Eastern Gardiner redevelopment plan approved by city council


Ramp onto the Gardiner Expressway East from Bay Street. Much of the eastern section of the Gardiner Expressway will remain standing after council approved the hybrid option on Thursday night.
Toronto city council approved a redevelopment plan for the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway on Thursday afternoon. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Councillors chose one of three options available

City council approved a redevelopment plan for the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway late Thursday afternoon.

Council approved the Hybrid Alternative Design 3 by a wide margin.

In a high-profile vote last summer, council opted for a hybrid option for redeveloping the aging Gardiner east of Jarvis Street that maintains some of the elevated expressway.

On Thursday, council approved one of three designs that were put forward — the one that is also the most expensive. According to a city report, the estimated capital costs for the design are $718 million.

This design pushes the portion of the Gardiner that runs east of Jarvis Street farther north compared to the other two options, opening up more waterfront land for development.

Toronto Eastern Gardiner Hybrid 3

This City of Toronto rendering shows the approved version of the hybrid Gardiner, which will run further north than the other options considered by council. (City of Toronto)

A so-called hybrid option moving the eastern end of the Gardiner farther north got a final endorsement from Toronto City Council on Thursday.
Toronto City Council voted in favour of the hybrid option three (3) which will move the eastern end of the Gardiner farther north. The project comes with a hefty billion dollar price tag.

Coun. Gord Perks voted against the hybrid plans, citing environmental concerns.

“Given what we know about climate change, it’s impossible we’ll be relying on the automobile to the same extent as we do now 100 years from now. So I just can’t in good conscience vote for any of the options,” Perks said Thursday after the vote.

“I think we should let sanity prevail and take that portion of the Gardiner down.”

Council voted 24-21 in favour of the so-called hybrid plan for the eastern section of the Gardiner Expressway, which runs from Jarvis Street to the Don Valley Parkway.
Eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway, which will be moved further north. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

In a high-profile vote last June, city council narrowly approved a hybrid Gardiner, which was endorsed by Mayor John Tory. In the process, council rejected a proposal to tear down the easternmost portion of the elevated expressway and replace it with a boulevard.

Tory said then that the hybrid plan “puts the people of the city first.”

At the time, Coun. Pam McConnell, who represents the ward the highway cuts through, opposed the hybrid plan, as did the city’s chief planner and medical officer of health.

Construction work on the project isn’t set to start until 2018 at the earliest.

A study of the fiscal outcomes expected from three options for the Gardiner Expressway comes down on the side of removing it east of Jarvis St. up to its' Don Valley Parkway connection and replacing it with a ground-level boulevard.
Photo by fightyourticket.ca
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