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Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:01 am

While the commercial service offered from YTZ wasn't that great and won't be greatly missed, it will pose a bigger problem for GA operators who will have to relocate, as well as the Air Ambulance operations.

Island airport to close: Ottawa
Collenette sees Pearson rail link, new Pickering airport instead
Nicolaas van Rijn
Staff reporter

Transportation Minister David Collenette says there's no need for a Toronto Island Airport once a fixed rail link is built to speed passengers between Union Station and Pearson airport.

"If we get the rail link built to Pearson, then it really undermines the case for an Island airport," Collenette said yesterday, adding the rail line should be in operation within the next three to four years.

And, he said — raising a spectre many thought had been laid to rest years ago — a regional airport in Pickering will be built in little over a decade, further relieving strain on Pearson.

"The argument that's made is that the Island airport is a great jewel, it's right in the heart of the downtown, it's great for business," he said. "I know the Board of Trade was very much enamoured of that in earlier times, but it seems that more and more people are coming around to the notion that a rapid transit link from Union Station to Pearson really is the answer.

"I guess the question is, do the citizens of Toronto want to have jets on the Island? Do they want to have 6 and 7,000 foot runways with all of the environmental impacts?"

Collenette also noted that Toronto is already served by one regional airport in the west, Hamilton, and in little over a decade will have a second regional airport on the east, in Pickering.

It's time now, Collenette said, for a public debate on Toronto's airport needs.

"We've designated the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to start preparatory work for an airport on the Pickering lands. We've been very public and said `Look, 2012, 2015, you're probably looking at an airport being built on the Pickering lands.'"

The federal government owns 7,300 hectares of land in north Pickering, acquired decades ago for a proposed airport. Although a vociferous public outcry forced Ottawa to park its plans, Transport Canada has never backed away from the concept of a Pickering airport.

In 1999, Collenette assured Pickering mayor Wayne Arthurs that Ottawa would not proceed with an official airport designation in order to give local municipalities the chance to come up with their own plan for a "reliever" airport — one that would relieve pressure on Pearson.

At the time, Arthurs said Pickering remains opposed to an international airport on the lands, but noted the town's official plan recognizes a regional airport — perhaps to replace Buttonville and Oshawa airports — might be needed in the future.

Collenette ultimately sees the Pickering site linked to downtown Toronto with a high-speed rail line. The new airport will be similar to Hamilton International Airport, which will "undermine the case for expansion of the Island airport," Collenette noted. "The chair of the port authority has said, correctly, the status quo is unacceptable — we either expand the Island airport or we close it."

Collenette said to make the Island airport viable, jets have to be let in and runways expanded, "and that's going to create a hell of a lot more disruption for the people now living in the community. Extension of the runways will have environmental impacts, in particular as you extend the runway out into the harbour."

The Toronto Port Authority, which operates the Island airport, has an ambitious expansion scheme in mind for the money-losing facility, arguing the airport must either close or expand. Traffic peaked at 400,000 passengers annually in the mid-1980s, but since then has slipped to just 140,000 in 1999. According to one estimate, the airport — which costs Toronto taxpayers more than $1 million a year in subsidies — is mainly used by a core group of frequent users thought to number no more than 20,000.

"The airport is at a crossroads," the Port Authority notes in its feasibility study, released earlier this month. "Continuing on the current path," it adds, "will see ongoing deficits and ultimately the cessation of scheduled service at the airport."

The expansion proposals include a $20 million passenger terminal, $16 million for a bridge from the mainland, and $2 million for expanding the existing runways out into Toronto Harbour.

"This scenario includes three variations: scheduled service with 32-seat jets, 50-seat jets and 72-seat jets," the feasibility study notes.

But expanding the Island airport to allow jet service is a contentious issue, especially since the main approach path is over Toronto's portlands, which are slated for massive residential and commercial development.

Allan Sparrow, outreach coordinator for Community AIR (Airport Impact Review), a group opposed to expanding the Island airport, welcomed Collenette's remarks.

"We're delighted that the minister is taking this position, we believe it will kickstart rejuvenation of the waterfront," Sparrow said yesterday. "If the expanded airport had gone ahead, it would destroy any opportunity to develop the portlands, because the main approach to the airport is over the portlands.

