Let's preserve the Gardiner
The Gardiner Expressway is one of the main transportation arteries that connect our city. While I would like everyone to arrive at each of their destinations by public transit, that is a completely unrealistic desire as cars are such an intrinsic part of our transportation network.
I have heard of many different plans for dealing with the deliberately unkempt and deteriorating elevated section of the Gardener Expressway and I think that any plan that involves demolishing it and putting traffic at grade will be a huge mistake.
We have already seen the increases in travel time for those who must use the east section of the Gardiner that was demolished and incorporated into Lakeshore Boulevard a number of years ago and I don’t think we want to repeat this mistake again. Burying the Gardiner ... well, I think all I need to mention is Boston’s Big Dig and that idea can be sent out the window.
I just heard about a very interesting proposal to cover the elevated section of the Gardiner with a suspended green roof that would also function as an elevated park. The proposal is called Toronto’s Green Ribbon.
I like this idea as it retains one of the main arteries and improves on it. This proposal may reduce the maintenance costs on the roadway as the road will be covered from the elements and will not need to be salted in the winter -- road salt is one of the main reasons for the deterioration of the structure. It also fits with the City’s mandate of incorporating green roofs into the City. While a covered roadway was probably not the original idea behind the Green Roof By-law, a green roof over a roadway fits nicely with the By-law and could be a huge promoter for it.
We fight to preserve building and structures with far less history and purpose all over the city. The Gardiner was originally conceived to link the towns and villages that were incorporated into Metropolitan Toronto and is a symbol of that amalgamation. It also serves to transport many, many people on a daily basis. Let’s not try to wipe out a productive piece of our City’s history, but let’s work with its challenges and try to improve on the Gardiner and our City in the process.About Adam Zendel