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Roads: Keep the Gardiner, fix it, or get rid of it? (2005-2014)

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T

thx1038

Guest
Results (total votes = 119)
KEEP THE Gardiner 34.5%
tAKE IT DOWN 65.5%
 
C

cdl42

Guest
Dude, you've got a seriously dodgy shift key. Might be time for a new keyboard.
 
S

Sir Novelty Fashion

Guest
I dunno. Kinda gives the poll that earthy, anarchic feel, don't you think?
 
D

doady

Guest
Whoa, someone here is very uptight. Who cares if the capitalization is wrong, it is not a big deal.
 
P

p5archit

Guest
I say run a deficit and charge the users of the tunnel, which will replace the entire length of the elevated highway. While you do this, the covering of the train tracks should also be completed, freeing up hundreds if not thousands of hectares of land for future development and parks.

I disagree that we do not have the money for this project. We are certainly short, but lets gets some people with real political will and motivation to get some shit done!!


p5
 
H

heckles2

Guest
I would PREFER Gardiner to come down, but I'm not sure it's practical. In another thread in transportation I threw in the idea of keeping the Gardiner/Lake Shore setup as is for the most part, but connecting the Lake Shore with a series of underground pedestrian walkways. It'd save money, keep vital transportation routes open to avoid city street gridlock, and in the long run as the lakeshore continues to develop Gardiner would become more hidden in the mix of development.
 
D

dan e 1980

Guest
i think we should build a tank around it and fill it with liquid nitrogen. with cryopreservation, we can let future generations worry about it. ;)
 
S

sleeksky

Guest
We should be able to take it down and bury it. It's a relatively small project compared to what other cities have done with their infrastructure.
 
B

building babel

Guest
Like a phantom limb it will have a presence in our collective consciousness even when it is gone. Like New Yorkers after 9/11 we'll feel something is missing from the cityscape - as we do with the sections of the Gardiner that have already been removed in the east end. With the arrival of new generations of Torontonians, having no first hand experience of it, it will fade into myth like the Yonge Street Arcade.

Enjoy the Gardiner while you can and treasure the memory so you can tell your grandchildren about it when they ask.
 
E

Ed007Toronto

Guest
I had a car over the holidays and decided to go for a joy ride on the Gardiner. What an amazing drive through the canyon of buildings. Pinnacle and 18 Yonge totally blew me away as I approached from the east end. Just so massive. 18 Yonge is this huge wall that looks like you will run into before the Gardiner quickly jogs to the south. Got to get up there next time they close it to get some pictures.
 
E

esplanade guy

Guest
It's time to take the ugly mf down. It has to go. Thank god we only have a few downtown highways.
 
B

Brian 7600

Guest
I think we should keep the Gardiner, If we get rid of it it will really overcrowd other streets like Lake Shore and King.
 
L

livesquid

Guest
From the star:

Fung's dream lives on
May 17, 2006. 07:31 AM
ROYSON JAMES

Detailed studies show the Gardiner Expressway could be torn down and replaced with a prettier thoroughfare for about $750 million, but city hall is sitting on the recommendations because the project doesn't have political support, says Robert Fung, ousted waterfront czar.

Simulations conducted at the University of Toronto showed the tamed roadway would add just three to four minutes to the morning rush-hour commute.

In turn, Lake Shore Blvd. would become a gussied up University Ave. and help reconnect the city to the waterfront. The takedown, from Spadina Ave. eastward, would cost $500 million, plus another $250 million to extend Front St.

"You can do it, and we absolutely recommend doing it, as part of the revitalization effort," Fung said yesterday.

"It's one of the big moves that got sidetracked. We were told it could not be done. They didn't think the mayor could get it through council."

Fung burst into public consciousness in 1999, when his waterfront task force recommended we tear down the Gardiner and replace it with a beautiful thoroughfare. It was part of his 25-year $17 billion waterfront makeover, a revitalization he said would propel Toronto onto the global stage.

