Study Background

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) in consultation with the Region of Durham, its constituents and surrounding municipalities, undertook an Individual Environmental Assessment (EA) study to address the long-term transportation needs in the Region of Durham and surrounding area.The 407 East Environmental Assessment (EA) Study supports the transportation objectives of the provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) by providing for the efficient movement of people and goods within the study area.

The 407 East EA was initiated in January 2005, after completion of the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Study and approval of the ToR by the Minister of the Environment (Minister) on January 17, 2005.

Various planning studies were previously undertaken to look at the need for a transportation corridor in Durham Region. Since the early 1990’s,  it was determined through various studies that a new east-west freeway corridor (407 East) through Durham Region to Highway 35/115 with two new north-south freeway corridors connecting Highway 401 and Highway 407 East would be required. A recommendation for the inclusion of a dedicated right-of-way for transit as part of the 407 East transportation corridor through Durham Region was also made through these studies

The Province, Region of Durham and the Regionís constituent municipalities have recognized that major deficiencies exist within the transportation system in the Region of Durham, which negatively affect the movement of people and goods, and potentially adversely affect the natural and social environments. The deficiencies include insufficient capacity to accommodate existing and future travel demands, lack of network connectivity, and limited emergency management / detour routes. From an economics perspective, network congestion negatively impacts goods movement at the federal, international, provincial and local levels. As population and employment figures grow, this situation will be exacerbated if additional east-west and north-south system capacity is not provided in addition to recommended improvements to local, regional and inter-regional transit in the area.

In addition to transportation system constraints within Durham Region, there are existing and anticipated capacity constraints on key linkages between Durham Region and the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), including communities to the west (Greater Toronto Area) and east (the Cityís of Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough and the Counties of Northumberland and Peterborough).

The 407 East EA Study was conducted as an Individual EA, in accordance with the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (OEAA) and the 407 East ToR dated November 2004, approved by the Minister on January 17, 2005. The ToR was the first step of a two-step OEAA approval process for proposed undertakings in the Province of Ontario, with the second step being the Individual EA. The work associated with this EA Study, involved building upon the work of previous studies using recent data in the context of applicable federal, provincial and municipal policies, additional and new fieldwork studies and review of existing and future traffic and land use conditions.

On June 3, 2010, the Minister of the Environment (MOE), with the approval of Cabinet, made a decision to allow the 407 East transportation corridor to proceed subject to strict conditions. The approval by MOE is for the 407 Corridor as detailed in the Environmental Assessment (EA) Report, including the extension of 407 from Brock Road in Pickering to Highway 35/115 in Clarington and the two north-south links connecting the 407 extension to Highway 401, one in Whitby (West Durham Link) and the other in Clarington (East Durham Link). To view the Notice of Approval click here. To view the EA Report, please click here. To view the MOE Review of the 407 East EA Report click here.

To read more of the Studyís background, please view Chapter 1 of the EA Report available here (PDF/2.5mb). To read the ToR for the 407 East EA Study (Appendix A of the EA Report), please click here.

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