As Canada Grows, Transit a Key Component of Success

The population in Canada will increase substantially in the future, and transit planning is crucial to ensuring that cities thrive.

January 9, 2020, 6:00 AM PST

By Camille Fink


Toronto Subway

IVY PHOTOS / Shutterstock

Canada’s population is slated to grow in the coming decades, with one projection estimating 48.8 million to 56 million Canadians by 2050. These residents are largely going to live in the country’s big cities, which means many more commuters. But are Canadian cities going to be ready for this growth?

"If we want to raise the quality of life in Canada’s cities, rather than choking on our growth, we will need better planning, so that cities build up more and sprawl out less. As part of that, we need a lot more of the key piece of infrastructure that makes city life possible: mass transit," argues an editorial in The Globe and Mail.

In the Greater Toronto Area alone, the addition of 4.6 million new residents is projected by 2046. "Try to imagine millions of new commuters, all trying to drive to work on the GTA’s already gridlocked highways. It can’t be done."

Canadian cities have not made the transit investments and improvements needed to accommodate this coming surge in the population, as aging and inadequate systems can barely keep up with present-day needs. "Unless municipalities, provinces and the federal government prepare for our nation’s future as a bigger and more urban country, by planning, funding and actually building public transit, and a lot more of it, the quality of life in Canada’s big cities is at risk."

Friday, January 3, 2020 in The Globe and Mail

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