TORONTO — PortsToronto officially opened the new 853-foot tunnel, built under a portion of Lake Ontario, to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on Toronto Island.
The new tunnel, which takes 6 minutes to travel through, provides tourists and business travellers with fast and convenient access to Porter Airlines and Air Canada flights, previously only accessible by ferry.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening of the pedestrian tunnel took place on July 30th, with Toronto Mayor, John Tory, and Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt, as well as other distinguished guests on hand for the event.
“Travellers can now enjoy a fast, convenient and reliable way to access Billy Bishop Airport and no longer have to rely on taking the ferry, as the only means to catch a flight,” says Mayor Tory. “The pedestrian tunnel has been a massive undertaking since construction began in 2012, and represents a unique private and public sector partnership.”
The $82.5 million tunnel was built using a public-private partnership agreement between PortsToronto, Forum Equity Partners and lead contractor PCL, at no cost to taxpayers.
To access the tunnel, travellers will descend 100 feet and travel along the main passageway via four moving sidewalks. At the south end of the tunnel, travellers will ascend to the island atrium and airport’s check-in area using one of the longest escalator systems in Canada. The tunnel will be 100% powered by green energy supplied by Bullfrog Power Inc. and is touted as being one of the longest elevator systems in Canada.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is the 9th busiest in Canada. It was named one of North America’s Top Regional Airports by World Airport Awards, and has been listed in the Top 10 Most Beautiful Airport Approaches in the world by Forbes. Porter Airlines and Air Canada both run regional flights out of the airport, right from downtown Toronto.