Apr 01, 2016
By Jane Brown
A $1-billion plan to reconfigure the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway has been approved by Toronto city councillors by a vote of 36-5.
Mayor John Tory says support of the so-called Hybrid 3 option for the eastern Gardiner is the fulfillment of a 2014 election campaign promise to maintain the elevated highway.
“It will move that link as far north from the waterfront as you possibly can in practical terms, and that’s important,” Tory explained in council chambers, “because there’s nothing I believe should be any closer to the waterfront than absolutely necessary if you’re going to have it. It moves the link in such a way to free up much more land to be put to good purposes and if we do that carefully, that will be a good thing both in terms of that precinct and also a good thing financially for the city.”
The Hybrid 3 option removes the Logan Avenue on and off ramps and adds two ramps at the Keating precinct, which is an area of 25 blocks that will feature a variety of buildings and architecture which will support a variety of experiences and uses.
On transit, councillors endorsed several new lines, including a light rapid transit along Eglinton Avenue East in Scarborough, an LRT along Eglinton Avenue West to Pearson International Airport, and the first leg of a downtown relief subway line to run along Queen Street East. They also narrowed options to integrate Mayor Tory’s proposed heavy rail SmartTrack plans with GO Transit expansion.