Updated Evaluation for the Gardiner Expressway East Environmental Assessment

aerial view of Toronto

April 15, 2015, Toronto, ON – The Environmental Assessment (EA) into the future of the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway has completed its latest phase of work, which evaluates and compares two alternatives: Remove the elevated expressway and build a new boulevard; and the Hybrid, which would see some portion of the expressway removed, while maintaining an elevated expressway function between the Don Valley Expressway and the Gardiner. Maintaining the current expressway remains the base case.

The results of the evaluation of the Remove and Hybrid alternatives show that both are viable alternatives with respective advantages and disadvantages. The evaluation, and the supporting facts, will provide the foundation for a City Staff Report for Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) and Council consideration.

This latest phase of the EA follows direction from the PWIC:

1. Work with Waterfront Toronto and community stakeholders to review the recommended option under the EA process to mitigate congestion concerns;

2. Prepare an additional option that combines the maintain and replace components to preserve expressway linkage and functionality between the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, and evaluates it against the EA criteria and the following:

  • Transportation functionality;
  • Impacts on key economic sectors;
  • Cost benefit;
  • Future land use considerations;
  • Public transit components;
  • Environmental impact; and
  • Neighbourhood growth and compatibility.

The EA Project Team also studied two additional and related topics: the impact of the section of the Gardiner East on the city’s economic competitiveness and on the movement of goods and services in and out of the downtown.

“It is the City of Toronto's goal to find a practical and cost effective solution that will support Toronto’s vital transportation needs, while balancing a number of important city-building priorities for residents and the city,” said John Livey, Deputy City Manager for the City of Toronto. "We look forward to this latest public consultation effort as we continue to collect information about this important decision for the city."

“With this latest phase of the Environment Assessment for the Gardiner East, we have put all the facts on the table for an informed decision,” said John Campbell, CEO of Waterfront Toronto. “The feedback from the public and stakeholders that we continue to gather during our consultations will also be reflected in the EA, and will help to ensure a healthy and balanced discussion and decision by Council about the future of the Gardiner East.”

The Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard Reconfiguration Environmental Assessment and Urban Design Study, jointly undertaken by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto, is looking at the future of the 2.4-kilometre elevated section of the Gardiner Expressway East and Lake Shore Boulevard East, from approximately Lower Jarvis Street to just east of the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) at Logan Avenue.

Alternatives are being examined in light of the EA goals, passed by Toronto City Council in 2009, which are:

  • Revitalize the Waterfront
  • Reconnect the City with the Lake
  • Balance Modes of Travel
  • Achieve Sustainability
  • Create Value

Urban Design, Transportation & Infrastructure, Environment and Economics are the four evaluation lenses that provide the structure for the evaluation of the alternatives in the EA.

The results of the latest phase of the Gardiner Expressway East Environmental Assessment will be presented at two upcoming public information sessions, the first of which will take place this evening. These events offer the public an opportunity to provide feedback to the project team, after which City staff will draft a report for the consideration of PWIC and Council.

Once a preferred alternative has been chosen by Council, the EA project team will move into the next phase. That work will include more detailed design work on the alternative, detailed construction implementation and opportunities to mitigate impacts. The EA report will then be submitted to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

The high-level concepts for Remove and Hybrid were developed by the EA project team following input collected during phase one of the public consultations and further analysis of each of the alternatives. Each concept is illustrative of what could be created, but does not represent the final design.

The changes to the Gardiner proposed under the Remove and Hybrid high-level concepts are limited to the eastern end of the elevated Gardiner Expressway, which has lower traffic volumes than the western portion of the expressway. The western portion of the highway is already undergoing extensive rehabilitation and maintenance that will ensure the current elevated configuration will remain safe and in a state of good repair.

The first public information meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 15 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m., at (move text below up to join here)The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto (Bloor subway). The second public information meeting will be held on Monday, April 20 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Blessed Cardinal Newman H.S. Cafeteria, 100 Brimley Rd S, Toronto. The first public meeting will also be webcast at www.gardinereast.ca.

Media kit:

Media Contacts:

Andrew Hilton
Waterfront Toronto
Telephone: 416-214-1344 x263
E-mail: ahilton@waterfrontoronto.ca

Steve Johnston
City of Toronto
Telephone: 416-392-4391
E-mail: sjohnsto@toronto.ca