art & ideas

The Bentway is a new public space and programming platform that is both “of the city” and “about the city”. Through the lens of arts, culture, and recreation we explore the changing landscape of Toronto and urbanism on a global scale.

Discover our shared experiences and explorations below!

current programs

On view now

Bentway Staging Grounds is a site of active, environmental learning that continues The Bentway’s creative work along the Gardiner Expressway. Visitors are invited into a living laboratory for urban ecology, with experimental gardens that use rainwater run-off from the highway above to support the growth of flowering plant species. 

  • Softer City

    Softer City

    to

    In an increasingly hard city, how do we soften the barriers that separate us? The Bentway’s summer public art exhibition invites you to a series of soft encounters, where “softness” is embraced as a collective strategy for building a socially connected city.

  • Winter at The Bentway

    Winter at The Bentway

    to

    Winter is back at The Bentway! We’re pleased to welcome neighbours and fun-seekers for ice skating, the return of our signature Polar Bear Skate, free workshops, family programming, art, and more.

  • Halloween at The Bentway

    Halloween at The Bentway

    to

    Get into the Halloween spirit with The Bentway! Join us for a week full of spooky stories, a ghost walk and, yes, the return of your favourite pup-friendly paw-rty, Howl’oween.

  • Neighbourhood Nuit (2023)

    Neighbourhood Nuit (2023)

    to

    This Nuit Blanche, we invite you down to The Bentway and surrounding area for a series of installations that light up the neighbourhoods along the Gardiner Expressway.

  • BEYOND CONCRETE

    BEYOND CONCRETE

    to

    Beyond Concrete brought together artists, architects, botanists, and neighbours to explore the nature of the Gardiner Expressway. Discovered a uniquely urban ecosystem – where human-made infrastructure intertwines with resilient flora and fauna – at a summer of free artworks, events, and celebrations.

  • Waterfront ReConnect

    Waterfront ReConnect

    On view now

    Waterfront ReConnect re-imagines the street-level experience of two under-Gardiner intersections through innovative approaches to lighting, color, and storytelling. The projects (located at York Street and Simcoe Street) showcase how the Expressway can better serve our city as a thriving civic asset – both above and below the deck.

  • Public Space Fellowship

    Public Space Fellowship

    Ongoing, annual program

    The Bentway’s Public Space Fellowship seeks to address sector-wide gaps and ensure that burgeoning talent, lived experience, and a diversity of expertise help shape a more sustainable city. The Fellowship is a paid professional development opportunity that provides resources, support, and a platform for learning, generative exchange, and capacity-building.

recent publications

Beyond Concrete brings together artists, architects, botanists, and neighbours to explore the nature of the Gardiner Expressway.
Dive Deeper into Beyond Concrete

(with Frontier)

The Bentway’s 2023 Beyond Concrete summer season explored the urban ecosystem beneath the Gardiner Expressway, where human-made infrastructure intertwines with flora and fauna. The relationship between concrete and nature is complex and interconnected. In this story series, we heard from experts around the world who engage with these themes in their daily work and have unique perspectives.

Read the full exploration →

Play Provocations report header page
Play Provocations

(with Daily tous les jours)

Play Provocations is an exploration of how to expand the definition of play, both who it is for and what it can do. An output of The Bentway’s Summer 2021 program, Playing in Public, the publication was created with Daily tous les jours, and both examines program learnings and suggests discoveries that can inform the work of others ‘playing’ in play.

Read the full exploration →

Street Summit – Live Magazine

(with Frontier)

Live Magazine is a project by Frontier, a Toronto design studio, that offers smart distillations of stimulating gatherings.  Each issue gives readers insight into an event’s most powerful ideas and conversations. This issue took place at the Bentway’s 2022 Street Summit, where we took to streets and public spaces to think with others about city life.

Learn more →