Mayor Jim Watson said he doesn’t want precious transit dollars spent on a new downtown LRT station, but the city may compromise by building a pedestrian tunnel instead.
A motion passed at Wednesday’s council meeting by Coun. Diane Deans’ calls for a “weather-protected connection” to link riders from the Downtown-East LRT station to the National Arts Centre.
Deans also introduced a motion to start a feasibility study to look at moving Downtown-East farther east, closer to Elgin Street.
The motion comes after Lord Elgin Hotel owner Jeff Gillin wrote a letter to city councillors in which he offered $2 million over 10 years for an LRT station closer to his hotel and the Chateau Laurier.
Watson said he opposes that proposal because it would put the LRT project over budget.
“Delays mean more costs and it’s not in our interests to keep delaying this project,” said Watson.
The NAC is expected to work with the Gillin family to solicit more partners to secure funding for the tunnel.
After meeting with the Gillin family and members of the NAC Tuesday night, Deans said everyone was in agreement that moving the Downtown-East station farther east would be in everyone’s interests.