Norquist in Toronto: Tear Down the Gardiner

crandell's picture

John Norquist promotes a bolder vision for Toronto through a reexamination of their waterfront freeway.

'Tear down the Gardiner'


The man who spearheaded tearing down Milwaukee's elevated waterfront expressway came to Toronto with his wrecking ball this week.

"Tear down the Gardiner Expressway," John Norquist told an invitation-only crowd of about 40 influential members of Toronto's architectural, city planning, transit, infrastructure investment and real estate industries.



Granatstein liked Norquist's speech so much he wrote two columns

The second focused on "making neighborhoods work" and led with the message "If you plan them properly with lots of local activities and commerce, Torontonians will come."

From this second column:
"A Norquist-type city, where the roads are narrow, there is retail at ground level and office or residential space above, will be the only way to build as we look to cut down our carbon footprints in the future. It already works in New York City where a Manhattanite uses 25% of the energy of an average American.

"Plus, narrow and cozy works.

"Norquist showed a photo of a busy intersection in Wicker Park in Chicago -- another city known for its neighbourhoods. The streets are one lane each way with parking on both sides 24 hours a day. There's retail on the street, offices above, and the merchants rule the roost. Traffic is busy but not gridlocked.

"All of this is instructive as Toronto is building its future at a hectic pace."

It's a great column. Here's the link:

Mary Vogel's picture

"Tear down the Gardiner Expressway"

My article on "Greening Waterfront Development" featuring Toronto is due to appear this month (August 07) in Urban Land. It includes comments on the need to remove not only the expressway, but also the rail yard that separates the new waterfront neighborhoods that Toronto plans to build (East Bayfront and Port Lands) from the rest of downtown. There is a fabulous sustainability critique by a Swedish Review Team on Waterfront Toronto's website. I think that if we keep pushing progressive journalists to explore the idea, it would even get some traction with politicians and the public. After all, Toronto seeks to become a global model for sustainable waterfront development.

Mary Vogel
Toward a Sustainable Urban Ecosystem
Bringing ecosystem services to great urban design


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