Goods Movement: Geographic & Economic Traits

Geographic Area

The Region of Peel is strategically located in the west-central portion of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Peel is composed of the City of Brampton, the City of Mississauga and the Town of Caledon, and covers approximately 1,254 square kilometres of urban, suburban, rural, agricultural, industrial, commercial and undeveloped land.

Map of the Region of Peel

The GTHA is a world-class metropolis, a large market for consumer goods, and a manufacturing and distribution hub for Canada. In the last 20 years, Peel's geographic location within the GTHA and key characteristics have led to strong growth in manufacturing, warehousing, and goods movement-related businesses and has further positioned the Region with strategic advantage within the distribution hub.

Key characteristics include:

  • Central location within major east-west and north-south trade routes
  • Availability of appropriately zoned and priced land
  • Access to skilled workforce
  • Proximity to major markets in the GTHA
  • Located within a one-day drive to more than 135 million Canadian and American consumers with exceptional access to different freight transportation modes (e.g. roads, rail, air, pipeline, and marine).

Peel within the Goods Movement Context

Within Canada, the Region of Peel hosts the largest, most intense cluster of freight distribution and logistic industries, which are located within a one-day drive to more than 135 million Canadian and American consumers. Peel is home to:

  • Toronto Pearson International Airport, which is Canada's largest and busiest airport by freight and passenger volume
  • Five 400-series highways, which form the most intricate and well-developed network of provincial highways in Ontario
  • An intermodal rail/truck facility
  • Two major railway lines (Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railway)

Peel's central geographic location leads to a large number of goods movement trips passing through the Region annually but continues to face strong growth-related pressures, impacting the movement of goods. A study by Metrolinx estimates that congestion on roads in the GTHA cost commuters and businesses $6 billion in 2006 (Regional Transportation Plan - Metrolinx, 2008).

Goods Movement and the Economy

Peel is one of the Province's fastest growing Regional municipalities and by 2031 the population is expected reach a population of 1.77 million residents (and 1.97 million by 2041). Employment growth is expected to keep pace, expanding to 880,000 workers by 2031 (and 970,000 by 2041). Rapid population and employment growth has, and will continue to put pressure on Regional roads, causing congestion. (Numbers based on the approved Places to Grow Act, 2005).

Peel's central location within Canada's wealthiest consumer market, and the fact that it contains more than 86,600 businesses, has positioned Peel Region not only as an economic hub, but also as a major goods movement hub in Canada. Peel's goods movement systems are a cornerstone and key enabler of the Region's economy.

The economic benefits of goods movement in Peel include:

To maintain its competitive edge the Region must ensure the efficient movement of goods through and within it to attract industry and investments.

Issues and Efforts

Top goods movement issues in Peel Region and Southern Ontario include:

  • Congestion on highways and roads
  • Legislative and regulatory impediments and barriers
  • Barriers to intermodal activities
  • Operational barriers
  • Lack of comprehensive data to support decision-making
  • Lack of a comprehensive strategic goods movement plan
  • Increasing levels of emissions resulting from goods movement activities

Peel Region, along with other levels of government and the private sector has undertaken a number of actions to address issues impacting the movement of goods such as:

Improvement Application in the Regional Context
Highway extensions
  • Highway 410 extension (2007-2009) & Highway 427 arterial extension to Fogal Road / Zenway Drive (2008)
Highway/road improvements
  • Queen Street widening, Highway 401 widening
  • High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Highway 403
  • Wider curb lanes
  • Courtney Park Interchange
Road maintenance
  • Anti-icing procedures, road temperature monitoring system, drainage and roadside maintenance
Intersection improvements
  • Signal timing, additional turning lanes at various intersections currently under construction and in Environmental Assessment processes.
Upgraded access to major goods terminals
  • Intermodal Drive Environmental Assessment Study, Highway 427 extension to Major McKenzie Drive (on-going)
Government led initiatives
  • Peel Goods Movement Forum, Ontario Ministry of Transportation Goods Movement Workshop, Ontario-Quebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor, Long Combination Vehicle Pilot Project, and Metrolinx Urban Freight Study
Private sector led initiatives
  • Southern Ontario Gateway Council, Ontario Trucking Association
Official Plans
  • Peel Regional Official Plan Policies
Goods Movement Studies

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Goods Movement Planning in Peel