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Today is my 32nd birthday. It felt like a beautiful summer day here in Toronto and so I mostly took the day off from anything too serious.

At 1:00pm though, I did participate in a Jane’s Walk taking place right around the corner from me. As part of that, I spoke briefly about why I think Toronto should remove the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway and replace it with a surface boulevard.

Given what the other speakers had to say and given some of what I heard at the event, this is definitely not a universal position. In fact, one person commended me on taking a “courageous stance.”

A number of people seemed to support Quadrangle Architect’s Green Ribbon proposal and/or the notion that, whatever is done, the Gardiner Expressway must remain in operation.

At the same time, quite a few of the people I spoke to seemed unsure of any position and instead came to the walk simply to learn more about the options. Hopefully by the end of it they were closer to one.

If I have one piece of constructive feedback on the walk it’s that it wasn’t interactive enough. It’s fine to standup and talk for 5 minutes, but it would have been great to also have a discussion and debate. At the very least, I would have liked to see where most people stand. Hopefully you will all share that in the comment section of this post.

I continue to believe that removing the Gardiner East is the right city building decision. But I also respect anyone who is willing to take a firm stance. Toronto City Council has already punted this decision before. It’s now time to make a decision and own it.

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