Join us in the effort to turn the Island Airport lands into a magnificent park.

Write your politicians: 

Email: 

Transport Minister
Omar Alghabra

Omar.Alghabra@parl.gc.ca

Copy the Prime Minister:

justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

Copy Mayor John Tory: 

mayor_tory@toronto.ca

Copy Councillor Joe Cressy:

councillor_cressy@toronto.ca

Mail:

Omar Alghabra 
Minister of Transport
c/o House of Commons  
Ottawa, ON 
Canada 
K1A 0A6

Justin Trudeau
Office of the Prime Minister 
80 Wellington Street 
Ottawa, ON 
K1A 0A2

John Tory 

Office of the Mayor
City Hall, 2nd Floor
100 Queen St. W.
Toronto, ON 
M5H 2N2

Joe Cressy

Councillor Joe Cressy
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Suite C53
Toronto, ON  
M5H 2N2

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Take action

Members of Parks not Planes are your neighbours. Join us in the effort to turn the Island Airport lands into a magnificent park.

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Sample letter

Please support returning the 215 acre Toronto Island Airport (Billy Bishop Airport) lands to desperately needed parkland. Toronto’s waterfront has one remaining noxious vestige of its industrial past: a busy commercial airport on Toronto Island, delivering noise, pollution and threats to our natural environment, the City's health and quality of life.  

Three Airlines City Express, Air Ontario, and now, Porter could not make a success flying out of the Island Airport. It is inevitable that the airport must close because it is not economically viable.

Residents of downtown Toronto’s multi-unit buildings have no access to private green space and rely on parks for recreation, but there is very little parkland available in the downtown core. Yet, tens of thousands of new high-rise residents are or will be added. 


People from all over Toronto and beyond are flocking to the Toronto Island Park.

The 215 acres of the Island Airport lands should be converted to a park and merged with the Toronto Island Park to create a public park larger than Manhattan’s Central Park. This will help solve the issue of the lack of park space for the people living in the city core, and it will create a magnificent park on our waterfront.

No rezoning would be required – the Official Plan and zoning for the Airport lands restricts its uses to park and natural area, once the Airport closes.

Environmental Benefits
Any economic benefit from operating aircraft at the Island Airport can as readily be achieved at Pearson.
The chief benefit of developing the Island Airport lands into a park is addressing the extreme shortage of parks in downtown Toronto, but there are major environmental benefits.

  • Fuel burned by aircraft in take-off and landing contributes to poor air quality in the downtown

  • Noise from aircraft has been a constant complaint of people living in Bathurst Quay and along the Waterfront

  • Over 350 species of birds have been sighted and identified on Toronto Island. A busy airport on the Island is a threat to all species. 

  • The Islands are the second most important bird flyway on the Great Lakes, after Point Pelee. Replacing the Airport with this new park would create a sanctuary for birds, instead of a danger. 

  • A park on the airport lands will provide the opportunity to increase the number of trees and tree canopy in the downtown. Trees remove carbon from the air, and that will help address climate change. They also help to moderate temperatures and reduce the problem of urban heat islands in summer.

 

The airport lands are already publicly owned. A federal agency, Ports Toronto, was given a good portion of the lands by the federal government and the city owns the rest. There will be no costs to purchase the land.

 

Other cities have already made the choice.
Edmonton (partially), Berlin, and Chicago have converted their downtown airports to parkland, and Santa Monica will do so soon. It is time for Toronto to join them.

By reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and changing our environment from a reliance on things like airports and planes to parks with trees and clean water, we will be contributing to the health and well being of everyone. 

We implore you to support the repurposing of the 215 acre Toronto Island Airport (Billy Bishop Airport) lands into desperately needed parkland.

Thank you very much for your support.