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What should Toronto do with the Gardiner Expressway?

Posted by Chris Bateman / December 11, 2012

toronto gardiner expresswayThe cost of fixing the rapidly deteriorating Gardiner Expressway has been back in the headlines recently as the city's budget committee discusses whether or not to commit to a proposed ten-year, $505 million program of repairs necessary to stop the road from falling down.

The concrete cladding and internal metal structure are all in urgent need of attention if the city wants to avoid more falling material, but fixes are going to come at a cost regardless of whether we decide to pay for it in the way the city desires. In short, the bill has arrived and we have to pay up somehow.

So what are the alternative routes the city could take?


One way the city might save a cash is to partly demolish the highway and put the repair money towards a revised road east of Jarvis. A tunneled stretch through downtown (very expensive with the lake so close and the quality of the soil) or a total rebuild of the existing street are pretty much out of the question.

According to a 2009 study cited by Matt Elliott at Metro, just eight per cent of commuters to the downtown core used the Gardiner. Taking the road out completely would be viable if there were decent alternatives to the road, like subways or suburban commuter rail like GO. To handle the bodies displaced by the loss of the elevated highway there would need to be significant service increases on the Lake Shore line, which currently runs roughly every 30 minutes at rush hour.


Toronto isn't really used to the idea of paying to use highways but there are numerous other countries that charge drivers to use high-traffic or maintenance heavy roads. Drivers using the Sydney Harbour Bridge and tunnel, for example, are required to toss a coin into a bucket before they're allowed to proceed downtown. A small toll could also reduce traffic, which is something everyone can get behind, and the money could also be used to fund new public transit.

From previous discussions we know road tolls have the potential to rake in serious cash for the city. A 1-cent per kilometre toll could generate $1.5 billion for repairs and provide much-needed transportation funding for Metrolinx's next wave of Big Move projects.


$505 million is a serious chunk of change. If the current budget gets the green light, the cost of the repairs will be spread out over ten years but the disruption caused by carrying out the work will likely not improve traffic flow in the short term. This also doesn't solve the problem of having a major highway scything through the downtown core creating a barrier to the waterfront.

Issues like that might be secondary at this stage but I hope it at least factors in to the decision.


I'm an optimist, but I seriously doubt anything like this could happen. Turning the Gardiner into a High Line North would undoubtedly be neat but I suspect the resulting tourism dollars would be tiny compared to keeping the highway running under a toll.

But why not build a park on top of the highway, making it a sort of automobile sandwich with a filling of CO2? A half-hearted proposal from back in 2010 by Quadrangle Architects suggested partially roofing the Gardiner and planting an seven kilometre walkable park up top. The "Green Ribbon" didn't make it beyond the concept stage but there's always a chance, right?

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo: "Gardiner Eastbound" by John Elmslie from the blogTO Flickr pool.



Igor / December 11, 2012 at 02:36 pm
In three words: BLOW IT UP! Um, that said, I have no idea. Tough issue.
AV / December 11, 2012 at 02:39 pm
Blow it up, we have the technology. Now is the time.
Me / December 11, 2012 at 02:43 pm
Yes, because turning it into a park will so solve the traffic issues.
Tim / December 11, 2012 at 02:45 pm
Getting rid of it is not an option. Try driving in Toronto on weekends when the Gardner is closed... total nightmare, even in the city itself. Tolls seem like the sensible option. 1 cent a KM is relatively very little. The gardner is 18KM long, that would be 18 cents to take it all the way downtown. Boston charges over $1.25 to take the equivalent highway into their downtown.
the lemur / December 11, 2012 at 02:53 pm
It should be an expressway with as few exits and entrances as possible to carry traffic from one side of downtown to another. It doesn't need to be elevated, so why not stick it under Lake Shore (which would serve local exits) and toll it from about Bathurst to the Don.
Picard102 / December 11, 2012 at 03:00 pm
How about we make the Waterfront something people are willing to go to, before we start tearing down roads to help it.
bobby / December 11, 2012 at 03:05 pm
do it like Chicago...wait, it's too late
Alex / December 11, 2012 at 03:05 pm
Toll it to pay for repairs. If there is enough interest by the people using it, then use part of the toll to improve the frequency or size of Lakeshore trains. You can't make it any wider, or add any extra highways into the city, so improving the Lakeshore is the only way I see to improve traffic on that road.
brian / December 11, 2012 at 03:06 pm
We can build a tunnel from the taxes Ontario drivers pay at the pump now. Those taxes have been put into general revenue and stolen from the drivers.
Brandon / December 11, 2012 at 03:07 pm
I have a hard time believing a tunnel wouldn't work because a lake is so close.
Thomas / December 11, 2012 at 03:10 pm
I'm in favour of tearing it down, but if it has to stay, it should be tolled to pay for maintenance. It shouldn't eat up such a huge portion of the City budget for things like transit, emergency sevices, social services, etc.
hendrix / December 11, 2012 at 03:15 pm
Politicians need to have the guts to implement tolls.
People will get used to the tolls over time.
Use that money to bury it (why is the proximity to water mentioned in the article a problem when Boston, next to water, did it?).

