Toronto Writer, Architect and Urban Planner Speaks Out Against Waterfront Jet Plans in Statement TORONTO - I endorse the mission of NoJetsTO, and agree with its goal to preserve the current state of the Island Airport by protecting the Tripartite Agreement that governs it. I was trained as both an Architect and Urban Planner. My 50 years of professional practice have taken me to many countries around the world, including Kenya, Mexico, India and Brazil, among others. Because of my early work on environmental sustainability, I was selected by an UN international panel in 1975, to form a joint-venture with the late Sir James Stirling (UK) and Arch. Giancarlo de Carlo (Italy) to plan the permanent headquarters of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), then under the leadership of Canadian Maurice Strong, in Nairobi, Kenya. Since the 80’s I have been with the World Bank in Washington in the urban sector, and have advised and supervised the implementation of major planning and infrastructure programs, as well as metropolitan and municipal management, emergency reconstruction as well as disaster mitigation and prevention. Nowhere in the world have I encountered a situation where such a precious public natural resource, as our Waterfront, would be casually turned over for exploitation by the private sector for personal and private gain, unless of course it involved serious corruption by some involved politicians, in which case there would usually be a huge public outcry, and the project would be dropped, or it would not receive funding. Since 2005 when I returned to Canada, I have been intimately involved on various initiatives with the York Quay Neighbourhood Association (YQNA), working with the City, and participating on numerous stakeholder groups, in a close and productive relationship with Waterfront Toronto. Our waterfront is a priceless resource and must be protected at all costs, for use by the millions of visitors. The social, economic, and financial benefits that will accrue to the City in future, far exceed the modest projections (already quite impressive) that have been published so far. The City staff reports have rightly raised a number of critical issues that have to be studied in greater detail, to fix the problems created directly by the existing operations of Billy Bishop Airport, specifically related to public health and safety, traffic and transportation, and the crowding-out of other users of the Waterfront. The Board of Health has been more explicit in its views. A number of prominent people have already spoken, on this subject. Waterfront Toronto has made its views known. On the other hand, the incredible ‘spin’ and misinformation by Porter Airlines, the Port Authority, and their paid marketing consultants, do not even hint at the serious problems, should some of our visionless politicians, manage to manoeuvre a decision in favour of jets at the waterfront. My regular depositions and letters to City Councillors on this topic, further demonstrate my opposition to an expansion of Billy Bishop through jet aircraft and extended runways, and instead, to maintain the current size of the Island Airport by protecting the Tripartite Agreement that governs it, and to fix attendant problems. Thank you NoJetsTO for leading this initiative. Best regards, Braz Menezes (Architect, Urban Planner and internationally published Author)
Toronto-Based Writer Speaks Out Against Pearson-by-the-Lake in Open Letter TORONTO - Dear Council Members: Toronto is lucky to have the islands and beautiful waterfront as a recreational and cultural area in the centre of our city. With all of the current investment in revitalizing the waterfront, it will only become more appealing and precious for Torontonians and visitors alike. I am, therefore, shocked at the current proposal to expand the Island Airport by extending runways to accommodate more air traffic and jets. If this proposal is approved, the consequences will be profound and irreversible. Our harbour will never be the same, and the negative impact on the water, air and surrounding environment will be significant. My concern is not only about the likely increase in noise and chemical pollutants. I urge Council members to realize the necessity of protecting our citizens from the enormous safety hazards caused by the busier air traffic involving heavier planes landing and taking off in such a limited space surrounded by so many high rise buildings, boaters and tourists. Although I am aware that many people from Toronto and elsewhere have found using the Island airport convenient, there is no reason why they cannot continue to do so with everything remaining as it has been. Once the rail link to Pearson is completed, people should find it much easier to get to Pearson for those flights requiring jets. Our lake and harbour are special and must be preserved. The Tripartite agreement should not be altered to allow expansion of the runways and jets at the Island Airport. Sincerely, Leah R. Lambert
Toronto Author Speaks Out for Preserving Current Airport in Statement TORONTO - In addition to concerns about health and safety — significant matters in themselves — my biggest concern is that an expanded airport will detrimentally dominate the waterfront. It will be a tail wagging a dog. We were promised a small airport, it should remain a small airport.
