Recap: Speaker Series 8: How Do We Talk About the Future of the Island Airport?

We had a very successful event last night, featuring Nicole Swerhun who leads a team of process facilitators at Third Party Public (formerly Swerhun Inc.) that engages many different voices in discussions about all things public - from public assets and public policies to public spaces and public services. She creates tools to broadly share information, and seeks feedback on the information shared.

Nicole brought this experience to bear in her cogent talk on how we can meaningfully and effectively talk about the future of the Island Airport. We also featured Waterfront for All board members, Ron Jenkins and Brian Iler providing short talks on Island Airport's "runway end safety area" challenges  and the recent financial developments affecting Porter Airlines and the airport operators. Finally, we were pleased to have Spadina Fort York City Councillor Ausma Malik join us and participate in the evening. 

A video recording of the December 13 event is now posted.

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Here, below, is the background information we shared on our Event Page (which everyone who RSVP'd can still access directly at

BACKGROUND INFORMATION from Speaker Series 8, December 13, 2022:


RESA — Requirements

302.602 (1) A RESA shall have a minimum length of 150 m and shall conform to the requirements respecting location, characteristics and objects in the runway end safety area set out in 3.2 of Chapter 3 of the document entitled Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices, TP 312E, published by the Department of Transport.

(2) The operator of an airport may reduce the length of the ASDA, LDA or TORA in order to obtain the minimum length referred to in subsection (1).

(3) The minimum length referred to in subsection (1) does not apply if the operator of an airport installs an arresting system that is designed to stop an aeroplane in the event that the aeroplane overruns a runway and that conforms to the requirements regarding such a system set out in 3.2 of Chapter 3 of TP 312E.

(4) A RESA is not required before the starting point of the LDA if

  • (a) the runway is equipped with a serviceable precision approach path indicator (PAPI) or abbreviated precision approach path indicator (APAPI); or
  • (b) an instrument approach procedure with approved vertical guidance that is not restricted by a special authorization or an operations specification is available in respect of the runway.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (4)(b), approved vertical guidance means glide slope deviation information provided to a pilot until the decision height is reached to assist in the carrying out of a three-dimensional instrument approach without a missed approach point, but in respect of a missed approach segment that begins at the decision height.

Please click here or on the "Read More" button below to see more background information on the Tripartite Agreement, the History of the Island Airport, and more ... 


Background on Tripartite Agreement

On June 30, 1983, the City of Toronto, the federal Minister of Transportation and the Toronto Harbour Commissioners (now the Toronto Port Authority) signed the tripartite agreement that governs what can — and mostly what cannot — happen at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The agreement, meant to be in place until 2033, has been amended twice. The first time was in 1985, to allow the currently used Bombardier Q400 (known then as the de Havilland Dash 8) on the restrictive list of aircraft permitted to use the airport. The agreement firmly continues to state there are no jets allowed. The second time was in 2003, to allow the pedestrian tunnel to be built.

History of the Island Airport

Ron Jenkins: A History of the Island Airport

Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Runway end safety area (RESA) requirements

New Porter jets will fly out of Toronto Pearson Airport to western Canada

For the first time in its 16-year history, Porter Airlines will be flying commercial jets out of Toronto Pearson International Airport. The flights will connect Toronto with Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal starting in February 2023, with the airline promising an “enjoyable economy air travel for every passenger.”

Parks Not Planes

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

Harbour City - Zeidler vision for housing on the Islands - 1960s

Proposed in the late 1960s, the plan would have dramatically reshaped Toronto's waterfront. At the time, there was serious talk of relocating the island airport to the east end of the islands (near the Leslie St. Spit), which would have freed up the west end for urban development. But more than just a project involving the existing land on the island, Harbour City was to include mixed-use development on an additional 510 acres of artificial land.

Navy Pier - Chicago

100 years of Navy Pier

Please click here or on the "Read More" button below to see more background information on the Tripartite Agreement, the History of the Island Airport, and more ... 

Latest posts

Join us May 21 for Speaker Series 13, "Villiers Island: Hang on a Minute! Let's take a 2nd look at the plan."

Villiers Island: Hang on a Minute! Let’s take a second look at the plan.

Join us on Tuesday, May 21, 7 pm (Zoom) for critical and constructive panel discussion on the plan for Villiers Island. 


WfA has been broadly supportive of Waterfront Toronto's work over the years, but true friends owe their friends open and constructive dialogue.  So inspired by recent discussions of the recently amemded Villiers Island plan, including critical assessment by the Globe & Mail's Alex Bozikovics and a commentary by architecture and planning firm Smart Density, we felt that it was urgent to give voice to legitimate and constructive concerns about the Villiers Island Plan prior to its consideration by City Council in June. 

To that end we've put together a panel of community activists, housing activists and urban planners to take a second look at the Villiers Island plan. 


  • Norm di Pasquale — City Activist (NoJetsTO, past Board of Education Trustee)
  • Eric Lombardi — Housing Advocate, More Neighbours Toronto
  • Mark Richardson — Technical Lead, HousingNowTO
  • Blair Scorgie — Registered Professional Planner, Urban Designer, Lecturer TMU


A successful & enlightening evening at Bathurst Quay .

We had a fabulous evening on Tuesday, May 7 at Bathurst Quay, with our featured guest, Bryan Bowan, City of Toronto Program Manager for Bathurst Quay Common, and special guest, William Peat of the Canada Ireland Foundation. We were also very pleased to be joined by Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik. 

The Canada Ireland Foundation is leading the development of The Corleck, a new centre for arts, culture and heritage that will be flanked by and the Bathurst Quay Common. Both are located beside Ireland Park,  which the foundation spearheaded and fundraised for, in co-operation with the City of Toronto, the restored Canada Malting Silos. 

Waterfront for All Board Member, Edward Nixon (left), welcomed attendees and introduced, the City of Toronto's Bryan Bowen (right).


Deputy Mayor, Ausma Malik, spoke about the creativity and commitment of the local community, including the the efforts of the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association to champion the revitalization of the area, and the key role City staff played in realizing the project. 

William Peat Executive Director of the Canada Ireland Foundation spoke about The Corleck which is expected to open in 2025.

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