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July 15, 2008
City Council backs environmental assessment for partial removal of Gardiner Expressway
Toronto City Council today backed a thorough review of plans to remove the eastern section of the Gardiner Expressway that will facilitate future waterfront revitalization.

“The Gardiner is a relic of the past and we need to look to the future when it comes to how we develop the West Donlands,” said Mayor David Miller. “We have a unique opportunity to bring jobs, homes, people and public places to the shores of Lake Ontario and we can’t let that opportunity pass us by. We can spend millions of dollars to maintain an elevated expressway or we can move ahead with a new vision and that opens this area up to the right kinds of development.

“This is essential if we are going to build a liveable, prosperous city that provides opportunity for all its residents.”

Council 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.”

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.

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.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact: Stuart Green, Office of Mayor Miller, 416-338-7119,



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