The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, and His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, join Mark McQueen, Chairman of PortsToronto, in cutting the ribbon to celebrate the opening of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport’s pedestrian tunnel. Once there, they can cross the tunnel on automated sidewalks that travel at a speed of 2.3 km an hour before heading up into the airport terminal using what Ports Toronto describes as “one of the longest escalator systems in Canada”.
The 260-metre-long tunnel eliminates the need for travellers to take a ferry from the waterfront to the island.
In a media advisory, Ports Toronto said the tunnel was built at no cost to taxpayers, instead using an public-private partnership agreement between Ports Toronto, Forum Equity Partners and PCL, the lead contractor. Since 1938, a auto ferry has shuttled passengers to and from the airport.
Getting to Billy Bishop Airport just got a whole lot easier.
Raitt, who used to work for Toronto Port Authority, pointed out that Billy Bishop is Canada’s ninth largest airport.
Tomorrow! Walk to your airport in the heart of the city in less than six minutes.
The 858 foot tunnel is under Lake Ontario’s western channel, 550 feet of it under water connecting Toronto’s mainland with the airport.
A proposed bridge was nixed several years ago.
It was scheduled to open in August 2014, but a particularly cold winter complicated construction, according to Ports Toronto.
Discussing the proposal, Di Pasquale said he believes the Billy Bishop Airport “makes great sense” for shorter destinations but should not be expanded.
The Ward 2 councillor also took a swipe at his predecesor as mayor David Miller, noting that his administration was “strongly opposed to” the island airport.