Ontario's infrastructure necessitates immediate investment to modernize transportation networks, upgrade public assets, and enhance broadband connectivity.
Ontario is the most populous province in Canada and has a vast infrastructure network that includes roads, bridges, public transit, water and wastewater systems, schools, hospitals, and more. The condition of Ontario's infrastructure has been a topic of concern in recent years, with many advocates calling for increased investment to address the province's aging and deteriorating infrastructure.
According to a report by the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, 52% of Ontario's infrastructure is in fair to very poor condition, with a further 30% in good condition but nearing the end of its useful life. The report also found that 30% of Ontario's municipal roads are in fair to very poor condition, with a further 20% in need of major rehabilitation. Similarly, 35% of Ontario's bridges are in fair to very poor condition, and 12% are considered to be in critical condition.
Ontario's public transit system also faces significant challenges, with overcrowding, delays, and outdated equipment cited as major concerns. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation reported that public transit ridership decreased by 47% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a significant impact on the financial viability of transit systems across the province.
Ontario's water and wastewater systems are also in need of significant investment, with many communities facing challenges related to aging infrastructure, increasing demand, and environmental concerns. A report by the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association found that approximately one-third of Ontario's water mains are approaching or have exceeded their useful life, and that more than 40% of the province's municipal sewers are in need of repair or replacement.
Overall, the state of Ontario's infrastructure presents significant challenges for policymakers and residents alike. While there have been some investments in recent years, including the $144 billion investment in infrastructure announced by the federal government in 2018, much more needs to be done to address the pressing infrastructure needs across the province.