Urban Planner and Avid Sailor Speaks Out Against Jets on Our Waterfront TORONTO - Thanks to NoJetsTO for their leadership in saving Toronto’s waterfront. This is the biggest planning issue facing the City for decades – balancing the public objectives of achieving a waterfront that is the heart of the City, a great place for all to live, work and play, helping to make Toronto is one of the most liveable cities in the world against the operation of a convenient airport. Why does no other city has an airport at its heart? Cathie Macdonald, former City of Toronto director in planning, buildings and property and former Executive Director, National Executive Forum in Public Property, former president Deer Park Residents Group and sailor
To Whom it May Concern: This is to state that members of the Ossington Community Association have voted (as of December 4, 2013) to support the position of NoJetsTO. We stand with NoJetsTO in believing that, as Christopher Hume put it in his Dec 5, 2013 Toronto Star column, "the dreams of airport expansion would be a city nightmare". We call on the members of the Tripartite agreement to resist, in no uncertain terms, the attempt by Porter Airlines to permanently and severely negatively impact the enjoyment of TO's waterfront, the Leslie Spit bird sanctuary, the safety of air travel passengers, and the quality of life of resident and school communities in the vicinity of the airport. Sincerely yours, Jessica Wilson President, Ossington Community Association
Is it enough for Torontonians to content ourselves that while air traffic rises dramatically, that while substantial emissions are spewed into the air and the lake from the Scarborough Bluffs to Etobicoke Creek, that while Toronto Bay is further filled with concrete, and supporting infrastructure is erected along the edge of the water, that the jets are reportedly “quiet”? A wolf is still a wolf, even when all decked out in sheep’s clothing. Porter Airlines, your plan is too greedy – the waterfront, from the Rouge River to Etobicoke Creek, is a shared trust and our most valuable public asset. Let’s not blow this historic opportunity to reconnect with Lake Ontario, and reinvest in Toronto’s proud waterfront heritage.
Campaign to Stop Pickering Airport Makes Case that Jets Belong at Pearson December 4, 2013 PICKERING - Land Over Landings, the campaign to stop federal plans for an airport and economic development on 21+ sq. miles of prime farmland in North Pickering, endorses the position of NoJetsTO. We believe that the new C-series jets should be flown out of airports that currently handle jets: namely, Pearson and Hamilton. The plans to expand the area’s airport system, whether by building a new airport at Pickering or by enlarging the Island Airport to handle jets, are both driven by the specious argument that Pearson International will soon reach capacity. Pearson’s numbers are trending upwards, but the rise is slow, the journey is bumpy (major world crises cause the numbers to drop again), the airport can still add another runway, and it won’t reach capacity in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, passenger traffic has been falling steadily at well-liked Hamilton International, where there is capacity and then some. And a new rail link between downtown Toronto and Pearson will be functioning before the new jets are even available. In other words, there are options, and none of them comes with the hefty price tags and damaging effects of the expansion plans. We believe that no project, whether addition of jets and expansion of the Island Airport, or an entirely new airport, should ever be given a green light without the hard scrutiny of a complete and solid business case, objective impact assessments, and broad, open, and honest public consultation.Business interests must never trump health interests, and short-term gain must never be given precedence if the long-term result will be detrimental and irreversible. In both the Pickering and Island Airport cases, we have a duty to ourselves and to future generations to look at the broader picture. What does the future hold? At least 2 billion more people within our (or our children’s) lifetime; rapid climate change that threatens worse storms, droughts, and floods, with consequent crop failures; the chaotic consequences for populations worldwide… Canada will not be immune to any of this. We must be farseeing and wise in our plans for the future, whether they have to do with preserving a growing city’s precious and important waterfront, or protecting the priceless farmland that will soon be required to help feed the residents of that growing city. Land Over Landings Steering Committee
