report
  • EPR Appendices (consultation record and technical reports)
  • Functional design plans
  • Multiple Account Evaluation Report
  • Rapid Transit Expert Panel Review: Summary Report
  • Rapid Transit Business Case

Reports and Updates (2012 to 2019)

Chronological list of links to regular “ION Update” newsletters and other miscellaneous project updates.

 

 Who do I contact if I need more information?

We are here to answer your questions.

Matthew O’Neil, Manager (Acting), Rapid Transit Coordination

Region of Waterloo

20 Weber St E, 4th Floor

Kitchener, ON N2H 1C3

Phone:  519-575-4400 | TTY:  519-575-4608

Email: Stage2ION@regionofwaterloo.ca

 

Keep up-to-date on the project by subscribing to this page and getting notified every time it's updated. Alternatively you can subscribe to the Stage 2 ION E-newsletter here: https://subscribe.regionofwaterloo.ca/Subscribe

Supporting Documents 

 Notices and Statements
 Environmental Project Report (EPR) 

Environmental Project Report, April 2021

 

 Environmental Project Report - Appendices

Region of Waterloo will provide documents upon request in the most appropriate accessible format.
This may include electronic formats, large print formats, and/or audio formats, as examples.

Any document found on our website or that we provide can be available in a different format upon request. If you would like the Environmental Project Report Appendices in a accessible format please Stage2ION@regionofwaterloo.ca

Appendix A - Functional Design Plates

 

Appendix B - Specialist Reports

Appendix B1 - Natural Heritage Report

Appendix B2 - Fluvial Geomorphology Report

Appendix B3 - Drainage and SWM Report

Appendix B3 - Drainage and SWM Appendices

Appendix B3 - Drainage and SWM Exhibits (Part 1 of 3)

Appendix B3 - Drainage and SWM Exhibits (Part 2 of 3)

Appendix B3 - Drainage and SWM Exhibits (Part 3 of 3)

Appendix B4 - Contamination Overview Study

Appendix B5 - Cultural Heritage Report and Appendix A and B

Appendix B5 - Cultural Heritage Report Appendix C

           CHER - 1 Wellington St

           CHER - 41 Kerr St

           CHER - 63 Water St S

           CHER - 69 Ainslie St S

           CHER - 99 Beverly St

           CHER - 105 Hespeler Rd

           CHER - 127 Beverly St

           CHER - 320 Shantz Hill Rd

           CHER - 333-339 Hidden Valley Rd

           CHER - 4336 King St E

           CHER - Grantham Rail Bridge

           CHER - Regional Road 8 Overpass

Appendix B6 - Stage 1 Archaeological Assessment

Appendix B7 - Air Quality Impact Assessment Report

Appendix B8 - Noise and Vibration Report

Appendix B9 - Traffic Impact Assessment Report

 

Appendix C - Consultation Record

Appendix C Title Page & Master Contact List

 

Appendix C1 - Pre-Planning Public Correspondence (Part 1 of 6)

Appendix C1 - Pre-Planning Public Correspondence (Part 2 of 6)

Appendix C1 - Pre-Planning Public Correspondence (Part 3 of 6)

Appendix C1 - Pre-Planning Public Correspondence (Part 4 of 6)

Appendix C1 - Pre-Planning Public Correspondence (Part 5 of 6)

Appendix C1 - Pre-Planning Public Correspondence (Part 6 of 6)

 

Appendix C2 - Pre-Planning Agency Correspondence (Part 1 of 5)

Appendix C2 - Pre-Planning Agency Correspondence (Part 2 of 5)

Appendix C2 - Pre-Planning Agency Correspondence (Part 3 of 5)

Appendix C2 - Pre-Planning Agency Correspondence (Part 4 of 5)

Appendix C2 - Pre-Planning Agency Correspondence (Part 5 of 5)

 

Appendix C3 - Pre-Planning Indigenous Correspondence

Appendix C4 - S2ION TPA Notice of Commencement

Appendix C5 - TPAP Public Correspondence

Appendix C6 - TPAP Agency Correspondence

Appendix C7 - TPAP Indigenous Correspondence

Appendix C8 - S2ION TPA Notice of Completion

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