June 27, 1923

CON

David Spence

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DAVID SPENCE (Parkdale):

Supply-Toronto Viaduct

an additional 295 acres of property along the inner harbour waterfront, in addition to the reclamation of some one thousand acres of property known as the Eastern Harbour .Terminals, which was prior to 1912 Ashbridgu's Bay marsh.

It would not be easy to have access to that property if this railway were diverted to any other part of the city. The improvements were all brought about as a result of the proposed plans of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Grand Trunk and the Harbour Commission.

The commission have proceeded absolutely along these lines in accordance with their undertaking and they and the Dominion government have to date expended approximately $19,000,000 thereon, reclaiming in the inner harbour to date 60 acres of new land and constructed three miles of modern dockage, of which 27 acres of land is now under lease and option. In the eastern section 450 acres have been reclaimed and 4^ miles of dockage constructed and 250 acres are now under lease and option. New industrial plant and equipment in the newly developed sections have been erected by private capital to the amount of approximately $8,000,000.

"W e must have access to these properties.

The main entrance to the eastern harbour terminals is, as is well known, via Cherry street, at which point there are 16 tracks, on the level. The viaduct order provided for the elevation of these tracks, and it was with the expectation that this would be done that the harbour commission undertook the reclamation and improvement of the eastern harbour terminals. Our tenants are still confronted with the necessity of having to use this dangerous crossing and times without number are subjected to unreasonable delay by the blocking of the crossing by freight trains and switching movements. Furthermore, the district is subjected to an added premium as regards fire insurance on account of the Cherry street level crossing.

Of course, matters such as these are of no consequence to railway companies as they apparently are not interested in the development of the eastern or central harbour terminals, and, just so long as they can operate trains in and out of Toronto at grade, little consideration will be given to this matter. The inconvenience or delay caused citizens in general in the carrying out of their daily business pursuits is apparently of little consequence in so far as railway interests are concerned.

All of the above moneys have been expended by the harbour commission in perfectly good faith and the interest and sinking fund charges have to be paid thereon from the revenue derived as a result of the improvement, and, if these properties are to be subjected to temporary approaches plus the closing of one of the main arteries, viz., Bay street, then there will be ninety acres of property in the inner harbour waterfront, between Simcoe and Church streets, valued at over four million dollars, a large amount of which wili remain idle for many years- Why? Because the railway companies refuse to carry out their portion of an agreement made between them, the city and harbour commission. The effect will be strangulation of inner harbour waterfront improvements.

The harbour commission and the city have repeatedly pressed for the commencement of the viaduct construction since 1913. mainly for the reason that the harbour commission were, as a result of the viaduct agreement, constructing and reclaiming pro-'

perty in the eastern harbour terminals and along the inner harbour waterfront; little consideration was given to these repeated requests for the reason that the railway companies were not suffering as a result of the delay.

Furthermore, as a condition of the agreement waterfront properties being improved were to be provided with proper access thereto, and I have no hesitancy in saying that the work would never have been proceeded with by the commissioners had it been anticipated for one moment that the agreement of 1913, solemnly executed by all parties, would not be carried to completion.

I need not read further. Hon. members will see that a solemn agreement was entered into between the Grand Trunk Railway Company, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the city of Toronto. The city is prepared to carry out the agreement. In view of the long delay by the railway companies to do their part, I think the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) should tell members from Toronto what action he proposes to take.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

Are you in favour of moving the viaduct up to Donlands?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
CON
LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Is it the pleasure of the

House that the hon. Minister of Finance CMr. Fielding) shall have leave to withdraw bis motion?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
CON
LIB
CON
?

Mr. ATEN@

I am referring to the part of the work that was to be done by the harbour commissioners.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Every single bit of the work which is necessary for the building of the viaduct and which was to be done by the harbour commissioners has been completed, and we are out the interest on the capital expenditure all these years.

There is something further. As a result of this glorified programme we have had to do other work, part of which is governmental and part municipal. The government entered into an arrangement for the doing of their part of the work and a good deal of it has been constructed, such as the cribbing and the breakwaters, but it is not yet finished. I just want to point out, as showing how this matter has been neglected, that under the former administration we gave as much money as could be

given for the purpose of getting this work done where it was most needed. The essential breakwaters were put up; the votes were 81,000,000 to 82,000,00 or 83,000,000 a year to that end. The work that was left to be done was largely the bridging of the approaches. That work has not been done, and the city has been trying in vain for the last two years to get these bridges built. I venture to say there is not a single public artificial highway anywhere else in Canada for which the government is responsible in connection with which the government has not constructed the necessary bridges. We have the artificial highway at the eastern gap, and on the other side there is a park largely used by the labouring people of Toronto, a park that was to have been connected up by this bridge over the artificial channel made by the government of Canada.

