Proximity Initiative Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ)

Questions from the development / planning community:

  1. How do the Proximity Guidelines apply to commercial or industrial developments?
  • The guidelines would be applied the same, if possible, but it is a best practice to consult with the railway to solicit their feedback for your specific development as well as with the local government to ensure compliance with local land use planning policies.
  1. How do I apply the guidelines for my development site?
  • If you have questions regarding a specific development, it is best to contact the railway company directly to request their feedback on potential mitigation options best suited to your specific needs.
  1. I would like feedback from a railway to inform my development. Who can I contact?
Railway Phone Number Website
CN Rail 1-888-888-5909
Canadian Pacific 1-800-766-7912
Barrie Collingwood Railway 1-866-989-5310
BNSF Railway 604-520-5200
Cape Breton and Nova Scotia Railway: 514-948-6999
Capital Railway 613-842-3600
Central Manitoba Railway 1-866-989-5310
Great Western Railway 306-297-2777
Goderich Exeter Railway 514-948-6999
Huron Central Railway 514-948-6999
Keewatin Railway Company 204-623-5255
Last Mountain Railway 306-992-5915
Metrolinx 416-874-5900
New Brunswick Southern Railway 1-877-838-6277
Ontario Northland Transportation Commission 705-472-4500
Ontario Southland Railway 519-471-9606
Ottawa Valley Railway 514-948-6999
Quebec Gatineau Railway 514-948-6999
Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway 418-968-7603
Montreal exo 514-287-8726
Southern Ontario Railway 514-948-6999
Southern Railway of British Columbia 604-521-1966
Trillium Railway 905-735-5529
VIA Rail 1-800-681-2561


  1. How do I determine which railway company I can contact?

Questions from residents:

  1. I would like to know how often I can expect a train to come by my residence.
  • Railways operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, meaning you may see or hear a train any time of the day or night. Related rail work may occur at any time of the day or night as well.
  1. I have concerns over noise, vibrations, and other proximity issues, what can I do as a homeowner or tenant?
  • You should contact the railway company directly to voice your concerns. We also recommend that you contact your local government to determine what mitigation measures were recommended as part of the initial development proposal and whether they were implemented. The Canadian Transportation Agency has Guidelines for the Resolution of Complaints Over Railway Noise and Vibration that can help persons, municipal governments, and railway companies to resolve noise and vibration concerns. If no results are achieved after reasonable attempts to collaborate on the issue, you may file an application with the Canadian Transportation Agency. More information can be found on the Canadian Transportation Agency website. It is important to remember that railways are obliged, by federal law, to meet the rail freight transportation needs of customers. They must also meet those needs efficiently and cost-effectively, in order to keep their customers competitive.

Questions from municipalities:

  1. I have a question about x specific situation (e.g. a setback of 10m).
  • You should contact the railway company to discuss the specific situation and how best to account for your local context.
  1. Am I legally required to follow the Proximity Initiative guidelines?
  • No, while the guidelines do not have the force of law, they do serve as best practice for new development in proximity to railway infrastructure. However, your community can voluntarily commit to following the guidelines. If you do make the commitment to implement the guidelines, please send us an email at and we will feature you on our list of communities that have adopted the guidelines.