The really cool thing with burying it is the space leftover could provide a massive canyon of park space right in the heart of downtown... bike lanes... walking paths. awesome!

A Anne / December 11, 2012 at 03:18 pm
Tunnel like Boston. Everything Toronto needs to do, Boston has already done.
Jason / December 11, 2012 at 03:19 pm
The best solution is to accept that the Gardiner, Queensway and DVP should not be Toronto's roads. They should be provincial roads and run as such.

8% of all commuter's is a huge percentage to re channel. There is nothing in the TTC's history ( or city halls for that matter) to indicate that they could in any way, shape, or form successfully manage that. The TTC is in desperate need of a massive top to bottom overhaul. Frankly Metrolinx is a band-aid solution, in twenty years after implementation you will have 10 Scarborough lines instead of one.
jonezy / December 11, 2012 at 03:23 pm
Force people that live in the suburbs and work in the city to pay tolls to drive on it (the dvp too).
george clinton / December 11, 2012 at 03:30 pm
Tear the roof off the mother!

At the same time, start charging everyone from outside the downtown core a road tax for driving on our roads. That will alleviate most of the traffic issues we currently face.
dick head / December 11, 2012 at 03:41 pm
i took my wife to "the gardiner" on our first date! good times
dou / December 11, 2012 at 03:42 pm
Tunnel down - a huge multi-level tunnel running the length of the waterfront. Put the VIA, CNRail and GO trains down there too, as well as the Downtown Relief Line. Share the costs.
Rick / December 11, 2012 at 03:50 pm
Nothing can be done its too late. Should have done something before all the condo's were built. Now we sit and wait until it falls down or a revolutionaly digging technology comes our way to drive the cost of tunnelling down significantly. Same will happen with the waterfront. Condo's will take up all the avail space left. The waterfront should have been built by now,were always in the talking phase and showing nice artistic drawings.
MattiD / December 11, 2012 at 03:59 pm
Invest in rail. There's no reason you cant be running efficient schedules of inbound/outbound traffic @ 10m intervals to each station. If you've ever seen Tokyo's rail/subway system, you'll know what I'm talking about. An efficient well invested in rail system would be fantastic. It would have to be a bit culture changing but hey, why not? We got a broken system of traffic in this city and its only going to get worse. Gotta start seriously doing something about it now before it gets much worse. Rail might also be one of the cheapest ways too, but hell I dunno bout that.
Qaz / December 11, 2012 at 04:17 pm
Never been a fan of tolls, charging people to drive on our roads just seems wrong. It makes us seem like an uninviting city that makes people pay to come here, and we already punish drivers enough with parking prices that are way to high. We are just giving people another reason to not come here and to hate on Toronto. If that's your goal, than we need a tolling option that doesn't stop traffic. Having to get everyone to stop and slow down to throw some change in a booth will just make traffic worse.

We already pay a ton of money in taxes (including on gasoline) to pay for roads and highways to avoid stupid things like tolls. Don't want to sound like a right wing nut put this really is kinda like another tax on drivers, no one can really deny that.
Jerry / December 11, 2012 at 04:25 pm
"just eight per cent of commuters to the downtown core used the Gardiner."

so f"ing what?

Westbound after 3 pm, it's jammed beyond all understanding.

