In 2002, when officials of the Toronto Port Authority and Robert Deluce, soon to become the president of Porter Airlines, made presentations before the Toronto Economic Development Committee, they promised that most passengers coming to and from the island airport would travel by public transit. Since the Porter Airlines started operations out of the island airport in October 2006, this claim has been shown to be at best a pipe dream and at worst a fabrication.
Private cars and taxis pick up passengers coming off the Porter Airlines flights from early morning to late evening, bringing traffic congestion and safety problems to the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood
To its credit, Porter Airlines provides buses that circle between the airport terminal on the city side of the Western Gap and The Royal York Hotel. The only difficulty is that few people use those buses. Most people using the airport arrive either by taxi or private cars.
The cars bring air pollution and serious safety hazards. The taxis are particularly a serious problem as they rush through the intersection of Queen’s Quay and Eireanne Quay. There have been at least three collisions between taxis and cyclists at the intersection that we know about and there may have been more.
The parents of school children were so concerned that they mounted protests with signs every morning and evening for weeks in 2003. There are increasing school crossing guards but the intersection remains very dangerous.
Toronto City Council has passed a resolution saying that the traffic problems at the airport must be solved before consideration will be given to the Porter jet proposal but the problem is that there is no solution save demolishing the Community Centre and school, taking over most of the Little Norway Park and turning the entire area into a parking lot and traffic zone That would simply make the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood and the condos along Queen’s Quay West unlivable.