The Gardiner in Perspective

Given the recent news about the Gardiner, we thought it could be productive to step back and put in perspective the Gardiner's place in the heart of our city.

Reviewing the figures from Waterfront Toronto's 2004 study, it would appear that the Gardiner's prominent location and visibility give it a disproportionate place in our collective imagination.

According to Waterfront Toronto's study, it delivers less than 9% of the people that work in Toronto's downtown - about 28,000 people. This is dwarfed by the number of people that arrive by TTC - 135,000 people - less than the number of people that take local roads - 92,000, and less than the number of people that arrive by GO Transit - 45,000.

One thing that the 2004 study didn't consider was people that either walk or bike to work. According to the 2006 Census data, 186,305 people live in wards 20, 27 and 28. Of that group, 63,624 people travel to work by means other than cars or transit.

Additionally, the recent condo boom has added another 38,288 people since 2006.

All of this begs the question: if we are willing to spend half a billion dollars for 28,000 people on the Gardiner, are we prepared to make a similar investment for the majority that use transit, walk or cycle to work?

Dowload a high-res pdf of the info-graphic here. (Click on 'file' and 'save'.)

A note on method and sources;

Volumes for TTC, GO and auto traffic come from Waterfront Toronto's 2004 Technical Briefing - Gardiner/Lakeshore Corridor (page 24). They represent the AM Peak Period (3 hours). The gross numbers have been allocated to directions proportionally, based on the TTC's 2012 Downtown Rapid Transit Expansion Study (exhibit 1-8).  Active transportation numbers are based on 2006 census data for wards 20, 27 and 28 (which generally correspond to the boundaries for the Central Area Cordon used in the 2004 Technical Briefing. Population increase numbers are based on 2011 census data for the federal ridings of Trinity-Spadina, and Toronto Centre. ( Note: Trinity Spadina also includes ward 19).