Details emerge for Ontario’s new 400 Series highway

by Today's Trucking

TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario has confirmed the preferred route for a new 400-series highway that will cut through York, Peel and Halton regions, serving an area that accounts for some of the most extensive trucking activity in the province.

Known as the GTA West corridor, the highway will run from Hwy. 400 (between Kirby Road and King-Vaughan Road) in the east to the Hwy. 401/407 interchange in the west. It will include up to four to six lanes, intelligent transportation features, and truck parking, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation says.

(Map: Ontario Ministry of Transportation)

Details like the potential number or location of truck parking spaces along the corridor have yet to be determined, a ministry spokesman said, responding to questions from Today’s Trucking. Those will be established as part of the preliminary design process.

“The Greater Golden Horseshoe is an economic driver for the province and addressing transportation needs in this region is essential to the competitiveness of our economy,” said Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney, in a related press release. “The GTA West Corridor will help alleviate traffic congestion and improve the movement of people and goods across the province.”

“It’s a challenging area. There’s a lot of congestion,” agrees Steve Snow, vice-president of sales, customer service and marketing at Maritime-Ontario Freight Lines, headquartered in Brampton. “Getting down to the 401 is a little tangly at the best of times.”

But the fleet is among several business interests to express concerns about a City of Brampton proposal that would incorporate multiple traffic lights along the route, which is being described as a “60 km/h boulevard”.

“It will actually have 17 intersections, and then the stopping and the starting,” Snow says. “What is the purpose of a 400-Series highway when we have to stop and go, stop and go?”

Instead, Snow says the trucking industry would be better served by a true ring road that emptied further north in Halton Region.

The province’s 2006 Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe projected there will be 1.5 million additional car and truck trips per day in the GTA West study area by 2031. Without changes, average commuter times would be expected to increase by 27 minutes per day.

An estimated $1.8 billion worth of commodities travel to, from and through Peel Region alone on a given day, according to the region’s 2017-21 Goods Movement Strategic Plan. Peel expects to see 6 million truck trips per year by 2041.

The GTA West corridor’s environmental assessment is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.

  • This article has been updated to include comments from Steve Snow of Mid-Ontario Freight Lines.

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  • I would like to suggest,expanding the 427 instead. It would take a huge load off the 400.
    The 400 is already very heavely travelled and a lot of collisions and no getting off.
    Same as east of Toronto, there should be another hwy going north.

  • This government, this provincial government, don’t have a clue what they are doing. The previous government, the liberals, cancelled the highway due to environmental studies. It showed that it was not appropriate to build a highway. The conservative government has no regards for the people in the surrounding area. All they care about it is the mighty dollar, for the next election you will not be getting my family’s votes.

  • Better and probably cheaper option would be to buy back 407 and either remove tolls or lower them to an acceptable level to get trucks on to it from 401.

    • I agree that we should think to buy back the 407 and make that an affordable way for trucks to move. We have a family business with a small fleet of large trucks, but the cost of using the 407 is prohibitive.

      Also, I’m not interested in making vehicle travel more appealing, by encouraging urban sprawl on our Golden Horseshoe. It’s called that for a reason, with its rich soil for farming. It is important that we can buy produce grown locally, and we need to keep arable land available to make that happen.

      In addition, we want to encourage other modes of transportation in the GTA, not beefing up our dependancy on the automobile. VIA Rail had an increase in ridership in 2019. We should be working on that kind of infrastructure.

  • Y does it end at hwy400? Y wouldn’t it continue to the east pass Oshawa? So vehicles that are going towards Quebec can use it as a bypass of the city. The way roads are built in Ontario make no sense. Its grid lock everywhere we go

  • This is stupidest ldea my self & all trucks have heard of a hwy with 17 stop & go intersections a DISASTER & Collisions waiting to happen the ministry needs to rethink & make it a true 400
    Series hwy with proper on off ramps & bridges

  • How about a true by-pass where you can get on but can-t get off,you go all the way to the end. all this does is make another urban spread out problem.

  • I agree with Steve Snow. Doesn’t make any sense if there are going to be intersections in it. Needs to be a true 400 series highway with only interchanges and it needs to come out west of where currently planned. If you bring it out at the 401/407, the traffic jam is just being moved from 400/401 to the 401/407. Can you imagine the chaos of the new highway westbound, the 407 WB and the 401WB all coming together at one place. How do you spell NIGHTMARE!

  • Must be more parking areas and stop by location for trucks. Specially where the truck stops are not very frequent.

  • Obviously there’s people who are making decisions that dont earn a living traveling Ontario highways getting paid by the mile. If they did they’d understand better the right choices for all rather than the verbal banter we here ALL the time. How about putting seasoned drivers on a board the drive daily to tell them what the right Choices would be. The 407 is definitely the right choice for immediate future and would ease congestion until until those other decisions can be made. The toll change needs to be withdrawn as carriers are already struggling with freight rates. To the powers that be. Make the right decision and stop wasting tax dollars

  • This should completely grid lock Milton On. Dispite what the planners seem to think, all the traffic in Southern Ontario, isn’t going to or coming from Toronto.

  • This highway would go through the headways of a few river systems and would pave over pristine farmland. Not to mention all the endangered species that make these areas their home. This is old school thinking. It further encourages the use of fossil fuels and more emissions. We have a carbon budget, and this is an investment that we cannot make. We have to reduce our emissions drastically in the next decade. Land use is one of the biggest leverage points that we have. We can’t pave over this land. This won’t make enough difference on the transportation time. This is a legacy that will affect us now. It will affect our children even more greatly. The very survival of our species is at risk. This conservative government has no regards for environmental responsibilities. All they care about it is the mighty dollar. It is time to plan this province for our people.