Building the Waterfront East LRT Now
Building the Waterfront East Light Rail Transit (LRT) by 2025 instead of waiting until the 2040’s will result in significant jobs, housing and increased tax revenue, according to a report released today from Hatch, a leading international consulting firm. The report was prepared for the Waterfront BIA.
“We have the opportunity to connect the waterfront with transit now because there’s already massive development beginning through the eastern corridor,” says Tim Kocur, Executive Director of the Waterfront BIA. “There’s no other part of the city with the potential to accommodate as many highly-productive new jobs. This is an opportunity for the city and the broader region to get it right.”
The economic impact study modeled the Waterfront East LRT corridor if light rail were installed by 2025. The City of Toronto will be reviewing its transit priorities in early 2019 including the Waterfront Transit Network that includes East and West LRT extensions. Consultations with the public and stakeholders are beginning, and the item is expected to return to the City’s Executive Committee in April.
The Hatch Study found that a faster development scenario, including the completion of the Waterfront East LRT by 2025, generates significant benefits, including:
- 25,000 residential units for up to 67,000 people along the corridor – the equivalent of more than two Liberty Village areas.
- 132,000 jobs in 19 million sq. ft. of office space along the corridor – the equivalent of seven First Canadian Places.
- $22.8 billion in additional tax revenue to the municipal, provincial and federal governments over the following 20 years after LRT completion.
- 100 million person-hours saved from commute durations.
- 44% decrease in automobile use by incoming workers and residents.
- 15% increase in public transit use by incoming workers and residents.
“This analysis confirms the Waterfront East LRT project supports substantial city building in Toronto,” says Michael Sutherland, Director of Urban Solutions at Hatch. “The key conclusion here is that delaying this project is expensive for everyone – the Federal Government, Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and citizens. Toronto’s knowledge jobs cluster is a powerful economic engine for the region and we need to provide additional space to accommodate highly productive finance and technology jobs and workforce. Efficient waterfront development furthers economic productivity while minimizing growth’s negative impacts.”
Economic Impact Study: Acceleration of the Implementation of Toronto Waterfront East LRT,” prepared by Hatch for the Waterfront BIA.
“As the City of Toronto and other levels of government review their funding priorities, they’ll see that the eastern waterfront is a great investment,” says Tim Kocur of the Waterfront BIA. “Toronto is a waterfront city. The LRT is a way to start sharing it with more people right now.”
The Waterfront BIA
416 827 7734 (mobile)