Next week Toronto City Council decides what to do with the eastern part of the Gardiner Expressway. Right now, Council is split between two options: dismantling the Gardiner and ramping it down into a surface-level boulevard (supported by Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and the City’s Chief Planner) or rebuilding it (supported by the Mayor, and called the hybrid option).
A recent media report suggests many Councillors have yet to decide which option to choose. That is why it is important to contact these undecided Councillors -as well as those who are ignoring expert advice- and ask them to follow the advice of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and the City’s Chief Planner and vote to dismantle the Gardiner.
It's worth celebrating that the Mayor and Councillors are discussing options to invest $919 million in public infrastructure. But the money must be invested wisely. TEA supports dismantling the Gardiner and investing $450 million in public infrastructure that will help hundreds of thousands of Torontonians, based on the following facts:
We support dismantling the eastern portion of Gardiner and building a new boulevard to handle traffic because:
It is recommended by Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health as the best option for ensuring the human and environmental health of Torontonians and by the Chief Planner for building a great city.
It is the least costly option; costing about $461 million over 100 years.
It is the most equitable option. It will free up $450 million to improve other transportation infrastructure (eg. public transit) that helps hundreds of thousands of people.
We oppose rebuilding the Gardiner because:
It will be worse for the environment. A Toronto Public Health report notes rebuilding the Gardiner will increase air pollution and and greenhouse gas pollution (over 12%, compared to dismantling).
It is twice as expensive. It will cost about $919 million over 100 years.
It is the least equitable option: $450 million spent to save 3% of commuters going downtown (about 5,200 of the 157,200 people) 3-5 minutes.
You can help stop your Councillor from making a huge financial and environmental mistake. Call or email your Councillor today. Tell them you expect them to vote for what’s best for the environment and makes the most financial sense for most Torontonians: dismantle the East Gardiner Expressway and invest another $450 million in public infrastructure (eg. better public transit).