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Waterfront Toronto to proceed with environmental assessment of partial removal of gardiner expressway

 

Toronto, July 15, 2008 – Toronto City Council has approved Waterfront Toronto’s proposal to undertake an individual environmental assessment on removing part of the elevated Gardiner Expressway and replacing it with a lakefront eight-lane boulevard.

 

The results of the environmental assessment will determine the feasibility and logistical requirements for removing the Gardiner from Jarvis east to the Don Valley Parkway. The environmental assessment process, expected to take several years to complete, will include a thorough public consultation component and an extensive in-depth technical analysis.

 

"We are delighted that City Council has approved our proposal to undertake a comprehensive environmental assessment of removing the Gardiner east of Jarvis," said Mark Wilson, Chair of Waterfront Toronto Board of Directors. "Council’s decision advances the momentum for waterfront revitalization."

 

"No final decisions will be made about the Gardiner until the environmental assessment is completed and its recommendations considered by both the Board of Waterfront Toronto and City Council," added Wilson.

 

Part of the environmental assessment process will include examining all alternative solutions. Development of an approved design, a construction management plan and an environmental management plan are also expected to be included in the process. A comprehensive study of both regional and local traffic impacts is anticipated.

 

The environmental assessment will also determine the cost of the proposed removal of the Gardiner east of Jarvis and replacing it with a waterfront boulevard.

 

The environmental assessment will begin with a year-long examination to determine its scope of work. The first step is for Waterfront Toronto to work with the City to determine the parameters of the assessment and urban design principals, and then undertake a request for proposal process to hire an environmental consultant to lead the project. Terms of reference for the assessment will be developed with input gained through public consultations. City Council and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment approval of the terms of reference for the environmental assessment are required.

 

"Undertaking an environmental assessment of removing the Gardiner is a first step towards reconnecting Toronto to its Lake, improving north-south routes, and strengthening transit-first approaches," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto. "It also moves us closer to enabling the new communities and developments underway in East Bayfront and West Don Lands to become true waterfront communities. And it means we are all working towards making Toronto and its waterfront, more beautiful."

 

After consideration and debate the board of Waterfront Toronto unanimously decided in June to recommend removing the Gardiner from Jarvis east to the Don Valley Parkway and replacing it with a great street similar to University Avenue. City Council was asked to approve the recommended approach and for the City to be a co-proponent with Waterfront Toronto in initiating an individual environmental assessment.

 

The Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of waterfront revitalization.

 

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Media contact:

Marisa Piattelli, Waterfront Toronto 416-214-1476 (office) or 416-561-1366 (mobile)

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