"Aircraft come in at 200 feet, so an expansion would have destroyed those development plans, which call for a multi-billion dollar investment, and envisions 55,000 residents and 35,000 workers.

"If the airport wasn't closed that scheme would be in jeopardy," said Sparrow, who met with Collenette last week to discuss the issue. "The minister also understood the pollution and health issues involved, and the need for more parkland."

Sparrow said Collenette told Community AIR's delegation at last week's meeting that he personally favours turning the Island airport's 80 acres into parkland. That, Sparrow said, would also add an extra kilometre of beach to the Island parks.

Toronto City Centre Airport, as the Island facility is officially known, was built in 1937, when its neighbours were factories and warehouses along the waterfront.

A change in use since then has seen tens of thousands of residents moving to the waterfront, and the transformation of the area into a popular recreation and tourist attraction that's used by hundreds of thousands of people throughout the spring, summer and fall.

City centre airports in other North American centres have also seen their fortunes change.

Edmonton closed its downtown municipal airport several years ago, and Chicago is about to close its waterfront commuter airport, Meigs Field. Although San Diego recently decided to expand — not close — its waterfront airport, the city's planning chief calls the move "the worst planning decision the city ever made."

 
PanAm747
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:10 am

It's too bad.

I thought these will be the wave of the future.

Like Wall Street's heliport taking executives to JFK and EWR.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
gmonney
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:12 am

That is good news, I am like 10 minutes away from the proposed site. I have heard that it will be only regional and small jets coming into Pickering.....What will happen to Buttonville airport.....doesn't that close as well??? That will mean that Toronto has two main airports serving the east and west ends of the ever expanding city. To me that make too much sense. If you look at it, the 407 highway is so close to the proposed site and getting down town from there would be no more than 30 minutes with no traffic and 45-60 with.

I believe there is something regarding the Pickering airport on the gtaa website http://www.gtaa.com

Grant
Drive it like you stole it!
 
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yyz717
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 4:06 am

I think it's bad news. I'm just against destroying transportation infrastructure. The Island Airport serves a useful function as being convenient for downtown travellers and as a traffic valve easing YYZ.

Oh well.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
gmonney
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 4:09 am

Hey Neil,

What can we do, I would love to see the dash-8's in and out of there, but its more praticle to have the two others..

Grant
Drive it like you stole it!
 
CPDC10-30
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 4:12 am

Quite honestly, how much does eight Dash-8-100 flights a day (4 to YUL and 4 to YOW) take the strain off YYZ? That adds up to one A320 to either city. I was hoping for the airport to be expanded before they announced the rail link, but there is little reason now that the problem has been addressed. YYZ has to be one of the largest airports that is the most poorly served by public transit in the world.
 
Stratofish
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 4:23 am

Two questions from one who lives far away but has been there quite often:

1.)
Why is the status quo unacceptable?
I bet you could turn the island airport into black figures if you only wanted to without letting jets use it.

2.)
Is there really a need for an airport at Pickering when there´s Hamilton?


One thing is for sure Toronto will loose a tourist attraction (though not many used it). Seems to be fashion at the moment, just look at the ferris wheel in Paris...

Stratofish
The Metro might be the Sub(optimal)way
 
lymanm
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 5:00 am

What a typically short sighted solution by the Hon. Mr. Collinette. Completely ignoring the general aviation and the corporate travel that YTZ sees everyday...

However, the most important point is that those "frequent users thought to number no more than 20,000" are an irreplaceable force in Toronto's economic engine. Those 20,000 are the CEOs, VPs, CFOs etc etc of Canada wealthiest corporations. I am not from Toronto, but I do realize that a healthy Canadian economy needs to have a healthy Toronto economy. Closing YTZ would have a horrible impact on the city and it's economy.
buhh bye
 
fly_yhm
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 5:30 am

I think the the Government once it does close City center they should use and money that is going towards the new pickering airport towards Hamilton to help with expansion of that airport because once the nessesary infrastructure is fixed up Hamilton will become a good sized airport. Also How far will 150million dollars get you in terms of Terminal expansion or a new terminal?
Where will you spend eternity? He,s more real then you think!!!!!
 
donder10
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 6:13 am

What a shame  Sad Great view of the airport from the CN Tower restauarant.
Last time I was in Toronto they were discussing a rail link from Pearson to down-town?Is this still happening?
Thanks,donder10@LHR
 
vinovalentino
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 7:26 am

I lived in Toronto for eight years and I seem to remember the death knell of the Island Airport being the inability of of jet aircraft (i.e. BAE 146 and later Avro RJs).

