The Niagara Region is quickly becoming Ontario’s place to be. From the legendary Niagara Falls to the idyllic wineries to the hundreds of shops, museums, and attractions, Niagara’s economy is booming. There are plenty of sites to see and things to do in Niagara and the community that has worked diligently to outshine the regions around it.
Experts are excited and there is little question as to why. Unemployment is at an all time low as the city continues in invest in young entrepreneurs and small business owners. The real estate market is revving up as residents of the Greater Toronto Area look to the Niagara Region’s more affordable housing options. The city has recently approved over $100 million in building permits for the area to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Niagara’s residents. $25 million in tax relief grants for industrial companies have also been approved to help attract investors into the area.
As these changes are made, the population of the area is projected to surpass the 600,000 mark by 2041. This 38% increase from the population of 442,000 in 2011 is addressed in Niagara’s Transportation Master Plan.
Niagara’s Transportation Master Plan is designed to ensure that the transportation of the estimated population growth is met from now until the year 2041. This “strategic planning document” highlights the key recommendations and the supporting actions that will be needed to keep the Niagara Regions long term vision for the future.
The Niagara Transportation Master Plan was approved in July of 2017 by the Regional Council and final revisions were finished following a 45 day environmental assessment review period in September. The plan addresses the transportation trends of both current residents and the residents they anticipate for the future. The Regional Council are looking into options that can shape these trends into manageable long term solutions that won’t only sustain the transportation needs, but will help them thrive.
Here’s what to expect from the Niagara Transportation Master Plan in the upcoming years
Transportation As A Catalyst For Change
Transportation options is a large contributing factor to homebuyers and employment, as well as the investors looking for options to place their investments. The Niagara Transportation Master Plan wants to maximize the connectivity between the municipalities by improving both the connecting roads and highways between them. By providing more options for public transit, the idea is to diminish the transportation obstacles and effort for residents to travel from municipality to municipality. Residents will then be able to get the most out of the places they live while improving financial sustainability, attracting a talented workforce and business investments, and participate in the creation of healthy vibrant communities. The region also aims to establish themselves as leaders in climate change and environmental sustainability, a movement that will continue to direct the outcomes of the region’s plans for the future.
Connecting The Region
Public transportation is taking a top priority in Niagara’s Transportation Master Plan. The region wants to lower their carbon footprint and one way they plan to do this is lower the need for daily travel by car, 90% being used by a single occupant. This will also have a huge impact on the traffic congestion along the major highways as residents continue to commute between Niagara and the Greater Toronto-Hamilton area and increase the economic connections with neighbouring cities and municipalities. The addition of the Niagara and St. Catherine’s GO stations is one of these upcoming changes that residents can expect to see in the next couple of years, with 60 km of track being added to the current Lakeshore West line.
Niagara’s Transportation Master Plan expects that the continuous upgrades to the public transit systems as well as the expansions between linking municipalities will boost the efficiency of the movements of goods and improve international trade, as well as maximize the use of walking or cycling for shorter trips.
Meeting The Needs Of Residents
Niagara Region’s Transportation Master Plan is addressing the various changes in demographics the region will see by 2041. The populations of seniors within the area are expected to double. As a result, the needs for age friendly infrastructure and an improvement in alternatives to driving between municipalities and outside the current peak periods. Ensuring the participation of seniors within the community is an achievement the region strives to succeed in and will promote the region as the family friendly region they are aiming for.
On the other hand, the Transportation Master Plan also addresses the influx of younger people in the area and their demand for more flexible and convenient options to car ownership. The region continues to push for college graduates from schools such as Brock University and McMaster and as well as retaining their high school graduate counterparts.
Taking Advantage Of New Technologies
When the future is mentioned, technology is always the frontrunner in innovation. Niagara Region’s Transportation Master Plan has plans to use any new technological advancements in the transportation industry to stretch the benefits for residents. The Regional Council plans to reduce the cost in transportation while extending coverage of the systems of transit. They expect that with the integration of new transportation technology, the cost of road expansions will be reduced and will help set the region apart as a leader in transportation solutions.
While the Transportation Master Plan for Niagara is less of a step by step process of tasks the Niagara region has lined up, it is clear that the plan is a thorough investigation into what the future of the Niagara region will look like. The current plans will shape the demographics of the area and the Niagara region will continue throughout the upcoming years to invest in projects that uphold these values.
Investors should take note of Niagara if they are looking for lucrative opportunities. Getting in on the ground floor of the new and improved Niagara will be an opportunity that only comes once in a lifetime.