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Western Waterfront Master Plan

Other than architectural-school fantasizing, have there *ever* been plans to literally span Humber Bay, as opposed to the mouth of the Humber?
 
This would probably be cheap...

blur_building.jpg
what/where is this?
*edit* ah I get it, you must be mocking this idea as a bridge to nowhere

Other than architectural-school fantasizing, have there *ever* been plans to literally span Humber Bay, as opposed to the mouth of the Humber?
I knew I saw it in the newspaper a few years back about tunnelling under Humber Bay, but I didnt' know the bridge idea had actually been suggested before too: http://www.gettorontomoving.ca/scarboroughexpy.html
In the early 1990's, a group of students from the Ontario College of Art revived the lake tunnel idea, still preferred by some downtown councillors, by designing a tunnel under Humber Bay for the western section of the Gardiner, stretching from Park Lawn Road to the C.N.E. Grounds. The existing section of the expressway around Humber Bay would be removed and replaced by new parks and beaches to connect High Park with the waterfront. The expressway would be placed in a pre-cast tunnel placed at the bottom of the lake. The students held a contest for the best design and an award was given by politicians who were tunnel proponents. However, engineers had rejected the tunnel idea on cost grounds, stating that it was far too expensive. A Riverdale engineer, Kevin Walters, suggested, as early as 1985, that since the Scarborough Expressway was now defunct, a lake route was the only way to go. He stated that a landfill causeway and tunnelling was too expensive and disruptive, but a trestle-style bridge, similar to those built off the coast of Florida, could easily and inexpensively be built along the Toronto waterfront. He suggested using this bridging technology for almost the entire route. He would utilize the existing elevated Gardiner Expressway through downtown because an inexpensive bridge could not be built across the harbour. His idea would construct a bridge across Humber Bay to eliminate the need to widen the western Gardiner, called the Humber Bayway, and to construct a bridge offshore from the Scarborough Bluffs to connect the eastern Gardiner with Highway 401, known as the Offshore Expressway or Offshore Extension. The route would have twin four lane bridges that would be 5 metres (15 feet) above the water level. Some sections could rise to 20 metres (60 feet) to allow boats to pass. The route would be paid for by tolls and the sale of Scarborough Expressway lands.
I don't necessarily agree with the entire plan being suggested there (eg the Scarborough offshore causeway thing) and I don't want this thread turned into another "build highways or not" debate, I am merely bringing up the idea of a trans-Humber Bay bridge, for transportation as well as iconic purposes (the bridge doesn't even have to be a road [only] bridge). And I would definitely want a real bridge (eg cable-stayed) rather than a trestle causeway.
My inspiration is actually from this proposed bridge in HK (yellow portion on map):
TKObridge.jpg

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which is intended to bypass one of its eastern suburbs to an area of new development. The situation is different but comparable -- both will be ~2 km (ours could be up to 3-4 km depending on the implementation) and bypass an ~1 km radius arc.
 
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The only problem I see with a bridge going across Humber Bay is that it only saves roughly 500m-1km off your trip.

However, it would be nice to have a San Fran style bridge going across for that iconic value.
 
However, it would be nice to have a San Fran style bridge going across for that iconic value.
Exactly. And also, if according to the old plans, one advantage would be moving the expressway away from land and potentially "reconnecting" High Park and neighbourhoods like Roncesvalles back to the waterfront (and it doesn't have the problem of the wider rail corridor remaining as in downtown).
 
Exactly. And also, if according to the old plans, one advantage would be moving the expressway away from land and potentially "reconnecting" High Park and neighbourhoods like Roncesvalles back to the waterfront (and it doesn't have the problem of the wider rail corridor remaining as in downtown).

All the low flat land south of the railway is landfill into Humber Bay. In other words, artificial. Grenadier Pond was separated from Lake Ontario by only a sandbar. A narrow 2 lane Lake Shore Road shared the sandbar with a 2 track Grand Trunk Railway.
However, when the Queensway was built to the north of the railway, they took the land from High Park and filled in some ponds and the south end of Grenadier Pond in the process.

The photos below show how High Park looked originally with a level railway and narrow Lake Shore Road with a single radial streetcar track.
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ser376%5Cfl0005%5Cs0376_fl0005_it0057.jpg

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All the low flat land south of the railway is landfill into Humber Bay. In other words, artificial. Grenadier Pond was separated from Lake Ontario by only a sandbar. A narrow 2 lane Lake Shore Road shared the sandbar with a 2 track Grand Trunk Railway.
However, when the Queensway was built to the north of the railway, they took the land from High Park and filled in some ponds and the south end of Grenadier Pond in the process.
I am not sure what you are trying to say. It doesn't matter that the land is "artificial" (so is the land south of the railway corridor through downtown, or say, huge swathes of coastal land in cities like HK and Boston). The series of roads and expressways do "cut off" the neighbourhoods from the water, and improving connectivity and access to the waterfront could still be beneficial/desirable.
 