Yesterday, the day after he was relieved of his $150,000-a-year job as chair of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corp., Fung still clings to that vision. And he said maybe he should have pushed it harder, over the objections of his political masters.

"It's one of the things I regret. I think it's very important to take it down. It will deal with a whole raft of north-south connections and we showed them the mechanism for doing it — that is, with Front St. and other roads. This showed it was very feasible."

Leslie Woo, Mayor David Miller's waterfront specialist, says city's finance staff is looking at how to pay for the project. The department will soon be seeking a consultant to develop a detailed plan on how the project might be financed.

That report should be filed by the end of the year, she said.

Fung urges Miller to "do all you can to get it down. If he wanted to do something spectacular on the waterfront — something to lend his name to — he should spend some political capital and take the Gardiner down."

In a wide-ranging interview covering issues during his time as overseer of waterfront revitalization, Fung said:

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper should become engaged in what happens on Toronto's waterfront because it is an important asset to the country. "This is one of the largest, most important projects in the world. And it can work with the governments there to help. It should be as important to him as it is to the people of the city. It would show he can work with the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto."

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His successor must be able to liaise with Ottawa, Queen's Park and city hall because invariably problems arise that must be solved. For example, Fung was able to personally call then prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, and then premier Mike Harris when needed.

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The Toronto Transit Commission must hurry and widen the narrow subway platforms at Union Station, one of the first four waterfront projects funded in 2001. Engineering studies are now being done. "I deliberately don't go to Union Station," Fung said. "It's an accident waiting to happen."

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City council must resist the urge to micromanage everything that happens on the waterfront. That tendency has slowed progress to a crawl, to the point of hobbling the waterfront corporation. Only the province has truly understood this role, Fung said. "At times, we were so hobbled it's amazing we were able to do what we did."

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Torontonians must "push, push, push" their politicians to "think big on the waterfront. Go for platinum, not silver. My message to the people of Toronto is you have to demand this from the governments and the waterfront corporation."

It was Harris who asked Fung to take a look at former mayor Mel Lastman's waterfront plans and see if they were doable.

Fung, 67, had been in the middle of some huge corporate deals in Canada and made his millions as an investment banker with Gordon Capital and, before that, Dominion Securities.

With little knowledge of urban issues and waterfront development, Fung dove into the task, became a quick study, and before long was sounding like a true believer.

Two precincts covering more than 80 hectares have now been approved. And a design competition, involving renowned international architects, wraps up May 31 and will set the template for how the central waterfront will be redeveloped.

Yesterday, Fung said nothing has inspired him quite like the nearly seven years he spent as head of the waterfront corporation.

That's why his voice broke, tears welled up in his eyes and he was overcome with emotion as he said goodbye, even as the waterfront plans seem ready to soar.

"The dream is being translated into reality," Fung told a few hundred people crammed into the atrium at BCE Place Monday night, eager to study five concept plans from some of the world's finest architects on how to knit together the disconnected, awful mess that is our central waterfront.

"I leave satisfied. I leave happy. I don't believe the governments can turn back. The people of the city have to hold the corporation to think big and hold them to a high standard."

Fung returns to the business world. But he's forever hooked on working to improve the city.

He is chair of a gold-mining company that's building a mine in Venezuela. He chairs an infrastructure company that's building an electricity transmission line between Lethbridge, Alta., and Grand Falls, Mont. And he is a consultant with Orion Securities, an investment bank. But he's a changed man.

"I'm a capitalist, yes, and did well in business. Now I'm trying to do things that matter. When you lie on your deathbed, you don't think of how many millions you made. You think about what you really accomplished, and it's not about money."

On Monday night, there was the extraordinary scene of community activist Cynthia Wilkey of the West Don Lands community praising Fung for building trust and confidence between the waterfront agency and the people.

"Take pride in the work done on your watch," she said, to loud applause.

Not bad for a little kid from Trinidad and Tobago with big dreams that his adopted city can rise to global significance — if it dreams big on the waterfront.
 
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