Downtown Toronto’s Union train station is a well-known anchor point for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) mass transit systems. A place where passenger rail, subway and bus services cross connect. Now a just-released RFP from the City of Pickering and the Regional Municipality of Durham (the “Region”) seeks to replicate that success in Durham.
RFP (Request For Proposal) RFP2023-18 was posted on October 4th, 2023. It asks for:
“Corridor design for a High Frequency Rail station in Pickering and the Region”
- Produce a comprehensive conceptual plan for an HFR station within the targeted areas identified by the City of Pickering.
- Anticipate and incorporate traffic patterns and future development plans to ensure that the design and implementation phases align with the overarching project goals and the specific requirements of the community and stakeholders.
Some of the Key Deliverables in the RFP include a 3D Model by July 2024 and Renderings of Environmental Landscaping by September 2024.
The need for new services is high with the population within 30 km of the station expected to grow by 1 million by 2040 to 3.5 million. What can we decipher from this RFP about our mass transit future? Or is the RFP too narrow in scope?
The Durham-Pickering RFP must look beyond an HFR station and its associated corridor development. Its outlook needs to be broader.
Consider we have Union Station in Downtown Toronto – the transit locus serving the largest employment district in the GTA.
Consider the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) master plan for Toronto Pearson Airport that seeks to create Union West – a multimodal regional transit centre. A station serving the second latest employment district in Ontario, created around Pearson airport.
Now consider the potential to create Union East, a new intermodal transit hub anchored by the full economic development of the federal lands, a major new employment district and an airport in North Pickering.
Union East is a vision of a next-generation transit hub that, over time, could eclipse the original downtown Union station in importance. One of the station’s advantages will be the addition of large-scale affordable parking.
The new Union East transit hub will link together:
- HFR (High Frequency Rail)
- Light Rail Transit way (LTR) on highway 407
- Go Bus and city bus service.
- Passenger aviation at the new Pickering Airport
- Host one of the GTAs first hubs for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) / Advanced Air Mobility (AAM).
- Short- and long-term affordable car parking.
Commuters will be able to drive to the station and then take transit (HFR/GO Downtown/407 Transitway), even an air taxi, to work.
If you live in the Durham Region, Union East station will forever change how you move.
The new hub is expected to be located to take advantage of the critical mass created by the new Pickering airport, its industrial park and economic zone. It will provide transit services to the 2.5 million people already living within a 30 km radius and support the area’s rapid growth.
Although there are several possibilities for Union East’s location, only one makes sense. The existing Havelock rail right of way, need for proximity to the federally zoned airport lands and access to the Highway 407 and the future Highway 407 Transitway, points to this location. This is the Green River area, noted as Location 1 in the RFP. The location is just north of Highway 407, east of the York Durham line.
This RFP is just the first step on the path to building Union East Station. A new mass transit hub that will help the region grow in an environmentally friendly, efficient manner. Enhancing our transit systems and improving our quality of life.
The RFP dates appear to dovetail well into the expected Transport Canada study and follow on Pickering Airport RFP in 2025.
List of some of the firms that have requested the RFP and may respond with a proposal. The quality of this list speaks to the interest in the project.
|AECOM Canada Ltd.
105 Commerce Valley Drive West, 7th Floor, Markham
|Arcadis Professional Services (Canada) Inc.
55 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto
#5203, 14 York Street, Toronto
455 Phillip Street, Waterloo
|GreenBlue Infrastructure Solutions
71 Bysham Park Drive, Woodstock
900-40 Holly St, Toronto
2800 Speakman Drive, Mississauga
100 York Blvd, Richmond Hill
9 King St. W, Brockville
|J.L. Richards & Associates Limited
343 Preston St, Tower 2, Suite 1000, Ottawa
|Jacobs Consultancy Canada Inc.
245 Consumers Rd, Suite 400, Toronto
|LEA Consulting Ltd.
625 Cochrane Drive, Markham
|McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers Ltd.
115 Walgreen Road, Carp
|Mott MacDonald Canada
|Canada , Proposals
Suite 400, 145 Wellington Street West , Toronto
625 Cochrane Drive, Ste. 300, Markham
6700 Chemin de la Côte-de-Liesse, Montreal
|Stantec Consulting Ltd.
100-300 Hagey Boulevard, Waterloo
|Weston Williamson + Partners
120 Adelaide Street West,, Toronto
|WSP Canada Inc.
100 Commerce Valley Dr W, Thornhill