Toronto

Fort York bike bridge project in limbo

Toronto City council voted down a plan Wednesday to build a pedestrian and cycling bridge that spans the railway tracks north of Fort York, linking the historic site with Stanley Park.
The city's public works committee balked at the bridge's $22-million price tag. (City of Toronto)

Toronto City council voted down a plan Wednesday to build a pedestrian and cycling bridge that spans the railway tracks north of Fort York, linking the historic site with Stanley Park.

Construction on the bridge was about to get underway when it was stopped last month by the city's public works committee. The sticking point was the bridge's $22-million price tag.

Councillors wanted staff to come up with a cheaper design.

On Wednesday afternoon  Ward 19 Coun. Mike Layton made a last-ditch effort to save the project. But he failed to get the two-thirds support of council needed to save the bridge project.

Layton said this experience has taught him a few things.

"I've learned my lesson. I'm showing up to anything that has to do with Ward 19 'cause if it's not nailed down it could be sold off or cancelled. These are core pieces of infrastructure."

The bridge was intended to provide better access to Fort York in time for the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Surrounded by highways and railway lines, Fort York has failed to attract many visitors despite its important place in Canadian history.