They should ditch the entire Gardiner east of yonge and make it a buck a ride. 50 cents if you get a transponder.
Liberty Villain / December 11, 2012 at 04:38 pm
1) Toll it.
2) ???
3) Profit.

It should be tolled. Revenue generated can then go into digging a tunnel/funding public transit, while keeping the Gardiner running as those projects come to fruition. That solves the problem of what to do with existing traffic during a major construction of a new in-road to the city. And by the time a tunnel would be completed, people will have gotten used to a toll, which can then continue to be put into that infrastructure amongst other things.
zktxo / December 11, 2012 at 04:41 pm
the toll idea makes so much sense, let it pay for itself. eventually there would be money left to tear it down!
Lola / December 11, 2012 at 04:43 pm
I'm an amoeba.
Bjorn replying to a comment from AV / December 11, 2012 at 04:51 pm
We're earthlings, let's blow up earth things.
iSkyscraper / December 11, 2012 at 04:54 pm
What year is this, 1997? Why do we keep discussing this stuff with no leadership or decisions?

Do what many other cities have done -- tear it down, replace it with a more efficient and beautified Lakeshore Drive along with pedestrian and bike infrastructure and improvements (think all-day electric service) to GO trains.

That costs money, but if you want to be a world class city that's what is required.
Dan / December 11, 2012 at 04:55 pm
Either bury it (preferably) or toll it, but it shouldn't take money away from other city needs, and Toronto shouldn't be on the hook for it when people from outside the city use it.
gT / December 11, 2012 at 04:56 pm
Tunnel would be good. Tolls totally work. I lived in Sydney. the Harbour Bridge was a buck or something like it. Backed up traffic but kept the bridge from falling down. Sydney also had an elevated expressway along the waterfront. No one much liked it but it did what it was supposed to do. it wasn't an issue at ground level because they didn't have 8 lanes of Lakeshore Blvd to navigate. That bad boy is the real barrier to the lake. 18 kms of elevated expressway shouldn't be insane to replace. All the land is landfill. Not like they have to blast through rock like Boston. Could do several levels including GO and Lakeshore. 2 bucks a trip would work. Maybe an extra half a buck on the GO to pay for that stuff too.
Jeremy replying to a comment from the lemur / December 11, 2012 at 04:56 pm
"It should be an expressway with as few exits and entrances as possible to carry traffic from one side of downtown to another"

Bad idea. The streets at the bottom of those exits will not be able to handle the traffic being dumped on them. There are already huge backups just trying to get off the darn highway. I waited nearly an hour to get off at Spadina a few weeks ago (granted, Spadina has reduced lanes right now).
Jeremy replying to a comment from Qaz / December 11, 2012 at 04:57 pm
"Don't want to sound like a right wing nut put this really is kinda like another tax on drivers, no one can really deny that."

You don't. You sound like a left wing nut who wants everything given to them for free.
Yep replying to a comment from gT / December 11, 2012 at 04:59 pm
"All the land is landfill. Not like they have to blast through rock like Boston."

THIS is a very very very important/enticing thing to consider - it won't take forever to dig. It won't cost bazillions.
Squint / December 11, 2012 at 05:00 pm
Why not do two ideas... Tolls and Park!
Josh replying to a comment from Qaz / December 11, 2012 at 05:02 pm
"..charging people to drive on our roads just seems wrong. It makes us seem like an uninviting city that makes people pay to come here, and we already punish drivers enough with parking prices that are way to high."

Of all the arguments floating around dismissing tolls, this one holds the least amount of merit. Driving into Manhattan requires an entry toll (typically $12 from New Jersey and $6.50 from Long Island), not to mention traffic congestion and the high price of parking.

I'm not trying to compare Toronto tourism to NYC tourism, but if tourists avoid Toronto because of an "uninviting" minimal road toll, I think we have greater issues to contend with.
Jess replying to a comment from Brandon / December 11, 2012 at 05:06 pm
It is not because it is so close to the waterfront that makes the tunnel not feasible; it is because the lakeshore is all man-made land. Front street is the original front of Lake Ontario and we filled it in when we built subways. Boston is a great example of how we can't afford tunnels. They build them through their man-made land. Today their tunnels leak, they have caved in on traffic and ended up costing billions.
TH / December 11, 2012 at 05:43 pm
Toll all highways coming into the city. Use transponders, and have a variable rate based on time of day and traffic.

