The Project & FAQ

About the Project

The Milton Logistics Hub was approved by the federal government on January 21, 2021, following an extensive and rigorous environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

The Milton Logistics Hub will: 

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MEET GROWING
DEMAND

 Meet the growing demand for household goods across the GTHA.

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HELP LOCAL
BUSINESSES

 Help local businesses in Milton and Southern Ontario get their goods to and from critical markets.

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ALLEVIATE
CONGESTION

Alleviate congestion on 400-series highways by removing long-haul trucks.

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IMPROVE SUPPLY CHAIN RESILIENCY

Strengthen supply chains to support goods delivery for retailers and consumers by providing greater flexibility and reliability.

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SUPPORT CLIMATE
GOALS

Support Canada’s international supply chains and federal trade and climate goals.

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IMPROVE REGIONAL AIR QUALITY

By avoiding long-haul trucks, air pollutant emissions will be reduced, resulting in human health benefits at a regional scale.

The Project will be built in a provincially designated significant employment zone, on CN-owned land east of Tremaine Road and south of Britannia Road in Milton. The Project will handle four intermodal trains per day. One intermodal train can transport the equivalent of more than 280 long-distance heavy trucks. CN’s intermodal network removes approximately 2 million of these trucks from Canadian highways annually, 1 million of which would flow through the GTHA.

 

The Project’s major components include:

  • An administration building, maintenance garage for terminal equipment and areas for short-term container storage.
  • Realignment and extension of the existing mainline.
  • A 1.7-kilometre truck entrance road and queuing area on CN property to keep waiting trucks off local roads.
  • An employee entrance off Tremaine Road.
  • An underpass at Lower Base Line to maintain traffic flow and facilitate east-west passage for all vehicles including emergency vehicles.
  • Berms and barriers in strategic locations, planted with native Ontario vegetation to blend with the surrounding environment and reduce off-site noise and visual effects.
  • A stormwater management system designed to capture and treat all terminal water runoff.

What is intermodal?

Intermodal transportation involves moving goods in a unique
container for the entire journey, using more than one mode of
transportation: truck, rail and/or ship. Many household products
are shipped this way, including food, healthcare products, clothing, electronics, furniture and building materials.

Intermodal facilities, such as CN’s Brampton Intermodal Terminal
(BIT) and the proposed Milton Logistics Hub, are where shipping
containers are transferred between trains and trucks to efficiently
move goods. Intermodal is safe, efficient, and environmentally
responsible. In the absence of intermodal capacity, goods in
containers would move by long-haul trucks. Moving goods by train is four times more fuel efficient than moving by long-haul truck.

Why was Milton selected?


After a thorough analysis of alternatives, we found that the property in Milton was the site that met the main requirements of the Project. The Panel carefully examined all the evidence about the site selection process and agreed that CN appropriately considered alternative locations for the Project and was satisfied that the South Milton site was reasonable.

The proposed location:

  • is long and essentially flat, which is necessary to be able to move trains safely in and out of the terminal;
  • has enough land to accommodate a terminal designed to operate as efficiently as possible;
  • is right next to the CN mainline on lands that are planned for employment use;
  • has immediate access to regional roads designed to accommodate trucks and is close to 400-series highways and existing transportation and logistics infrastructure; and
  • is an optimal location with minimal environmental impacts

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the status of the Project?

  • The Project was approved by the federal government on January 21, 2021, following an extensive environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
  • Following the independent review panel process, which included multiple opportunities for public input, the federal government approved the Milton Logistics Hub with 325 conditions that CN is committed to meeting.
  • Construction is anticipated to begin later this year, and will take about two years.

2. Where can I read the federal government’s decision and conditions?

  • The federal government’s decision and conditions can be accessed here.

3. How is CN going to mitigate potential effects of the project?

  • CN has proposed a number of ways to mitigate potential effects of the Project, including by meeting all of the 325 conditions required by the federal government’s approval and other permits.
  • For more information on the project’s mitigation measures, please visit our Environment page.

4. Why was the south Milton site the best location for this facility?

  • After a thorough analysis of alternatives, we found that the property in south Milton best met the project’s main requirements. The proposed location is:
    • Of sufficient size, grade and configuration to safely and efficiently accommodate container trains moving into and out of the facility
    • In close proximity to designated truck routes
    • In a region with growing demand for goods, and near existing transportation and logistics infrastructure
    • Located in an area with minimal intrusions on environmental features, such as woodlands and watercourses
    • Located in a provincially designated significant employment zone, on lands planned and designated for employment use
  • This decision was reviewed and verified by the independent Review Panel, whose report concluded that CN’s selection of the south Milton location was supported by reasonable criteria, and that CN had properly considered potential alternative locations in the GTHA in accordance with the applicable federal guidance. (Report, p. 31-32)

5. What will CN do to manage truck traffic from the terminal?

  • CN is actively engaged with the Town and the Region to help develop the most efficient transportation network. CN has invested $13.6 million on infrastructure in the region, for projects such as grade separations.
  • Some of the measures to manage potential effects on traffic, related to the Project, include:
    • Notifying the public, working with municipalities, and coordinating with local authorities regarding the location and scheduling of construction activities, including temporary lane closures or detours.
    • Working with the Town of Milton and financing the construction of an underpass at Lower Base Line, to maintain traffic flow and facilitate an east-west passage for emergency vehicles.
    • Working with the Halton Region and financing the installation of a signalized intersection on Britannia Road with separate eastbound right-turn and westbound left-turn lanes.
    • Building a 1.7-kilometre two-lane private roadway south from the proposed truck entrance on Britannia Road, with sufficient queuing capacity on CN property to keep waiting trucks off local roads.
    • Working with Halton Region to create an employee entrance off Tremaine Road, including a southbound left-turn lane and the appropriate signage.
  • For more information regarding construction and current notices, please visit our Construction page.

6. What will CN do to maintain cyclist and pedestrian safety near the facility?

  • Our goal is that future road users (motor vehicle operators, cyclists and pedestrians) continue to move efficiently and safely near the facility.
  • We will work with local municipalities so that the design and function of facility entrances on Britannia and Tremaine Roads are safe for all users including cyclists and pedestrians.
  • The preliminary design of the terminal entrances is consistent with how the Region has planned to safely accommodate cyclists and pedestrians at other key intersections on the expanded Britannia Road.
  • CN will continue to engage with members of the community, local and regional governments, cycling organizations, and others as appropriate on issues pertaining to cycling and active transportation.

7. What measures will CN take to mitigate noise and light effects from the construction and operations?

  • Throughout Project planning, we have included measures to mitigate the potential effects of the Project on the environment and surrounding communities.
  • Mitigation measures to reduce the effects of noise and light include:
    • Constructing raised earthen berms or barriers, planted with native Ontario vegetation and trees to blend into the natural environment and reduce effects of noise and light
    • Scheduling of construction during daytime hours when feasible
    • Notifying nearby residents regarding significant activities during construction
    • Use of construction and terminal equipment fitted with muffler systems for their internal combustion exhausts
    • Selecting light fixtures with full cut-off and installing glare shields where necessary to prevent off-site trespass of light
    • Using downward directed lighting in active work areas during operation
    • Using only enough lights for safety and security where specifically required during operation

8. How will CN continue to keep the community informed about the Project?

  • We will continue to engage with and provide information to the community, local government and stakeholders throughout construction of the project.
  • We are in the process of establishing a Community Consultation Committee to share information and consider feedback from the community.
  • More information about the Committee, including membership and participation, is available on our Community page.