Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Region of Peel, City of Brampton, Town of Caledon and City of Mississauga have finalized the purchase of a 51-kilometre stretch of the former Orangeville Brampton Railway corridor running from the Caledon-Orangeville boundary to just north of Streetsville.
“I applaud the Region of Peel for being the catalyst in bringing this deal together and my sincere gratitude to our municipal partners for buying into the vision the City of Brampton brought forward five years ago,” Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said in a statement. “As we expand and enhance our active transportation networks, we are making a difference in the lives of residents and setting the stage for healthier, happier and more harmonious communities of the future.
The land was purchased for $5.8 million, funded from the region’s Greenlands Securement Program, and has largely been transferred to local municipalities to manage the multi-year process of development, from design to construction and ongoing maintenance.
In addition, the partnership creates a strategic north-south connection of the Trans Canada Trail System.
“Caledon is a well-known trail community and the first community in Canada to feature a pavilion on the Trans Canada Trailway,” said Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson. “Our trailways are the natural linkages that bind our vast rural and small urban communities together. This acquisition is especially important because it gives the Town the opportunity to create a new north-south recreation trail that will travel through Caledon’s breathtaking scenic areas at the edge of the Niagara Escarpment.
“I look forward to the many benefits it will bring including the opportunity to use the trailway corridor for the continued expansion of rural services like broadband infrastructure.”
Mayor Bonnie Crombie says finding new and innovative ways to transform surplus property and land is central to Mississauga’s plan to build more complete and liveable communities.
“These trails will offer a way to stay active year-round, promoting mental and physical well-being,” she said. “The addition of this trail to our already large network of more than 250 km of park trails, will have a substantial impact on our tourism industry by encouraging people from all over the province to visit to enjoy the natural beauty.”
The rail line was built in the 1870s by the Credit Valley Railway Company and sold to the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway in 1883.
CP operated the rail line until 2000 and then sold it to the Town of Orangeville to serve local businesses until December 2021.
Orangeville had been operating train service at a loss for a number of years and council voted to explore selling it in 2019.