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Rob Ford poised to fight any move to scrap the East Gardiner Expressway

The Mayor hints an upcoming staffers' report recommends dismantling the Gardiner east of Jarvis Street

Gardiner Expressway
Photo: Katie Franzios/NEWSTALK 1010

Mayor Rob Ford says he's at odds with city hall staffers over the future of the eastern section of the Gardiner Expressway.

Ford hints that a research report due out on Wednesday will recommend that the 2.4-kilometre stretch from Jarvis Street to the Don Valley Parkway should be dismantled.

Staffers have been working on the study for months, investigating 4 possible solutions for the future of the East Gardiner.

"I'm not going to tear it down.  It'll cause traffic chaos," Ford says.

"I think (city) staff and I are on a different page.  Staff, I believe, want to tear it down and I want to maintain it, just like most of Torontonians."

The 4 options considered in the staff report are maintaining, repairing, replacing, or removing the section of the freeway in question.

The staffers' report will shed light on what all of these solutions might cost and how many years they could add the the East Gardiner's life.

Mayor Ford thinks the best way to secure the artery's future is to keep doing what the City is doing now:  a schedule of preventative maintenance along with repairs to patch up defects, as they appear.

His stance on the Gardiner Expressway as a whole has been the same since before he was elected Mayor in 2010 but since then, there have been numerous reports of chunks of concrete falling off the decaying elevated sections

The price tag of a complete overhaul could be in the billions, after years of neglect and rushed repairs.

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  1. tanjo posted on 02/04/2014 10:51 PM
    From what I recall "doing what the city is doing now" means patching up the Gardiner when chunks fall off of it and being thankful someone didn't get hit with what came off.

    This strategy saves money in the short term, assuming disaster doesn't strike, but it only defers the problem. It does not resolve it.

    Then again, if one only needs it to last, say, for ford more years, and you can claim "savings" while passing the buck to someone else, well then that totally works.
  2. Richard Steadman posted on 02/04/2014 11:45 PM
    Come on. It's an important arterial road into the city. You just want to get rid of it? Get rid of the 401 too. Build a wall. Then none of the nasty 905-ers can come in.
    1. tanjo posted on 02/05/2014 12:19 AM
      @Richard Steadman Yes, it is important and it has to be handled properly. Just patching it up as it crumbles does not help.
  3. JD posted on 02/05/2014 04:37 AM
    This is the same old battle cry offered when they tore the piece down east of the Don River - the traffic jams, cars in the neighbourhoods, chaos, the world would end. blah, blah blah....and look what happened, nothing and the replacement looks great.

    The future of a vibrant downtown is transit not cars. Gads, it is a mess, an eyesore, separates the city from the lake and is costing hundreds of millions to keep there. Wanna keep it, put a dedicated toll on it to fix it otherwise tear the whole dare thing down.
    1. don was right posted on 02/05/2014 02:58 PM
      @JD you obviously have never been there. Asphalt plant, bus repair garages and cement plant, remains of garbage strike dump and closed ininerator on one side. Burnt out tannery and long time closed film studio, future walmart, bankrupt soap plant on the other. Backed up solid from the Don Valley to Leslie most nights, worse when the TTC barns open. No transit along lakeshore either.
  4. Angry Bill posted on 02/05/2014 09:56 AM
    I agree that Ford is being short sighted, if he just wants to keep maintaining it as they have been doing up till now. I'm certainly no engineer, but it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that eventually there's going to be a catastrophic failure at some point, no matter how much bubble gum you stick on the Gardiner to keep it patched.

    I just don't think a bubble gum solution would work. Now, the report is looking at a few different alternatives. Tearing it down or replacing it would probably be a better solution in the long term than continuing to patch it and pray to the Almighty that it doesn't collapse. A lot of expense in a relatively short period of time, though.

    Now, whether or not this current crop of councilors has what it takes to see the solution through to completion, I have my doubts. But I think it does need to be done, regardless.
  5. Sean posted on 02/05/2014 10:04 AM
    Instead of getting rid of the Gardner, they should fire about 2000 city employees and use that money to fix the roads LIKE THEY ARE PAID BY OUR TAXES TO DO.

    We would not be in this situation except for people like Miller and the buffoons we have working for the city.
  6. Frankie posted on 02/05/2014 10:25 AM
    The Gardiner should be underground. The Allen should have gone all the way to the Gardiner. We need a lot more subways. The St. Clair right-of-way was a complete waste of money.

    Left-wing ideology along with a complete lack of vision has brought us to where we are.

    How to deal with this? We need a civic leader with vision and a council to go along with it.

