Northeast Pickering Lands: A needed catalyst for economic growth

PICKERING, ON, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - Lands in north east Pickering near the 407 extension are needed as a catalyst for Ontario's economic growth  according to local landowners.

"We've already got a Greenbelt, what we need now is a "jobs belt" and a "home belt" near the 407 extension. We need some balance in the economic equation," says landowner's spokesperson Lucy Stocco.

The fact is that the 407, when complete, will provide employment lands and compact, complete communities adjacent to it along with sustainable transit services according to the landowners.

"As landowners, of course we want to see our lands developed, but the real issue is that the health of Ontario's economy, the strength of its economic heart, and the prosperity of its people all depend on major transportation arteries like the 407," adds Stocco.

Ontario highways carry $1.2 trillion dollars' worth of goods each year and 75 per cent of ALL Canada-U.S. trade

The thoughtful, planned development of the north east Pickering lands is not 'sprawl'. Sprawl is the expansion of low density development into rural lands at the fringe of an urban area which causes additional car travel and congestion. 

With the completion of the 407 and with the population of the Golden Horseshoe forecast to increase by almost 50 per cent, to 11.5 million by 2031, the north east Pickering lands will be a key to sustainable employment growth and housing,  creating a complete community and 20,000 jobs near a major regional transportation node.

"If lands along the 407 such as those in north east Pickering are not dedicated to employment and housing, the highway will simply become a conveyor of sprawl and a new source of gridlock rather than what it should be, a catalyst for smart growth and a stronger Ontario economy," concludes Stocco.

The time lost to gridlock on the 401 through the GTA is money lost to Ontario's economy.  Ontario needs to complete the 407 to compete.  In 2006, the annual cost of congestion to Ontario commuters was $3.3 billion and by 2031 it is projected to be $7.8 billion.

SOURCE Northeast Pickering Lands

For further information:

Lucy Stocco, 905-839-3500 ext 323

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