Chop the Gardiner

Toronto needs to chop a portion of the Gardiner. Toronto needs to find the will and vision to take on such project before it falls even further behind other world class cities.

After nearly two years the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation recently released its report which provided a number of options for the aging roadway which snakes along the southern part of Toronto, effectively cutting it off from our waterfront.

To build a better city the report calls for the city to dismantle a 4.5 kilometre stretch of the elevated expressway from the Don Valley Parkway to Spadina Avenue and expand Lake Shore Boulevard to 10 lanes. That project carries a projected cost of more than $758 million.

The new expanded boulevard could like look University Avenue and that is a massive improvement over the concrete dragon tail that exists there now.

Our city has fallen into paralysis when it comes to massive infrastructure and urbanization projects. Too much NIMBYism, too much special interest group lobbying and not enough political will to better the physical footprint of Toronto has left us aging badly.

Our transit needs desperate expansion to improve commuter and reduce congestion. Compare our TTC to other “world class” cities such as New York, Paris, London and Barcelona. Yes, those cities have more critical mass which use their systems but expanding those systems also helped them build critical mass too! The lack of maintenance and expansion has hurt the TTC, leaving it in a financial crunch and raising fares to help keep their fleet running. Lack of vision has created this mess.

Connecting back to Toronto’s waterfront has been a lofty goal for decades but here is a report which does not try and tear down the whole highway but just a portion. The will required to make just a 4.5 km tear-down happen will help Toronto move that much closer to actually being world class. Let’s see if council gets it right this time.

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