The Gardiner East Conundrum: Saving Time Is Not The Only Issue

Toronto’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) will consider an updated report on the Gardiner East reconstruction options at a special meeting on May 13, 2015 where this will be the only item on the agenda. (Note that additional detailed reports are linked at the bottom the main report.)

There has been much discussion of the alternative designs for the expressway section between Jarvis Street and the Don River and, broadly speaking, there are two factions in the debate.

  • For one, the primary issues are to maintain speed and capacity of the road system, and to avoid gridlock.
  • For the other, the primary issue is the redevelopment of the waterfront, and the release of lands from the shadow of the expressway structure.

Both camps seek to encourage economic growth in Toronto, but by different means and with different underlying assumptions.

A further issue, largely absent from the Gardiner debate, is the role and comparative benefits of various transit projects ranging from GO/RER/SmartTrack at the regional level, down to subway options including the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Downtown Relief Line, and local transit including the Waterfront East LRT line and a proposed Broadview Extension south across Lake Shore to Commissioners Street including a Broadview streetcar.

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