New Gar­diner op­tions free up land, at a cost

City staff present coun­cil­lors with three hy­brid al­ter­na­tives to plan ap­proved in June

Toronto Star - - GREATER TORONTO - DAVID RIDER CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF

City staff want coun­cil­lors to es­sen­tially for­get the east Gar­diner Ex­press­way plan they ap­proved in June af­ter a bruis­ing marathon de­bate.

Di­rected to look at op­tions for im­prov­ing the nar­rowly ap­proved plan, staff are now rec­om­mend­ing three re­con­fig­ured ver­sions of the “hy­brid” el­e­vated link to the Don Val­ley Park­way.

All three open up more land for de­vel­op­ment. Two would cost taxpayers sig­nif­i­cantly more than the coun­cil-ap­proved plan to re­build the ex­ist­ing link and re­place the ramp down to Les­lie St. with an at-grade boule­vard.

Ex­tra de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties could par­tially off­set the higher costs, a new re­port says.

What is not on the ta­ble is the cheap­est op­tion — re­plac­ing the el­e­vated por­tion east of Jarvis St. with a ground-level boule­vard — favoured by down­town coun­cil­lors.

The op­tions to be con­sid­ered by the public works com­mit­tee next week are:

New re­aligned east­bound off-ramp con­nect­ing to Lake Shore Blvd. that would run close to the Gar­diner with­out af­fect­ing ad­ja­cent de­velop- ment lands. Cost: $260 mil­lion short-term “net present value,” the same as the coun­cil-ap­proved plan Land im­pli­ca­tions: Opens about 8.5 acres for new de­vel­op­ment.

Re­con­struct el­e­vated link be­tween Cherry St. and the DVP along a more northerly align­ment through the Keat­ing Precinct, a Lower Don­lands com­mu­nity. Cost: $350 mil­lion to $400 mil­lion net present value. Land im­pli­ca­tions: Opens about 12.5 acres for new de­vel­op­ment.

Re­con­struct el­e­vated link be­tween Cherry St. and the DVP along a more northerly align­ment through the Keat­ing Precinct, a Lower Don­lands com­mu­nity. Also, widen the Don River rail bridge to en­able tighter turns onto the DVP. Cost: $380 mil­lion to $440 mil­lion net present value. Land im­pli­ca­tions: Opens about 13.5 acres for new de­vel­op­ment.

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