Cities like Singapore have done this efficiently for decades. It reduces traffic and funds the infrastructure. You then have money to spend on public transit.
Chris replying to a comment from TH / December 11, 2012 at 06:16 pm
Forget Singapore, we have an example of this in our own backyard - the 407 charges tolls in exactly the same manner: by transponder,, by distance, and with pricing that varies based on time of day. Last I checked, that road makes a killing for its owners despite everyone complaining about how expensive it is.

In our case, because the Gardiner is owned by the City (and not a private company), the tolls could be much lower - designed primarily to cover the cost of maintaing the road (or, if council decides, it could also be used to generate revenues for the City, but still at a far lower rate than the 407). Those who refuse to pay it will find other means to get into the city, leaving a less busy highway for those who choose to keep driving on it. Plus, the city doesn't go broke maintaining a highway we can barely afford, but can't afford to get rid of.

And I wouldn't worry too much about it driving people away from the city - people still have to work, shop, eat and play, and this is where they do it. Toll roads on the Gardiner are not going to suddenly make Mississauga or Oakville the cultural centres of Ontario and it won't scare off tourists - they mostly stay downtown, so the tolls would have no effect except when taking a cab to the airport (which makes it even more important to get the rail link done).

The fact is, there are cities all over the US, not just New York and Boston, that charge tolls to drive on just about all of their highways or expressways. Its time we give up the myth that our crumbling highways can be maintained solely through gas taxes (which are mostly siphoned off to the Feds or the Prov as it is). If it were true, we'd be doing it already, and the crumbling Gardiner is proof that we're not doing it.
Arjun replying to a comment from Tim / December 11, 2012 at 06:21 pm
This would also be a relatively easy solution to implement as well.

In terms of practicality, I don't think it would be very easy to shut down a road that 200000 cars use every day, even though it only accounts for 8% of commuters.

stopitman / December 11, 2012 at 06:24 pm
To those who say tunnel: that would be incredibly crazy.

The area the Gardiner sits on right now is either landfill from basements being excavated downtown or garbage landfill that filled in where the lake once stood. That means you have poorly compacted soil (and probably poor soil types) that are at the water table - and there's nothing quite like trying to build a tunnel in watery soil. They'd have to either bury it at the bedrock or sink piles to the bedrock, which isn't cheap. Many of the condos in the area either have deep basements (5 stories below ground, for example) or have their foundations anchored to the bedrock. It's not a cheap proposition (multi-billion dollar project for something that is 100% subsidized and doesn't carry significant amounts of traffic).

The Gardiner is the last big Mistake by the Lake - tear it down and dump the last bit of "modernism" that wrecked downtowns all over the US & Canada. Look towards Manhattan, or better yet, Europe for some good ideas on how to move people, like suburban trains every 5 minutes like they have in Paris (we have the same density as Paris metro area for comparison).
steve replying to a comment from Jeremy / December 11, 2012 at 06:24 pm
it is the right wingers that frown upon tolls and get very upset at the mere mention of paying for the services everyone subsidizes.
SO am I to guess your a right winger an din favour of tolls?
Me / December 11, 2012 at 06:41 pm
Might be because the right and centre drive and the left ride bicycles so don't care as it won't affect them.
Jeremy replying to a comment from steve / December 11, 2012 at 07:18 pm
No, I'll admit I was just trolling there. But you could also view it as a criticism of said right wingers, who ought to frown on subsidization and who ought to support a free market approach where those who use a service are the ones who pay for it.

As for me, I'd call myself a centrist, and I am in favour of tolls, particularly ones high enough to fund transit development in a significant way. Not to penalize drivers, or to give a free ride to public transit users, but to reduce traffic congestion, along with all the great things that come as a result. Traffic is bad and parking is expensive precisely because too many people drive. If we make it easier to not drive, everyone benefits.
Aaron / December 11, 2012 at 08:37 pm
Charge a toll, but only to people who's primary address is outside of the City of Toronto. Roads and transit are immaculate for how large they are in contained cities (where the majority of a cities workers -- and therefore ppl that use roads, transit, services -- reside within its tax generation jurisdiction), like London, Ottawa or even Brampton. The City of Toronto has to account, plan and pay for millions of travellers every day, which decreases the quality of services for everyone. It's car traffic that's f*cking up our ability to build transit, and moreover, will serious f*ck up business in the city soon if not addressed . Charge 0.90 a trip p/vehicle into the city for a non-TO resident (via plate scan+send), raise funds for both roads + ttc.
Robert / December 11, 2012 at 08:39 pm
Add tolls during rush hour only. It will reduce the congestion issues by making public transit and telecommuting more attractive while funding repairs at the same time.

