Agreement Reached with City of Toronto
The Toronto Port Authority and the City of Toronto reached an agreement today, that will see the two parties work collaboratively to build infrastructure in downtown Toronto. Under the agreement, the proposed pedestrian tunnel to the Billy Bishop Airport, planned by the Toronto Port Authority, will also be usable by the City to install water and sewage mains.
The agreement saves the taxpayers of Toronto approximately $10 million, and reduces duplication of construction in the downtown core, while adding much needed infrastructure upgrades, TPA Board Chairman Mark McQueen said. McQueen also noted that the TPA waived standard commercial fees for use of the tunnel, which represents an additional $5 million in savings to the City over the next 20 years.
The agreement allows the Port Authority to build a more cost-effective tunnel, directly across the Western Channel, saving airport users $2.5 million. It also allows the TPA to manage construction in a way that respects the interests of the local community. The Canada Malting site, leased for three years to the Port Authority, will be a staging area for construction vehicles, a temporary parking pad replacing the existing short-term parking at the airport, and a taxi staging area, allowing the temporary removal of the taxis off Eireann Quay.
In addition, the agreement allows for the preservation and use of the original airport building, by transferring it to Downsview Park. Finally, the agreement makes solutions for taxi congestion on Eireann Quay a priority, by including short and medium-term commitments.
“This kind of agreement is important, because it shows what public agencies can accomplish when they work together to come up with innovative solutions,” McQueen said.
He noted that the TPA’s proposed pedestrian tunnel will provide reliable, consistent access to the airport, which is currently reached by ferry. The federal government has gazetted a draft regulation that would, if approved, expressly permit the construction of a pedestrian tunnel.
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