gardiner expressway toronto

Toronto hates how expensive it is to repair the Gardiner Expressway

Ah, the Gardiner Expressway: do we tear it down or do we keep paying hundreds of millions of dollars to repair it year after year? 

Since the 1990s, the City has spent millions of dollars repairing Toronto's aging municipal highway.

From steel corrosion to falling pieces of concrete (and chairs), the deteriorating state of the Gardiner's eastern elevated area, which runs from Jarvis to the DVP, has cost the City far more than the original $103 million it took to build it in 1956. 

Many have advocated to tear it down and replace it with a boulevard, most notably Jennifer Keesmaat as ex-City Planner and during her run for mayor late last year. 

That proposal flies in the face of Mayor John Tory's and Waterfront Toronto's longtime Rehabilitation Strategy, which suggests a hybrid approach to fixing the Gardiner.

That plan, which appears to be going full steam ahead this year, includes replacing the entire concrete deck and all the steel girders of the Gardiner between Jarvis and Cherry Street. 

If the construction moves ahead on schedule, drivers can soon expect to see overnight lane closures of the westbound lanes of Lakeshore Boulevard from Cherry to Jarvis starting Feb. 19.  

But critics of the hybrid strategy still find the maintenance plan of the 1.7-kilometre stretch too costly, especially considering it's one of the least used parts of the entire highway, carrying 120,000 vehicles daily in comparison to the western portion, which carries around 200,000.

According to the City's 2019 State of Good Repair budget, Toronto plans to invest more than $2.2 billion into the Gardiner over the next nine years to eliminate the backlog of maintenace costs, which currently sits at around $2 billion.

It's the most expensive maintenance fee in the budget, costing $1 billion more than the cost of Transportation Services in Toronto and far more than the TTC. 

Meanwhile, backlog for the City's housing services maintenance cost is expected to rise by nearly $1.5 billion over the next nine years. 

Lead photo by

Tanya Mok


Latest Videos



Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Police release images of car crash that has Toronto in shock

This is what the future of parking lots could look like in Toronto

Toronto is fuming after Metrolinx says it has no idea when Eglinton LRT will open

30-year-old Toronto man says he can finally afford a house after $55 million lottery win

Bloor-Yonge subway station is getting a massive $1.5 billion makeover

Winter storm expected to dump more snow on Toronto this weekend

Two Toronto homes team up to create epic holiday display

Here's what Toronto's infamous Ikea Monkey is up to now