Presently, the only public access to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on Toronto Island from the Toronto mainland is via the Toronto Port Authority (TPA)-operated Toronto Island Ferry, with a traversing distance of only 122 m (400 ft).

Ferry to Toronto Island Airport

Ferry to Toronto Island Airport

The TPA, a Federal public authority, operates the 200-passenger ferry Marilyn Bell I and the 150-passenger David Hornell.

After three years of discussions, the Toronto City Council and the Toronto Port Authority (TPA) has reached a Master Agreement regarding TPA’s proposed pedestrian tunnel, directly across the Western Channel, between the Toronto mainland and the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on Toronto Island.

Toronto Agrees on a Pedestrian Tunnel to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Which is Seen Looking From the Southwest

Toronto Agrees on a Pedestrian Tunnel to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Which is Seen Looking From the Southwest

The tunnel will not be built on or over City of Toronto land, meaning that City approval is not required.

The TPA also announced that:

  • An opinion poll (Ipsos Reid. “TPA: Tracking Study 2010” pdf) conducted on behalf of the TPA suggested that “a majority (56%) of Torontonians support a pedestrian tunnel to the island airport.”

Please click here for info on certain flight services from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

The highlights and benefits of this Master Agreement on TPA’s proposed pedestrian tunnel include:

  • Toronto Port Authority’s proposed pedestrian tunnel would accommodate the City’s own infrastructure upgrade to water mains to the Toronto Islands and:
    • secure long-term water supply and sanitary sewer service to all Toronto Island residents and businesses;
    • “the City estimates that it will save taxpayers $10 million on its own Island watermain and sewage project, and
    • avoid duplication of costly and disruptive construction work in downtown Toronto.”
  • TPA waived standard commercial fees for use of the tunnel, which represents an additional $5 million in savings to the City over the next 20 years.
  • The City declares surplus and conveys to the TPA a dockwall easement (City owned land officially designated as Parks and Open Space).
  • The TPA conveys an easement to the City to satisfy the Official Plan requirements.
  • The City enters into a temporary (3 years) lease with the TPA to allow for the use of part of the Canada Malting Lands for construction staging, as well as taxi staging and parking, allowing the temporary removal of the taxis off Eireann Quay and thus relieve taxi congestion at Eireann Quay .
  • City staff expedites the rezoning of 450 Lake Shore Avenue West to allow for additional parking/taxi staging.
  • The City receives the conveyance of a sliver of land adjacent to the road allowance near Ashbridges Bay.
  • The Toronto Port Authority has offered to relocate and reassemble the Toronto Island Airport Terminal Building (known as the Administration Building or “Terminal A”) securely at no cost to the City:
    • The original terminal building was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1989.
    • Toronto Port Authority will transfer Toronto Island Airport Terminal Building to Downsview Park.
    • City of Toronto  will assist in efforts to have a third party own and operate the building in a manner consistent with its Heritage status.

Author: timescan from Toronto, Canada. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (aka Toronto City Centre Airport).

The federal government has gazetted (July 2, 2011) a draft regulation that would, if approved, expressly permit the construction of a pedestrian tunnel.

So, stay tuned for tunnel news!

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

News Release

July 14, 2011

Agreement reached on pedestrian tunnel to island airport

Toronto City Council today authorized the City to enter into a Master Agreement with the Toronto Port Authority (TPA), which will facilitate construction of a pedestrian tunnel between the Toronto mainland and the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on Toronto Island. A City watermain project, which may be completed as part of the pedestrian tunnel, would provide a secure, long-term water supply and sanitary sewer service to all Toronto Island residents and businesses and save the City millions of dollars.

“The pedestrian tunnel to the island airport will provide a greater level of service for airport users and will be delivered at a significantly lower cost, saving taxpayers money,” said Mayor Rob Ford. “The City expects to save more than $10 million on its water infrastructure as part of this project and the Toronto Port Authority expects to save approximately $2.5 million to $3.5 million on the pedestrian tunnel portion.”

“The City will continue to work collaboratively with the Toronto Port Authority to make the pedestrian tunnel project a reality,” said City Manager Joe Pennachetti. “City staff have worked diligently to reach this milestone.”

To implement the pedestrian tunnel project, Council has authorized as part of the agreement that:
o    The City declare surplus and convey to the TPA a dockwall easement (City owned land officially designated as Parks and Open Space).
o    The TPA convey an easement to the City to satisfy the Official Plan requirements.
o    The City enter into a temporary lease with the TPA to allow for the use of part of the Canada Malting Lands for construction staging, taxi staging and parking.
o    City staff expedite the rezoning of 450 Lake Shore Avenue West to allow for additional parking/taxi staging.
o    The City receive the conveyance of a sliver of land adjacent to the road allowance near Ashbridges Bay.

The agreement also includes a provision relating to the relocation of the Toronto Island Airport Terminal Building (known as the Administration Building or “Terminal A”) for future use. The City of Toronto recognizes the importance of preserving the building as a Heritage structure and will assist in efforts to have a third party own and operate the building in a manner consistent with its Heritage status. The Toronto Port Authority has offered to relocate and reassemble the building securely at no cost to the City.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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