Proposal to Expand Toronto's Island Airport Discussed at Executive Committee

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At the recent meeting of the Executive committee, the proposal to expand the Toronto Island Airport was discussed.

While this proposal offers potential benefits to downtown businesses, tourists, and travellers, City Staff made strong recommendations to Executive Committee this week that advised more time was needed to weigh the potential benefits and negative impacts. These concerns echo those expressed by Ward 18 residents who have contacted me in recent months, including impacts to our City's waterfront, development, ecology, downtown traffic, boating zones, modified flight paths and noise.

I also recognize that significant public funding and resources have been allocated to the GO Transit Air-Rail Link which is in the final stages of construction. The cost of this new service was justified specifically by the projected demand of people travelling from Union Station to Pearson Airport and it remains unclear how this service will be impacted with an expansion at the Toronto Island Airport. This uncertainty becomes even more significant as I work hard to advocate for additional investment in the Georgetown line to ensure it is electrified and serves local residents.

The convenience of an expanded downtown airport may be clear; however, the impact of the expansion and new engine-type is far from, demonstrating itself to be highly complex. From environmental assessments to Transportation Canada approvals to the original tri-partite agreement, I thoroughly support City Staff's advice that there is insufficient information to responsible pursue the expansion proposal at this time.

The Executive Committee voted 11-1 in favour of staff recommendations to further study the impacts of the expansion proposal and this item will be brought forward for discussion at full Council on April 1st. I will continue to seek out evidence and consult City Staff on the remaining unanswered questions. I also invite you to contact me at anytime on this or any other issue.

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