The John street bus terminal has lost its status - now it is just a rinky dinky little bus transfer spot.

Newsflash 100By Staff

April 27th, 2020



In her A Better Burlington newsletter, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said:

Our community has received some great and long awaited news today from Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation: the city and Region can immediately work together to remove the Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) and Mobility Hub designations downtown.

These designations have been used to justify overdevelopment in downtown Burlington.

In a letter addressed to myself as head of Burlington City Council and Gary Carr, Chair of Halton Region Council, the Minister states:


There was a point at which a former Director of Transit suggested tearing the building down. Then it became a technical point on which a developer won the right to put up a 24 story building.

“There is no provincial requirement for mobility hubs to be identified in municipal official plans, including Downtown Burlington…. Therefore, the Region of Halton, working with the City of Burlington, has the ability to remove the identification of a mobility hub and an MTSA in Downtown Burlington, centred on the John Street bus terminal, from its Official Plan.”


The developers of the Naurique will always have a soft spot for that little transit station.

The letter further states that the change can be made through an Official Plan Amendment now, or during the next Municipal Comprehensive Review, scheduled at the Region for later this year.

“This means that the Region can submit an amendment to remove the Downtown Burlington mobility hub and MTSA designations in the Region of Halton’s Official Plan now.”

The mobility hub designation for downtown Burlington and the Burlington GO station first appeared in Metrolinx documents in 2008, and was later embedded into the Region of Halton Official Plan in 2011, based on the 2008 Regional Transportation Plan.

The 2041 Regional Transportation Plan, issued in 2018, refined the concept of mobility hubs to focus on MTSAs along subway lines and priority transit corridors.

As a result of changes to the policy framework for planning in the Greater Golden Horseshoe introduced by the current government “we do not require mobility hubs to be identified in municipal official plans.”

The ministers have also directed Metrolinx “to remove legacy documents that refer to the 2008 mobility hubs.”

Both ministers also specifically thanked our Burlington Member of Provincial Parliament Jane McKenna for her “tireless advocacy” on behalf of residents to remove the MTSA/Mobility Hub.

“As a result of extensive advocacy from MPP Jane McKenna since July 2018 we agree that the John Street bus terminal does not constitute a mobility hub given that it is not at the intersection of multiple Frequent Rapid Transit Network routes.”

City and Region planning staff are reviewing the letter and will have more information for the community on next steps and timing in coming days.

With news like that in the air it didn’t take MPP Jane McKenna long to get a place in that parade. In a media release from the Office of the MPP, the first the Gazette has received in over a year, McKenna said: ““I’m happy to report today that there is no longer a provincial requirement for the mobility hub or Major Transit Station Area designation in Downtown Burlington,” said MPP Jane McKenna.

McKenna arms up outside polling

Jane McKenna the night she was elected the first time

“This means that Halton Region, working with the City of Burlington, can submit an amendment to the province now to remove Burlington’s downtown mobility hub and MTSA designation from the Region’s Official Plan.”

“The Ford government has taken the position that municipalities may choose to take a phased approach to their municipal comprehensive review through multiple municipal official plan amendments under section 26,” said Minister Steve Clark. “As a result, removing the MTSA designation from Downtown Burlington could occur through a municipal official plan amendment under section 17 of the Planning Act.”

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5 comments to The John street bus terminal has lost its status – now it is just a rinky dinky little bus transfer spot.

  • Judy christie

    Fantastic news!!! Can we save the waterfront as well? What a coup that would be!!
    Thanks to all who are helping to make Burlington more than a city of concrete towers:)

  • Well said Penny. John Bkila on behalf of the Mayor posted in A Better Burlington: “This letter is the first confirmation we’ve had that the MTSA designation could also be removed. The mobility hub and MTSA terminologies are not interchangeable and are different, with different requirements.”

    The Mayor led many of the electorate to believe it was her first priority after election to remove the MTSA and move the UGC. Jane McKenna immediately upon election gave her the tools to do both. The Mayor has failed to address either despite McKenna’s efforts. There needs to be a lot of noise made now to get on with removing MTSA and work with our MPP/the Minister/Gary Carr to remove the MTSA and move the UGC as the Mayor committed. ECOB, We Love Burlington and many many others (apologies that I can’t list you all but what you did was very much appreciated) have worked hard and given the Mayor reminder after reminder as to her commitment. The Mayor now needs to act immediately in this regard. .NO MORE EXCUSES

  • Don Fletcher

    This is a positive development & one that may auger well for redefining Burlington’s UGC map to be aligned with our downtown envisioned in our proposed OP. Burlington must now “lean in” to make that happen..

  • Penny Hersh

    This is good news, however, residents need to remember that the Downtown Urban Growth Centre needs to be moved as well to prevent the over intensification of the downtown. Doing one without accomplishing the other will have little or no effect when developers take proposed development applications to LPAT.

    Residents had been told publicly as far back as a year ago, if not longer, by some members of the current council that the un-designation of the John Street Bus Terminal as a mobility hub could be accomplished by a motion at City Council. At that time the term MTSA was not part of the equation (this came from the independent report that staff presented to council).

    This announcement seems a bit anti-climatic since we were led to believe that this was the easy part, that moving the Downtown Urban Growth Centre was where the big problem lay.

    As for Jane McKenna’s role. ECoB met with Jane McKenna prior to the Municipal Election and after as well. Our meeting with her included a conference call with a colleague in Toronto who was able to answer all of our questions.

    It was Jane McKenna’s newsletter in 2018 that informed residents that the un-designation of the John Street Bus Terminal as a mobility hub was doable, and she and her staff worked on this to make it happen.

    I would like to know when this current council made the request to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to un- designate the bus terminal on John Street, as a mobility/MTSA hub? It certainly wasn’t in 2018, after the election.