We knew this was coming, but it’s a big deal all the same: city staff are officially recommending that councillors vote to get rid the elevated portion of the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis Street. The move would save the city money, free up development space, and clear the way for some ground-level beautification—but vehicle travel times would increase. The idea will go before the city’s public works and infrastructure committee on March 4th, after which city council will have to give its approval.
It’s not clear whether the project would proceed immediately, even if councillors were to give it the green light. Rob Ford opposes demolishing the Gardiner. Karen Stintz, who formally announced her mayoral candidacy on Monday, is pushing a “hybrid” solution that involves leaving the highway up for the time being. If the expressway becomes an election issue, anything can happen.