IMFG Paper | 2021

Developing Air and Land Control at Toronto’s Airport

Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport is the busiest in Canada and anchors the second-largest employment zone in the country. In a new paper for the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG), Nick Lombardo examines the history of the development of Toronto’s airport to understand how to plan complex, multi-jurisdictional large-scale infrastructure projects.

The paper explores how jurisdictional and territorial overlap around the airport led to innovative coalitions, relationships, and forms of governance that involved all levels of government, as well as the private sector. The paper concludes with three key lessons for multi-jurisdictional collaboration on large-scale infrastructure projects:

  1. There needs to be shared goals among governments at every level and partners in the private sector.
  2. Regional governance can successfully occur through municipally led coalitions, even in the absence of formal mechanisms for trilateral relationships and cooperation.
  3. Context matters, and officials and advocates should be prepared to leverage favourable political and economic trends.

Read the paper

Read the one-page summary

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