| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Development News

PortsToronto releases first annual sustainability report

Private vehicle dropoffs and pick-ups at Billy Bishop City Airport has dropped by more than 40 per cent since 2012 as the number of people walking, biking and taking transit has grown to 37 per cent, up from 27 per cent just three years ago.

That shift has occurred even the airport’s overall passenger traffic has increased from 2.3 million in 2012 to an estimated 2.5 million last year, according to PortsToronto’s first annual sustainability report. The document looks at how the government authority is doing in environmental protection, community engagement and economic performance at its properties including he Island airport, the Outer Harbour Marina and Terminals 51 and 52 in the portlands.

“The City of Toronto recognizes that rapid residential and business development in the area, with no significant improvement in infrastructure, roads and transit, has led to issues of congestion and poor traffic flow,” states the report, which was published this week. “As such, the City of Toronto began work in 2015 on a Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan to study improvements that can be made to ensure that this mixed-use community continues to thrive. For its part, Billy Bishop Airport continues to encourage its travellers to walk, bike, shuttle or take transit to the airport and has put measures in place to encourage this shift. This includes the addition of a fourth shuttle bus in 2015 to make this option even more convenient.”

Some of the changes in travel patterns might be attributed to the opening of the new pedestrian tunnel to the airport, which replaces the chore of taking the ferry with a six-minute journey beneath Lake Ontario. The $82.5-million tunnel opened in July and as well as improving flow, includes new water and sewer mains to the Toronto Islands, “saving Toronto taxpayers an estimated $10 million in duplicate construction costs,” states the report. “The new city water and sewage mains now provide reliable services to the Toronto Islands and replace existing pipes that date back to the 1950s.”

Other tidbits from the report: PortsToronto dredged 40,000 tonnes of material from the mouth of the Don River last year, up from 33,000 tones last year. The agency generated more than $8 million in revenue for governments last year. An engine maintenance run-up enclosure intended to reduce the noise impact of the airport is expected to be built in 2016.

A less quantitative effort saw the agency work with Evergreen Canada to green playground spaces at six waterfront and downtown primary schools. “Many of the schools selected for the program are located in high-traffic neighbourhoods in the downtown core where there is a limited ability to connect with nature due to a lack of greenspace. The projects supported through PortsToronto‘s contribution to this program range from removing asphalt and planting native plants and vegetable gardens, to creating stone seating and establishing shade trees to enable outdoor classroom experiences, to a water wall that will teach children about the properties of water,” states the report.

Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: PortsToronto
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts

Related Content