Vote for a Toronto Urban Gondola—The Toronto ShoreLine

Post by Steven Dale

Urban Gondola Cable Car Toronto

Image via ULI.

The Urban Land Institute in Toronto (ULI) is hosting its innagural  Urban Ideas Competition. Amongst the various fine submissions is—you guessed it—a conceptual Urban Gondola/Cable Car system for Toronto’s waterfront cleverly dubbed the Toronto ShoreLine (check here and here for the submission’s two boards).

Now, despite the fact that The Gondola Project’s home base is Toronto, Canada and despite the fact that we’ve proposed a very similar idea a couple of years back, we want to make it crystal clear that we have absolutely nothing to do with this proposal and have no idea who is behind it.

Nevertheless, it’s pretty interesting and hits on a lot of strong fundamentals . . .

  • The system is (relatively) modest in size compared to other proposals we’ve seen. At 6.22km long, the system is optically an easier sell than some of the other proposals we’ve seen (we’re looking at you, Austin).
  • The system targets under-serviced areas of the city while systematically hitting tourist-heavy nodes.
Urban Gondola Toronto Cable Car

Image via ULI.

You can vote in support of this or any of the other submissions here. And we’d encourage you all to vote. The more attention this receives, the better for anyone interested in urban cable cars.

This is an exciting time for cable transit solutions. We’re seeing uptake of the technology in the developing world like almost no other mode  (check out Ankara, for example) plus we’re seeing no shortage of innovative urban concepts in the developed world (Seattle? Chicago? Buffalo?).

True, the closest we’ve gotten thus far in the developed world is the Burnaby gondola—which currently resides in a will-it-or-will-it-not-ever-be-built limbo—but the momentum behind the technology is undeniable.

Right now people are proposing, talking and spending an enormous amount of time and energy creating ideas such as the Toronto ShoreLine. Governments, meanwhile, are spending money exploring the technology (Calgary? Laval? Georgetown?). And in the four short years of this website’s existence we’ve seen our readership grow from a couple of dozen visitors per day into tens-of-thousands of unique visitors per month from all around the world. 

When it comes to urban gondolas and cable cars you can be a skeptic or a cynic all you want, but that doesn’t really matter because this is happening and it’s happening right now. That’s exciting.

With the kind of wind Cable Propelled Transit has at its back, it’s only a matter of time until we see one of these proposals really hit the mark somewhere in our backyard.

Vote early. Vote often.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.


  1. How about Winter usage in Toronto ? I don't see this as a year round idea for Toronto. It won't carry enough people to support it . Maybe a seasonal usage will work but too expensive.
  2. Hi Victor, Winter in Toronto isn't a problem. Not to be glib, but we are talking about a technology designed around alpine ski hills. Winter isn't a problem. As per how many people it would need to carry to support it, it's hard to say. Are we talking about a pure public transportation play? In which case, no piece of transportation infrastructure pays for itself and instead relies on major government subsidies. Are we talking about a tourist play? In which case you might be right given the length and complexity of the line. How about a hybrid play? As for the "too expensive" issue, you'll see from this website that the costs of the technology are significantly cheaper to build than other comparable technologies.
  3. This project was highlighted (with picture) in the local newspaper today: http://www.thestar.com/bigideas/2014/04/23/think_tank_contest_displays_big_ideas_for_torontos_waterfront.html
  4. @ Sam Any idea which concept won?
  5. Sorry, the gondolas didn't win: http://toronto.uli.org/press-releases/winners-announced-urban-ideas-competition-reconnect-torontos-waterfront/

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