413 will facilitate massive, destructive sprawl

The proposed Highway 413 will facilitate massive, destructive urban sprawl unless it is stopped. 

There is increasing opposition from many individuals and organizations who are gravely concerned about the impacts of this proposed highway. Those concerned include public health, municipal, business, agricultural, environmental and community groups. 

Highway 413 alone would be devastating. It would slice through the Greenbelt and destroy over 800 hectares of class 1 and 2 farmland, impact 220 wetlands covering 130 hectares, impact or remove 680 hectares of wildlife habitat including forest, wetland and meadows and create crossings of 85 rivers and streams – including the Humber and Credit River Valleys. Over 1000 hectares of land identified as important for wildlife movement will be removed or intersected.*

If that weren’t bad enough, this unnecessary mega-highway would lead to tens of thousands of hectares of more sprawl. It would undermine a generation of good planning efforts in the region, worsening many existing problems and solving none.

413 sprawl map
413 sprawl map

The Friends of the Greater Golden Horseshoe will be hosting a webinar in the coming weeks to highlight the impacts of 413 and highway/car dependent sprawl. We will post details once they’re available.

In the meantime, watch this video of the proposed Highway 413 route. See for yourselves the irreplaceable green space, farmland and wetlands that will be lost because of a completely unnecessary paving project and resulting sprawl. There is also a slower version of the video if you prefer a more detailed look at the route. (note: as of this writing, the longer video is incorrectly identified as the sped up version)

Recently, Mississauga City Council passed a resolution opposing Highway 413 and sent a motion to all other municipalities in the GTA, with the mayor making a strong public statement:

“The proposed GTA West Highway will have a disastrous impact on the environment, encourage residential sprawl and increase our dependence on cars… As a Council, we’ve been so dedicated to trying to combat these issues, so we could no longer simply stand idle. Too many experts and organizations have come out against this planned highway, and today we stand with them.”

If this motion comes to your Council we encourage you and your friends to ask your Council to support it. There are a growing number of municipalities, including the City of Toronto who now oppose the 413 construction.

The David Suzuki Foundation has released an open letter signed by leaders in business, urban design, healthcare, politics and the arts, including David Crombie and Ken Greenberg.

We encourage you to get involved in issues affecting your community and the wider GGH region. Your voice matters.

More background:

*Figures: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Featured image: Transportfan70, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons