gardiner expressway

Pressure mounts to tear down the East Gardiner

The future of the Gardiner is the hottest political subject of John Tory's young mayoralty, and with a vote on the fate of the eastern section of the crumbling expressway expected at city council next week, the pressure is mounting for the mayor to endorse tearing it down over the alternative hybrid model that he presently supports.

Earlier today, 14 developers and business leaders sent the mayor a letter requesting that he reconsider his position in the interest of the city's long term welfare.

"Mr. Tory, tear down the Gardiner East," said CityBuilders member Alfredo Romano, President of Castlepoint Numa, in a press release. "Removing the barrier between the city and a new and vibrant, revitalized waterfront will benefit Torontonians for generations to come."

This comes on the heels of a letter from nine Ontario MPs in favour of the tear-down option, which has also drawn the support of the federal Liberals and grassroots initiatives like CodeBlueTO.

The CityBuilders group may yield the most influence of all, given that its members, which include powerhouses like the Daniels Corp. and Tridel, collectively own 51 hectares of prime waterfront in and around the area the East Gardiner currently occupies.

"The capital costs for the status quo, or so-called 'hybrid proposal,' are more than double those for the 'boulevard' option, requiring an astonishing $500 million more," they argue. "This money is badly needed for other critically important citywide initiatives, including the delivery of SmartTrack."

It's shaping up to be a battle royale at council next week. Let us know what option you favour in the comments.

Photo by Subjective Art in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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