Residents of Cornell, especially those without vehicles, will not feel disconnected from the rest of the city for much longer. A new state-of-the-art bus terminal is planned for late 2019.

The project, an 11-bay York Regional Transit and Viva bus terminal will also link locals to the GO and Durham Regional Transit.

François-Philippe Champagne, Hon. Minister of Infrastructure and Communities ended his visit of key infrastructure sites across the region Friday, with a tour of the Cornell site.

He was joined by Mayor Frank Scarpitti, chair of the York Region Rapid Transit Corporation (YRRTC) who served as Master of Ceremonies during the on-site presentation. Local Members of Parliament, Hon. Jane Philpott and Hon. Mary Ng (pictured above) also chartered the Viva presentation bus, as did newly elected Ward 5 Councillor, Andrew Keyes.

There they heard about the $37-million transit hub coming to Highway 7 and Ninth Line, from Mary-Frances Turner, President of YRRTC who spoke to the backdrop of a construction site.

The Government of Canada (GOC) is pledging over $180 billion into public infrastructure nationwide over the next 12 years, through their Investing in Canada plan. Ontario and its municipalities will receive $11 billion of that money towards various infrastructure priorities, including transit.

The Public Transit Infrastructure Fund is also making 10, 925 infrastructure projects a reality province-wide. This includes upgrading over 5,400 public transit vehicles, over 12,000 bus stops and shelters, and building 128 kilometers of active transportation trails.

Mary Frances-Turner, President of YRRTC with Hon. Minister
François-Philippe Champagne and Andrew Keyes, Ward 5 Councillor

Minister Champagne asked a lot of questions about the 200,000 sq. ft. modern structure that will feature a pedestrian plaza with retail outlets. The Cornell terminal makes up 9.5k of the proposed 75k Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects across the region, sitting just south of Markham-Stouffville Hospital (MSH).

Champagne spoke of his government’s objective, through their substantial investment, to improve overall health, well-being and quality of life:

“All Canadians benefit from modern and resilient infrastructure that gives them a better place to call home. These investments result in better transit systems that shorten commuting times and give Canadians more quality time with their families…better community facilities that enable Canadians to gather and forge common bonds of friendship in a country where people come from every corner of the world. That is how investments in public infrastructure connect Canadians to more opportunities to thrive.”

The new terminal, to be officially located at 467 Rustle Woods Ave, is also walking distance to Cornell Community Centre. As a “transit-oriented development”, it will have bike racks, sheltered and heated platforms and bathrooms.

A plaza is also planned at the north end with retail outlets large enough to congregate in.

The new terminal will help address an ever expanding population (25,000 per year, regionally) with features supporting public parking, walking, cycling and carpooling.

Smart and Modern

The Cornell terminal also boasts sustainable attributes like an onsite water infiltration gallery, light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, energy efficient appliances and equipment, and drought-resistant plants.

Building parts like steel and curtain wall will be sourced and assembled locally, and paired with smart design elements. These include light and noise pollution reducing colonnade walls, and a natural air filtration system from the landscaping and greenery around them.

Other sustainable materials to be used in the construction of the terminal are glulam trellis from second-growth lumber, wood-laminated fascia panels, and weather-resistant and durable aluminum and zinc panels.

Further planned benefits of transit investment are reduced congestion, collisions, greenhouse gas emissions and increased green space with more trees.

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(Photo Credit: Martin Kwok)