KEESMAAT COMMITS TO TEARING DOWN EASTERN PORTION OF GARDINER EXPRESSWAY, SAVING TAXPAYERS UP TO $500 MILLION AND UNLOCKING DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL
Toronto – September 30, 2018: Today, Jennifer Keesmaat committed to replace the crumbling portion of the eastern Gardiner with a beautiful grand boulevard, saving taxpayers up to $500 million and unlocking valuable waterfront land for development.
As forward-looking cities all over the world have been tearing down elevated expressways to improve the communities around them, John Tory’s decision to spend $1 billion on a re-build of a small portion of the Gardiner Expressway stands in stark contrast.
“John Tory likes to talk about saving taxpayers money, but when we look at decisions like this – to spend a billion dollars on a wasteful and unnecessary project – the reality is the polar opposite of respect for taxpayers. His decision to re-build a portion of the Gardiner East is not only fiscally reckless, but represents bad land use, bad design, and a bad deal for the people of Toronto,” Keesmaat said.
“This is fundamentally the wrong choice from every perspective – we should be building a future-oriented city instead of spending $1 billion to prop up part of an aging elevated expressway that would continue to be a burden for its entire lifecycle. If we act now to tear it down and build a beautiful boulevard in its place, we will save up to $500 million we can dedicate to investing in transit.”
Keesmaat pointed out some of the other benefits of tearing down the Gardiner East and replacing the crumbling structure with a boulevard.
“By choosing a beautiful boulevard over an elevated expressway, in addition to saving half a billion dollars, we are making a choice that provides better outcomes for the city in terms of waterfront revitalization, real estate and economic development potential, air quality, noise, and sustainability. Additionally, as analysis has shown, traffic will continue to flow well on a ground-level boulevard,” she said.
“We have an opportunity to build an amazing mixed-use neighbourhood here to attract a mix of film and technology companies, and other commercial uses, alongside beautiful, green, waterfront-side housing and retail. John Tory has instead insisted on maintaining a drab, hyper-expensive and unsustainable elevated expressway. The good news is we don’t have to settle for that outcome – we can choose to make 21st-century city-building decisions that will make Toronto cleaner, more prosperous, and more beautiful, and building a grand boulevard in the place of the Gardiner East is an important step in the right direction.”