OR you could envision a new sustainable community, car-free, near downtown, similar to the existing Islands community but denser, with a retail hub for tourists, who can then stroll to and island beach. Could be a model community and yet highly profitable for taxpayers. As opposed to the airport which is a sinkhole for money and hack patronage appointed boards and staff.
This is basically the only situation under which I would even begin to support removing YTZ, and even then the proposal would have to be pretty damn extraordinary for it to work. Suffice to say, I wouldn't want to just have YTZ replaced by some townhouses for retired teachers and the odd Rabba. It would have to include actual businesses, schools, services and residential units by design, not function as a publicly supported resort for the first 100 people to sign a lease.
Any serious effort to turn the YTZ into a 'public' area would have to entail some pretty fundamental changes to the islands though, including decent road access (at the very least a link to Bathurst as well as the Portlands), some kind of high order link to the CBD and the utilities (gas, water, electricity) to support it all. There would be no point in replacing YTZ with a resort for the Leon Robinovitchs of this world. The upshot being, as much as CAIR types don't like YTZ, they might not necessarily like the Islands becoming a fully integrated part of the city, either.
I totally agree with you. Once the Quebec-Windsor corridor gets High Speed Rail, Porter's main services will be rendered totally obsolete. Basically all other trips will make more sense to just go by Pearson, and nobody will choose porter once Blue22's up and running
Thats not really grounded in reality. Most studies on HSR concluded that there was only minimal amount of traffic that would be diverted from air travel, even under optimistic conditions (like assuming air travel rates would remain unchanged). Q400's would likely be able to beat an HSR on travel costs. For the amount of money the private sector alone was expected to contribute to HSR, you could buy about 1,500 Q400's, and they turn an operating profit at about 40-50% occupancy. So, nobody really expects HSR to poach air travel. Even in Europe, discount air travel ridership growths have far outstripped HSR ridership gains.