Help us Close the Polluting Toronto Island Airport and Turn it into a Spectacular New Park

Toronto's planners and citizens continue to call for the rejuvenation of the central waterfront, particularly the Port Lands. This continues the process of the last 15-years that has seen the waterfront begin to achieve some of its potential as a major tourist, recreational, cultural, knowledge worker, and residential area serving the entire Greater Toronto Area.

This dream is now threatened as a handful of private interests with close ties to the federal Liberal party push a reckless scheme to ramp up commercial traffic at the waterfront Toronto Island airport by 2000+ percent. This folly, if it is allowed to proceed, will ultimately drown the waterfront and downtown Toronto in a poisonous cloud of pollution that would harm the health of residents, recreational users, and workers.

The pollution from a massively expanded airport would also harm the present and future of the waterfront as an economic engine for the city. Film makers, outdoor entertainment venues, restaurants, boaters and other recreational users, condo developers, and high tech businesses would all begin to flee the poisonous cloud. The lost tax revenue will be devastating for Toronto.

The Toronto Island airport generated $2.1-million in revenue in 2002 � about as much as a good sized convenience store. However, it loses money at an amazing rate and in 2002 had to spend approximately $2 to generate $1 of revenue. Toronto taxpayers fund the deficit.

This is an untenable situation. The obvious remedy is to close down this toy airport rather than follow federal Transport Minister, David Collenette's plan of forcing Toronto taxpayers to spend more than $50-million to expand the airport in a reckless quest for the elusive break even point.

Obviously Toronto can have a clean, green waterfront or a busy commercial waterfront airport, but not both. 

As San Diego and other cities have discovered, having a busy airport downtown is massively disruptive and a huge source of air, water, and noise pollution. Numerous studies have drawn a direct line between this pollution and a greatly enhanced risk for a wide range of illnesses, including: cancer, asthma and respiratory diseases, hypertension and heart disease. 

And in the wake of September 11th, it hardly needs to be said that having an airport only several hundred meters from numerous condo and office towers poses an unacceptable safety risk.

So please join us. Let's slay the monster that threatens to destroy the waterfront and much of the rest of the downtown. 

The land that the airport occupies is zoned for public open space. (The airport is a non-conforming use.) Let's return the airport lands to their underlying zoning and create a spectacular new park on the 200-acres occupied by this failed experiment in early twentieth century transportation infrastructure. 

An airport will infinitely worsen Toronto's already abysmal pollution problem. A park will begin the process of transforming the waterfront into something that can stir the imagination and change Toronto in ways that will truly enhance our quality of life.

The time is now. Rise up and take back the Community's AIR.

 

WHO WE ARE

Community AIR (Airport Impact Review), CAIR for short, is an all volunteer, not-for-profit community organization. We can be reached by:

  • Mail �  PO Box 81057, 47B Harbour Square, 
                  Toronto ON, M5J 2R0

  • Telephone � 416-366-3690

  • Facsimile � 416-366-6674

  • E-mail info@communityair.org

Community AIR is focused on stopping the Island Airport expansion and restoring the 200 acres of polluted land to public recreation space, beach and natural areas. We believe good air quality is a right. We care about making our city's waterfront a clean, green, quiet and safe place for all Torontonians and tourists to enjoy. 

Our members are Toronto residents, business people, health professionals, recreational boaters, park users, environmentalists, naturalists, bird lovers and the arts community. 

We invite you to join us and to make a donation.

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