Lead Vocalist for Paint and Social Justice Advocate Speaks Out Against Jets TORONTO - I support NoJetsTO. Not only does an UP link from Union Station to Pearson Airport make more sense in terms of accessibility and affordability than expanding the Island Airport, it also shows respect for the environment and Toronto citizens, particularly those on the waterfront. Robb Johannes, Candidate for Mayor of Toronto 2014 Lead singer of Paint ______________________ Links:
High-Profile Commentator, Columnist and Former TPA Advisor Speaks out Against Jets in Statement TORONTO - If Porter wants to fly jets, they can bloody well go do it at Pearson, where the other jets are. The island belongs to Toronto, not a corporation. Any politician who votes for jets on the waterfront, be forewarned: it's an election year, and we're coming after you. Warren Kinsella (former advisor to Toronto Port Authority)
Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist (CBC, CTV, MuchMusic) and Community Organizer Speaks Out Against Jets in Statement TORONTO - As a Porter customer and someone who loves and enjoys Toronto's waterfront community, I do not support the expansion of the Billy Bishop Airport through jet aircraft and extended runways. Aside from noise and environmental concerns, expansion would increase downtown gridlock and jeopardize local businesses, as well as the growing residential community. The NoJetsTO grassroots movement of over 10,000 supporters working together to protect a mixed-use waterfront, as well as maintain a boutique island airport, highlights how important this area is to the city of Toronto and all of our visitors. Let's protect our postcard of the city.
Communications Specialist Endorses NoJetsTO in Statement TORONTO - Expanding the Toronto island airport to accommodate jets is, in a word, insane. The Tripartite Agreement of the 1980s banning jets from this central downtown airstrip makes even more sense today than it did then. We must fight to preserve Toronto’s waterfront for future generations from this single-minded, obtuse idea that Torontonians need jet service on our doorstep. We do not. No other city in the world has it, and for damn good reason. Let’s not make Toronto the laughing stock of the world, yet again. Jet airports and a dense urban community do not mix, especially at our city’s premier destination for recreation, relaxation and escape from the pressures of city life. The Toronto island parks and the city waterfront are a tremendous asset. Harbourfront Centre attracts 17 million people a year. More than a million visit the Arcadian splendor of the islands. Who in their right mind would sanction the whine of jet engines, the polluting film that coats surfaces (and lungs) in their path, and have low-flying jets buzz the harbour every few minutes, all day long? I have flown Porter Airlines, the proponent of destroying our downtown, but have stopped until this matter is resolved. Even though the island airport is zoned parkland, Porter has badgered and bullied and sued its way to secure a berth that now seems intractable. We will abide its turboprop planes – the ones that, when their engines are revved, I cannot have a conversation on warm summer nights in my Little Italy backyard near College Street for the noise – and put our efforts into ensuring the damage stops there. I suspect Billy Bishop, whose name was appropriated by the Toronto Port Authority from the airport in Owen Sound where the World War One flying ace was born, would roll in his grave. Invoking his name for the island airport obscures the fact that this is Toronto’s playground for life lived in liberty which he fought for, and which they would have become the sixth busiest airport in Canada. What a disgrace.
Adult Education and Media Expert Speaks Out Against Jets in Statement TORONTO - Those who support Robert Deluce's proposed expansion of the Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto Harbour are prone to fabrication and distortion of the facts in their "vision" for what would amount to a greatly expanded international airport in an area now zoned for recreational purposes. As someone who participated in the public consultation at City Hall on January 27, and the 53rd person in the queue to speak, I was one of the dozens who amplified opening remarks from Counselor Pam McConnell, an opponent of the expansion. These followed presentations given by the Port Authority and the National Transportation Board. The Porter Airline proposal is completely at odds with what most people envisage for the Island and its future. The inclination on the part of the proponents is to completely ignore the Toronto Board of Health in depth report, released last December advising against expansion due to the harmful impact on the environment and public health .
As someone who has flown to NYC, both from the Island Airport and Pearson, my experience has been that the time involved in reaching one's destination is about the same. In fact, on occasion, I have had to sit and wait for several hours in the Porter lounge until the Airline got clearance to land at Newark Airport in New Jersey. A subway ride into Manhattan, as opposed to a $75 cab ride is fine for someone with only a briefcase, but not a holiday traveller. That's another good reason to sustain a future for the briefcase crowd only at Billy Bishop Airport.
