Greater Toronto Hamilton Area Transportation Strategy for air quality

Outdoor air pollution comes from many different sources. Even at low levels, it has an effect on human health, leading to disease and increased hospitalizations. Every year in Canada, air pollution contributes to roughly:

Health Canada is carrying out research studies through the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area Transportation Strategy to better understand the impact of intensive transportation activities on local air quality. This is part of our mandate to better understand exposure to air pollutants and effects on health.  The strategy focuses on investigating the local air quality effects of:

Health Canada’s work on this strategy started in 2019 and will continue until 2026/2027.

The first phase investigated the local air quality near a train yard in east Toronto. Field sampling was completed in 2020. Data analysis is ongoing and the results are expected to be published in 2024.

The second phase is investigating the influence of the Pearson International Airport on local air quality. Specifically, it’s looking at the airport’s effect on ultrafine particle and black carbon concentrations in the urban area downwind of the airport. Results are expected to be published in 2024.

The third phase is called the Transportation Hub Neighbourhood Air Quality study. It’s investigating community air quality before and after a new truck-to-rail hub begins operating near Milton. Seasonal field monitoring campaigns will take place in:

Results are expected to be published in 2028.

Data and results from this research strategy will help inform:

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