Toronto Island Airport

So Toronto City Council voted last night to allow a bridge between the Toronto Island Airport and the mainland. Existing access is via a ferry across the western gap; a (possibly small and vocal) group has been arguing for at least 20 years that building a bridge would improve utilisation of the airport and revitalise our city.

Personally, I’m skeptical on that particular rationalisation. This only works if you can fly to other downtown airports in nearby cities; so far that’s New York, Boston, and Chicago (Ottawa and Montreal don’t really have downtown airports, but I guess we could count them too.

The Toronto Board of Trade apparently surveyed their members on this topic, and concluded that they don’t really care about the Island Airport; what they want is fast access to Pearson International Airport (preferrably via train from downtown). I think this is the right answer; many other international cities have direct rail links from outlying airports to downtown; in my experience that’s a wonderful way to travel.

But that’s not really why I’m ranting this morning. The part of the debate that makes me gag is this:

The anti-airport faction is mostly downtown residents, who are annoyed by the noise and pollution caused by the airport. I’m sorry, but the airport was there long before most of the residents involved moved in. They knew the airport was there, and they bought houses and condominiums downtown (and especially on the waterfront) anyway. At the time that most of those condo towers were under construction, airport traffic was about five times what it is now (400,000 passengers per year vs. 80,000 today).

It’s generally a good thing for airports to reduce their noise and pollution, but
I don’t believe that people have a right to move into an area with an existing, functioning airport, and then start complaining about that airport. People have been buying houses near airports and then complaining about it for decades. There is a reason those houses are cheap! Don’t buy a residence near an operating airport, you morons!

posted at 12:02 pm on Friday, November 29, 2002 in General | Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Mike says:

    As you may know our Mayor, Saddam Daley, recently shut down our lake front airport, Meigs, by attacking at night with bulldozers which have ripped large “X’s” into the concrete runway.

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