Gardiner Expressway ‘hybrid’ plans start to take shape, but are more expensive

TORONTO — The latest report from Toronto city staff presents three new options for reconstructing the east end of the Gardiner Expressway.

Each of the plans vary from the ‘hybrid’ proposal approved by a narrow 24-21 vote at city council in June.

Those who voted in favour of maintaining a link between the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner suggested there could be a way to satisfy some of the concerns brought up during the lengthy debate.

READ MORE: Tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and DVP: Freeway or feeway?

“The goal was to get it away from the lake, move it north and get it closer to the rail corridor,” public works committee chair Jaye Robinson said. “This is a superior option. It’s good for the city.”

The latest suggestions to be presented to the Public Works and Infrastructure committee next week include:

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  • A revised version hybrid with “tighter” ramps between the Gardiner and Lakeshore Boulevard near Cherry Street. The total capital costs (presented by staff as “net present value”) would be $260 million and it would free up approximately 8.5 acres of land for new development.
  • The first possible brand new hybrid would be constructed further north from the Keating Channel and over a realigned Lakeshore Boulevard. The costs would increase by an additional $90 million to $140 million over the $260 million. It is estimated 12.5 acres of development land would be added.
  • Another new hybrid would be even further north along the rail corridor with a widened rail bridge over the DVP.  It is estimated capital costs would increase by $120 million to $180 million net present value over the $260 million net present value. That version would make approximately 13.5 acres of land available for new development.

Other councillors felt tearing the Gardiner down east of Jarvis Street was the better plan and haven’t changed their mind.

“This is third time we’ve gone back to staff to look at another way of doing it,” councillor Gord Perks said. “This doesn’t work for land use or budget reasons and it keeps getting more expensive.”  

READ MORE: Gardiner Expressway: council votes in favour of hybrid option

All of the plans are still being developed and more information should be available before public meetings take place in November 2015.

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Another report, as part of a full environmental assessment, is expected to be submitted to city council in early 2016.

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