Toronto Environmental Organization Speaks Out for Lake Ontario in Endorsement Statement TORONTO - Plans to expand Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is bad news for residents living around the downtown waterfront airport, as well as for the local economy and the environment. Lake Ontario, where the airport is located, is the main source of drinking water for the entire Greater Toronto Area region and also forms the headwaters for all major rivers passing through Toronto. Substantial progress has been made over the years in cleaning up the lake’s waters and in restoring natural habitat ruined from decades of industrial pollution. The proposed extension of a runway into the lake will have significant consequences for the Lake Ontario ecosystem and the diversity of bird and aquatic life that rely on the lake for survival. Over the years there has been substantial investment made in revitalizing Toronto’s waterfront as an important hub for residential, tourism, recreational and economic activity that is vital to the growth and success of this city. While the island airport no doubt represents part of that success, it is still only one aspect of overall economic activity and there are many businesses, including hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, and sightseeing activities that attract visitors and contribute to the local economy. The uncontrolled growth of the island airport will only destabilize some of these other business activities, such as tourism, and have a long-term negative impact on Toronto’s environment, wildlife habitat and urban ecology. As an environmental group that works to protect GTA rivers, lakes, and waterways, Humber Enviro fully supports this campaign. We are opposed to any development that may have an impact on biodiversity in Lake Ontario or affect the sustainable development of Toronto’s waterfront and surrounding area.
Youth Council Representing 330,000 Young Torontonians Speaks Out in Statement Against Jets TORONTO - The City Youth Council of Toronto opposes an expansion to the Billy Bishop Airport. Flying jets in and out of the airport causes numerous risks to our city. These risks include more air and noise pollution, as well as increased traffic and congestion. Allowing jets will make our waterfront a less enjoyable destination to the millions who spend time there every year. We believe our waterfront is essential to the vibrancy of the city. It should be a place for all to enjoy without the disruption of jets.
Mann Parekh, Chair (2015)
City Youth Council of Toronto
Renowned Canadian Director and Producer Urges City Council to Stop Waterfront Jet Plans January 23, 2014 TORONTO - To the City Council, I am a TV director and producer of such shows as HOUSE, GRIMM, HEMLOCK GROVE and BATES MOTEL, to name a few. I am also a Torontonian and spent my childhood years at Toronto Island Airport flying with my father. In my teens, I took flying lessons at Central Airways. I've always loved the island, the lake, and our waterfront. In my adult years I moved to California to pursue a career in the entertainment field. Perhaps you are wondering why I care so much about maintaining a ban on jets at Billy Bishop Airport. When I moved to Venice Beach, I lived under the flight path to the Santa Monica airport. For ten years, air traffic was relegated to small, single engine aircraft along with the occasional private jet. However, after 9/11, the number of private jets quadrupled as companies purchased aircraft for ease of travel and fractional ownership made access to private jets attractive. By 2011, living under this flight path became unbearable due to the high-volume of low altitude takeoffs, jet fuel smell, and noise so loud, I would often have to put phone calls on hold as jets flew over. These factors forced me to move out of my home on the beach to an inland location. I am not anti-commercial aviation and I love the convenience turbo-prop commercial flights offer but allowing jets at Billy Bishop airport will create not only commercial aviation issues but an increase in the large number of private jets to the runways. I fear few have factored this in. This argument is not unique to Toronto. Residents of Santa Monica, California, and in particular, a home owners’ movement, Friends of Sunset Park (www.friendsofsunsetpark.org/airport/), have been fighting for over a decade to close SMO to larger jets. Please look at their site and see the research and photos illustrating the challenges they are experiencing. Simply put, allowing jets to fly out of Billy Bishop Airport opens up a Pandora's Box – the effects of which will never be reversed. Planners have already taken away much of the Toronto waterfront from the general public and the use of jets both private and commercial will be just another piece of terrible legislation that benefits a select few and troubles so many. Instead, the money used to improve Billy Bishop could be put toward making Pearson Airport more accessible to frequent flyers and commuters. I implore you to consider this letter when addressing the developments at Billy Bishop Airport. Sincerely, David Straiton
Popular Destination for Lake Users Weighs In Against Jets in Open Letter 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
WHEN works in the space where women’s lives, environmental issues and human health intersect. We envision a world where every person is able to live free of exposure to environmental toxics. Unfortunately the proposal to allow jets at the Toronto Island airport is instead the most ludicrous aggravation of this aspiration of all living things. Just in terms of pollutants alone, jet fuel exhaust is a toxic soup of chemicals associated with disruptions in blood hormone levels, reproductive abnormalities in pregnant women and lower IQ scores in children, increased rates of lung diseases, heart disease, cancer and sudden death. The high levels released in jet fuel exhaust of these chemicals is associated with high rates of all the health problems above. The water quality would severely deteriorate and the noise pollution increase. Where would the pleasure of Centre Island, the serenity of Hanlan’s Point, or Ward’s Island, of the Leslie Spit be amidst this? The Islands are home to a variety of life-giving species that are a bound to our health and involvement with the planet. What absurdity to bring a jet airliner operation into the thick of it. “It” being in turn in the thick of a large heavily populated city waterfront. We say “no” to jets on Toronto’s waterfront. Please stop this proposal in its tracks. It is dangerous and unhealthy. Statement of the WHEN Board of Directors, passed on December 15, 2013.