Bowmanville and Durham Region are one step closer to getting train service into the area.
Lindsey Park, MPP for Durham, announced Thursday that a business case will be presented to Metrolinx next week that could add a number of GO train stops. The move could see all-day, two-way service implemented at new stations all the way to Bowmanville — a welcome change for residents who would no longer have to use a GO bus to travel out of town.
“If we’re looking at the quality of life for our residents, a lot of people don’t have the choice but to drive into Toronto,” says Adrian Foster, mayor of Clarington municipality.
Thursday’s announcement is big news for Clarington, Durham Region and beyond as it could be a huge boost to the economy, bringing more people to the municipality.
“There are roughly 2,500 houses all within walking distance of that GO train, so think of the quality of life for those residents and the increase of the value of their properties,” Foster said. “It’s huge.”
After an extensive review, officials have made a recommendation, which entails trains following the Canadian Pacific rail line north of the 401. The GO line would continue through the current Oshawa GO station and see four new stations added at Thornton’s corner, Ritson Road, Courtice and on to Bowmanville.
“Whether you live in downtown Oshawa, you live in Bowmanville or Courtice, you are right in the centre of these communities and there will be a station,” says Park.
The addition could see growth in the area as well, bringing hundreds of people back and forth throughout Durham Region.
“The direction we’re going is fantastic and this is going to be something that will help our young people and our families 10, 15, 20 years from now,” says Durham regional chair John Henry.
A train to Bowmanville has been a long time coming and a battle that previous governments have also been fighting. In 2016, a sign was put up promising new GO Transit from the Kathleen Wynne Liberals. Fast forward to 2019, where Park sent a letter to the PCs saying the former Liberal government’s plan was too expensive and did not provide full-day service.
Now, after several public meetings held by the Crown agency, Metrolinx staff are recommending all-day service to the board.
“We’re hopeful that the board of directors for Metrolinx will approve of that option,” Park said.
The business case will go before the Metrolinx board next week. If approved, it will move into the next phase, bringing the idea of trains in east Durham closer to reality.