The expansion and extension of GO Transit has already had an impact on housing development and prices in Hamilton and Niagara, and now a Stoney Creek politician wants his community to get on board.

Councillor Chad Collins is leading a drive to have the industrial lands adjacent to the Confederation GO Station redesignated as mixed-use for residential and commercial development.

Currently, the lands that surround the station are listed as light industrial. Collins put forward his motion as part of the employment land review study underway by City of Hamilton planning staff. Stoney Creek is part of Hamilton.

READ: Kitchener-Toronto GO Commute Plan Approved For Completion By 2025

“If you look to Burlington and their GO stations," said Collins, "I think they have done a tremendous job in terms of developing residential and commercial uses."

He added that he believes housing and commercial development near the GO station is the “ideal” way to grow the area.

The price of homes in the hot Hamilton market is expected to keep on its upward trajectory in 2020.

According to a new ReMax  Canadian housing market outlook for 2020, housing prices in the Hamilton-Burlington area could rise  3.8 per cent next year.

READ: Mississauga’s Hot Housing Trends And Pricing To Continue In 2020

The ReMax report points out that increased GO Train service and higher levels of affordability in the Hamilton region compared to the GTA  and Toronto are the key factors that will impact the city’s housing market in 2020.

And recent stats from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) found that Niagara (with Hamilton not far behind) has experienced the biggest percentage price jump of any local market in Canada.

And a recent study from Canada’s national housing agency says GO stations in the Hamilton-Niagara region are already driving up the prices of homes.

READ: GO Expansion Is Already Having A Big Impact On Niagara Housing Prices

The report by Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CHMC) found a direct link between the announcement and construction of new GO transit stations and increasing house prices.

In some cases, the report discovered, house prices went up as much as nine per cent prior to construction of a GO station.

CHMC senior analyst Anthony Passarelli said that areas around West Harbour GO station in Hamilton and future stations such as St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Confederation in Stoney Creek saw house price increases in and around expansion announcements going back as far as 2013.

Last week Metrolinx approved a plan to bring two-way, all-day GO trains to Kitchener by 2025, making commuting to the GTA a lot easier and likely spurring further housing and commercial development in Waterloo Region.

The Confederation area, reports, is part of the Centennial Neighbourhoods Secondary Plan, which oversees a stretch of properties from the Queen Elizabeth Way to King Street to the south and the Red Hill Parkway to Lake Avenue to the west. Collins has pointed out that anywhere that a GO station is located, development has followed.

READ: Toronto Home Prices To Rise By 6 Per Cent In 2020: Report

Collins is hoping that putting his  motion into the employment land review will speed the redesignation.

Metrolinx is proposing hourly train service for Confederation station as part of a planned GO expansion into Niagara. The idea includes two-way, hourly service from east Hamilton to Toronto.

Similar to what's happening in Mississauga with applications already in place  for proposed development along the recently approved Hurontario LRT line, Collins said there have already been applications for commercial and residential developments along Centennial Parkway. He said they include “hundreds” of residential units with ground-floor commercial units.

READ: October Single-Family Home Sales Rise 178 Per Cent From Last Year

In August, Metrolinx said it was downsizing plans for the original $150-million Confederation station and would focus on adding service to West Harbour.

Now, the Confederation station will cost approximately $35 million. Another $115 million is earmarked to improve the existing rail service.

According to Meterolinx, the revised plan for the Confederation station includes an island platform with canopies and an accessible platform and a pedestrian tunnel. It also includes direct stair access from the platform to Centennial Parkway and additional parking.

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