Despite being a skeptic early in the process, a University of Waterloo Department of Planning professor says he's already seeing proof that light rail transit is a catalyst for re-development in Kitchener and Waterloo.
"As time goes, I've become more favourable. And the reasons are that the LRT is more than just a means of transportation. It is a means of transportation — this is a very important part of it — but it is also a tool of redevelopment in the central corridor," Professor Pierre Filion told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris on Friday.
He says the LRT will create a new chapter of urban life for the region.
"There will be more activities, places to work, places to shop, places to study, all along that corridor and the LRT will provide the connection between all those different elements."
And that development has already begun, according to the professor.
"Over the last few years, looking at what's happening in Waterloo between Columbia and University, for instance. The amount of housing redevelopment that has happened there. The revitalization of Uptown Waterloo. What is happening ... in downtown Kitchener, I can see the initial elements of that redevelopment taking place, and I can see the LRT as being a catalyst in pushing that further," said Filion.
Listen to Pierre Filion's full-length interview.