NEWS

Gardiner East: Torontonians support tear-down, poll finds

06/01/2015 09:36 EDT | Updated 06/01/2016 05:59 EDT
A new poll has shown widespread support for tearing down the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway.

The poll, conducted by Mainstreet Technologies, found that support for removing the leg of the Gardiner east of Jarvis Street was higher than for maintaining it across the city. That result captured support across all age groups and among both men and women. 

The poll compared the two most prominent options for the future of the 1.7-kilometre stretch of roadway: Tearing it down and replacing it with an eight-lane boulevard, and maintaining it mostly as it is, with some minor tweaks to the location of on and off ramps — commonly called the "hybrid" plan.

Of the 2,415 randomly selected Torontonians:

- 45 per cent said they support the tear-down option. 

- 33 per cent said they support the hybrid option touted by Mayor John Tory and his inner circle.

- 11 per cent said they don't support either option.

- 12 per cent were unsure. 

The question of what to do with the stretch of elevated highway will be debated by council on June 10. Whatever the outcome, it will undoubtedly shape the city for generations to come. 

Entirely removing the Gardiner East and building a boulevard in its place is expected to cost $461 million, while the hybrid option has a long-term price tag of $919 million. A staff report released last month, however, found that the hybrid option will ultimately lead to fewer additional delays for drivers.

Deputy Mayor and Ward 28 councillor Pam McConnell will join former mayor David Crombie at a City Hall news conference on Monday to make a case in support of the tear-down option.

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