TORONTO, ON – Environmental Defence calls on the province not just to pause work on Highway 413 but to cancel it altogether.

”If Ontario is serious about cutting carbon emissions, reducing traffic jams and creating sustainable communities, the proposed Highway 413 should be scrapped outright,” says Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “Instead of building yet another toll highway, the province should invest the money in public transit.”

Following the U.N. climate talks, Ontario announced a temporary suspension (until spring) of Highway 413’s environmental assessment. If built, Highway 413 (also called the GTA West) would pave over prime farmland, including a portion in Ontario’s Greenbelt, and degrade the headwaters of the Credit and Humber rivers.

The highway is intended primarily to move goods through the north western GTA, but if built it would attract commuters as well. Numerous studies have shown new highways generate more traffic rather than alleviating congestion,” says Sony Rai, Executive Director of Sustainable Vaughan.

“Placing a highway on productive farmland then building sprawl subdivisions  is how we created the congestion problems we are facing today,” Gray adds. “Our pattern of growth needs to change to put people and public transit first. Proceeding with this unnecessary highway represents backwards thinking.”

Members of the public concerned about the risky Highway 413 can sign a petition and order free lawn signs at

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.


For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, 416-356-2587 (cell); 416-323-9521 ext. 247;