It seems like there is an endless amount of dialogue in Toronto about what to do with the Gardiner and how to improve transit in the downtown core. Today I came across a new proposal that I hadn't seen before, the Toronto Waterfront Viaduct.
Instead of tearing down the Gardiner and then replacing it with something else, this proposal suggests building a suspended expressway above the existing rail lines. This is nice because it means the Gardiner can continue to be used while the new expressway is built. When the new road is complete the Gardiner can be torn down and Lakeshore can be revitalized with fewer lanes and pretty median flower boxes or something.
There would still be a massive highway in the core of the city, but it wouldn't be blocking anything that isn't already blocked by the railway. Furthermore, the proposal suggests that the expressway have two levels, one for traffic and light rail and another level below for pedestrians and bicycles. Thus it would be a useful corridor for anyone needing to travel through the city, regardless of preferred mode of transport.
I'm obviously not a city planner, or even an engineer, but the proposal claims the costs would be similar to any of the other serious proposals and has the added benefit of minimal disruption during the construction phase. If these statements are even halfway true then this is by far the best solution I've ever heard to the transportation problems affecting downtown.
Now someone just needs to come up with a plan to get all of the many and varied stakeholders to agree there is a problem and that something serious needs to be done. Then we'd be set.