After two days of intense debate, Mayor John Tory eked out a victory yesterday, as Toronto council narrowly backed his ‘hybrid’ plan to keep the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway as an elevated highway.
Councillors also voted Thursday to receive further study on the viability of selling it, moving it, tolling it, and exploring possible funding options for the tunnel option. The feasibility of a Gardiner tunnel was discussed when OSPE and the Toronto West and East Toronto PEO Chapters hosted “The Future of the Gardiner Expressway” on May 27, a panel discussion organized to examine the perspectives of engineers and other major players on the issue.
OSPE applauds last night’s important step forward by council, but it is unlikely that this contentious issue is over. The plan is still subject to a Provincial Environmental Assessment, and even if everything were to go smoothly from here, construction would not begin until the end of the decade.
OSPE recognizes that the future of the Gardiner is an important and complicated issue. Together with the West and East Toronto Chapters, we are in the process of putting together a subgroup to actively look into the options that are still on the table.
Read more about The Future of the Gardiner Expressway panel discussion.