Media Wakes Up to Jet Threat

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.

Enzo Di Matteo, Now Magazine, Sept 12 and Sept 23 wrote:

“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.

 

A Great Planner Leaves Downtown

Al Rezoski speaks at the opening of a new pedestrian promenade in our neighbourhood.
Al Rezoski speaks at the opening of a new pedestrian promenade in our neighbourhood.
Our wonderful urban planner, Al Rezoski is moving away from downtown to become manager of planning in North York. It is a big blow to us, because so much of what YQNA has accomplished in the last decade was due to Al. He has been our source of information about what is being developed (or not!) in our neighbourhood. We would pore over complicated plans of huge buildings, streets, public spaces and the PATH in his office, while he explained everything patiently in his soft-spoken manner. He sat us down with architects, developers and politicians and showed us how we could influence the decisions made in City Hall. In fact, he turned us into activists for a better neighbourhood and expected us to step up to the plate. What an exceptional guy! We wish him a great future in North York and hope to see him on his bike around the Waterfront.
Every walk-about with Al Rezoski on the Waterfront was a lesson in urban planning.
Every walk-about with Al Rezoski on the Waterfront was a lesson in urban planning.

Al sent us this generous email:

“During the last 12 years I have been blessed to work with 5 progressive downtown City Councillors, amazing colleagues and many wonderful neighbourhood associations such as the YQNA. I am very sad to leave City Hall. We have accomplished so much. I owe much of my passion to the YQNA. You helped inform me how terrible the streetscapes were in the Central Bayfront. You set the bar high for developers and had a clear vision for how the central waterfront should be developed. Together we produced 6 downtown pedestrian promenade plans that guide development and pedestrian improvements. Thank you for your diligence in reviewing development applications and being involved in the planning process. Please carry the torch. I’ll miss working with you. Keep up the great work. You are making Toronto a much better City!”

— the same to you, Al.

Ulla Colgrass, YQNA Planning Committee

NOW Reveals Deluce’s Flight Path

Photo: Ottawa Business Journal
Photo: Ottawa Business Journal

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).