Gardiner has around 50000 trips per day. Probably 30000 during peak periods of 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm.

So, 30000 * $2 per trip ($4 bucks both way) is $60,000 a day. * (52 * 5) = $15.6M - 20% for overhead of toll collection for $12.48M/ year or $128M in 10 years. Do the same thing with the DVP.

Bring back the vehicle registration fee, but earmark funds for road repairs such as old track removal and resurfacing. Toronto's uneven streets (simulated lunar surfaces) are not only hard on cars, but also a hazard to cyclists and pedestrians.

Rishi L / December 11, 2012 at 09:07 pm
I truly hope that we are not seriously considering "tearing it down." While the highway itself is somewhat of an eyesore, it also means that the approach into TO and our skyline is one of the most beautiful anywhere. Beyond all that, someone above said it best, close 1-lane of the gardiner any day of the week and there is anarchy. We are 20-30 years from a reasonable transit system so tearing it down doesn't make sense.

I'm for any option that keeps the highway through downtown, even if that means raised taxes, tolls whatever... and yes I actually LIVE in Toronto.

Toronto already has far too few expressways for the size of the city, and with so many botched plans and failings to properly develop transportation infrastructure, it's short sighted ness of the cost and what it looks like which we are going to pay for forever if it's not solved now.

and for those that think "it impedes access to the waterfront", there is no place anywhere along the Gardiner that stops your access to the water. Ever thgouth of walking the 100-200m underneath it to the other side?! hmmm
jameson / December 11, 2012 at 09:21 pm
There is no way people would pay to take the Gardiner if you tolled it. People would simply take the Queensway and Lakeshore. Tolling one road in a sea of free roads doesn't work. It wouldn't generate enough revenue. The solution to the Gardiner is to tear it down and force drivers to take public transit or move closer to where they work.

The fact is that the 50,000 drivers who benefit from commuting on it do not come close to the city-wide benefit of having a proper lakeshore.
Sabrina / December 11, 2012 at 09:23 pm
Agree toll all highways coming into the city.
Gonzo / December 11, 2012 at 09:25 pm
Monorail. Monorail. Monorail. Monorail.
watercoolershaman / December 11, 2012 at 09:39 pm
Why not the option of keeping the expressway, but instead bringing it down to ground level as a wide boulevard. This would open up the rest of the city to the lake and offer space for developement along the boulevard. Tree line it down the middle to add some greenery. The biggest perk of this is that maintenance moving forward into the future would be a percentage of what it takes to maintain an elevated roadway. Just patch the cracks and holes and you're done. Not to mention no death from above falling concrete!
Tanya / December 11, 2012 at 09:39 pm
We should grow grass over the entire thing and turn it into an Olympic training center. Think of practicing javelin on there, you could have a shops, a small village...
Greg / December 11, 2012 at 09:41 pm
I AGREE! You could have a small olympic village up there for training and classes and walking and watching, sounds so peaceful..
B-rad / December 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm
Ban all suburbanites wearing beige from entering the city. In all seriousness, the solution SHOULD be an investment that is long term and sustainable, the tunnel. A tunnel along this lakes edge where ages of silt has built up will add a dimension of complexity, however, this does not make it impossible in the slightest. Complex structural challenges of this calibre have been and will be completed successfully all over the globe.
Steven / December 11, 2012 at 10:12 pm
Build a tunnel underneath it. Then, rebuild the Gardiner. The population keeps growing not just because of the condos in the area but from 905ers as well. There would be less congestion plus a great alternative should there be an accident.

pd / December 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm
Turn it into a shared viaduct.
Fix it up structurally and put the LRT on it along with regular car traffic.
GL / December 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm
Close the road to individuals. Only Go Buses, TTC buses and businesses that need quick links like couriers, airport vans etc should be allowed on it.

