Autumn 2014 / Leading Edge
Sky Line

Gondolas for the lakeshore: U of T students share their award-winning transit vision

Photo: Courtesy Kyle Miller

As debate heats up over the future of transit in Toronto, two U of T students have come up with a high-flying suggestion for how to move people along the city’s rapidly developing waterfront: gondolas.

Kyle Miller and Matthew Kelling, master’s students in geography, have proposed an 11-stop cable-car system that would criss-cross the Gardiner Expressway, carrying up to 30,000 people daily from Ontario Place to the new Canary District development in the east. The aerial lift – dubbed Shoreline – would make stops at Fort York, St. Lawrence Market and the Distillery District, among other destinations, and connect with Union Station. Future expansion would extend the line through the port lands to Cherry Beach. In May, the students’ design took first place in a youth competition at the Global Cities Summit.

Miller says cable cars have gained renewed interest in urban planning circles, especially in developing countries, because they are environmentally friendly, low-cost and quick to install. Medellin, in Colombia, has a three-line gondola system with multiple stations, and Rio de Janeiro is using them to provide transit to the city’s favelas.

Miller hopes that the idea will kick-start a conversation about public transit along Toronto’s waterfront. “We need to do something for all the people who are moving there,” he says.

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