Boy, time sure does melt away when you’re writing a daily blog and trying to build buildings. It’s hard to believe that it has already been 7-8 years since I was writing incessantly about the merits of Toronto removing the eastern portion of its elevated Gardiner Expressway.
For those of you who may not be familiar, Toronto has an elevated highway that runs along the waterfront. It is old. Pieces sometimes fall off. Lots of water will drip on you. And so remediation works are underway. Several years ago, there was also a great debate that took place in the city about what should happen with its eastern leg. I even spoke at a Jane’s Walk where I was, for the most part, not very popular.
The two options under consideration ended up being: 1) remove it and replace it with a grand surface boulevard or 2) remove it and rebuild it with a slightly different alignment. This second option was dubbed the “hybrid” option, but that was mostly political speak so that it sounded like some sort of generous compromise. You can think of it as the more expensive rebuild option.
City Council voted on these two options as one would expect. Councillors in the core of the city did not want an elevated highway running through their neighorhoods, and the Councillors and people in the inner suburbs — who might use it for commuting — were by and large more accommodating. Apparently there are somewhere around 15,000 commuters who use it each rush hour.
But here’s the thing.
This vote took place in June 2015 and the thing still hasn’t yet been rebuilt. So maybe it’s not too late! Maybe there’s an opportunity to save a few hundred million dollars between us friends. Also, if anyone is interested, I’m still available for controversial Jane’s Walk presentations. One new idea I have is an elevated highway that runs through the inner suburbs and connects the best weekend brunch spots.