Toronto Island Airport (Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport) Underwater Pedestrian Tunnel in the Future?


Construction of the Underwater Pedestrian Tunnel from the foot of Bathurst Street to Toronto Island Airport is expected to commence in October, 2011

An extension  from the foot of Bathurst Street to the Airport has been a controversial issue in the past and the former mayor, David Miller promised to halt this paln.  It is expected that this 120-metre tunnel will cost $45 million.

The Toronto Port Authority believes construction of this underwater pedestrian tunnel will commence this October.

Toronto City Council could be asked next week to sign off on a deal to build the underwater pedestrian tunnel to the Toronto Island Airport. A one page report released on July 7, 2011 lacked specific details but mentioned that a report was coming with respect to the “terms and conditions” related to the master agreement”.

Tri-partite Agreement

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) assumed responsibility for the management, operation and maintenance of Lester B. Pearson International Airport on December 2, 1996, pursuant to the terms of a Ground Lease between the GTAA and the Federal Government, for a period of 60 years, with one renewal term of 20 years. It is a private, not-for-profit corporation without share capital. The mandate of the GTAA is to operate and develop Toronto Pearson Airport; work towards an efficient system of airports in south-central Ontario; use the airport system to enhance regional economic growth and development; and to confer regularly with communities and governments on different matters.

The Toronto Port Authority (TPA), established in 1999, is a federal public authorit providing transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses. Th TPA owns and operates the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, two Marine Terminals,
and the Outer Harbour Marina.

The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) operates the Island Airport pursuant to a Tripartite Agreement among the TPA, the Federal Government, and the City of Toronto. The Agreement remains in force until 2033 and provides a framework for the management and operations of the Island Airport.

Toronto Municipal Code - No Entry - Except for Emergency and maintenance vehicles only

Proposed Pedestrian Tunnel

In January, 2010 the TPA proposed a Pedestrian/Services Tunnel  that would extend from the foot of Eireanne Quay (“the land side”), through 130-180 m of bedrock to “the airport side” of the Western Gap. The proposed project includes the following components:

  • pedestrian/services tunnel access through the bedrock under the Western Gap of the Toronto Harbour, with moving sidewalks;
  • elevator/escalator/stairwell facilities at either end of the Tunnel to transition between the tunnel level and ground level;
  • connecting structures between the elevator/escalator/stairwell facilities at either end of the Tunnel and the existing Passenger Transfer Facility Buildings;
  • reconfiguration of the existing access, circulation and parking areas on the land and airport sides; and,
  • construction of an airport perimeter road using material excavated from the tunnel access.
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