The environmental assessment of the GTA West Highway (highway 413) has been cancelled, effectively cancelling the highway project that would have paved a strip through Ontario’s greenbelt from Vaughn to Milton.
The cancellation of highway 413 shows how the province is recognizing the value of complete communities as opposed to highway led planning that results in sprawl. Denser urban planning will likely be a long-term outcome. With high real estate prices, more cost effective densification is good for affordability and increasing supply.
The other outcomes of the highway cancellation include the following:
- Community Health - intrinsic costs such as the cost of urban sprawl, climate impacts, and health concerns will be lowered.
- Environment and Climate - the protection of numerous farms, watersheds, and forests is a huge win for the health and environment of all Ontarians.
- Savings - the cancellation of the Environmental Assessment for highway 413 effectively saved taxpayers an approximate five billion dollars from construction costs. Other costs will also be avoided, including maintenance and the cost of land expropriation.
A report conducted by the GTA West Corridor Advisory Panel has concluded that alternative solutions to Highway 413 such as truck lanes on the 407, congestion pricing, and more effective land management can contribute towards reduced travelling time.
It is too early to say for sure how real estate will be affected. But less sprawl will be good for creating future oriented communities in Halton Region and the western GTA.