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 17 km from Fairway station in Kitchener to Downtown Cambridge with seven new stations, creating a continuous LRT service across the Region’s three urban centres.

In December 2023 Regional Council endorsed a new location for the south terminal, creating a new preferred route and station locations

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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This is a map of the Stage 2 ION south terminal alternative locations as of November 2023.

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

The environmental impact of this transit project is being reviewed through the Ontario government's transit project assessment process (TPAP) 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 Process (TPAP) 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.

Pre-TPAP consultation material (2015 to 2019)

See below for pre-TPAP public consultation material and Council reports from the pre-planning phase leading up to the Transit Project Assessment Process. This includes route and station location alternatives evaluation and identification of the preferred route.

 Who do I contact if I need more information?

We are here to answer your questions.

Matthew O’Neil, Manager, Rapid Transit Coordination

Region of Waterloo

150 Frederick Street

Kitchener, ON  N2GJ 4G3

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



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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

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

Pre-TPAP Public Consultation 

 PCC 1 - November 2015

Public consultation centres for were held in November 2015. More than 100 community members took part in the two events providing their input on the alternative routes. 

 PCC 2 - February-March 2017

More than 350 residents attended three events to provide feedback on the route and station location evaluation results and on the preliminary preferred route. The Region received many comments from the public, including a number of suggested alternative routes during and after PCC No. 2.

 PCC 3 - November 2017 - January 2018

The Region presented additional localized route alternatives and refinements to the preliminary preferred route.

 PCC 4 - May 2018

Based on public input from PCC 3 the Region evaluated localized route alternatives and refinements. The route alternatives were presented to the public, along with the evaluation results, and the "Project Team Preliminary Proposed Route".

 PCC 4b - March 2019

In June 2018, Regional Council endorsed a Preferred Route for the Stage 2 ION project, subject to further evaluation between Shantz Hill Road and Eagle Street North at William Street. The Region considered local route and station location options between Hamilton Street and the Eagle Street CPR crossing. The refinements were presented to the public at PCC 4b in March 2019, along with the evaluation results, and the "Project Team Preferred Refinement".

 PCC No. 5 - November 2019
In June 2019, Regional Council endorsed the Preferred Route for the Stage 2 ION project.

The preliminary design was presented to the public at PCC 5 in November 2019.

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