Poll Position: Plurality Prefers Gardiner East Removal
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Poll Position: Plurality Prefers Gardiner East Removal

Among decided respondents in a new poll, 45 per cent prefer Gardiner East removal over 33 per cent for maintaining it mostly as is.

Thinking of the plan to tear down the Gardiner east of Jarvis and replace it with a boulevard and the plan to mostly rebuild the Gardiner east of Jarvis as it is now, which do you prefer?

Boulevard: 45%

Rebuild: 33%

Neither: 11%

Not Sure: 12%

Poll taken: May 28, 2015
Sample size: 2,415
Margin of Error: ±1.99%, 19 times out of 20
Methodology: Interactive voice response telephone survey (includes both landlines and cell phones)
Conducted by: Mainstreet Technologies

NOTES: According to a poll by Mainstreet Technologies, a plurality of Torontonians prefer removing the Gardiner in order to build a boulevard over rebuilding the expressway mostly as is.

A new poll from Mainstreet Technologies suggests that mostly keeping the Gardiner as is—the so-called Hybrid option preferred by Mayor John Tory—may not be the political winner it was once perceived to be.

Among the 2,415 respondents in the interactive voice response (IVR) poll, 45 per cent preferred the option to remove the Gardiner east of Jarvis Street, and 33 per cent preferred to keep it mostly as is, an option that would re-build the section of the Gardiner with an additional on-ramp. Another 23 per cent were either unsure or liked neither option. The poll noted that the option to keep it mostly as is would cost more but would provide better commuting times for drivers, and that the removal option would cost less and unlock more economic development opportunities.

The removal option has seemed to gain momentum in recent weeks, with prominent city staff and Torontonians throwing their support behind the plan to build a boulevard in the Gardiner’s place. This includes strong support from Chief City Planner Jennifer Keesmaat, and a staff report from the Medical Officer of Health that, from a health perspective, strongly suppoorts removal. Additional support for removal will come at a press conference this morning organized by one of Tory’s deputy mayors, Pam McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale). Expected to attend and voice their support for building a boulevard are former mayor David Crombie and Ryerson president Sheldon Levy. Both endorsed Tory during the mayoral campaign.

Mainstreet Technologies also included separate questions on the approval for the maintain and removal options. Sixty per cent of respondents approved of the removal option in one of those polls, while in the other poll 54 per cent approved of the option to keep it as is, suggesting that some respondents approve of both options, but prefer removal between the two choices.

Mainstreet also polled John Tory’s approval rating, which is at 63 per cent. The mayor’s approval rating has remained steady over the past three Mainstreet polls.

Gardiner East Poll–Mainstreet Technologies


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