On the other hand, one local news story last week wasn’t as pleasant for anyone who knows anything about urban planning or aesthetics. In a 24 to 21 vote Toronto City Council decided not only to retain a crumbling concrete eyesore that has plagued lakefront planners for decades, but also to waste close to a half a billion dollars further on it. The Gardiner Expressway has obscured the view of Lake Ontario from the city since its completion in 1966 and left a shadowy wasteland beneath that pedestrians must cross to reach the lake shore even today.
Its future has been debated for decades and finally Council has chosen to spend $921,000,000 to rebuild the eastern 1.7 kilometer section of the highway rather than the $461,000,000 needed to remove it and create a new wider ground level boulevard instead. The cheaper plan also frees up 12 acres of prime land for development, with its resulting tax dollars for the city. But the suburban councillors want their constituents who occasionally come downtown and the 3% of commuters who still use it to be able to drive\pollute conveniently and avoid the resulting 3-minute delay that the lower priced option is predicted to cause. Conversely, the downtown Councillors voted to save some money, do the sensible thing for the neighbourhood and for the city both visually and financially. Downtown lost.
But the people who live there now in the forest of condos will have to abide by the votes of those councillors who don’t. One wonders if these sphincters who voted for the big money option so anally - as assholes will - would feel the same way if a toll significantly higher than a transit fare were levied to use that aging monstrosity. The subject has been raised. Anyway, the situation should be clear-cut: tear it down! My councillor and the mayor will certainly lose my vote next time around given their bozo positions on it.
Granted, I’m aware that those reading this who live in the areas surrounding the city won’t feel the way I do about it and that those in more distant places may find it all boring, but I just had to get it off my chest. And besides like The Dive, it’s a Toronto Tale.