Freight and Goods Movement is the network of transport infrastructure, businesses and supply chains that are responsible for the distribution and delivery of goods and services throughout the City. These interconnected supply chains allow goods to be delivered from manufacturers to storefronts, from shippers to producers, and from online vendors to consumers.

Everyone living and working in the City is a part of the freight and goods movement network:

  • For the Public: It’s how our goods are delivered to our grocery stores and doorsteps.
  • For Industry: It’s about managing and optimizing an efficient and effective supply chain. This can be through adoptions of advanced technology or the implementation of dynamic goods movement systems.
  • For Transport: It encapsulates all modes. Goods and services are moved around through a combination of modes, each providing a specific function in their supply chain, be it by truck, rail, ship, bicycle, or on foot.


Provide an integrated and adaptable goods movement system that promotes safe, reliable and sustainable freight operations and ensures Toronto’s continued vibrancy and economic competitiveness.


  1. System Performance: Provide an efficient and reliable multimodal transportation system that enhances freight mobility.
  2. Access Performance: Preserve and strengthen a goods movement system that facilitates effective access to Employment Areas and improves upon last-kilometre deliveries and its connection with local and provincial freight systems.
  3. Environment: Improve freight operations to reduce impacts on the natural and built environment.
  4. Equity: Support the liveability of communities impacted by goods movement through equitable freight investment, policies and regulations.
  5. Economic Competitiveness: Reduce and eliminate barriers in the freight transportation system to enhance the economic competitiveness and growth for the goods movement sectors and businesses, allowing Toronto’s economy to thrive.
  6. Safety: Ensure the movement of goods throughout Toronto is done safely, including the protection of vulnerable populations.
  7. Adaptability: Identify, anticipate and respond to emerging trends, innovations and risks affecting the freight and goods movement industry, including monitoring of policies and actions to assess success and adapting when required to ensure benefit for all.

Study Approach

The freight and goods movement strategy will be developed by undertaking the following steps:

  • Data analysis and literature review which will provide the team with an understanding of how goods move throughout the city, a review of key best practices and the review and mapping of current and future trends;
  • Stakeholder and public consultation with key industries, municipal representatives, government agencies and residents of the City of Toronto to identify issues, opportunities and priorities to inform the development of the freight and goods movement action plan;
  • Policy directions and options including consideration around the use of freight data, freight management, technology, land use and development, infrastructure and a freight and goods movement network; and
  • Strategy and Implementation plan including the development of tangible initiatives and investments, short, medium and long-term priorities and cost and budget estimates to inform future implementation.


There are six phases that make up the project work plan. The project was initiated in April 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in spring 2020.

  • Phase 1: Literature Review, Research
  • Phase 2: Industry Interviews
  • Phase 3: Data Analysis & Freight Modelling
  • Phase 4: Stakeholder & Public Engagement
  • Phase 5: Policy Options
  • Phase 6: Strategy & Implementation

In the Fall of 2017, City Council’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee endorsed the ‘Freight and Goods Movement Strategy Framework’ report of the General Manager, Transportation Services, as amended, among other things.

As noted in the summary, “the report outlines various factors to be considered for the development of a robust Freight and Goods Movement Strategy for Toronto. The framework defined in this report was developed in consultation with a number of industry stakeholders, and will serve as the basis from which Transportation Services will undertake a comprehensive study through a consultant assignment.”


Here are some statistics associated with Freight and Goods Movement in the City.

  • One-third of goods movement’s contribute to the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s (GTHA) Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GDP)*
  • 1.5 million total jobs are in goods movement & GM-dependent industries* (4 million are direct jobs and 1 million are indirect/induced jobs)
  • 4.5 million trucks deliver shipments to Toronto from with the GTHA (2016)**
  • 23,000 tonnes of goods are moved by rail to Toronto from with the GTHA (2016)***
  • 4.7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions are from the Toronto transportation sector (2015)****

*Toronto Region Board of Trade Economic Impact of the Movement of Goods

*Statistics Canada Canadian Fright Analysis Framework

***Metrolinx: Urban Goods Movement Report

****The Atmospheric Fund: 2015 Carbon Emissions in the GTHA