Toronto Island Airport Expansion

Since 2003, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has been working to protect the Toronto Islands from development that threatens water quality, interferes with navigation, and diminishes the natural value of our waterfront.

The current focus of our efforts is Porter Airline’s request to expand Billy Bishop Airport (also known as the Toronto Island Airport or the Toronto City Centre Airport). Expansion means extending the runways 200 metres into Lake Ontario on each side of the airport and lifting the ban on jet-powered aircraft.

Waterkeeper’s concerns centre around the physical expansion of the airport, which would require filling in more of the lake. This could:

  • destroy fish habitat,
  • interfere with Hanlans Beach (one of the greatest beaches on the entire lake),
  • interrupt recreational navigation in the harbour.

Porter’s airport expansion proposal raises a number of questions: Is a bigger airport consistent with other harbour uses? Will it improve water quality and habitat in the harbour?

The project should only proceed if each of these questions can be answered with a definitive “yes” and after a thorough, transparent, public review.

Since 2013, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has been an active participant in the airport expansion process. We will continue to participate in municipal, provincial, and federal government reviews in order to ensure the best possible protection for the Toronto harbour and all of its users.

Update: In November 2015, the Federal Government discontinued talks between Ottawa, the City of Toronto, and the port authority ending the possibility of a Toronto Island Airport expansion.

Support our effort to protect the Toronto Islands.