A lot of groups (like AIR) opposed the introduction of "jets" into the Island even though the increase in noise was only a couple of decibels above the sound of a DH-8. I am assuming that the runway was long enough to accomodate either type (although I may be wrong).

I love flying into the Island and would surely miss being right downtown when getting off of my flight (albeit from YOW).

Look at London City and its success in attracting European airlines with the BA146/Avro RJ .....



 
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yyz717
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 7:32 am

Actually there are closer to 20 daily DH1 flights/day from YTZ to YUL/YOW/YXU.

Back when City Express was flying, YTZ handled about 600k pax/year....now traffic has dropped by 2/3.

I live at Harbourfront and the airport adds NO NOISE....all the noise is from cars.

YTZ is incredibly convenient for YUL/YOW travel.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Squigee
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 7:36 am

Isn't it government policy to do the opposite of what that idiot says?
Someday, we'll look back at this, laugh nervously, and then change the subject.
 
slawko
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 7:45 am

That stupid dumb ass Collenette does not see the potential of having a downtown airport, and he is giving into the stupid pinko tree huggers that live on the island, YTZ would be a great airport with lots of traffic if it was used and expanded properly, It needs a fix link to the main land, a new terminal building and a runway that is extended out into the lake, so that the landings an take offs occur out further over the water, Pickering is a stupid idea, we have YYZ for the majore traffic, and we need a central airport in the heart of the city to serve the business travellers. If all the corporations with offices down town could move their planes to the island you would have a huge increase in traffic right there. I know that with the proposed development of the dock land it would be loud having planes landing over head on runway 26, but that could be avoided by lengthening the runwya at the other end, displacing the threshold by a few hundred feet, and puting in an IGS like KiTak, you would then have airplanes approaching through the corridor between the portlands and the islands, avoiding major developments. Look at AIr Georgian, they alone could shift most of their traffic over to the island because it is mostly business traffic going to smaller US cities, or US business people comming to Toronto. All that would cost far less then building a new airport in pickering which would serve no purpose as it is not near anything in the city.
"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada
 
Jean Leloup
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 7:49 am

Nice to hear some news of progress with the Pickering Airport, finally. I live very near the site and would love to see construction get started. It's no coincidence at all that the 407 now passes DIRECTLY adjacent to the airport site (this can be seen on maps at the government's page for the lands). the airport will be great for my beloved Durham Region, the town of Pickering (and Uxbridge) NIMBY's really need to get a clue, this airport will not be a nuisance. Currently there is little residential area that would be bothered by the noise, despite what some people seem to think. Idon't want to see YOO close, though.
Stratofish, YHM is NOT an option for people who live to the East/Northeast of Toronto, for whom the New Airport (YPO? YPC?) will be optimal. YHM is just way too far away, though the new highway should help. It takes nearly 2 hours to get to YHM from where i live; it will take 15 minutes to get to the Pickering airport.
Gmonney, what town are you in?
Next flight.... who knows.
 
polaris
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 8:39 am

City Centre: It would be an unfortunate missed opportunity if this airport was to close. This airport should be maintained and improved to handle STOL service into downtown...similar to London (UK) City Airport - as mentioned above. It should be a local airport catering predominantly to the downtown business community. Contrary to "driving" people away, if handled correctly, it should be integrated into the downtown community to attract business and people into the core. Current Air Canada Regional service to City Centre consists of 2 daily flights to London (Ontario), 4 daily flights to Montreal, 8 daily flights to Ottawa.

Buttonville: Same as above but for the expanding head offices in Greater Toronto's northern communities. Witness the success of Bearskin's seven daily flights to Ottawa. They are considering increasing the number of flights to Ottawa plus adding service to Montreal.

Pickering: Construction of this airport is a long way off. These lands are set aside for a reliever airport when the new Pearson reaches capacity. That is quite a few years off.
 
slawko
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 10:54 am

It's a joke that they want to start plans on a new airport, when YYZ is virtually empty. After 11am you can hear the wind blowing through terminal 1 and 3!!
If things dont change they will be able to take down all three terminals when the new one is build next year.
"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada
 
Trvlr
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 1:45 pm

On a side note about the article, I totally agree with San Diego's city planner. Expanding SAN is a suicide move, which will kill the city's economy in 30 years if no suitable new site for an airport is found.

