Letter to the Editor: Toronto Island Airport Expansion - Itʼs the Quality of Life, Stupid

Freelance Journalist Rouyer Shoots Back After Pro-Jets Editorial by The Globe and Mail May 1, 2013 TORONTO - The Globe and Mail editorial supporting the Toronto Island Airport expansion (Proposed expansion of Torontoʼs Billy Bishop airport deserves consideration, Fri. Apr. 12, 2013,) is so simplistic that one may wonder if a student intern did not actually write that opinion piece.
Indeed, while the whole expansion controversy centers on noise pollution in the downtown area, the editorial claims “the Billy Bishop [airport] has contributed much to the quality of life for downtown residents.” How can noise pollution contribute to quality of life? For the record, the downtown airport planes can currently be heard all the way North in the Queen and Spadina area when the wind is blowing that way, so the nuisance actually extends way beyond the lakefront communities. So any expansion, even with smoothly labelled “whisper jets”, noise level will persist and increase with traffic. Strangely, the editorial also touts that the airport is contributing to the vibrancy of the new lakefront neighbourhoods. (“The Billy Bishop Airport is a wonderful asset, a five-minute cab ride from Bay Street, and from the thousands of new condominium units that have sprung up, giving Torontoʼs downtown a happening vibe.”) Except for the line ups of taxi cabs outside of the airport, in the absence of any retail stores there, this begs again the question: how can increased traffic congestion, in addition to noise pollution, contribute to quality of life? Similarly, the editorial proudly reminds us “No other major downtown in North America has an airport so close.” Well, have the Globe and Mail editors actually paused and wondered if the reason why no other urban area has an airport so close to dense neighbourhoods, is simply because it is bad urban planning and land use, due to the noise pollution negatively influencing quality of life? What if Toronto was the only urban centre making that mistake? [...]
For the article, please click here: Charles-Antoine Rouyer's website, 2013-05-01
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