Critics of Toronto’s downtown Island airport who hoped it would fade away are en route to a disappointment: Porter Airlines has scheduled a ceremonial announcement, saying the facility “is being revitalized with additional jobs and flights.”
The event Monday morning at the Toronto City Centre Airport will feature federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Transport Minister John Baird, Ontario Economic Development Minister Michael Bryant, Toronto Port Authority chairman Mark McQueen, and Porter founder and CEO Robert Deluce, the airline said Thursday. It made no mention of Mayor David Miller.
The airline, launched amid protests in October 2006, now flies to Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, New York and Chicago, and in the winter to Mont Tremblant in Quebec, with its fleet of Toronto-made Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft.
In 2002, the Port Authority had announced a $35-million revitalization, including a bridge to replace the ferry across the 120-metre-wide channel separating the island from the city. Expansion of the airport was opposed by neighbouring residents and became a hot issue in the 2003 Toronto municipal election, in which Miller became mayor on a promise to kill the bridge.