Dean Richard Sommer of the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, and his predecessors — Professors Emeriti George Baird and Larry Wayne Richards — sent an open letter to Mayor John Tory and members of Toronto City Council articulating their position in support of removing the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway and creating an urban boulevard in its place. The letter has also been signed by over 50 members of the Daniels Faculty and other leaders from the University of Toronto, and can be seen seen in .pdf format attached.
Signatories include each of the directors of the Daniels Faculty’s programs in architecture, landscape architecture, visual studies, and urban design. They are joined by several senior academic experts and leaders, including the Deans of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Forestry, Faculty of Arts and Science, and Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. The letter has also been signed by the directors of the Munk School of Global Affairs, Centre for Landscape Research, Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory, Martin Prosperity Institute, School of Public Policy and Governance, and the School of the Environment.
“The Daniels Faculty typically takes an advisory, consciousness-building approach to complex city projects such as this,” says Dean Sommer, Professor of Architecture & Urbanism. “Yet, our Faculty has historically intervened at critical junctures in Toronto’s history, including in the design of the current City Hall, and the saving of the old City Hall, stopping the Spadina Expressway, and more recently against political attempts to scrap our Portlands planning process. We have studied Toronto, the waterfront, and the transit and Gardiner expressway challenges that the city has faced, and will face, over many years. Given our understanding of the planning, design, and city-building questions at stake in the current debate, we believe a more direct approach is warranted today.”