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But after several more speeches the debate was set aside until Thursday.
Councillors must decide whether to tear down the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis Street in favour of a large “boulevard,” or go with mayor John Tory’s “hybrid” vision for the roadway, which would take down a small section of the elevated roadway but maintain much of what already exists today.
Wednesday’s council debate began behind closed doors, but moved into the council chambers this afternoon.
But Coun. Frank Di Giorgio said the idea of a grand boulevard replacing the Gardiner is a dream for another day.
Colle, the Ward 15 councillor, plans to ask city staff to study the options when it comes to selling off or leasing the entire Gardiner Expressway, which stretches from Highway 427 to the Don Valley Parkway.
“We need to do something bold,” Colle told CBC Radio’s Here and Now about the need to generate transit dollars in the city.
Colle said the money would be spent on:
Colle is the latest councillor to pitch an alternative idea as the Gardiner East debate begins at city hall Wednesday. Previously, Coun. Jim Karygiannis said he wants the city to consider burying the eastern portion of the roadway – an option city staff has not put forward.
And Coun. John Campbell, who had been undecided until today, suggested whatever option wins will need to be modified by council.
Campbell told Tory this morning that he considers the hybrid option “untenable” though expressed concerns about the removal option as well.
“I expect tonnes of motions and a long, long debate,” Colle said.
City planner Jennifer Keesmaat, who has been a vocal proponent of the remove option, was one of the first city staffers to answer questions on Wednesday — perhaps to the dismay of Tory, who had criticized her choice to speak out publicly on the issue.