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2005 12 20
Speculation Five - Island Airport Redevelopment - Reprised
imageRecently there has been considerable debate regarding the future of the Toronto Island Airport. Without becoming entangled in it, this proposal simply assumes the scenario that the airport is not required or economically beneficial to the city of Toronto.

Anti-airport proposals have contended that the airport lands should be returned to some “natural” state and become part of Toronto Islands Parks. This proposal is fundamentally different in that it recognizes that the island park network of 600 acres is more than sufficient in size. In fact, at its current size, the park system already lacks sufficient money for upkeep and much needed improvements. Enlarging the park without additional funding would create further financial strain. The result would be a park system in much worse shape. The focus of this proposal is to improve the existing Toronto Island Parks.

Once the airport facility is dismantled, the airport island itself would be physically reconfigured. The current “Western Gap” would be back-filled, connecting the island to the mainland. A new channel would be dredged and seawalls constructed to create a new gap between the airport island’s southern shore and Hanlan’s Island’s north shore. This would maintain harbour operations.

The reclaimed island would then be subdivided into a variety of residential lots and sold at market prices. Assisted housing projects would also be located on the site. The new development would extend the small Bathurst Quay community. The expansion would provide the neighbourhood with additional residents, which would remedy the problem of the underused neighbourhood school and community center.

A substantial park is proposed for the east and west coasts of the island. The southern edge along the newly created gap would feature several residential waterfront properties.

Money generated by the real-estate development would augment the existing island public park operations budget and improve the island’s facilities.
[email this story] Posted by Kevin Weiss on 12/20 at 03:59 PM

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