Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Councillor Adam Vaughan’s motion asks the city to determine how much money might be made off its potential sale and how the funds might be used for transit projects.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Toronto city Councillor Adam Vaughan is offering up a third option in the debate over whether to tear down the deteriorating Gardiner Expressway or leave it up and try to fix it: sell it and pay for its maintenance through tolls.

The councillor for Trinity-Spadina said Thursday he isn't explicitly arguing for the sale of the downtown roadway, but he intends to introduce a motion as part of Monday's budget debate that asks the city to look at the implications of selling both the Gardiner and the Don Valley Parkway.

There are limited options for the Gardiner, especially for the section east of Jarvis Street, which is expected to be unsafe to drive on in six years.

Story continues below advertisement

The city can either spend a projected $210-million over 10 years to replace that two-kilometre stretch or spend more than $35-million in timber bracing, deck patching and wall repair to keep it up, while pondering ways to tear it down – a task priced in 2008 at $300-million. The projected cost of completely refurbishing the entire expressway is $505-million over 10 years.

Mr. Vaughan's motion asks the city to determine how much money might be made off its potential sale and how the funds – which would vary depending on the number of the tolls and the way in which a deal with the private sector is structured – might be used for transit projects. He said he's been told the city's profit could be as high as $8-billion.

The move would save taxpayers' money and a private partnership could open up the possibility of accessing federal money set aside for public-private sector infrastructure partnerships, he said.

"It's an idea worthy of being explored. A half-a-billion-dollar bill to taxpayers is a lot of money and if we can find a new way to finance it, it might not only take the pressure off the taxpayer but it might also … be enough to build the other transit lines that we need in this city," Mr. Vaughan said.

Despite the limited options, not everyone supports the idea to sell.

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the city's public works committee, said he's open to the idea, but it doesn't really fix the problem at hand.

"Any consideration or transaction would take some time to complete and we cannot continue to let the Gardiner crumble," he said, and pointed out the city would also need to look at the potential economic costs associated with privatizing the expressway.

Story continues below advertisement

"A toll would serve as a disincentive for business and families to come into the city," Mr. Minnan-Wong said.

Still, he's not completely opposed: "I'm open to exploring the idea, but it's a little bit more complicated than simply putting up a for-sale sign."

Councillor Paula Fletcher said she doesn't think the motion will get enough time during budget debates and it should be dealt with at a special meeting, similar to the one held when Toronto discussed bringing in the new streetcars.

"If people in Toronto knew that council is being asked to make a decision on a $500-million price tag with only three minutes to ask questions at the budget committee and three minutes to speak, I think they'd be shocked," Ms. Fletcher said. "[There's] something very wrong with that."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies