The future of Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway, between Jarvis Street and the Don Valley Parkway (2.4 km), has been an active subject of discussion within the City and Greater Toronto Region for many years now. In 2010, Waterfront Toronto and the City initiated an environmental assessment (EA), which was put on hold following the municipal elections in late 2010. The EA was restarted in early 2013. A good summary of the issue and the alternatives in the EA is presented in our “From the President” report in our November-December, 2012 newsletter.
Transport Action Ontario (TAO) has been involved in the “Future of the Gardiner” stakeholder advisory committee since 2010. In fact, three board members sit on the committee – one representing TAO and two representing other non government organizations. Starting in spring, 2013, the committee and staff worked very hard to assess and refine the alternatives. This culminated in the City’s Staff Report of February 21, 2014 which recommended the “Remove” option. The staff report will be discussed by Toronto Public Works Committee and Council in March.
TAO endorses the staff report and the recommendations therein. We note that the “Remove” option was clearly preferred in three of the four screening lenses – urban design, environment and economics. For the fourth lens – transportation and infrastructure – all four alternatives had roughly the same score.
TAO submitted comments to the Public Works committee endorsing the staff recommendation and asking that staff be granted the authority to proceed with developing detailed design solutions associated with the “Remove” option. The comments can be viewed here: TAO-GardinerSubmission2014-03-02