Toronto, August 6, 2009 – Toronto City Council has approved the Terms of Reference for the Environmental Assessment and Integrated Urban Design study for the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis Street co-sponsored by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto.
The Terms of Reference define critical elements of the extensive study on the future of the Eastern Gardiner, including its goals, alternatives for consideration, evaluation process and consultation plan.
Waterfront Toronto and the City will now submit the Terms of Reference to the Ontario Minister of the Environment (MOE) for approval in September. The MOE will assess the Terms of Reference during a 12-week review period, which includes a period for public comments.
“This is another important milestone in the Gardiner Environmental Assessment and Integrated Urban Design study process,” said Waterfront Toronto President John Campbell. “If the Terms of Reference are approved by the Minister of the Environment, we will be able to begin the environmental assessment in earnest as early as January 2010 and be completed by the end of 2011.”
The Terms of Reference for the Gardiner environmental assessment meet and exceed the requirements of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act by incorporating an urban design study that will consider the form and function of existing and planned public spaces that neighbour the expressway.
Four potential outcomes will be carefully examined, including removal, replacement, improvement, and maintaining the status quo. Each option will be weighed against criteria related to five overarching project goals: revitalizing the waterfront, reconnecting the city with the lake, balancing modes of travel, achieving sustainability and creating economic value.
As with the development of the Terms of Reference, the Gardiner Environmental Assessment and Integrated Urban Design Study will feature a strong public consultation component, with opportunities for the public to be actively engaged and to provide input at every stage of the process. Public meetings will be held across the City and a dedicated website (www.gardinerconsultation.ca) will feature e-consultations that mirror face-to-face consultations.
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.
Michelle Noble, Waterfront Toronto, 647-288-8048