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September 05, 2006

Double-ouch!

…for David Miller:

Contrary to arguments by anti-airport groups, there is no evidence that Toronto's sputtering waterfront plans would be endangered by the proposed flights and no sound reason to oppose this fledgling air service.

The chequered history of Toronto's waterfront shows that a thriving City Centre Airport was no bar to development in the past. This small downtown terminal, currently providing no airline flights at all, was busiest in the mid-1980s when about 400,000 passengers yearly flew to or from the island. Ironically, that period coincided with booming condominium growth in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

Currently, the shoreline is far from "green" — and it cannot be transformed into a lush green space just with the disappearance of the island airport. Long-time uses include a sugar refinery on Queens Quay and ferry docks. Furthermore, the Gardiner Expressway, vast rail yards and growing GO Transit commuter train traffic all loom in the immediate area. And thousands of condominium units have already been built near the airport, with more on the way.

If anything, commercial flights to the airport would enhance the downtown's economic prospects. A commuter airport on its doorstep would improve the city's reputation as a well-connected business centre. Such an airport could appeal to U.S. businesses from Boston to Chicago that face increasing difficulty and delays for employees flying into major airports because of increased security concerns.

To its eternal credit, and my considerable shock, that is the official position of the Toronto Star’s editorial board. At this point, if Miller, Olivia Chow et al want media support for their Island Airport obsession, they're basically going to have to start their own newspaper.

Posted by Chris Selley at September 5, 2006 11:01 PM

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Comments

I've always been in favour of having an island airport, it should stay. It's nifty and oh-so metropolitan.

I don't think it should be radically or drastically expanded. At least, not right now - maybe one day. However, it should be well-used.

And there's no need for a bridge, access is fine the way it is. No one is going to go to Pearson to avoid the ferry. The government wastes enough of our cash without dumping it into a bridge to replace one of the world's shortest ferry rides.

Posted by: Jason B. Green at September 6, 2006 12:30 AM

As somebody who used to be a frequent traveller out of CYTZ, I can tell you that for relatively short hops (Toronto-Ottawa, Toronto-Montreal, even Toronto-Chicago) nothing beat its ease of use. You could show up 15 minutes before the departure time and have ample time to clear security, and it was 10 minutes from the office. Beats the hell out of a 40 minute drive to CYYZ and having to arrive an hour early to clear security and make it to your gate.

Posted by: Chris Taylor at September 6, 2006 10:31 AM

Reading that editorial, I think my jaw might have actually dropped 1/8". The Star, being for something Miller is against. Check the calendar, it must be April 1 somewhere...

Posted by: Dave Ruddell at September 6, 2006 01:23 PM

Sorry, Tartie, but this ain't news. The Star has always been in favour of the island airport; were before the last mayor's race, are now. End of "story".

Posted by: richard at September 7, 2006 07:28 PM

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