One third think Gardiner unsafe to use

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One third think Gardiner unsafe to use

One half want it torn down

TORONTO, April 11th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 865 Toronto voters, one third think the Gardiner Expressway is not safe to use (34%) and, while this is a significant number, it is well down from one half, noted the last time the elevated highway was observed to be crumbling (December, 2012 - 50% unsafe to use). Now, one half believe it is safe to use (50%), while one seventh don’t have an opinion (15%).

One half want Gardiner torn down, completely or partially

One half of Toronto voters want the Gardiner torn down (52% in total), either completely and replaced with a tunnel (27%), completely and replaced with a surface road (13%) or torn down partially (12%). Just one quarter think the city should continue to repair it (25%), and one quarter want to do something else (7%) or don’t know what should be done (15%).

Even spit on whether repairs to Gardiner are money well-spent

Four-in-ten Toronto voters say spending $400 million repairing the Gardiner is an appropriate expenditure (41%), while just fewer think it is not (37%). One fifth have no opinion on the issue (21%).

Most think city can’t afford to repair City Housing alone

As many as three quarters of Toronto voters don’t think the city can afford to repair its backlog of TCHC buildings alone, without financial help from the province or the federal government (72%), while just one tenth believe the city can accomplish this (11%). Close to one fifth don’t venture an opinion (17%).

TCHC, DRL and keeping TTC in good repair seen to be most urgent

When asked to choose the major city expenditure they saw as the highest priority, the plurality of voters, one fifth choose repairing TCHC buildings (21%) and this is closely followed by building the Downtown Relief Line (19%) and keeping the TTC in a good state of repair (18%). Items seen to be less of a priority include the Scarborough subway (14%), repairing the Gardiner Expressway (10%), developing the waterfront (6%) or doing something else (8%). Few don’t have an opinion on this issue (5%).

"The Gardiner Expressway is the municipal issue which will never go away, just continue to be kicked down the road. It’s always easier to initiate emergency repairs on an ad hoc basis rather than make a long term plan for one of the least attractive features of our city. Despite their dissatisfaction with the state of the Gardiner, however, Torontonians recognize the urgency of repairing the housing in which hundreds of thousands live," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.