Ontario Construction News staff writer
Peel Regional Council has endorsed a report outlining the intent to finalize acquisition of approximately 51 kilometres of the former Orangeville Brampton Railway corridor from the Orangeville Railway Development Corporation, for a recreational trail and future utility corridor.
The anticipated closing date is July 13.
“Acquiring this rail corridor gives the Town the opportunity to create a new north-south recreation trail that will travel through some of Caledon’s more scenic areas, connecting citizens and visitors to the natural environment, shops and restaurants in the villages of Alton, Inglewood and emerging communities in Mayfield West,” said Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson.
The over 50-kilometre trail also connects Caledon, Brampton and Mississauga and will be available for the continued expansion of rural services like broadband internet.
In 2000, the Town of Orangeville purchased 55 kilometres of the Owen Sound Subdivision from Mississauga to Orangeville following the Canadian Pacific Railway announcement, in 1995, that the rail line would be abandoned. The short-line operator, Cando Contracting Ltd., provided regular freight service for the industries along the line and used the line for a tourist train until a few years ago, when GIO Railways Corporation took over as the short-line operator.
Peel region entered into a conditional agreement to purchase the lands in August 2021 and has worked in coordination with the local municipalities throughout the process.
The lands, which run from the Caledon-Orangeville boundary to just north of Streetsville, are intended to be largely transferred to the City of Brampton, Town of Caledon and City of Mississauga on closing.
Since 2000, the Orangeville-Brampton Railway has served several industries in Orangeville and Brampton and also operated as a public excursion train from 2004-2018. With the reduction in rail traffic in recent years, the user group provided formal notice in 2020 that it would terminate its agreement and service on the line as of Dec. 31, 2021.