These businesses could pay a small annual fee for access to the Gardiner (or per use like 407).
It would create some room on the Lakeshore which individuals could take up.
K-Borg replying to a comment from AV / December 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm
When I was a young boy, blowing up the Gardiner was nothing more than a beautiful dream.
jameson / December 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm
I find it immensely satisfying when I hear people talk about the tunnel solution.

Seriously, have you ever even heard of the Big Dig and its $22 billion cost? Get real. A tunnel is just a cash cow for engineering and construction firms. It shouldn't even be considered.
TomKat / December 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm
Make it a tunnel so when its raining its all dry in there and cars can drive through...people can walk on sidewalks indoors exits at every street, all dry, well lit...hustle and bustle
Kathy_runs98 / December 11, 2012 at 10:46 pm
They could just close it down to cars and trucks because of the weight. But it could be pedestrian walking and/or a marathon running training strip.
DC / December 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm
Tear down portion from DVP to York. Toll the portion from York to the 427. Use tolls to restore the portion left standing. Boom
jd / December 11, 2012 at 11:43 pm
They should tear it down.

Then they should put it underground AND also run the subway relief line under as well (Doing it all at once). Make it open space and parks above.

They should close Bay street (from the downtown relief line stop) up to union station and build a multi purpose building of glass the whole way. Which would be of bike lanes, walking paths/green space and maybe even a set of long moving walkway escalators (Like in airports) while the whole way having shops that the city rents cheaper than going rates to build business relationships with who they want in this enclosed path.

The last things that needs to be done is patch things up and waste money. Start building for the future instead of trying to keep the city in the past.
Wow / December 12, 2012 at 12:16 am
I pay approx 60 cents per litre in tax already. So we should be double taxed. Sounds familiar Toronto.
Dylan / December 12, 2012 at 12:33 am
Park The Cars, and plant trees. Toronto Will be seen as a leader in striving to create environmental sustainability, while redeveloping the city to function with more fluidity.
Tasha / December 12, 2012 at 01:31 am
Honestly, I know that the price tag is a HUGE one but I honestly feel it would be best if, the city just paid the necessary costs and get the Gardiner Expressway fixed. At the rate it's going, more pieces will fall down and cause unnecessary accidents and unrecoverable damage.

Besides, it's not like the city isn't aware of the problem - they are just choosing to ignore it. Like they do with everything else in this city.
mark / December 12, 2012 at 05:30 am
Tolls! Tolls! Tolls!
If you drive in to the city and use our infastructure, you should have to pay a small fee. Worse case scenario, people dont want to pay and decide to tak ethe GO instead, which means less traffic.
morton / December 12, 2012 at 06:56 am
Make it one way into the city in the am and one way out in the pm.
NJV replying to a comment from Tim / December 12, 2012 at 07:00 am
I agree 10000%. The Gardiner is absolutely essential for traffic in and OUT of Toronto. Tolls would be the best idea....use the money for continued repairs. Its the only viable solution. Its a very ugly but completely essential artery.
Lorenzo From College St, / December 12, 2012 at 08:12 am
Who ever says to tear it down must be cheap ass hipsters who ride their bicycles all year round. Like someone said earlier when the gardiner is out commission for just 1 day the whole city is a mess! Everybody suffers.
Lxpattterson replying to a comment from Lorenzo From College St, / December 12, 2012 at 09:12 am
That is 100% true. I live on dundas west and it is beyond jammed when he gardiner is closed. this is not an issue of suburban v. Urban, because it does have an impact on the entire downtown core.
AV replying to a comment from K-Borg / December 12, 2012 at 09:12 am
We're ecstatic, our whole family.

We're gonna have a party and watch the Gardiner blow up. I'm going to bake a cake in the shape of the Gardiner blowing up.

