CANCEA Releases Report on the Economic and Social Impacts of Highway 407 ETR


A report issued by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA) finds that investment by the private sector from 1999 to 2017 has contributed $14.1 billion to Ontario GDP and saved 577 million hours of driving time — worth over $20 billion, while also highlighting the historical and forecasted contributions the 407 ETR toll road, owned and managed by the international toll road operator Cintra, makes to the region and to Ontario on an annual basis.

The report, entitled Economic Impacts of Highway 407 ETR: Implications for Travelers, Transportation and Prosperity, concluded that the highway has been a strong and consistent contributor to the economic activity, quality of life and social benefits enjoyed by the people living and working across the corridor. Commissioned by the 407 ETR, the report demonstrates that toll roads save drivers and businesses time and money, while it also contributes positively to the GDP and social benefits through the ongoing private sector investment in the extension and expansion of the highway.

Among the many important findings presented in the report, there are a few worth noting:

-Since 1999, the 407 ETR has supported economic benefits worth $15.9 billion within Ontario, with this number expected to grow by $724 million over the next year.

-Drivers save an average of over 22.7 million hours on the road annually and commercial/business users save an average of 7.7 million hours of driving each year, both which are forecasted to continue growing.

-Since 1999, investments in Highway 407 ETR, as well as ongoing operation and maintenance activity has generated an average of 72,000 years of employment and $4.7 billion in wages.

-By using 407 ETR, drivers emit 108 fewer metric tonnes of CO2 each year, on average. This is due to higher, consistent speeds that are closer to the speed at which emissions are minimized compared to the prevailing speeds on toll-free highways and major roads.

-The value of the residential economic activity and commercial real estate activity occurring in the 407 ETR corridor annually amounts for $16.5 billion and $2.6 billion respectively.

-Every $1 invested by 407 ETR Inc. has resulted in a GDP increase of $1.54. Since 1999, 407 ETR Inc. has invested $4.6 billion into capital and operations. This has generated direct, indirect and induced effects that have contributed a combined total of $7.1 billion to provincial GDP (70% direct and indirect, 30% induced).

-407 ETR operations has generated an average of $43 million dollars in tax revenue for the Provincial and Federal governments each year since 1999.

Traffic speeds on Highway 407 ETR are consistently higher than on alternate routes, with lower collision rates compared to the provincial freeway average.

-Highway 407 ETR usage has steadily increased since 1999 and averaged 413,000 weekday trips in 2017, representing 50% more trips than there are riders on the entire network of GO buses and trains on an average weekday.

-The cumulative savings in “social costs” since 1999 have reached $1.4 billion. In 2017, savings in social costs were higher than the average – hitting $84 million.

-Since 2001, the population in the 407 ETR corridor has increased by 506,000 residents, while the number of jobs grew by 199,000.

-407 ETR is the longest stretch of non-bottleneck highway in the GTHA.


The Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA) is a socio-economic research and data analytics firm that provides objective, independent and evidence-based analysis and is dedicated to a comprehensive, collaborative, and quantitative understanding of the short- and long-term risks and returns behind market changes, policy decisions and economic behavior.


Highway 407 ETR continues to be the best way to travel across the top of the Greater Toronto Area. Drivers make over 415,000 trips each workday and continue to report that using the toll road saves them significant time, reduces their fuel consumption and vehicle maintenance costs and staying out of gridlock and heavy traffic elsewhere means lower harmful CO2 emissions. Use of the toll road has increased steadily since opening in 1999 and is now well known as the route of choice for businesses to move goods efficiently and for people wanting to save time for the things that matter most.

The full report can be read at


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