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City Hall Hears From the Public on Porter’s Expansion Plans

Citizens share their views on Porter's proposal for the island airport with council's executive committee.

At City Hall today, council’s executive committee convenes to discuss the contentious expansion proposal from Porter Airlines. The airline, which operates from the island’s Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, wants to introduce jets at the site to fly to more destinations. In order to do this, the airport’s runway will have to be extended 200 metres on both the east and west side, and the tripartite agreement that governs the site will have to be reopened.

One hundred and ninety people signed up to make deputations to the committee, which will hear them until 7:00 p.m. in council chambers. The committee will then decide what to do with the staff report [PDF] on the subject, and could send it to council to be voted on as early as April.

This timeline appears to be important for the Porter supporters. A Toronto Star report claims that Porter faces its first payment deadline for the series of jets in April, and will not proceed unless it gets approval from council. But it’s an open question whether council will approve the request: most councillors in the old city of Toronto strongly oppose the move, and some more conservative councillors like John Parker (Ward 26, Don Valley West) and Peter Milczyn (Ward 5, Etobicoke-Lakeshore) either oppose the effort or are skeptical of it.

Despite this, Porter has some high-profile supporters, like Rob Ford and Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly (Ward 40, Scarborough Agincourt). Mayoral candidate Karen Stintz recently changed her position on the issue from opposing jets to approving with conditions, which is also the stance of fellow candidate David Soknacki and the position put forward by the Toronto Region Board of Trade. Olivia Chow opposes the expansion, and John Tory released a statement today saying more questions need to be answered before a decision can be made.


  • Don Rhodes

    I’ve been watching the stream of the executive committee since it started…
    It’s pretty sad and disappointing to see Toronto City Council acting like a bunch of children. Heckling and talking over the speakers and completely dismissing anything they say. No wonder nothing ever gets done in this city…

    Grow up council

  • DK

    By the praise of everything holy, please vote to allow these jets.

    They will be a god send.

    • perigrinuseram

      Not to the thousands of people who bought condos on the waterfront, they won’t. Expanding the airport once means that it will keep expanding…goodbye inner harbour, goodbye Toronto Island, and goodbye waterfront development. It’s a really, really stupid idea.

      • rich1299

        I agree but lets not forget all the people who don’t live anywhere near it and tourists to the city who enjoy spending time at the waterfront or on the islands. Plus the lower flight path needed for take offs and landings will mean increased noise levels all along the waterfront from south Etobicoke right through to Scarborough.

    • dsmithhfx

      To whom?

    • OgtheDim

      This is a religious thing for you?

  • Notcleverguy

    I’m not for the idea, without extending two runways to the length needed which isn’t possible, but what they would have to do in order to serve more destinations the plan makes no sense at all. What is needed is a far more accessible way to get to Pearson.

    • lovetoronto

      UP Express – Union Pearson Express will be completed in 2015. 25 min trip from downtown to the Airport. Four stops, Union Station, Dundas West/Bloor, Weston/Lawrence Ave, Terminal 1

  • DK

    I live at 36 Stadium Road.
    The closest possible residence to the airport. Have lived here going on 10 years now.
    In no way shape or form does the airport hinder my lifestyle. Nor will it.
    It will only make my life better.

    • dsmithhfx


    • estta

      I’m also curious as to how it will make your life better.

    • OpportKnocks

      So you can just walk a few steps and take the Porter ferry to work…

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        The ferry will be replaced by a tunnel by the end of the year.

    • lovetoronto

      Open your mind. This is not about you only. This is not about our generation only. This is not about the me, me, me aspect. This is about what’s best for our City as a whole. What’s best for our Waterfront. Present and Future. My and your kids, grand kids.

  • Lloyd_Davis

    “Mayoral candidate Karen Stintz recently changed her position on the issue…”

    Knock me over with a feather.

  • rich1299

    We can have a great new waterfront and port lands for Toronto or we can
    have jets flying out of the island airport. The TPA wants to see the cap
    on the number of flights raised as traffic mitigation plans are carried
    out landside to their eventual goal of having no such caps at all. The
    sort of expansion envisioned by the TPA would very adversely affect all
    other uses including the port lands developments, an area the size of
    Toronto’s current downtown.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    How hard would it be to take two of these jet engines, anchor them on the runway and switch them on, then take sound readings from all over the harbour area to once and for all settle the noise issue?

    • dsmithhfx

      Because that doesn’t replicate the sound of dozens of these aircraft per day (plus all the others) taking off and landing, in all weather conditions. Oh wait, just go to Pearson…

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        I would… if only it were as easy to get to as the island.

        • dsmithhfx

          Trust me, you don’t want Pearson, or even ‘Pearson-lite’ on the island.