Federal government and province commit to shovel ready Hamilton Light Rail Transit project from McMaster to Eastgate at Centennial Park

News release

Hamilton, Ontario, May 13, 2021—Public transit is at the heart of an inclusive recovery, and we must prioritize measures that will build the public transit systems Canada needs now, and in the future. Investing in public transit supports Canadians through the pandemic, positions Canada for recovery by creating good jobs and supporting Canadian companies, and transforms our society for a cleaner, better future.

Today the Honourable Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West – Ancaster – Dundas, and Caroline Mulroney, Ontario Minister of Transportation announced that both governments have signed a deal to invest nearly $3.4 billion in the shovel-ready Hamilton Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. Each government is contributing 50% of eligible project costs, up to $1.7 billion. The federal contribution has been designated for LRT investment only, and is subject to approval by the Treasury Board of Canada. The project’s life cycle costs will be covered by the Government of Ontario.

This new transit system will offer frequent and reliable service from McMaster University in the west, through downtown Hamilton to Eastgate at Centennial Park in Stoney Creek. In total, the project will run 14 kilometres, with 17 stops and have an average end-to-end commute time of 32 minutes. When complete, it will have immediate benefits for workers, students, seniors, and their families across the City of Hamilton and beyond.

Hamilton LRT is a once in a generation investment in city infrastructure. It’s about investing today for the needs of tomorrow.

The City of Hamilton is taking the lead in many areas – health research and development, advanced manufacturing and metals, engineering technology, and arts and culture, among others. Its population is growing rapidly. Investing in LRT is a further step forward for Hamilton to reach its ambition.

The LRT will offer Hamiltonians a faster, cleaner and more affordable way to get to work, school and social occasions. It will help our essential workers get to work, and will benefit those who rely on public transit the most, including essential workers, women, immigrants and youth. Cleaner transit cuts pollution, raises air quality and improves public health. And by electrifying our public transit system, and linking it to cycling and walking paths, we are investing in a critical solution to climate change and helping to drive Canada and the world to net zero emissions.

Transit expansion depends on strong partnerships between the federal government and provinces and municipalities. Support from all orders of government is essential. We look forward to working together.

It will help kick-start the economy, create thousands of jobs during construction, which can begin immediately, and over the lifetime of the project, and drive billions in investment over the lifetime of the system - while building cleaner more inclusive communities. The Hamilton LRT is a shovel-ready project, which means construction can begin and jobs can be created immediately.

Today's announcement is the third public transit investment in a historic deal reached with the province of Ontario. The federal government is investing over $12 billion as part of the largest public transit investment in the GTHA's history. The other two investments include a federal investment of $10.4 billion in the GTA for the Ontario Line, Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, Yonge North Subway Extension, Scarborough Subway Extension, and an investment of $180 million to purchase new streetcars in Toronto that will be made in Thunder Bay, protecting good union jobs there. These investments are made possible through the $14.9 billion in new public transit funding announced by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister McKenna in February to kickstart the economy and create jobs, tackle climate change and build more inclusive communities. Federal funding for the Yonge North Extension is conditional on Treasury Board approval.


"I'm very happy that the federal government is stepping up with a $1.7 billion federal investment to support the full LRT line in Hamilton from McMaster University to Eastgate at Centennial Park. This investment in the only shovel ready major transit project in Hamilton, will help kickstart the economy and create good jobs. It will reduce commute times and help workers, students, seniors and families across Hamilton and beyond get where they need to go faster, cleaner and in affordable ways. This is a once in a generation investment opportunity for Hamilton.”

— The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

"The Hamilton LRT is a generational investment in our city's transportation infrastructure. LRT will shorten commute times for families, creates good middle class jobs, grow our economy, and cut air pollution. This is a shovel-ready project, which means we can get started creating jobs immediately. I can't wait to see work begin and watch the LRT develop."

— The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour and MP for Hamilton West - Ancaster - Dundas 

“The Government of Canada is a wonderful partner with the City of Hamilton. Thank you, Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister McKenna, and Minister Filomena Tassi for your strong and tremendous leadership and vision for helping to make Hamilton’s LRT project a reality.”

— Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton

“On behalf of over 140 000 Members of the Labourers International Union of North America (LIUNA), we applaud the collaborative effort by the federal and provincial government to get shovels in the ground on the highly-anticipated Hamilton LRT. Investing in transit infrastructure will continue to spur economic activity and recovery while creating thousands of jobs for the members of LIUNA while building a viable transit system for the City of Hamilton. The Hamilton LRT will also address critical infrastructure needs including roads and fibre optics, while connecting our communities and abiding by the federal mandate of carbon neutral infrastructure. We look forward to continue working with Minister of Infrastructure, Catherine McKenna and all levels of government to build critical transit infrastructure and strengthen the future of our country.” 

— Joe Mancinelli, LiUNA International Vice President and Regional Manager of Central and Eastern Canada 

“This significant investment in Hamilton’s LRT will help support the city’s long-term prosperity and growth. It will offer a sustainable and rapid transit option to our students, staff, and faculty. Not only will this create a cleaner and more efficient city, but it will also help fuel economic growth and connect our students to opportunities and businesses in the downtown core. McMaster University welcomes this historic transit agreement between the federal and provincial governments and the transformative impact it will have on the Hamilton community”

— David Farrar, President & Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University.

“Ministers McKenna and Tassi have delivered an historic investment for their hometown and great praise goes to the Trudeau Government for working with the provincial government to fund this unprecedented investment in transit for our region. Today’s announcement ensures that Hamilton’s post-pandemic recovery can be fully realized with the creation of thousands of jobs, enhanced transit options, economic uplift, modern underground infrastructure, opportunities for intensification, increased affordable housing and lower carbon emissions.”

— Keanin Loomis, President & CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

“Today’s announcement is a strong vote of confidence in the future of Hamilton. It is the result of relentless efforts by committed community and government leaders committed to a more mobile, prosperous, and healthy Hamilton. Hamilton Health Sciences thanks the Provincial and Federal Governments for this transformational commitment to our city.”

— Rob MacIsaac, President, Hamilton Health Sciences

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

  • Since 2015, the government has spent over $13 billion in more than 1,300 public transit projects across Canada. These investments have helped build more than 240 km of new public transit subway and light rail line, purchase over 300 electric buses, and create almost 500 km of active transportation trails, bike and pedestrian lanes and recreational paths.

  • Through the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is already investing $28.7 billion to support public transit projects, including $5 billion available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

  • On February 10, 2021 the Government of Canada announced a plan for $14.9 billion in new public transit funding over eight years, including $2.5 billion over 5 years starting this year as well as a portion of the $3 billion in ongoing annual transit funding beginning in 2026-27 to expand transit systems in large urban centres by enabling key, high-readiness major transit projects to advance. It will do this by supporting transit projects entering the construction phase in the near-future, and also helping to plan major transit projects that will be constructed down the road.

  • Across Ontario, the Government of Canada has invested more than $8.7 billion in over 3,100 infrastructure projects.

  • Ontario is investing $10.2 billion under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to improve public transit; community, culture and recreation; green, and rural and northern community infrastructure. Across the province, Ontario is investing more than $7.3 billion in public transit infrastructure over 10 years through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

Associated links


Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Natasha Tremblay
Press Secretary
Office of the Ontario Minister of Transportation

Communications Branch

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
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Email: infc.media.infc@canada.ca
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