Not only is it a part of our common responsibility to do this work, but arrangements were made for it years ago; yet we can get nothing, not even a statement from the minister one way or the other. This is not merely a Toronto matter; it is not a municipal squabble. Even if it were, the fact that the municipality has spent millions based upon its faith in the honour of this country is surely sufficient. But it is much more than that; it is something that the whole hinterland of Ontario is interested in. Think of the spectacle we have to-day: a splendid station building that cannot be used; the placing of lives more or less in jeopardy every day through the use of a station that is obsolete. Why can the government not say something? What do they want us to do? Do they want us to understand that solid agreements mean nothing, amount to nothing? When is the agreement to be carried out so far as that bridge is concerned? Two bridges are called for, one over each of the artificial channels.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Is the western channel finished?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Dredging is still going on there, but it is government work; the city part of it has been finished. So it is with the eastern channel-there is no difficulty about putting a bridge over the eastern channel to-day, but we can get nothing at all, one way or the other. Are we to understand that agreements mean nothing?-that unless some particular political influence is exercised no action is to be taken? I would have thought the matter was so clear that we would have without the slightest delay a statement from the government. Millions have been spent; nothing has been done. If we cannot get anything else, perhaps we could get a statement

Supply-Toronto Viaduct

as to how much longer the government thinks nothing should be done, no relief should be given.

Hon. GEORGE P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals): Mr. Speaker, I

am sorry to hear my hon. friend scold so; he is generally good-natured. If the member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton) during all the years that he was head of the Board of Railway Commissioners had waited on Sir Henry Drayton and talked it over with him, we might have made some progress, because subsequent to 1913, the year of which he speaks, he was either head of the railway board or Minister of Finance. But he does not seem to have waited on that gentleman at all when he had all the authority. I am surprised, to use his own language, that he did not say anything. How much longer did he want Toronto to wait?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
CON
LIB
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Will my hon.

friend permit a question? How many millions did we spend in that time for the purpose of implementing that contract?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I do not know how many millions the then government spent in implementing the contract. I do know that all the money that was spent was in the erection of a station and the post office in connection with it.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
CON
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The station was erected, I believe, by the Toronto Terminals Company through the sale of bonds, the shareholders of that company being the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the Grand Trunk Railway Company. I am not going to reply to my hon. friend in kind, but I think it is fair to point out that his great anxiety about the completion of this viaduct, seems to have possessed him only since the latter part of 1921. Previous to that time he had the power as a member of the government to do all the things he is asking this government to do, or very many of them. He had the power as Chairman of the Board of Railway Commissioners to insist that the agreement made in 1913 should be carried out, but it was not carried out and has not been up to this day.

I am just saying that by way of supplementing my further remarks.

The problem is a difficult one. My hon. friend found it so when he was Chairman of the Board of Railway Commissioners, otherfSir Henry Drayton.]

wise he would have had the viaduct completed ere this; and he found it so when he was Finance Minister. The agreement having been made in 1913, there was every reason in the world for not proceeding with the work up to 1918, but there was no reason why it should not have been proceeded with following the close of the war; the necessity then was just as great as it is to-day. I agree with everything that has been said as to the situation in Toronto, except that I think one point has been exaggerated by the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Hocken), who said that all the passengers had to cross the tracks when they got on and off the trains at Toronto. Well, if they wish to walk upstairs they do not have to cross so many tracks. I know it is not so convenient, but there is a way to go upstairs and go out to the upper level to Front street. Of course I, like all the rest, insist on going out on the lower level because it is more convenient, hence I have to cross some tracks. But the situation is far from ideal and I agree with everything that has been said with regard to it. The situation in Toronto is just the same now as it has always been so far as the Grand Trunk Company is concerned. The Terminal Company consisted of the Grand Trunk Railway Company and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and the contract was made with the two railways.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
LIB
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Yes, and the city of Toronto. The contract was made in 1913 and my hon. friend has correctly given the history of it. But the government to-day, as the only shareholder of the Grand Trunk, stands in identically the same position as that in which the shareholders of the Grand Trunk stood when that agreement was made. I think my hon. friends would not urge that the government should proceed to take from the Toronto Terminal Company, the Canadian National Railway Board or the Canadian Pacific Railway management their authority to proceed with the construction of the viaduct.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Does not my hon. friend know that the whole reason for the delay was that the Grand Trunk could not finance their share?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TORONTO VIADUCT
Permalink

June 27, 1923