7.2 As the regional rapid transit system is implemented, detailed planning is undertaken for
specific corridors, and municipal growth planning exercises unfold, Metrolinx may, in
consultation with municipalities and transit agencies, refine the list of mobility hubs based
on the definitions and criteria of the RTP.
The relationship between the structure of a city-region and its transportation system
is critically important. An attractive and environmentally sustainable urban
structure requires fast, frequent and well connected means of movement. An
efficient and cost-effective transit system requires nodes (or dense concentrations)
of trip origins and destinations. The interface between urban form and the
transportation system is particularly important around major transit stations.
Focusing growth and development around major transit stations allows more people to live near
transit services, and makes more destinations accessible by transit.
Transit stations are also the key point of contact between the traveller and the transit system, so
they have a significant impact on customer service and the overall travelling experience. A welldesigned
transit station can help make travellers feel relaxed, informed and appreciated. A
poorly-designed station can cause frustration.
Some of the GTHA’s transit stations are particularly significant given the level of transit service that
exists or is planned for them, as well as the development potential around them. These stations
are identified in the RTP as mobility hubs. In addition to serving as places to arrive, wait for and
depart on transit, successful mobility hubs have the potential to become vibrant places of activity
and destinations in themselves. Currently, many of these sites offer little more than vast parking
lots, but they could be much more.
The RTP imagines a future in which key major transit stations are turned into true mobility hubs,
where transportation modes come together, including local transit service, cycling and pedestrian
networks, with secure storage facilities for bikes and car-share drop-off areas. They will be
locations for major destinations such as office buildings, hospitals, educational facilities and
government services. They will also offer amenities to travellers such as heated waiting areas,
traveller information centres, cafés or restaurants, and services like a daycare, grocery store or
post office (for more information see the backgrounder “Mobility Hubs, December 2008”).
7.3 Develop a financial program to facilitate mobility hub capital improvements that increases
over time to $50 million annually. This program would fund or leverage transit-related
improvements such as converting surface parking to structured parking, strategic land
acquisitions, station improvements, and local road re-alignments to facilitate integration of
transportation modes, with a focus on those mobility hubs that:
- have the greatest potential to improve the performance of the overall transit system and
generate a return on the transit investment;
cdemonstrate an ambitious and practical development plan for achieving or exceeding
the land use and transportation objectives of the RTP and the minimum requirements of
the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe;
- have prepared a viable business plan that outlines the public and private financing
techniques for achievement of the intended development;
- have strong support from the municipality;
- have high levels of existing or planned local transit service; and
- demonstrate best practices in the design and function of the mobility hub.
7.4 Establish a special purpose, transit-related urban development capability to lead or
facilitate development for those mobility hubs where it is determined that jurisdictional
issues, land ownership patterns or other issues present particular challenges that would
otherwise inhibit their successful, integrated development. Such capability would be
structured appropriately to respond to the issues identified and could be vested with
authority to manage publicly owned lands and to acquire or assemble lands needed to
realize the strategic development objectives of the mobility hub.
7.5 Take advantage of the full range of financial and development tools available as part of a
mobility hub development strategy and establish guidelines for their appropriate use.
These tools may include tax increment financing, community improvement plans, area
development charges, as well as value capture strategies, public-private partnerships and
the possible use, as necessary, of statutory expropriation powers.
7.6 With the guidance of a multi-stakeholder roundtable, undertake a comprehensive parking
study to identify best practices and guidelines with respect to:
- optimum parking standards, practices and pricing policies for non-residential parking,
particularly in mobility hubs;
- design of parking facilities to ensure they do not act as barriers to transit or active
- transitioning from free to paid parking to encourage transit and active transportation
- separating parking costs from transit fares at mobility hubs, in order to encourage
travellers to access the station by walking, cycling or local transit; and
- implementation mechanisms such as municipal parking authorities.
7.7 Update the province’s Transit Supportive Land Use Guidelines.
7.8 The transportation system shall be planned, designed, built and operated to create
pedestrian-, cycling-, and transit-friendly communities, and to ensure connectivity between
places and along corridors that support the urban structure and intensification objectives
of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
7.9 The transportation system shall be planned, designed, built and operated in a manner that
directs growth to approved settlement areas, particularly already built-up areas, and away
from areas where development is discouraged by provincial policy, such as natural areas
and agricultural lands.
7.10 The regional rapid transit and highway network in Schedules 1 and 2 shall be incorporated
into all municipal Official Plans, and these planned transit services shall be used as the basis
for determining appropriate land uses and densities in conformity with the Growth Plan for
the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
7.11 In new residential, commercial and employment developments in municipalities where
transit service is planned or available, all homes and businesses shall be within walking
distance of a transit stop with frequent service. Transit stop signage shall be erected as
soon as roads are constructed so that prospective businesses and homeowners are aware
of where transit service will be provided.
