By Robin MacLennan
Ontario Construction News staff writer
Construction is set to begin this fall on long-awaited changes to Toronto’s Bathurst Quay, part of a revitalization effort that will create a public plaza, Irish cultural centre and refurbished walkway near the Billy Bishop Airport drop-off/pickup area.
Two dock wall projects are included in the renovations which are anticipated to begin this fall. One will be undertaken by the City of Toronto on the north side of the Western Channel dock wall, close to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport ferry and slip).
The second project, directed by PortsToronto, owner and operator of the airport, includes work to repair the south dock wall in the Western Gap which borders Billy Bishop Airport.
“For years this dock wall, which is owned by PortsToronto, has been maintained as an industrial piece of infrastructure,” said Sarah Sutton, spokesperson for PortsToronto.
“However, we are looking to re-imagine this space so, once repaired, PortsToronto will transform this dock wall into a public space with seating, art and landscaping that can be enjoyed by passengers, staff and the community.”
There will be no disruptions to airport operations as a result of these two projects.
Toronto Councillor Joe Cressy has said the city-managed $10-million dock transformation is the start of a larger plan to build an event and gathering space next to the silos, a that could be used for movie screenings, farmers markets or other events.
Key components of the plan include the Billy Bishop City Side Modernization Project to improve access to Eireann Quay and further reduce traffic congestion, idling and minimizing vehicles entering community streets, reconfiguration of the airport taxi corral and increased curb space for pick-up/drop-off.
The cost for the south dock wall project is not yet known, as the project was just released for tender.
“It’s important to remember, that PortsToronto is a financially self-sustaining organization that does not receive public funding from any level of government,” Sutton said.
“So, all costs associated with this project – or any project involving our organization – will be paid for by PortsToronto and not taxpayers.”