OTA Reviewing ‘Continuous Link’ Gardiner Proposal


OTA and other members of an industry coalition seeking to preserve the Gardiner Expressway were recently presented with a new proposal regarding the future of the eastern stretch of the Expressway.

The plan, delivered by land development corporation First Gulf, is a so-called “continuous link” option – in effect, a hybrid compromise that would realign the highway’s connection to the DVP; and an attempt by the developer to conciliate competing factions of city officials and business interests who want to either a) tear down the eastern Gardiner or b) maintain the elevated portion where it currently stands.

First Gulf has acquired a massive block of land (the old Unilever site adjacent to the port lands) immediately to the east of the Gardiner-DVP connection. It is proposing to realign the connecting ramp east of Jarvis St. by moving it to just south of the railway corridor, where it would continue at grade level eastward and connect to the DVP (see concept image below).

At the same time, the stretch of Lakeshore Boulevard east of Cherry St. would also be realigned northerly and parallel the new portion of the Gardiner to the Don Roadway. Additionally, the company would allow the city to extend Broadview Ave. (which runs parallel to the DVP) southbound through First Gulf’s land to the lake. After construction is complete and all the connections are made, the current elevated section of the Gardiner east of Cherry St. would be torn down.

The company says the plan maintains capacity and connectivity to the downtown core (arguably, it even improves some capacity with the extension of Broadview) while openigardiner_realignmentng up the waterfront and port lands for new development. The company added that expressway access to the downtown core via DVP and Lakeshore will for the most part remain unbroken during the project, save for some temporary traffic disruption and detours when it’s time to make the new Gardiner-DVP-Lakeshore connections.

Toronto’s public works committee recently voted to defer a decision on a city staff report, which recommended removing the section altogether, and instructed staff  to explore First Gulf’s proposal. In the coming weeks, OTA will also explore this proposal in greater detail with the coalition and update members of any developments. Any carrier comments on this proposal should be directed to Jonathan.Blackham@


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