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Ghosts of Spadina Expressway haunt us still

Micallef, Shawn

Publisher:  thestar.com
Date Written:  06/10/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article

More than 45 years after the Spadina Expressway was cancelled, its ghosts exist among us in the form of expropriated properties.



Last month, the City of Toronto issued a report titled "Disposition of Spadina Expressway Properties -- Memorandum of Understanding with Infrastructure Ontario." The report reads like a map to lost graves of old political battles and was issued "for the efficient and effective management and disposition" of the remaining 58 Spadina Expressway Properties.

In previous years, more than $27 million worth of Spadina properties were sold off. That there are still 58 left is a testament to how deeply a freeway can affect a city, even if only a stub of it was actually built -- today's Allen Rd. that runs from Highway 401 to Eglinton Ave. W.

There is no political fight more storied in Toronto's recent history than the one over the Spadina Expressway. The anti-amalgamation battle in the mid-1990s was perhaps bigger, but they lost the fight. With Spadina, the right side won, or at least that's how history has viewed June 3, 1971, when then-premier Bill Davis spoke out in the Ontario Legislature against a plan to drive more freeways through the city that would destroy neighbourhoods along the way.

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