Island Airport Facts Emerge


A well-funded publicity campaign is underway to extend the life of the Island Airport beyond the end of its Tripartite Agreement in 2033. PortsToronto is operating the airport, which has leased the 210 acres of prime Waterfront land since 1983. Federal regulations now require major expansions into the harbour to renew the lease, so the pressure is on. The extended runways could cost a staggering $130 million and disrupt recreational use of the bay.

PortsToronto claims it is a successful business and essential to Toronto’s economy. Neither is true, according to experts in a new YouTube video from Parks not Planes. They document a steady decline in commercial flights from the Island Airport, with heavy financial losses year over year. This trend accelerated when Porter Airlines changed its business model away from the island and now flies mainly out of Pearson Airport. So far PortsToronto’s efforts to find other airlines have not succeeded.

The huge building and population spurt in Toronto’s downtown set the Island Airport in new perspective. The core is critically short of green space. If Toronto aspires to be a successful city, this has to change. The convenience of using the Island Airport rather than taking the UP Express from downtown to Pearson, should not supersede the needs of thousands of condo dwellers in search of public green spaces and recreation. 

Would New Yorkers prefer an airport to Central Park? If this question sounds preposterous, it is very much what Toronto’s City Council is facing now. Let the facts guide City Council to vote on the side of the general public and not for this business on the Waterfront. 

You may also like

Leave a Comment