Province Should Take Over Toronto Expressways

In an effort to exchange costs between municipalities and the provincial government, Toronto was given the QEW from the 427 to the Humber River, where the old Gardiner terminated.

It has become clear that even though the Toronto council was given the $$$ to rehabilitate this stretch of road, hardly a dollar has gone into it - witness the terrible shape of the road today.

Since expressways are never going to be built by the current Toronto council - let alone a new arterial road (what a disappointment the new city has been), it's clear the we need a government that has both the money and the political scope to build and maintain such important and vital roads.

The argument is easy - the province insists on maintaining the 401, 427, QEW and 403 - so what makes the DVP and Gardiner different?  Nothing.

Toronto is currently threatening to dismantle the Gardiner.  This road is costlier than most - since it is in fact mostly a very long bridge.  Since the city doesn't get any revenue from the auto - gas tax or licensing - it stands to reason that a costly road needs a government that can afford to maintain it.  The Gardiner is as important to Toronto as it is to Mississauga and points beyond.  It is often used as a southern bypass to the 401 (which was the original Toronto bypass).  Removing the Gardiner and converting it to a city street would be a disaster that would gridlock the Lakeshore region forever.  Toronto is already so short sighted that it cannot see why its industry is fleeing to free flowing 905 land, where the 400 series roads rule.

The 400 series roads rule because they are (barely) adequately maintained and expanded.  Industry responds by placing its just-in-time industries adjacent to these roads.  Regions like Peel have flourished because of this.

In summary, the sooner the province takes over these vital roads, the better.  Toronto's future depends on it.

Email Transport Minister David Turnbull the contents of this page if you agree with it.

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