Aaron G.
 
yow
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 1:48 pm

Closing YTZ would be such a huge mistake. Keeping it open and extending the main runway to allow RJ ops would be an excellent idea. If people only realized that the CRJ is quieter than a DH1. Like slawko said look at how successful JV's YOW-YKZ route has been.

Building Pickering, would equate to building another MIRABEL!

Instead of Pickering why not expand YOO (Oshawa) and bring scheduled flights back to that airport. Hopefully JV might do this as well eventually.
 
Mark_D.
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:15 pm

 Sad I feel bad for the city of Toronto, I think this a totally bone-headed cave-in maneuver just to appease a few possibly-manic developer types wanting to convert every last square metre of city-center area that they conceivably can, into bankable real estate projects to pad their own accounts.

Build the fanciest rail-link possible to YYZ, it's still going to be a real hike to downtown. Especially if there's a technical or some other problem with the line, someplace, making it even more of a hassle. YTZ is a jewel that literally dozens of major world cities would give their proverbial eye-teeth for, it's completely shortsighted to shut it down, even if a several-million-passengers/yr airport is slated for Pickering, down the road. A few hundred million dollars to bring the runways to RJ-capable lengths, and work for a small terminal and link bridge to the mainland, it's basically peanuts comparatively, all very doable and would've been just great, for the city.

So it's sad to hear them announcing this retrograde death-knell, putting passenger air-travel farther from the city rather than closer. Toronto'll be the poorer-off for it, very sad to hear.  Sad
 
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yyz717
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:31 pm

I thought the Ont govt just gave the Pickering land to developers for the new town Seaton in lieu of land on the Oakridges Moraine that will now be saved? Hence, Pickering cant become an airport now? Am I incorrect?

Neil
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
watewate
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:35 pm

Did anyone else read Fred Lazar's article on downtown airport? Not surprisingly, he's a pro-CYTZ with interesting arguments. However, any decision should be withheld until docklands development plan's future is certain. If the development gets the go ahead, any expansion at the airport won't happen for reasons mentioned by other users.
I agree with other users here. Give me a high-speed link to YYZ over YTZ anyday. If they can make Union-YYZ in 25 minutes or less on train, it would be competitive to rowing your way over to YTZ.  Big grin
 
donder10
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:39 pm

Union-YYZ would be great!I'm surprised this hasnt been done already though.YYZ is a MAJOR international airport.
 
polaris
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Thu Jan 24, 2002 6:51 am

Yyz717: I thought the Ont govt just gave the Pickering land to developers for the new town Seaton in lieu of land on the Oakridges Moraine that will now be saved? Hence, Pickering cant become an airport now? Am I incorrect?

Originally, enough land was set aside for a major international airport at the Pickering site. This was later scaled down to plans for a reliever airport for Pearson when that airport reaches capacity. This plan still stands.

Excess lands were then set aside for parkland and housing. Thing is, people buying houses on that land should be made aware that they will have an airport as a neighbour some day.



 
gmonney
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Jean Leloup

Thu Jan 24, 2002 7:07 am

I live in Markham, pretty close to the new site, and you live?

I just want to see YYZ built and run efficiently, then worry about overflow. You will not see any widebodies in this pickering site. Just a few small ones.....and they have to have a link to the 407, direct and it will be a good airport

Grant
Drive it like you stole it!
 
Jean Leloup
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Thu Jan 24, 2002 8:39 am

Grant, i live in Goodwood, just NE of Stouffville, due north of the airport land about 10km.
Next flight.... who knows.
 
Red Panda
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Thu Jan 24, 2002 9:12 am

That's not a bad news if there will be an express railway carrying pax from YYZ to dtwn Toronto within 20mins. As the new YYZ terminal ready for operations, then we should fully utilize it.
Also, Buttomville arpt in Markham may have more flights if YTZ really closing.

just my view
r panda
 
gmonney
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RE: Jean Leloup

Fri Jan 25, 2002 12:20 am

I know some people that live in goodwood, so you are about 15 mintues away from me. Thats cool to know people that live close. I beleive we will loose a nice golf course in the construction. Glen Cedars is in part of the development I have heard, it won't be like a WoodBine deal at YYZ....!!!!!!

