York Quay Neighbourhood Association covers Toronto’s iconic Central Waterfront, with members in every building. YQNA is actively engaged in what shapes our neighbourhood – traffic, transit, planning, cultural and social events, policing, environment, noise, businesses, and the great urban renewal transforming Queens Quay. YQNA welcomes all residents to participate, share their ideas and enjoy our events.
A great body of research on jet planes explains why they are kept far away from city centers. Check out Ron Jenkins’ presentation of how jets on the island airport would change life on the Waterfront.
First, an ABC on how a jet engine functions:
Large quantities of air are sucked into two 6-foot diameter holes in front of the plane. The air is propelled by spinning fans to mix with fuel, which is ignited to create enough thrust to lift the plane off the ground.
The highly polluted exhaust coming out the back of the plane can travel up to 549 meters (1800 feet) at ground level at great speed – enough to knock over sailboats. With longer runways built into the lake, the extended Marine Exclusion Zones (MEZ) would affect sailboats from Ontario Place to York Quay. That is why airports put up signs like this:
The bird sanctuary adjacent to the island airport poses obvious threats to air traffic. It is home to geese, swans and cormorants that enter the flight path, sometimes in huge migrating flocks. Bird strikes are a real threat to aviation and cause air crashes, such as the plane that went down in the Hudson River in New York.
Allowing the powerful suction of jet engines next to this bird-rich area invites disaster. The alternative is to kill the birds and destroy their habitat to accommodate travelers who won’t go to Pearson to catch a jet plane. Which will it be?
Despite attempts by Porter Airlines to control media coverage of its proposal to expand the island airport to accommodate jets, some high-profile voices are now raising questions and expressing opposition to Porter’s ill-conceived plans. YQNA commends those who have spoken out and highlights some of the recent articles.
Christopher Hume, Toronto Star, Sept 25, wrote:
“What Porter and its loudest shill, the federal Toronto Port Authority, don’t want us to know about are the jet fuel storage tanks that would come with an enlarged airport, the enhanced food service operations, the increased traffic, the stream of taxis, the flight path expansion and, of course, the safety and health of students at Waterfront School.” Click for more.
Paul Bedford, Toronto’s former Chief Planner, wrote in the Toronto Star, Sept 17:
“The key issues for city council to consider are: the negative ground-related impacts of an expanded airport on the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood; the threat to ongoing revitalization of the central waterfront; and the inability to control the future expansion of Billy Bishop Airport… Toronto only has one waterfront and its future now rests in the hands of city council. Why would we ever surrender it to a private interest?” Click for more.
Guy Dixon reported in the Globe and Mail, Sept 24:
“The city survey of 1,002 Toronto residents suggests a far more mixed public response compared with previous surveys released by the Toronto Port Authority and Porter Airlines… A telephone survey commissioned by the city concluded that ‘half of Torontonians say that an expanded airport with jets does not fit with the revitalized waterfront, and Toronto residents living in the waterfront area are most likely to say that the airport does not fit.'” Click for more.
“All the noise about noise has become a distraction… The potential health effects from a 30 per cent increase in jet travel on the waterfront and the impact on jet travel on the lake, our drinking water, have received less consideration… What will an expanded airport mean for traffic at the foot of Bathurst, which is a chaotic mess now? It’ll probably suck the life out of the area. But that issue has barely registered outside of those directly affected… One of the biggest misconceptions: that most of the opposition to Porter’s plans is coming from folks opposed to the existence of the airport, period. In fact, not even NoJetsTO, the group spearheading opposition, is against an airport on the waterfront. It’s against expansion.” Click here and here for more.
Glenn Svarich, Toronto Star, Sept 29:
Another reasonable and well-informed writer, Glenn Svarich in Scarborough, wrote “What’s at stake for airport on island” in the Toronto Star. He lays out the consequences of admitting jets and extended runways. Click for more.
NOW Magazine has just broken the omerta around the proposed jet expansion of the Island Airport. No other media have told the real story of the political power plays that have led to Porter Airlines’ dominance over the Waterfront. Read this and wonder. Share the link with your friends, so word can finally get out about this looming urban planning disaster. You might get motivated to attend the City’s public meeting at Exhibition Hall on Sep. 19 (see notice on this page).
City Council is gearing up for a crucial vote on the Island Airport. Will they lift the ban on jets and expand the runways far into the lake? Porter and the Toronto Port Authority are spending enormous sums on advertising and lobbying (the TPA using federal tax dollars) to push for a huge jet expansion. If we don’t protest this commercial takeover of our iconic Waterfront, it will change forever.
Please help by:
- Sending the on-line petition to everyone you know to let our councillors know we cherish the Waterfront.
- Attending a public consultation with results going to City Council.Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
Fort York – Blue Barracks Room
2-3 pm, Drop-in
3-5 pm, Workshop
Monday, September 9th, 2013
Metro Hall – Rooms 308-309
THE NEXT MEETING HAS CHANGED TO:
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Direct Energy Convention Centre, Exhibition Place – Salon 205
7-9pm, Presentations and Discussions
- Read the City’s public consultation booklet, though it’s heavily slanted in favour of jets and contains misinformation. It proves how much our voices are needed! We are told that extended runways are “good for the environment”. And the Jets — still untested and on the production line — are praised for their “average” noise levels.
If the Tripartite ban is lifted, we face a noisy, polluting mini-Pearson on our doorsteps. Come to the meetings and alert friends and neighbours to help save the Waterfront.
More than a thousand people met on August 22 at the foot of Bay Street for the naming of the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and the unveiling of a great sculpture of Jack on a tandem bike. It was donated through fundraising by the OFL on behalf of the working people of Ontario and is valued at approximately $350,000. The artist is the well-known David Pellettier of Toronto. It depicts the late Jack Layton, who was an avid cyclist and Toronto MP, riding on the back seat of a tandem bicycle. The front seat welcomes visitors to sit and have their photo taken “with Jack at their back.”
Olivia Chow, our MP for the Waterfront and Jack’s partner through their long private and political life together, said:
“Jack loved the city of Toronto, Toronto Islands, and most of all, the people of Toronto. How fitting that this sculpture will serve as a reminder to the people of Toronto and visitors to the waterfront that Jack always had their back.” She was met with great applause.
Councillor Pam McConnell praised her former colleague and introduced the many speakers and musicians as well as the Layton’s extended family. Emotions ran high, as many in the large crowd remembered this very popular MP and his generous nature. Mayor Rob Ford spoke of his first year as city councillor. He and Jack sat side by side in Council, and although they had different political views, Jack was always kind and ready to help him with advice.
Take a stroll to the ferries and hop on the bike with Jack! This will probably become the most photographed work of art in Toronto.