Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre Concerns on Island Airport Expansion

Popular Destination for Lake Users Weighs In Against Jets in Open Letter Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre TORONTO - Approximately 8000 adults and children from everywhere in Toronto and the GTA, along with tourists use our facilities and the waterfront in a season. The main things they look for are safety, learning and relaxation. The expansion of The Island Airport with new and powerful jet engines threatens this wonderful service we offer. With all the wonderful water’s edge work that the City and Waterfront Toronto have done and are continuing to do, I can’t understand why some politicians want to see the Island Airport expanded.  Expansion will increase noise pollution, which is already an issue while we teach paddling and guide groups. We are worried that paddling will be less safe with this noise issue, and the fact that the white buoys at the end of the runways will probably be extended, … meaning more motor boat congestion in the same area that the majority of our paddlers use. Even though the Airlines say they don’t want to move these buoys, it is up to another government agency, and moving the end of the runway logically means moving those buoys. More problems are increased traffic in a residential neighbourhood, increased fuel smell, a greater possibility of environmental spills with the added chemicals needed for the new planes, and the jet takeoff engine-blast issues that paddlers and sailors will face. Over 100 children paddle past the end-of-runway white buoys each weekday during July and August, and jet engine blast videos I have seen can flip a bus over at quite a distance. The expansion will threaten many of our programs. All this in a place continually being designed for residents and visitors to enjoy the environment …we only have one waterfront, and that along with the island parks really sets Toronto ahead of other large cities recreationally. I would suggest expanding the under-used terminal 3 at Pearson Airport where it is designed to handle car drop-off traffic, a new Pearson/Union Station quick rail link, noise/pollution issues, safety concerns with a variety of longer runways and more de-icing machines and chemical storage, and the space for jet engine blasts. Please City Politicians, focus on bettering Pearson Airport and not expanding on the islands where so many visitors to the waterfront get so much enjoyment of the environment. James Kowalewski, General Manager Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre