Toronto’s mayor says the possibility of uploading the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway to the province is being considered as part of a new financial deal between the two governments.

“Ultimately, the goal is financial sustainability, so the City of Toronto can deliver the services and infrastructure that people need. Whatever tools get us there are welcome. The purpose is solutions,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.

“Uploading the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway to the Ontario government is one of many options being considered at the working group. Everything is on the table for discussion.”

The discussions are being conducted by a provincial-municipal working group tasked with “a mandate to achieve long-term stability and sustainability of Toronto's finances.”

The premier has already indicated that no new taxes will be considered, but apart from that little is known about the revenue-saving tactics being discussed.

The City of Toronto is dealing with a $1.5 billion shortfall, something the premier himself has said is unsustainable. Council recently voted to explore a range of new revenue tools, including a municipal sales tax or tolls—however both these options would require approval by the provincial government.

The uploading of the Gardiner Expressway and the DVP would save the city millions of dollars in repair and maintenance costs. Earlier this year, city staff said that $500 million in contracts had already been awarded to rebuild the 1.7-kilometre eastern portion of the expressway and an additional $650 million in contracts will be included in capital plans.

Matti Siemiatycki, Director of the University of Toronto’s Infrastructure Institute, told CTV News Toronto both pieces of infrastructure are undergoing a major, and costly, rehabilitation

“For the provincial government to upload it, that could take some of the fiscal pressure off of the City of Toronto,” he said. “The city is in deep, it has a huge financial gap. This alone will not solve it but it's a signal that there's opportunity for collaboration."

However Siemiatycki noted that if the province decides to pursue the upload, they will likely retain control over any future decision-making related to the infrastructure.

"It will be a provincial asset and we’ve seen with other provincial assets in the region, once they own it, they treat it like it’s their property and they will do with it what they wish."

The Ontario government used to hold responsibility for the upkeep of the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, but they were downloaded onto the city by the Mike Harris government in the 1990s as part of cost-saving measures by the province.

The working group is expected to submit a final report in about a month.

With files from Siobhan Morris