Canadian Consulting Engineer

Tunnel will replace ferry to Toronto’s downtown airport

Travellers using Toronto's downtown airport will be able to get to it by an underground tunnel, instead of having to park and take a short ferry ride across Lake Ontario.

August 15, 2011   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Travellers using Toronto’s downtown airport will be able to get to it by an underground tunnel, instead of having to park and take a short ferry ride across Lake Ontario.

In July, Toronto city council signed an agreement allowing the Toronto Port Authority to build an underground pedestrian tunnel below the Western Gap to Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island.

As part of the deal, the city will be able to use the tunnel to carry water and sewage pipes — saving $10 million in costs.

Dillon Consulting did the reference design and environmental assessment report for the tunnel. It will be approximately 30 metres below the surface, approximately 7.5 metres wide and 4 metres high. The project is currently undergoing a federal environmental assessment, but construction is expected to start in 2012. It is estimated to cost a total of $60 million.

The historically designated original terminal on the downtown airport is to be preserved and transferred to Downsview Park in the north end of the city.

About a million people now use the Billy Bishop Airport to take flights from downtown Toronto, making it Canada’s 17th busiest airport in 2010. Porter Airlines is the main tenant.

Eight years ago designs for a bridge across the gap were unveiled, but public and political opposition scuttled the plan.

The Canada Malting site — a landmark of massive concrete silos along the western waterfront — will be used as a staging area during the construction.

 Ferry to the Toronto Island. The ferry ride is less than two minutes, but sometimes passengers have to line up for much longer to get on the crowded decks.

Photo Secondarywaltz, Wikimedia Commons.


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