Christopher Hume is the architecture critic for the Toronto Star. He was in town on Wednesday, June 5 at SFU Harbour Centre for a talk. His recent article is similar to the PPS article I blogged about on the Shanghai Road Diet. Toronto’s waterfront is very sadly separated from the downtown 6 monstrous lanes of pollution and grime. My friend in his fairly new digs in a 27th floor apartment in Concord Place can hear a constant din of traffic outside his window. It’s quite an impressive experience to the senses until you realize just what an environmental and urban impact the expressway has on Toronto.
So this new organization called Waterfront Toronto is calling for the removal of the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis St. That’s part of the Expressway is not the major part, but will likely sprout new neighbourhoods in the wake of it’s destruction. Probably another Loblaw’s or Sobey’s will find it’s way to the Lakeshore.
The major part of the Expressway is really between the Don River and out past Bathurst. That will all stay intact according to Waterfront Toronto’s recommendation. I can see that taking the highway will reduce number of cars going into downtown Toronto by simply making it inconvenient. Of course, any major demolition of the Gardiner will likely need to be accompanied in major public transportation investment to help suburb commuters coming to work. Or maybe some of them will move within the Toronto City Limits.
Will the Gardiner ever disappear completely? Christopher Hume certainly hopes so, but the future will only tell if there is enough political will in Toronto to make a bold change to the Harbourfront.