BequiaT replying to a comment from Brandon / December 12, 2012 at 09:45 am
I live in the Beach near the water, and most people who have lowered their basements either get to about 6' deep and have to stop, or run 2-3 sump pumps 24/7 to keep the water at bay. Tunneling close to the lake is a risky proposition.
Mr. Wiggles replying to a comment from AV / December 12, 2012 at 10:08 am
AV replying to a comment from Mr. Wiggles / December 12, 2012 at 10:33 am
Mista Sparkle replying to a comment from morton / December 12, 2012 at 11:22 am
That is either one of the dumbest comments I have read on here OR the most ingenious idea ever...can't decide!?
Mista Sparkle replying to a comment from morton / December 12, 2012 at 11:22 am
"Make it one way into the city in the am and one way out in the pm."
Jose / December 12, 2012 at 11:27 am
If we invested in SUBWAYS instead of stupid LRTS, we wouldn't be so concerned with the amount of vehicles coming in and out the city.

We could have easily reduced the amount of cars with extended subways and stations, and the Gardiner could have still be repaired.

With all the money the city could potentially generate with the PAN AM Games, some of that should have gone to Subways and Repairs of the Gardiner, on top of properly allocating our tax dollars.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Jose / December 12, 2012 at 11:48 am
Apples to oranges, Jose. Granted, if money was available subways everywhere would be nice, but look at cities like New York and Chicago that have great subway and rail systems -- they still have enormous road traffic because you can't serve everyone, and you can't serve business (freight, services, etc.) with mass transit. Toronto needs more mass transit, but it still must deal with the Gardiner traffic that must use that route and vehicle mode.

This is all about how to manage those necessary and remaining car trips in a way that is more urbanistic. Put the roadway on the ground, pretty it up with landscaping, allow occasional stoplights so people can cross -- it's not quite as good as a highway, but it's much more livable for the city around it. There is nothing wrong with a bigger, beautified Chicago- or New York- style Lakeshore Blvd. There is everything wrong with the Gardiner Expressway.
ah123 / December 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm
If no one wants to pay for it via tolls and it eventually crumbles, then the problem takes care of itself.

I would also add that the City should add a fee to developers of condos and office towers to earmark for a fund for the Gardiner. Greedy developers have been building everywhere without regard for city planning or congestion and now they should shoulder the cost as well.
Todd replying to a comment from Jose / December 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm
I'm assuming you mean more subways in places that are convenient to you, namely an extension out to Mississauga (or out to Pickering).

That will be an excellent idea to help Torontonians who struggle with three hour commutes from Scarborough to Etobicoke: fighting for seats with people from Mississauga.

But hey, if Mississauga wants a subway (HAH), they can pay for it. As a Torontonian, I'm sick of subsidizing cheap ass suburban commuters who think their miserable commutes have everything to with Torontonian transit users and NOTHING to do with the unnatural human effect of moving far, far away from where you work.
McRib / December 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm
tear it down and rebuild it, only see-through.
Alex / December 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm
Invent Jetson style flying cars.
Asif / December 12, 2012 at 01:25 pm
Start charging toll. It will pay for the repairs. We are spoiled nation who have been brain washed to want everything for nothing. It's time to change this mentality. People spend ton of dow monthly on car expenses. They should also be willing to pay for the benefit of expressway or take the lakeshore.
Mike / December 12, 2012 at 03:19 pm
First, build a multi-lane bridge over the lake, then deal with the Gardiner.

Also, I have a hard time believing that 8% number.
Jose replying to a comment from Todd / December 12, 2012 at 03:49 pm
Im not from Missisauga, I live on Bay and Dundas. So I don't understand your argument.
Todd / December 12, 2012 at 04:17 pm
Fair enough, but you're also the same person who said this:

"If we invested in SUBWAYS instead of stupid LRTS, we wouldn't be so concerned with the amount of vehicles coming in and out the city."

Which means you advocate for the ridiculous idea of TTC subway extensions in the 905. Which benefits no one except 905ers who have been getting a free ride for too long.
Todd replying to a comment from Todd / December 12, 2012 at 04:21 pm
OR it means you think 1 LRT vehicle carrying 60 people (let's say streetcar w/o ROW, to frame the argument in your favour) is more responsible for the traffic mess than 60 single-occupant vehicles on the same street.

So, either way, yer wrong.
Skye replying to a comment from Aaron / December 12, 2012 at 04:36 pm
That's a good idea in theory, but people will find ways to sneak around it-by registering their vehicles at a friend's address or their work address, for example. I know people were getting around the vehicle registration tax by registering their cars at their cottages.