It would be great to connect High Park directly with the waterfront, amazing even, but the cost of the bridge or tunnel that could take traffic (why not rail traffic too) across Humber Bay will forever keep that from happening.

There are too many real problems with transportation in the GTA that need billions spent to fix them to ever consider luxury items like a Humber Bay crossing. It simply will never happen.

Personally, I don't think we should even be spending any money on a Gardiner tear-down in the core either until GO and the TTC have had $20 Billion poured into them. I can't imagine how far down the list below that a Humber Bay crossing would be.

In the meantime, the relatively low-cost plan in discussion here to improve parkland and transportation around Humber Bay has merit, but it could be years before any money is earmarked to complete even this. No doubt none of this will happen until the Waterfront West LRT plans are finalized, and then prioritized.

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^ fair enough. I am not completely sold on the idea, I am merely raising the possibility of such an endeavour and inviting discussion. And as I said I haven't made any cost-benefit considerations, but a casual search shows these bridges would cost approximately $500M-1B CAD nowadays. And for sure, we can build the bridge to carry both road and rail, nothing difficult about that.

However, by the logic that we should not even consider these things unless there is a dire impending need or unless all other problems are solved, we would have never gotten things like the CN Tower (though I guess many may argue we shouldn't have and we still don't need it). I remember from a while back the Dichotomy character brought up that a private consortium was suggesting a few years ago to use private money to build a trans-Humber crossing, but the idea was turned down. I don't know how reliable that information is, but the idea of public-private partnership or a completely private initiative in building these things (a very controversial topic, no doubt) is something worth considering.
 
^
However, by the logic that we should not even consider these things unless there is a dire impending need or unless all other problems are solved,

It's probably not a good idea for proposals like the Humber Bay "bridge" to be publicly considered since they immediately excite the Rob Fords of this world into denouncing all infrastructure investments as being lavish and wasteful.
 
^ Thank you for reminding me why Toronto / Canada (and to some extent, North America) is such a sorry place in terms of these things.
 
Considering they rebuilt the Humber bridge for the QEW just a decade ago, I don't see a causeway happening any time soon. Nor am I sold on that being a good idea - just what benefits is it suppose to provide? Given the excess of resources, perhaps the focus should be to rationalize the tangle of road bridges and build a new one that mirrors the Humber Bay Pedestrian bridge?

AoD
 
Causeway? Golodhendil wants a signature bridge.

So yeah, Golodhendil, you're right, let's spend a ton of money for a Humber Bay crossing.

Okay, what'll we cancel or close or downsize so that we can get it built? GO Transit expansion? TTC streetcar replacement? Downtown Core Line? University funding? Pothole repair? Libraries? Arena rebuilding? Health facilities?

If we were sitting on a ton of money, people would be considering vanity projects like this for ways to spend it, but when there is no pot of gold, attention goes to priorities. Monuments to wasteful spending just wouldn't be most people's first, second, or third choice right now.

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i42:

Even if the money is there - shouldn't the focus be actually implementing the WWF plan first - which is the point of this thread, instead of replacing infrastructure that doesn't need replacing?

AoD
 
Absolutely.

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Causeway? Golodhendil wants a signature bridge.

So yeah, Golodhendil, you're right, let's spend a ton of money for a Humber Bay crossing.

Okay, what'll we cancel or close or downsize so that we can get it built? GO Transit expansion? TTC streetcar replacement? Downtown Core Line? University funding? Pothole repair? Libraries? Arena rebuilding? Health facilities?

If we were sitting on a ton of money, people would be considering vanity projects like this for ways to spend it, but when there is no pot of gold, attention goes to priorities. Monuments to wasteful spending just wouldn't be most people's first, second, or third choice right now.

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or, we can find a private developer that will shoulder part or all of the cost, when the money/time comes.

Notice that I didn't even mention the timeframe for this --- it could happen after all of the things you mentioned are done (although seeing how Torontonians do things, I don't see them being completed within any of our lifetimes, so I guess this would be an impossible project). I guess my memory is bad, did I once say that this bridge should be built right now?

Anyway, I guess these talks of vision have derailed the WWF discussion too much. Back to regularly scheduled programming.
 

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