On the move – Metrolinx Community Canvassers out in Mississauga and Brampton

As work to build the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (HuLRT) continues, hearing what local residents have to say about the project is important.  Recently, Metrolinx began canvassing neighbourhoods and businesses along Hurontario Street between the Brampton Gateway Terminal and Port Credit GO in Mississauga. Their work will stretch into November. With major construction starting later this year, the team of 12 canvassers is taking a one-on-one – safe and physically distant – approach to gather feedback, key insights and data to ensure Metrolinx has a clear understanding of the community. Here’s what they’re doing.

Walking along Hurontario Street, Fatima and her partner know their neighbourhood well.

But they want to know their neighbours much better.

Image shows a canvasser talking to a shop owner.
A Metrolinx Community Canvasser meets with a local business owner while ensuring COVID-19 protocols are in place. (Metrolinx photo)

She is among a dozen Metrolinx canvassers now moving out across communities where the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (HuLRT) is being built, as it stretches from Brampton into Mississauga. They’re gathering opinions on the construction of the system, as well as what it will mean to residents once it’s up and running.

“I am an avid user of public transportation, and I believe that this project will make the lives of residents easier when it comes to commuting” Fatima explains.

We are not using their last names, to protect their privacy and safety as they go about their work.

Fatima hopes to gain valuable insights by connecting and engaging with residents.  

Mississauga and Brampton are both very multicultural communities. The diversity of the Metrolinx community canvassers has made it easier for residents and business owners to share feedback and opinions.

A man stands and talks with a canvasser.
A local business owner shares her opinions with a canvasser. (Metrolinx photo)

Fluent in 13 different languages combined, all canvassers are multilingual. Omia, who is fluent in both Arabic and Turkish says she is excited to engage with the communities along the light rail corridor.

Enthusiastic about interacting and keeping the community informed, Bharat, another canvasser, believes interacting with the community is important, because: “it is our responsibility to keep residents informed about the project, especially those who will be impacted along the corridor.”

As they do their work, health and safety is the top priority during construction of the HuLRT project. To ensure that everyone is safe, canvassers always wear masks and maintain a distance of at least two metres (six feet).

Two canvassers hold up information cards.
Community Canvassers will be educating residents and local businesses, as well as gathering opinions, on the new Hurontario LRT project (Metrolinx photo)

Metrolinx understands that some residents and businesses may not feel comfortable interacting with canvassers during this time.  Canvassers will respect the wishes of those who do not want to engage in person.

And those who have question, comments, or concerns, can reach out  by calling 416-202-7500 or emailing Peel@Metrolinx.com.

While a great deal has changed as Ontario, and beyond, manages through the pandemic, there are still those making the rounds, to ensure everyone is heard as important transit projects continue to move ahead.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx senior advisor, Rapid Transit