A $1.3-billion plan to ban cars from the Gardiner and confine motorists to a wider, eight-lane Lake Shore Boulevard could be paid off in four years with revenue from road tolls, parking and a floating casino near Ontario Place, says mayoral candidate Giorgio Mammoliti.
His waterfront vision — based on the work of University of Toronto architecture professors Ivan Saleff and Robert Wright — reimagines the Gardiner as a Skyway, open down the middle to act as a six-kilometre skylight over Lake Shore.
“The Gardiner would open just like Moses opened up the sea,” said Mammoliti.
Inspired in part by New York’s High Line elevated park, it would have trains down one side, with lanes for cyclists, pedestrians and skaters on the other, running through a series of 12 sky parks — green spaces equivalent in acreage to 15 Yonge-Dundas Squares — at a cost of $84 million, including street connections.
He is proposing to raise between $200 million and $500 million annually from a casino, $100 million from parking and $75 million from road tolls.
“We’ve got to stop with asking people to cover the woes and the costs of Toronto with property taxes,” said Mammoliti, who drew only three per cent of support in an April poll by the Toronto Star.
Mammoliti said he would negotiate a casino deal with the province even though Queen’s Park put a moratorium on new commercial and charity casinos in 2005.