The Initiative to Save Toronto's Waterfront from Jets is Gaining Momentum November 30, 2013 TORONTO - While Porter continues to put pressure on City Council to waive the jets proposals through, more and more Torontonians are speaking out against the reckless plans. Here are some recent endorsements: “Rejecting the recent casino proposal was good for Toronto, and rejecting Porter’s proposal to introduce jet aircraft to the Island Airport will also be good for our city .” - Jack Diamond, internationally renowned architect, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medalist, member of the Order of Ontario and an Officer of the Order of Canada "The board of the Harbord Village Residents Association has voted to endorse NoJetsTO. If our neighbourhood was adjacent to the airport, we would be fighting the current expansion plans just as vigorously." - Tim Grant, Chair, Harbord Village Residents Association “Open Billy Bishop to jets and increased air traffic to accommodate longer haul flights to holiday destinations? What's wrong with this picture? Everything! We are investing millions of dollars in the transformation of Toronto's waterfront -- all intended to give Torontonians and visitors a spectacular outdoor waterfront experience and create new liveable and sustainable neighbourhoods. We are also investing hundreds of millions in the construction of a rail link to create a fast and reliable connection to Pearson - where longer haul flights make sense. Just as we are finally reclaiming the waterfront as a unique communal resource, we allow a commercial airline expansion to undo the progress? There is definitely something wrong with that picture.” - Cynthia Wilkey, Chair, West Don Lands Committee “Allowing jet aircraft to operate from the Island Airport would be a bad urban planning decision. It would diminish the quality of life of tens of thousands of residents who live near Toronto’s waterfront.” - John Cartwright, President, Toronto and York Region Labour Council
Opposition to London City Airport Expansion Supports Counterpart in Toronto: Read the Statement November 28, 2013 LONDON - I have been shocked to hear about the plans to use jets at Toronto's Island Airport. From our experience in London, it will do irreparable damage to the area. The environment will deteriorate. Property prices will fall. And many businesses will be deterred from investing in the area. It was when jets were given permission to use London City Airport, a waterside airport in East London, that the problems started. Noise levels for residents increased appreciably. Air pollution levels rose. And the airport became a scar on the landscape that deterred investment in the wider area. The area around the airport remains the least developed in London Docklands. Interestingly, the non-airport-related developments which have come to the area have created many more jobs than the airport. A major new development that may take place will create 20,000 new jobs when completed by 2023. London City Airport, by contrast, will have 3,500 jobs though the airport occupies 4 times the area of the planned development. Don’t let Toronto’s waterfront go the way of the London Docklands. Sincerely, John Stewart Stop London City Airport Campaign
Toronto Island Pilot Association Endorses NoJetsTO: Read the Statement November 27, 2013 TORONTO - The Toronto Island Pilots Association is an association of pilots, businesses and aircraft owners dedicated to a vibrant and enduring General Aviation (GA) community at the Toronto Island Airport. Like NoJetsTO, we are opposed to turning the Island Airport into a “ Pearson-on-the-Lake”. We also agree that preserving the properly interpreted Tripartite Agreement is critical to balance on the waterfront and at the airport. Our membership relies on the Island Airport for many traditional GA activities which include Medevac, smaller aviation related businesses, flight training, private and business aircraft operations. We are happy to coexist with the Scheduled Commercial Air Service (SCAS) operators at the Island Airport and the Tripartite Agreement contemplates a healthy balance between those and traditional GA operations. That balance is currently tipped dangerously in favour of SCAS. Guaranteeing the future of traditional GA activities will ensure a reasonable limit on extreme SCAS growth, and provide a safety net alternative for the success and future of the airport. We are concerned that infrastructure requirements for jets, and in fact for any continued growth of SCAS at the Island Airport will eliminate the already tiny footprint traditional GA hangs onto by a thread. One study indicates that the current 202 daily takeoffs and landings for SCAS can be more than doubled to 440 with the elimination of traditional GA activities (including Medevac and flight training) which currently limit SCAS operations. Surely maintaining small airplane operations at the Island Airport is preferable to increasing SCAS traffic by a factor of almost 2.2 with jets double the weight of the current Q400's.