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Friday, 26 April 2013

Airport relocation was considered in the 70's

As I mentioned in my original post, the idea of relocating the Toronto Island airport to the end of the Leslie Spit (Outer Harbour East Headland) is not entirely new.

Over four years ago I had a brief email exchange with the Toronto Port Authority after I suggested the idea of moving the airport. Lisa Raitt was head of the TPO at the time, and her fantastic reply (excerpt below) gave some great background... despite the fact that I addressed my original email to 'Mr. Rait" :)

One thing that has definitely changed since the early 70's is the topology of the end of the Leslie Spit. I found this historical image on the website for the Toronto Portlands Company and it shows the Outer Harbour East Headland as a simple breakwater.

The effort required back then to relocate the airport to that location would have been huge. It would certainly have been much more work than relocating it now. And now we have the decrepit grain elevators to knock down to use them for landfill. I suspect they were full of, you know, grain, in 1971.

----------  excerpt of message ----------

In the late 1960's and early 1970's the Toronto Harbour Commission (now known at the Toronto Port Authority) proposed a new site for the Island Airport - the Leslie Street Spit as it was being constructed by the THC.  The site was thought to meet the airport's basic parameters - close proximity to the city centre with room for expansion; flight paths sufficiently removed from residential areas; and operations away from aircraft on approach to Pearson.  Several years of uncertainty ensued, as the fate of the Island Airport hinged on a number of multi-level government investigations conducted in the 1970s.  All aspects of aviation and non-aviation use for the airport were examined but few recommendations were made.  But as time marched on, the discussion of moving the airport faded away.  Instead the federal government, City and THC entered into an agreement in 1983 which governs the operations of the Island Airport in its present location until 2033. 


1 comment:

  1. The time has come to revisit this option whole heartily. It solves many of the out standing issues that have plagued our city for years. If the residents around Billy Bishop need relief from Airport congestion then so do the those who live in MALTON. lets spread the effects to the east and west for fairness sake.