So is the land going to be south of Bloomington and around that York-Durham line rd. I think its like town line 25 or something like that?

Let me know if you can... Thanks

Grant
Drive it like you stole it!
 
bluewhite
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Fri Jan 25, 2002 1:20 am

Real shame - as I went across to it on the ferry when I last visited Toronto - 1993 I think.

Nice cosy airport and damn convenient!

BW
 
crj-900
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Fri Jan 25, 2002 2:13 am

"pinko tree huggers" no wonder this planet is toast.

I love aviation, but there is a point when environmental issues should be addressed. Expanding the city center involves extending the runways into an already over polluted harbor. That doesn't mean I think the idea of Pickering airport is the solution either. I think its time Hamilton got it chance to shine.

Its about time someone put the environment before the economy.
crj-900.....pinko tree huggin' pilot.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Fri Jan 25, 2002 2:25 am

Hey CRJ-900....you're incorrect about the inner harbour. I live at harbourfront and the noise from the airport is minimal. A noise study was done a few years ago and found that only 3% of local 'noise' came from the island airport in terms of flight arrivals/departures. YTZ could easily handle 3x the current pax load with current infrastructure.....the current Airt Ontario operation is simply not as large as the previous City Express operation.

As for the harbour being polluted...again, incorrect. The Toronto inner/outer harbour are cleaner than they've been in about 80 years. Lake sturgeon are migrating back into LO and a 6-foot one was found in the inner harbour last year. I am also an avid dinghy sailor (Albacore class) and have raced at the Canadians and the Worlds. I do all my training in strong winds in the inner/outer harbour and I get dumped out of my boat many times/years. The water is very clean. I wouldn't swim in it otherwise.

Neil


I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
crj-900
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Fri Jan 25, 2002 2:50 am

Cleaner than its been in "80 years" in still no excuse to begin destroying it again. Also that does not mean that it is as clean as it should be.
My major compliant was not about the noise pollution as it was against the NECESSARY extension of the runways (into the harbor) to accommodate the rj traffic.
crj-900
 
Mark_D.
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Fri Jan 25, 2002 3:21 am

Crj-900

Y'know the landfill extensions (probably on either side, say 500m or so on the harbour side and maybe 200 or 300, on the lake side) wouldn't exactly be so polluting, in and of itself. Okay they'd need to look aftern glycol runoff when the planes get deiced but in a scenario where there are, say, 75 or so RJ plane movements daily, I think they could easily handle it, especially since they'd probably do that work on the island side of the main runway, in any event. All other emissions --including noise -- would just not be that big a problem, especially relatively-speaking (y'know, the Gardiner's nearly right next door, on the mainland).

Plus that water doesn't seem that dirty, even in the way less environmentally-conscious days of the early 80s, it was still pretty clean-looking to me, lots of people using the islands in the summertime and even going in the water, for instance.

I think if there is an 'environmental lobby' with this whole issue it's probably more accurately called a local NIMBY movement, from propertyowners who are fearful of the unknown (in lowered resale value), or from local businesspeople who stand to gain from more development of the port lands and who maybe use environmental concerns against airport expansion as a more saleable PR pitch than just a simple pro-development stance, in itself.

In any event, I read a blurb where they want to put in that YYZ rail line in the next 3 to 4 years, so that timeframe alone suggests it`s going to be not going to be anything fancy, in either rolling stock, or routing. They're just going to beef up the Malton-Union Station GO Train line, is what it looks like to me. Not that big a deal (and travel times already about a half-hour between those two stations, already).

And it still doesn't negate the utility of something awesome like YTZ with a several-tens-of-million-dollar link bridge, across that short channel. You could even walk the mile and a half on a summer's day from the terminal to downtown (University and Queen, let's say), if you didn't have anything more than a briefcase to carry. It would be great. No matter how nice and efficient T1-New at YYZ would ever turn out to be, when that gets done.
 
JAT
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RE: Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ) To Close

Fri Jan 25, 2002 6:41 am

This is really a shame. Collinette and his plan seem to compleatly ignore the general aviation aspect of the island airport. I plan on taking flying lessons there because it's so convinient. I mean it's five minutes from the streetcar stop! Imagine taking public transit to Buttonville for flying lessons!!!

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