The Front Street Extension debate is very nearly over. At the January Planning and Growth Management meeting last week a statutory hearing recommended removing the proposed link between the Gardiner Expressway and South Parkdale from Toronto’s Official Plan. That decision will be voted on at City Council meeting of January 27th-29th.
Since getting elected I have worked hard to remove the FSE from the Official Plan. As Toronto strives to become a sustainable City, it makes no sense to build new expressway infrastructure. Much better is investing in transit projects such as the Waterfront West LRT proposal. Had the FSE gone forward thousands of cars would have been dumped into Parkdale and Liberty Village, making those thriving communities look like the intersection of Spadina and the Gardiner. The project would have cost well over $200 million.
I want to congratulate the many community activists who have worked alongside me to stop the FSE. Their commitment to better neighbourhoods and sustainable transportation are what make Toronto great.
Also, I want to alert you to a proposal to conduct an Environmental Assessment for a local road running west from Dufferin along the bottom of Liberty Village. This proposal will NOT connect to the Gardiner, but will be designed as a local street. Providing a street address for the south end of Liberty Village would be an important step in continuing the revitalization of this exciting part of the City. We need to speak up to ensure that it is done right: providing an attractive street for pedestrians, cyclist and transit users. I’ll keep you posted as the EA progresses.