7.12 New institutions such as elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools, regional
hospitals, large sporting venues and cultural centres should demonstrate excellence in
transit-oriented and pedestrian-friendly design and should choose locations that maximize
access by transit and active transportation. This shall be supported by municipal Official
7.13 Municipal parking and zoning by-laws shall be updated to:
- establish maximum parking requirements;
- decrease minimum parking requirements where appropriate;
- permit off-site, on-street and shared-parking capacity to be counted towards meeting
- provide priority parking for car-sharing; and
- give landowners and developers the option of providing alternatives to free on-site
parking, such as transit passes, car-sharing memberships, carpooling services, and/or
financial contributions towards transit or active transportation infrastructure.
7.14 Gateway hubs and anchor hubs identified in Schedules 1 and 2 of the RTP shall be
identified and incorporated into municipal Official Plans and Transportation Master Plans.
Official Plans and Transportation Master Plans should also identify unique destinations that
are important regional activity centres and/or major trip generators, such as universities,
regional shopping centres, hospitals, and cultural facilities.
7.15 Municipalities, in consultation with transit agencies, landowners, major stakeholders, and
public agencies and institutions, shall prepare detailed master plans for each mobility hub.
Where appropriate, master plans should also be prepared for major transit station areas
and unique destinations that have been identified in accordance with Policy 7.14. At
minimum, master plans will:
- set out policies and an anticipated schedule for their achievement, to conform with and
implement the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s policies for major transit
station areas and, where applicable, urban growth centres;
- establish minimum density targets that conform to the Growth Plan for the Greater
Golden Horseshoe and are based on the planned transit service levels of the RTP;
- optimize transit-oriented development potential, and identify and implement incentives
to promote transit-oriented development, such as streamlined planning and building
approvals and reduced development application fees;
- provide for a range of amenities for travellers such as retail uses, restrooms, community
spaces and tourism information, where appropriate;
- optimize the trip-generation benefit of the mobility hub;
- set target modal splits for transit usage, single occupancy vehicle trips and active
transportation for each mobility hub, and an anticipated schedule for their achievement;
- establish a surface parking reduction strategy in consultation with transit agencies, that
is based on site-specific redevelopment opportunities and the existing or planned
availability of alternative modes of access to the mobility hub, and that includes a
scheduled transition from free surface parking to a limited supply of fairly priced,
structured parking, and policies to set aside reserved parking spaces for carpool and carsharing
- include design policies that help achieve environmental sustainability objectives, such as
LEED Gold or equivalent standards, for any new transit-related buildings;
- improve the travelling experience through the use of public art, landscaping and
- minimize distances between transit stations and between transit stations and key
destinations within the mobility hub;
- give priority to transit, pedestrian and bicycle access over all other modes, and identify
a zone around mobility hubs that provides priority measures for these modes on access
- establish a pedestrian-focused internal movement plan that integrates public and
private spaces through well-designed, human-scaled spaces;
- provide secure, conveniently located, weather-protected bicycle storage facilities and
integrate bike-sharing where available; and
- address issues related to the comfort and convenience of transit users, including policies
that provide for customer service amenities, such as a plentiful supply of clean, safe,
comfortable, weather-protected waiting areas, way-finding, and access for users with
7.16 Municipalities may identify areas in Official Plans and Transportation Master Plans that have
the potential to meet the mobility hub definitions and criteria of the RTP in the future, and
plan for their potential future role as mobility hubs. This may include the preparation of
detailed master plans for these areas as described in Policy 7.15.
7.17 All transit corridors in the regional rapid transportation network shall be assessed for their
potential for higher density mixed-use development and for their suitability as
intensification corridors as defined in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Generally, all regional rapid transit corridors that are not on controlled-access expressways
or outside of settlement areas should be identified as intensification corridors, except
where this would conflict with other provincial policy.
7.18 For those transit corridors that are identified as intensification corridors in accordance with
Policy 7.17, municipalities, in consultation with transit agencies, landowners, major
stakeholders, and public agencies and institutions, shall set out policies in their Official
Plans and Transportation Master Plans that:
- conform with and implement the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s
policies for intensification corridors;
- establish minimum density targets based on the planned transit service levels of the RTP;
- facilitate a mix of modes, including active transportation;
- give priority to transit vehicles over private vehicles, and maximize the value of the
- discourage free parking, minimize street-facing surface parking lots, accommodate
appropriate streetside parking and minimize the impacts of parking on other forms of
transportation such as walking and cycling; and
- provide for desirable maximum and minimum heights, and maintain site development
standards, to create positive visual relationships among buildings along the street, and
between buildings and the street.
7.19 Design standards and streetscape guidelines, enforceable through the site plan process,
should be prepared for those transit corridors that are identified as intensification corridors.
These should address landscaping, street furniture, integrating transit facilities (shelters and
waiting areas), signage and lighting.
7.20 Stations on the regional rapid transit network shall be planned, located and designed to:
- maximize transit ridership;
- maximize integration of transportation services;
- prioritize access by transit, walking and cycling;
- optimize transit cost-effectiveness and operational considerations;
- maximize integration with the surrounding neighbourhood to create a walkable
- optimize development opportunities.