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ION Progress Update
July 4, 2017

#futureIONrider Community Tour

Future ION rider

ION staff are out and about in the community this summer promoting the future ION light rail transit (LRT) service. Staff are handing out treats and ION swag, while distributing important ION safety information, updates on Grand River Transit (GRT) services and information on how ION will integrate with GRT.

The ION Community Tour has already visited Kitchener City Hall, Region of Waterloo Administrative Headquarters and the GRT terminal at Conestoga Mall. 
Catch the ION Community Tour next at the Ainslie Terminal in Cambridge on July 14 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
For a full list of upcoming locations, check out the event poster on our website. These dates will also be listed on the back page of Snapd KW this month. 
We look forward to meeting all of the #futureIONriders this summer!

Group of students stand with ice cream at ION event booth
Future ION Riders visited the ION booth at Kitchener City Hall on June 2
A GRT rider is shown a light rail transit safety fact sheet at ION event booth
GRT riders stopped by the ION booth at Conestoga Mall for information on ION on June 16

Final asphalt paving

GrandLinq has started placing the final layer of asphalt in many areas along the ION route. Final asphalt is a major milestone for the project and one of the final stages of LRT construction. This work will take place across all 19 kilometres of the route this summer, and will often take place at night to minimize traffic disruption and impacts to businesses.

In Kitchener, final asphalt is complete on:
  • Victoria, Waterloo to Charles
  • King, Victoria to Francis
  • Francis, King to Duke
  • Charles, Victoria to Benton
  • Borden, LRT Spur to Charles
In Waterloo, final asphalt is complete on:
  • Dutton, Weber to the roundabout
  • Bearinger at the railway crossing
  • Columbia at the railway crossing
  • University at the railway crossing
  • King, railway crossing to Union
  • Caroline, Erb to Allen
  • Allen, Caroline to King
  • Willis Way, Regina to Caroline

Francis and King intersection in Kitchener with fresh asphalt and painted crosswalks

King and Francis in Downtown Kitchener

A flower box in the foreground of King and Willis Way intersection with fresh asphalt

King and Willis Way in UpTown Waterloo

Visit for updates on ION related road closures and ION construction. The traffic updates webpage is updated daily and there is a map available to help you plan your commute.

If you have any questions about ION construction please contact 1-844-625-1010 or

ION Public Art update

A collage of artworks that will be installed along the ION route

On February 23, Regional Council approved the artwork selected for placement along the ION route. These public art projects will create unique and creative spaces along the ION corridor.
The following 10 public artworks are being commissioned by the Region:
  • Continuum by Catherine Paleczny at the Conestoga stop
  • Network by Ken Hall at the Research and Technology stop
  • Spinal Column by Sandra Dunn at the Grand River Hospital stop
  • Because Cats Can't Fly by Veronica and Edwin Dam de Nogales at the Kitchener Market stop
  • Tall Tales of Mill Street by Terry O'Neill and Tara Cooper at the Mill stop
  • Three Sisters by Katharine Harvey and Lindsey Lickers at the Block Line stop
  • Shaping Residency by Stephen Cruise at the Fairway stop
Three additional artworks will also be installed along the ION route:
  • The Passenger by Brandon Vickerd as part of improvements at the Research and Technology stop 
  • Arras by Lauren Judge and Elana Chand at the Fairway Transit Driver's Facility
  • Fabric of Place by Lilly Otasevic as a barrier enhancement in a pedestrian area to be confirmed at a later date

The first seven artworks will be created and installed prior to the start of ION service in 2018. The three additional artworks will be created and incorporated based on the timing of the specific projects.

For more information and to view the selected artwork, please visit the Region's Public Art website.
a rendering of art, red tubes make up an archway as people walk underneath
Network by Ken Hall, will be placed at the Research and Technology stop

Cycling around the ION route

When cycling around ION LRT tracks and infrastructure, it's important to always stay alert. In Ontario, bicycles are vehicles and cyclists have the same rights and duties as motorists. When cycling across the LRT tracks, always:
  • Look both ways, and stay alert
  • Cross in designated areas and never ride along the tracks
  • Cross at right angles, where possible
Find more cycling safety information in this quick video:
If you'd like to read more information about cycling safety, please take a look at the Ontario cycling skills guide.

ION testing and safety

yellow diamond sign with train your brain text

Residents will soon see ION trains moving along the LRT tracks between the Northfield stop and the Erb/Caroline intersection in Waterloo.
This section of test track will also be the first area to see the overhead LRT wires powered up. In advance of this testing and powering up, the Region has launched an ION safety campaign, dubbed 'Train Your Brain.'
The Train Your Brain campaign focuses on three key safety messages:
  • Overhead wires are live - look up, stay clear and stay safe.
  • Obey new signage - tracks are for trains. Do not stop or park on the LRT tracks.
  • Stay alert - safety begins with you.
For more safety information, and to download an LRT safety fact sheet, please visit

ION signage

New signage has been installed along the ION LRT route. While the rules of the road haven't changed, residents should familiarize themselves with these new signs and remain alert while driving, walking or cycling around the LRT route.

To learn more about new signage and signals, check out this quick video or visit

New signage spotlight

 yellow diamond road sign with train image and arrows underneath indicating movement

Please look both ways when crossings the LRT tracks

Find more signage and safety information at


About ION

ION, the Region of Waterloo's rapid transit service, which was approved by Council in June 2011, is a visionary plan that will help shape our community for the future by bringing LRT to the region in two stages.

Stage 1 includes a 19 kilometre LRT route from the Conestoga Mall transit terminal in Waterloo to the Fairview Park Mall transit terminal in Kitchener. Construction of ION LRT is underway, with the service set to launch in 2018.

Stage 1 also features a 17 kilometre route of BRT from the Ainslie Street transit terminal in Cambridge to the Fairview Park Mall transit terminal in Kitchener. ION BRT service began operating in September 2015.

Stage 2 ION will see the Region replace the BRT line with LRT, creating a seamless LRT route across the community's three urban centres.
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