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Building the Waterfront East LRT now -- Toronto's next transit priority

On June 15, 2022, City Council advanced a report with next steps for priority transit projects, including the Waterfront East LRT. The report recommended continued design to return with a funding and implementation plan in Q2 2023.

Item at Executive Committee: EX33.2 Advancing City Priority Transit Expansion Projects

STATEMENT: Why we need the Waterfront East LRT now – More than 40 businesses and civic leaders agree.

The opportunity

Toronto has an enormous  opportunity to maximize the potential of the eastern waterfront and the Port Lands. The area is the biggest development opportunity in North America over the coming decades, with the Port Lands representing an area roughly the size of the existing downtown core.  Currently being flood protected, the Port Lands will be ready for significant development by 2025. Ensuring the eastern waterfront and Port Lands reach their full potential for economic growth, housing opportunities, and climate benefits will depend on funding being committed for the Waterfront East LRT by all levels of government soon.

Waterfront East LRT

Design and engineering ready to go

The City of Toronto has long-term plans to develop a full Waterfront Transit Network that would extend east into the Port Lands, and west all the way to Long Branch at the Mississauga border. With all the development currently underway, the most urgent section of this Waterfront Transit Network is eastern portion that will connect through the revitalized Port Lands.

Currently, initial work is underway on the first phase of the Waterfront East LRT, running east from Union Station to the Port Lands at Cherry Street. This initial work is to reach 30% of the project’s design and engineering, making the project eligible for full funding consideration. 

City of Toronto website: Waterfront East LRT Extension

Why we need the Waterfront East LRT right now

 Economic development, recovery, and growth:

The Waterfront East LRT will maximize the potential for housing, jobs, public amenities, and cultural opportunities along the waterfront and through the Port Lands.

Affordable housing:

The potential for additional housing density in the Port Lands makes it the biggest opportunity in the country to develop affordable housing that is well-connected to downtown employment zones.


The waterfront’s development has led to several beautiful new parks and leisure opportunities for people across Toronto. Further development along the water, connected by public transit, allows the waterfront to truly become “Toronto’s backyard” for people from all across the city who are looking for more green space to enjoy. 


Building Public Transit while the Port Lands are being developed, allows for transit connections to be in place before the neighborhood becomes dependent on private vehicles. Having the LRT in place as the Port Lands develop will increase development density, and demonstrate the foresight sustainable cities need in urban planning.

Economic Impact Study:  The benefits of building now instead of later  

Economic growth

Tax revenue increase by 2045 with LRT in place by 2025:

$9 billion federal tax revenue

$3.8 billion provincial tax revenue

$10 billion municipal tax revenue

$22.8 billion total tax revenue uplift

Housing solutions 

The growth of the eastern waterfront and Port Lands will only speed up with the LRT in place:

25,000+ new housing units along the LRT route from 2025-2045 accommodating 67,000+ residents.

Climate Solutions

Having transit in place first will decrease reliance on vehicles.

44% decrease in automobile use by incoming workers and residents with the LRT in place. 100 million fewer commuting hours, a productivity savings of $1.8 billion.

You can also view our Waterfront East LRT advocacy page here.

Supporters from across Toronto

Business leaders from across the City of Toronto are speaking up in support of getting the Waterfront East LRT built now. We will add to this section as more are adding their support.

Ahmed Ismail Waterfront East LRT Support

When you look at any resilient city that is currently thriving they do it considering all members of society. As a leader of programming that invests in creating more young entrepreneurs it is vital that we triple down on our transit infrastructure as it has been confirmed that this new generation's priorities have shifted which is why they have ditched buying vehicles in droves. With HXOUSE anchored and invested in the cultural and spiritual development of the waterfront we realize everyday the vitality of having access to affordable transportation for our tenants who travel from all over.

Ahmed Ismail

Founder and CEO, HXOUSE

Aly Damji Waterfront East LRT Support

NAIOP Greater Toronto members represent the leading commercial and mixed-use developers responsible for some of the most exciting developments across the City of Toronto. Toronto is a vibrant and growing world-class City, attracting businesses from around the world as we continue to build on our reputation as an epicentre of financial services, technology, and entertainment.  The Waterfront East LRT is a vital step in our growth as we tap into the full potential of the City’s incredible waterfront and all it has to offer to residents and businesses.

Aly Damji

Forum Equity Partners | President, NAIOP Greater Toronto

Waterfront East LRT Support Dental Centres