In 2017, the City and Waterfront Toronto completed a study to determine the future of the elevated Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard East corridor, from approximately Lower Jarvis Street to just east of the Don Valley Parkway at Logan Avenue.

The Hybrid was selected as the preferred solution and endorsed by Toronto City Council. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change subsequently approved the EA in November 2017. The design for this solution includes:

  • maintaining the existing elevated expressway between Lower Jarvis Street and Cherry Street
  • removing the existing Gardiner-DVP connection
  • rebuilding the connection along an alignment closer to the rail corridor
  • reconstructing Lake Shore Boulevard East in a new alignment closer to the rail corridor
  • widening the Metrolinx Don River/DVP rail bridge, removing the Logan Street ramps and adding two ramps in Keating Channel Precinct
  • widening the Lake Shoreā€“Don River bridge to permit a new left-turn onto the DVP as well as pedestrian and cycling facilities on the bridge

In 2013, the City embarked on a robust maintenance program to keep the entire expressway in a state of good repair. Toronto City Council endorsed a plan to spend about $500 million on road rehabilitation work between 2013 and 2022.

Five goals were developed to guide the Gardiner Expressway & Lake Shore Boulevard Reconfiguration Environmental Assessment (EA) and Integrated Urban Design Study which the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto undertook in 2009 to help determine the future of the easterly section of the expressway running east of Jarvis Street to approximately Logan Avenue:

  1. Revitalize the Waterfront
  2. Reconnect the City with the Lake
  3. Balance Modes of Travel
  4. Achieve Sustainability
  5. Create Value

The alternative solutions considered as part of the study included:

  • Maintain the elevated expressway
  • Improve the urban fabric while maintaining the existing expressway
  • Replace with a new above or below grade expressway
  • Remove the elevated expressway and build a new boulevard
  • Hybrid (option combines maintain, replace and remove alternatives)

Alternatives were evaluated by four lenses: Urban Design, Transportation and Infrastructure, Environment and Economics.

While the study included a comprehensive review of both regional and local traffic impacts, the approach of the study assessed the future of the Gardiner East in the overall context of creating a better city.

The study area is shown below and includes the easternmost portion of the Gardiner Expressway. This is the 2.4 kilometre section of road east of Jarvis Street to approximately Logan Avenue.

A map showing downtown Toronto from Bathurst street in the west to Woodbine avenue in the east. A portion of downtown - from Spadina Avenue in the west to Woodbine Avenue in the east, and Dundas Street East in the north to the Portlands in the south is highlighted in yellow to show the Transportation System Study area. A smaller portion of the map - from Yonge street in the west to Leslie street in the east, and King Street in the north to Commissioners street to the south is highlighted in orange to show the Environmental Assessment Study area.
Click image to enlarge.

April 2016

On April 1, 2016, Toronto City Council approved Hybrid 3 as the preferred alternative solution in the study.

January 2017

The study report was submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change for review and approval on January 27, 2017.

March 2017

As required under the Act, the EA report was available for public review and comment from January 27, 2017 to March 17, 2017.

July 2017

Second public comment period on Gardiner East EA closed July 28, 2017.

November 2017

The Environmental Assessment for the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard East Reconfiguration was approved by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change on November 22, 2017.