    How do we pay for it? We start with that civic leader and council respecting the taxpayers enough to address the waste in labour and useless projects. Labour issue includes bloated management as well as other employees. We need a provincial leader that will force Toronto to reduce its number of councillors as well as change the arbitration rules that has caused essential services to be paid hundreds of millions of dollars more than affordable.

    We have police and fire services being paid way more than NYC. They also have high housing costs and they don't have affordable medical care as we do, so there's no excuse to be grossly overpaying them. If they then feel they're not being paid enough they can leave as there'll be plenty of people waiting in line to take their place.

    Are we ready for common sense in this city?
    1. tanjo posted on 02/05/2014 10:59 AM
      @Frankie We have had many visions over the past decades. Unfortunately, any time someone puts a vision forward: Lastman, Tory, Miller, Ford, etc. The other side turns it into a wedge issue to get themselves elected. And voters, being who they are, will fall for it every time.

      What we need is for Left and Right to get together and say "No matter what else we diagree with, THESE issues need to push forward." And we need a leader that bring the two sides together into such a consensus.
    2. Angry Bill posted on 02/05/2014 11:15 AM
      @tanjo I agree with you.

      I don't think such a leader exists, however. John Tory might be the closest candidate that fits that bill. Everyone else is miles off. They all have either an extreme left agenda, or an extreme right one.

      The only thing I have noticed that John Tory has a tendency to do, and I think it's a chink in his armour, is he tends to brush off a viewpoint if he doesn't think it can fit in with his current set of beliefs as to how something should be approached. Now, he's respectful about it, and says you're entitled to the opinion, but you can tell that he doesn't actually consider it. At least, not without a huge ton of persuasion that would be impossible for him to ignore.

      But all that aside, he is still the best option available to Toronto if you want to have ANY hope at all of having people work together and actually accomplish something during the term of council. There are people who will never, ever, under any circumstances work with Olivia Chow. Same with Ford. They're too polarized to the extreme right or the extreme left.

      Whether you like it or not, it's Tory or nobody.
    3. tanjo posted on 02/05/2014 11:18 AM
      @Frankie "How do we pay for it?" Sometimes, and anyone who owns a house knows this, the question will change from "Can we afford to" to "Can we afford *not* to". Quite simply there are cetain issues that NEED to be addressed long-term.

      The problem of course is that the solution will likely not politically benefit the current crop of councillors, and could in fact make them look bad. Again, the house analogy: think about how you gripe about the cost, the mess, the time, the inconvenience, but six months later, you look at your new kitchen and say "WOW!"

      Same thing, just replace months with years. Then add populist politicians that feed off of the anger and complaints for political expediency ... and THAT is why nothing gets done at City Hall.
    4. tanjo posted on 02/05/2014 11:33 AM
      @Angry Bill Tory is an excellent example of what I am talking about. He has demonstrated vision in the past and has been successfully attacked on those visions, to the detriment of both the city and province.

      Stinz is another person who was able to bring councillors together under some pretty adverse circumstances, although her vision is not quite as strong as Tory. Ford also did a good job villifiying her even though she was being the more fiscally responsible of the two. I am not sure if she can get the votes.
    5. Frankie posted on 02/05/2014 11:41 AM
      @tanjo Agree with your point regarding both sides getting together. Unfortunately the quality of our councillors is quite low so that would make it very difficult.

      Also agree that long term vision doesn't benefit current councillors (same with politicians).

      The system is broken.
    6. tanjo posted on 02/05/2014 12:49 PM
      @Frankie There is nothing that can't be fixed. We just need 50 rolls of duct tape. And some rope.
    7. Karl Burgin posted on 02/05/2014 12:59 PM
      @tanjo The fix is easy- reduce the size of council. Once that's done, Toronto will be able to move forward.

      Too many cooks in the kitchen ruins the pot.
    8. tanjo posted on 02/05/2014 02:06 PM
      @Karl Burgin While "too many cooks" does slow things down during a session of concil, will not help to carry the vision from term to term. If your entire kitchen staff turns over every four years, there is little hope of continuity.

      Now, if you have a leadership group that is universally respected, then THAT will make a difference.
  7. Lee posted on 02/05/2014 11:52 AM
    Take it down. Our Lakeshore can be as pretty as Chicago's. In fact, the western leg of the ground-level Gardiner/Lakeshore combo already is. The Eastern leg might need a few underpasses and pedestrian bridges, but that's it. The Gardiner should be slightly below grade - about three feet would be ok.
    1. tanjo posted on 02/05/2014 12:41 PM
      @Lee Even if you take down the Gardiner, the condos are blocking the view.
  8. don was right posted on 02/05/2014 03:00 PM
    and teh railway tracks block much more than the gardiner
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