Besides, if the stats are accurate and most of the rush hour traffic is from the 905 anyways, it may be unnecessary.

That being said: I think tolls are the best way to go. The Gardiner is falling to pieces and we're out of time to decide on an expensive workaround.
Michael / December 12, 2012 at 05:34 pm


If we say it emphatically enough times, it will plant itself inside the heads of some relevant councillors/MPPs (of which there seem to be very few).
Mel L. / December 13, 2012 at 01:15 am
Build condos on it!
Slippery / December 13, 2012 at 02:11 am
if they rebuild it, it will have to be shut down, possibly for years. what will people do in between ? they will adjust. blow up that mofo, make all the go lines 24 hrs and frequent, build more subways through downtown and more lrts going far, far into the suburban sunset. its all good.
Aaron / December 13, 2012 at 02:43 am
A city that has no vision and no clue. Patch it up and pass the problem on to future generations to deal with. If it takes a few 100 million out of existing street and sidewalk repairs, who cares? The city looks like shit anyway.
RT / December 13, 2012 at 02:34 pm
I think that they should tear it down and bring the traffic down to grade level. The Gardiner could be one-way westbound and Lakeshore Boulevard / Queens Quay (for example) could be one-way eastbound. Or vice-versa. Maybe they could build underground bypasses on a few busy intersections, to help the traffic and also to allow for pedestrians to cross to and from the lake.
dou replying to a comment from jd / December 17, 2012 at 11:35 am
Great idea, make it into a go-to area for Toronto, with a mix of retail, entertainment and sheltered outdoor pursuits, something like the Quartier des Spectacles in Montreal, only much, much, bigger.
pman / December 18, 2012 at 01:57 am
The Gardiner and its ramps blight everything around them and impose the best ideas of 1950's suburbia on our downtown. Furthermore, the Gardiner/DVP bring in a volume of automobile traffic that pretty much dooms downtown to be completely car-centric. If the Gardiner didn't exist there's no way we'd build it now, and the rebuild option is exactly that. We should tear down the existing elevated part from the Ex to the DVP, run a ramp at the western end over the tracks to connect with Front and Richmond/Adelaide, and end the DVP at Richmond/Adelaide. It's not necessary to replace the lost capacity with other roads, when a combination of serious tolls, enhanced taxes on parking spaces and better transit can make up the difference. In the short term that means more GO frequency but in the medium term the enhanced revenue (say $2 billion a year) could fund both an eastern DRL and a western Queen subway from Square One, then along the Queensway and Queen to terminate somewhere around the intersection of the new DRL. We have to get beyond the idea that if we get rid of the Gardiner our only option is to create massive new ground-level capacity for drivers.
temple run online / February 13, 2013 at 08:45 am
I do not know if it's just me or if everybody else experiencing issues with your blog. It appears like some of the written text in your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a problem with my web browser because I've had this happen previously.
Appreciate it
Les Marosi / February 27, 2014 at 07:26 pm
Toronto, 2014-02-27
Perhaps a good solution:
Keep the Gardiner for ~3-5 years
Build a tunnel south of the Gardiner, perhaps with 2 -3 levels (eastbound and westbound traffic and connector’s level) pending on possible real estate. Work could be done whilst fully using the Gardiner. Dirt and material could be transported with barges, minimizing the impact on the local traffic. Conveyors and concrete pumping from the Lake Ontario could practically eliminate transport on streets (“Invisible Contractor”).
Once completed, the Gardiner to be demolished and developed. Developers probably would be interested to finance the possibly AFP project.
Possible routing: Perhaps from Lake Shore Blvd E (~Leslie) through Queens Quay E and W, then Lake Shore Blvd W, perhaps close to Jameson.
The offset construction could be much cheaper and faster, with uninterrupted traffic.
Locating it farther from the train tracks could be a priceless benefit if the subterranean set of approach tracks is implemented (See among others the WEB postings “US & USRC Track Capacity Study, Train Capacity Analysis, AECOM, November 2011: There is the possibility of a subterranean set of approach tracks below the USRC corridor”)
(BTW building a second level of tracks above the current US probably is much more practical in the view of work already done for the Dig Down).
Les Marosi
Other Cities: Montreal