Toronto Driving Might Get More Expensive for Mississauga Commuters

Toronto Mayor John Tory has proposed tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway.

The tolls, which might cause some grumbling among both local and suburban commuters who use the highways regularly, are meant to help Toronto rebuild roads and better tackle its transit expansion plan.

Tory announced his plan today (Nov. 24) during a speech at the Toronto Board of Trade.

The news isn't terribly unexpected, as Toronto recently released a report that recommended tolling roads under jurisdictional ownership of the city.

Although the tolls are being instituted to help Toronto better manage its financial and transit affairs, the fees will impact drivers in Mississauga (especially those who commute by car to the city for work or play).

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie responded to the news, emphasizing the effect the plan will have on the 905.

"I support the building of regionally-integrated transit and transportation networks through dedicated funding. Mayor Tory has many tools at his disposal to raise revenues that other cities do not have. He has chosen to implement road tolls that will not only affect residents in his city, but those in the 905 as well," Crombie said in a statement. "It’s important that Mayor Tory understand the ramifications of his actions on business and tourism. However, as Toronto owns the Gardiner and DVP, he is free to impose these tolls without input from his neighbours in the 905."

While Crombie did acknowledge that this decision can indeed be made without input from surrounding municipalities, she emphasized that excess revenue should only be used to rejuvenate roads and alleviate traffic woes.

"I would caution him though that he must ensure that every penny of the money collected is reinvested into the repairs of the Gardiner and DVP, as well as into regionally-integrated transit projects that connect the 905 and the 416. Residents need to see that this money is not going into general revenue, but directly into projects that address the dire problem of gridlock and congestion. People simply want to be able to move more quickly and easily around the GTA and any money that is collected must make this happen."

So, Mississauga, what do you think? Will you be looking for other ways to access Toronto in the future? Or will this prompt you to stay in town more often?

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