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Waterfront Cash Promises

It looks like the three levels of government have reached some sort of agreement about funding Toronto's Waterfront Revitalization Corp. The Star reports it as $334-million, and the Globe as $344-million.

The situation is a bit strange, since this is neither a new promise, nor the delivery of a cheque. It is just one more gradation between the initial promise and the possible delivery of money some day. Apparently they say there is a deal for the money to "flow as the corporation is ready to spend it".

What is interesting and disappointing is that the money was being held up in squabbles over the Front Street Extension. From The Star:

The estimated cost of the project has escalated from $170 million to more than $255 million. The federal government has said it won't pay more than its one-third share of the original estimate. The waterfront corporation and the city say the estimate was always low and, because of changes the public wanted to the road's design, wasn't realistic.

The city refused to sign a document agreeing to the $170 million price tag, which held up agreements for the rest of the $334 million. The city has now signed and broken the logjam, but it won't use the $170 million right away.

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I'm disappointed that the federal government would be in the business of holding up promised money that the Waterfront Revitalization Corporation thinks it needs. On the other hand, I think the Front Street Extension sucks. It is too expensive and really doesn't have much to do with helping our waterfront.

I don't get why David Miller supports it so much -- unless it is part of a secret strategy that will lead to demolishing/burying the Gardiner.



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