Once more, we're subjected to yet another study stating government should spend billions to solve all of the Toronto waterfront's ills - this time only $12 billion.  Included in this taxpayer fraud is the proposal, once again, to remove 4 km of the elevated portion of the Gardiner Expressway.  This time the proposal includes such irresponsible ideas as replacing this stretch with a "University Ave. like boulevard", or perhaps even burying the Gardiner.  The report is very vague, since they don't really have a clue how, why, where, this will be implemented.

The bottom line today is that the Gardiner costs $10 million a year to maintain, and is a vitally OVERUSED link of Toronto's freeway network.  The latest proposal says it will cost $1.2 BILLION to bury the Gardiner, and this will be paid with a $2 each way toll - making it the most expensive road per km in the world.  That 1.2 Billion will last over 120 years to maintain the Gardiner - which is functional, if not a piece of art.

It CANNOT be removed - it is just too vital to Toronto's underdeveloped and underfunded road network.  Burying it is an expensive pipe-dream that really is impossible to realize - witness the Boston Big Dig.  The latter project just proves that governments cannot deliver megaprojects even near budget.  Toronto already is still paying for the $0.6 Billion Dollar Skydome - which now sits empty for a lot of the year.


gardiner view
Gardiner Westbound at Strachan, looking at city
The classic argument that the Gardiner "blocks the lake view" is also a red herring.  The Gardiner runs along the lake only from the S. Kingsway to Jameson, and even there Lakeshore Blvd W. and a park is between it and the lake.  From Jameson to the DVP, we have Ontario Place, then a wall of condos, and then an industrial wasteland between it and the lake.  Therefore, the Gardiner is NOT obstructing any access to the lake.  The railway tracks, sometimes 15 tracks across, do more to obstruct access to the lakefront than the elevated Gardiner.  The wall of condos that are STILL going up today block the lake.  The Toronto Island blocks the lake.  The Gardiner does not block the lake - in fact, the view from the Gardiner is actually lovely, as seen in the pix to the side.

In fact, the only real supporters of the removal of the Gardiner are the anti-car councillours who are opposed to the free moving car.  They are so zealous in their quest to replace cars with bicycles they will spare no expense and cause innumberable inconveniences to the driving public.  See the links on the Toronto Traffic Page for more information.

In 1999, the City of Toronto commissioned a report on the feasibility of burying the Gardiner.  The conclusion was, in a nutshell, that the idea is unaffordable in every sense of the word.  It would be a disaster, to say the least.

OTA Against Tolling the Gardiner
John Downing on Burying

Toronto Traffic Main Page
Canada Protest Page