TORONTO, Ont. — City council yesterday voted 29-11 in favor of expanding Toronto City Centre Airport on Toronto Island.
Council voted on island airport expansion after settling a multi-million-dollar lawsuit launched by the Toronto Port Authority. The lawsuit alleged that the city acquired land from the old Toronto Harbour Commission illegally, and was blocking any plans for expanding City Centre Airport.
Both Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman and Toronto Port Authority Chair Henry Pankratz, say the settlement with the Port Authority is good for Toronto. Details of the settlement cannot be made public until both sides finalize the terms.
Expansion of the airport will include construction of a bridge across the Western Gap to replace the existing ferry service, and the creation of a new regional airline that would see island airport traffic increase to 900,000 from 80,000 passengers a year. Construction of a draw or swing bridge to City Centre Airport could begin as early as next spring.
Proponents of the plan say it would create 600 new jobs and generate $190 million in economic activity.
The city’s chief planner, however, isn’t in favor of expanding City Centre Airport. Paul Bedford says the proposal goes against Toronto’s planning goals for the waterfront area.
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